Computer Maintenance

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Computer Maintenance

Pausing Windows updates

POS SOFTWARE

Unfortunately, Microsoft do not have a terrific track record with Windows updates and looking at the current list, I can see little that most of our users really need urgently.

So what you may want to consider doing is pausing your updates, to let other people test the new features first for you. This particularly now, when every computer call center including ours is flat out.

If this is of interest to you then do the following

Select the Start  >  Settings  > Update & Security   > Windows Update

 

Now click pause updates for 7 more days

What this will do is delay your updates from Microsoft for a week so others can check it for you. If you want more details please click here.

 

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Disinfecting your keyboard

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Now with this virus running around it is very important that any equipment eg keyboard used by several people is cleaned regularly. (Industry standard now vary from hourly to once a day). I suppose it depends on high you feel the risk of contamination is likely to be but the front counter of a shop, I am sure rates a very high risk.

As we are not talking here of cleaning but disinfecting, we have a problem as keyboard certainly does not like moisture of any type and yet to disinfect you need liquid.

You need a disinfectant. Antibacterial is not enough. You need something that kills viruses.

Do not use bleach as this causes discolouration.

So do need a non-abrasive cleaning cloth, do not use toilet paper, kitchen wipes might be okay although proper wipes are the best.

In my supermarket, I could not get any antiviral clothes as they sold out, so I went online and found a recipe. I took a small jar and filled it with 3/4 methylated spirits and the rest dishwashing solution. I then found this made a terrific cleaning solution better than the one we were using. Then put in on a cleaning cloth, so it became damp but not dripping and any excess moisture I squeezed from the fabric.

{ Note I am not a doctor so take this advice in this spirit}

Unplug the keyboard. 

Now hold the keyboard upside down if possible and wipe it using some elbow grease carefully. 

Above all, do not get any liquid inside the keyboard.

Now leave the keyboard upside down, as they say, it needs a minute to kill the coronavirus. 

Now dry the keyboard with a kitchen wipe, and then you can use it.

 

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Keyboards are dirty than toilets

POS SOFTWARE

This discussion came out of my last post when some people commented about fixing computers and brought up cleaning.

Everyone is worried now with Coronavirus, here check this video out about China. 

 

Back in Australia, a study was done of bacteria found on standard items.

Look at the keyboard that I highlighted with the red arrow and now compare it to the toilet seat.

 

Interestingly it was shown that women’s desks tended to have more bacteria than men’s. I cannot explain that!

Although I have never seen any studies of point of sale environment, I am sure with shared equipment and   

The overall crux is that we need to use something to clean desks and computer equipment on it. I use an Antibacterial Disinfectant Wipe from the supermarket, which costs a few dollars now and then and has like 600 wipes in our office. 

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Some tips to save costs on a computer repairs

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Point of sale systems is excellent, till something goes wrong. Then for some reason, people seem to lose all sense of reason and proportion. The fact is that they are all mechanical devices and all of the parts will sooner or later fail and everything will be replaced. I know we run a comparatively big computer repair business.

If your computer or one its components are not working or acting very strange. Here is a simple checklist you should try before doing anything.

1) The first question to ask yourself, is it used to work, what has changed now? If you can think of that something, check that. 

2) Make sure that nothing is stuck down, and it looks like it should work, is the computer keyboard keys stuck, is the paper free on the printer if the printer is the problem, etc. Try to isolate the problem to find *the problem*.

3) Switch off the part and wait a minute, use the time to take some deep breaths. Now switch it on and test it. 

If that does not fix it, try switching off everything the computer and the part, wait a minute and then switch them on again and test it.  

4) If that does not fix it, check the cables from the part to the computer, check the cables to the part/computer, often the problem is a cable is not incorrectly. They are loose and then came out a bit.

Check the connections of the wires, if they are not firmly in, that may be the problem. Give them a push.

5) Even if you have not found anything here, I would suggest that you turn everything off and wait for a minute and try again, sometimes a miracle happens, and it works.

By now, I would say about 3/4 of all problems are solved but if you are now and it is still a problem, well the reality is that there are numerous ways that your system can break down and malfunction and it depends on your level of computer skill on how much you can fix.

If you have the time and you want to get hands dirty you can put the problem into Google, and ask for some troubleshooting assistance be careful even with an experienced technician, the challenge and expenses can quickly snowball. 

If the problem is still there, then its time to give us a call or your hardware supporter. If so note:

What exactly is the error
If possible write down the errors or take a photo of the error.

How do you get the error
The hardware engineer first instincts will be to try to reproduce the error in his mind. So how did it happen? Was there anything happening when the error appeared, does it come and go, etc 

Make sure you have a backup
 

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Lights go out does your business too

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Suddenly the electricity cuts off, an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) may be the difference between you still working, or you are having everyone just sitting around till the power comes back on. I also do believe that the performance and longevity of your Point of Sale equipment will increase if you use them.

