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POS SOFTWARE

​There are three main types of monitors—Square, widescreen and ultrawide screens on the market now.

You can see the problem often when running your computer you get black bands around the active screen. Some application uses square and some uses widescreen.

Until recently, except in Point of Sale (POS), the market has been moving to wider screens.

The problem in a shop counter space is a premium. A widescreen shows less for the same size, so POS software is generally designed for square.

Now what is happening is that the new monitors for POS are switching from square to widescreen. The main reason for this push from square to widescreen is cost. Monitor manufacturers can save money using the same parts for computer monitors and TVs. Also, widescreens are cheaper to produce for the size.

So if you want a square monitor, you will soon have to pay more.

If you are buying a monitor, I suggest you buy a widescreen because the change is inevitable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

We are updating our recommended computer specifications, so these below are suggestions only. 

But, if you intend to buy some hardware soon, please talk to us first. 

Current situation

Windows 11 and the coming mass introduction of 4k monitors will mean that much of the existing computer equipment out there is going out of date. 

Keeping your computing technology up-to-date ensures that you will run the latest software.  If all you want to do is continue running what you have, make sure you are not renting software. Overall count on no updates soon for much of your existing software.

Here are my recommended computer specifications for what you should consider before making a purchase.

Anything running Windows 8 or early is asking for trouble, you need Windows 10 and 11 now.

As for Windows 11, you need 1 gigahertz (GHz) so if you are being offered anything less than an i7, forget it.   

The added problem is all your computers should run the latest anti-virus software. These to run fast need modern computers and is the main reason older computers run slow. 

We recommend Windows Defender, which is free.

SQL

It would be best if you ran at least SQL 2016

Besides, old versions of SQL are slowing you down now.

Monitors

You spend most of your time interacting with your computer through the monitor. All your monitors now should have a resolution of 1920x1080, although 1280x1024 should work for a while. Anything less needs replacement. 

An added plus is that you and your staff will enjoy the larger monitors. They are great if someone eyesight is starting to fail, plus because the screen is bigger, it gives less strain on the eyes. 

RAM 

Want an instant performance boost? Adding more RAM is the easiest and cheapest way to upgrade your computer. It is affordable. You can do it on almost any computer. 

So, how much RAM do you need?

- 8GB for a register

- For heavier duty computers, e.g. servers, you should look to 16GB for best results.

Make sure you get the right RAM for your computer.

Speed up your computer with an SSD

If your computer still runs with a mechanical hard drive HHD, this SSD offers you high-speed start-up times and fast data transmission. 

So I would not buy a computer without an SSD drive today.

If you have not got an SSD drive on the server, get one. It will speed up everything.

As a bonus, you can keep the HDD for stuff that you need less speed.

Touchscreens 

These are great in business environments, much easier and quicker to use. It will not speed up the computer but speed up your data entry.

A modern graphics card

If you do graphics or play computer games, this will reduce the load on your computer processing, often speeding up your computer. 

Improve your cooling

Although not a speed issue, a noisy fan is painful over time. If you have one of these, consider replacing it. 

The big problem here is that hot computers tend to run slow. Check the vents to make sure that the air is circulating. If not, then clean the computer if required. 

Coolers may be an option as they have gotten much better over the last few years and are cheaper. Plus they will give more life to your computer.

keyboards and mice

These are tough to decide. I have used several of the latest gaming keyboards and mice. I have not noticed any improvement. 

Plus, I find them annoying. 

So I prefer the older ones, yet many do like them. So I leave this to personal taste.

Internet speeds

This is something that everyone complains about, and it is tough to say anything here. For many people, $60/month the internet provided is overkill, and to others, $20,000/month with a direct link to the USA is not good enough. Although it's a bit pricey if you want more speed, many of my clients are delighted with the Starlink offer. Soon I am sure NBN will be obsolete for people that need speed. 

So I leave this to personal need too.

I hope this all helps and let me know what you think.