Here are some tips if you are interested in such technology.

1) You need to decide how long you need the UPS to function, in the city often the power goes down for a few minutes, but in the country, it can be an hour. Generally, it is best to spend a little more and get something that lasts a bit longer. No one is going to complain if it is slightly too loud.  

2) They need testing. I have seen the battery inside fail with no warning. They are easy to test; just switch the power off. One problem with UPS, far too often they fail straight out of the box, so they need testing.

3) Check for noise, some of them are very nosy in operation

 

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A Point of sale system or Point of Failure system

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What are you going to have this year "A Point of sale system" or a "Point of Failure system". 

 

Remember something like this.

 

It would have cost a lot in goodwill as well as money.

Now, it is essential to check that all the equipment you propose to use over the Christmas period is working? This is particularly true of some of the old POS machines that people bring out of the cupboard at present. Please check them to make sure it all works? Furthermore, check the cables. Equally important that your Internet connections are where you need it? I suggest you try it all out now.

Have you tested all your system, now before Christmas day hits? 

How much does someone want to bet with me that several of our clients, on the busiest days of the years, when computer engineers, if you can get them even on double and triple time, will be called out to fix problems that should have been checked and fixed now!

You want anything working over the coming season. 

 

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Your scanners not reading correctly?

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The common problem is that a scanner is suddenly not reading the barcodes at all well and now requires a few attempts to work.

The first thing I would try is to clean the scanner' lens. Scanners today sometimes need cleaning The leading cause is generally people touching the lens so putting fingerprints and dirt on the glass. If so, this problem is easy to fix.

Step 1: Unplug the scanner from everything.

Step 2: Use a wipe sold for optical glasses to wipe the scanner's lens. I do not recommend any standard glass cleaning solution as these often contain chemicals that can damage the lens, e.g. acetone. 

Step 3: Now use a dry cloth for spectacles to dry the lens and remove any dirt.

Some scanners can be pulled apart to be cleaned. I do not recommend that you do this. You may damage the unit, which is the last thing you want to do.

If you feel the lens need more cleaning then this, then watch this video.

Now test your scanner.

 

 

 

 

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Latest microsoft update

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Ever since last month when Microsoft began pushing out its latest upgrade, things aren’t going so well. Our clients reported a variety of significant and obscure errors.

As always everyone is often afraid to fix the problem as who knows what other problems you can make when fixing it. Quite a few users of ours got the blue screen when someone attempted to fix it. 

I tell you what was annoying about this to us. Although Microsoft confirmed the problem was in the upgrade, Microsoft was getting people to upgrade even though it continued to cause problems. 

We would have pulled the plug on these updates until it was bedded it down.

Some problems remain, for example, some users are reporting a sudden freeze that lasts a couple of seconds, and then the computer restarts automatically. On a server, that it is pretty bad.

There also appears that once someone fixes up the immediate problem, other problems arise. We have had people after Microsoft fix it, report that they cannot use many of the functions they require.

As such, after this bad experience, we will soon be putting together an information sheet once Microsoft bed down their new feature specially designed to mitigate faulty updates like this. What it will allow is a user to postpone Windows updates so that other users can test them first. Then if it does go wrong, to enable a user to roll back faulty updates. This will help with this problem not totally but reduce it by about 80%.

This update has been a real mess, and Microsoft has done here little to inspire confidence with them.

If you want to know where we are at click here.

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Microsoft to fix current update problems

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UPDATE!  

The latest Microsoft update has been a nightmare. I estimate that over a thousand of our client's point of sale computers were affected.

Now finally, we have been advised that Microsoft Support are able to assist you if you have any problems with the update.

Microsoft can be contacted on 13 20 58

The options to get through to technical support are as follows:  

  • Press Option 1 Consumer
  • Press Option 1 Technical
  • Press Option 2 Windows

You will need to confirm first that your Windows is activated and that your license is valid to proceed with Microsoft support. Then the Microsoft operator will then be able to take you through the fixes.

 

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You need to be rebooted your computers at least weekly

POS SOFTWARE

 

Many of you never switch off your main computer. If so this post is for you.

This is not good practice. What happens is that many of the updates and patches, the computer requires a reboot to complete. If this reboot does not occur weird things happen.

The other problem is memory leaks. What is happening here is that you are building up useless data, chunks, software, etc. in memory. This will slow down the computer and in the worse case can cause parts of the computer to fail e.g. one of your printers no-longer work.

As such it is recommended that all computers, get a restart once a week. 

 

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