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POS SOFTWARE

In 1987, you got on a super special for $2250 a DOS computer, with a 20 meg hard drive, a cheap printer and a black and white monitor. From memory, $20,000 was a decent salary, so it was worth about two months after-tax.  

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POS SOFTWARE

There are a lot of headlines about an internet server exploit, the Log4j.

The problem:

Many devices, e.g. cars, fridges, mobile phones, internet servers, etc., use java's programming language. Now, if a fridge, few would worry. A car, maybe.   But, if it is a server or mobile phone, what can happen is this. You do something on them. Now some of these might have a hacked version of Log4j. If so, a hacker may execute a command, e.g. to send them your account name and password.

The immediate problem is that not much can be done about it. How do you know if java is running? If so, is Log4j used? If so, what version of Log4j is used? If an old version, has it been hacked?

Solution:
None exists that is why everyone is worried. 

Once the word got out, we were not worried about our systems as we do not use java much. Then it turned out that we were possibly affected so we brought down all our systems and checked them. We were okay. 

We have checked our systems and they will not cause you problems with Log4j.

Also, I can tell you how to check it with a caveat that if this checking program here is hacked, you are opening yourself to a hack by running this. So only use it, if you must. I have used this on my computer, but our system administrator refuses to run it on our servers. 

As such, I am recommending our clients wait and be careful.

For example, I am not doing internet banking for a few days, and then I will change some of my internet passwords.

Update:

Log4j, now it turns out to be a bigger problem as it can get into the Cpanel, which is the guts of most of the internet. So the computer does not need even to be running java.

Also since this affects older versions, you need to be on the latest version of Windows 10. Microsoft no longer gives security updates for older versions of Windows 10. 

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POS SOFTWARE

If you are running Windows 7, it is now out of support. This means that your Windows has no support.  Plus, you are probably running a 10+ year old computer.

We strongly recommend that you move to a newer computer and Windows. 

This is what Black Friday is good for as not only are computers at a discount but moving to a new computer will provide you with a better experience as modern computers are faster, more powerful, and have greater security.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Cat8 cables

What happens now is that people setting a POS network sometimes, instead of getting an electrician, do it themselves.  Then they sometimes select a cheap cable to save expenses. Some of these cables are pretty bad. If so you may notice that your network tends to operate slow, so these cables should be replaced.

Yet, if they are good cables, the question of whether to replace these cables with a different one will speed up the network. The answer is maybe but probably not.

There are many factors here, but the big two are latency and bandwidth.

I like to think of the cable as a water pipe.

Latency would measure how long and rough the pipe is slowing down the water travelling through the pipe. 

The electronic signals travel at about 200 million meters/sec. Thus Melbourne to New York is about .1 second. Few cables would cause a problem here.

Bandwidth would be the amount of water that travels through the pipe; the wider the tube, the more water travels through it. 

Now in a POS System, we do not pass that much data around. As long as your cable is a cat6 or better, and we are talking just the POS software traffic, you will not have a problem here. Things may be different at home. Say one kid is downloading some movies, another is watching youtube, you are on the computer, and someone is watching the TV. Lots of signals, lots of bandwidth.

The last factor is that many other factors besides the cable can slow down your network, e.g. your switches and network cards.

 So if you're replacing existing cable thinking you will significantly improve your speed, I would say you are wasting your time and money. 

This is actually why electricians tend to use decent but cheap cables.

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POS SOFTWARE

This Friday is "Black Friday", officially this is the start of the Christmas shopping season. Our suppliers know that this is the last chance they get to move stock before the Christmas freeze starts. So some of our suppliers have offered us some pretty good deals to move some of their stock. So we are passing the saving to our clients. Details are being sent out now.

If you are interested in upgrading your system or getting a touch screen, let us know.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

One of the most popular features in our POS Software is a customer-facing screen.

They are digital displays that show detailed order information to customers such as their orders, tax, discount and loyalty information during the checkout process. You see customer-facing displays in the retail businesses all the time.

Why should you use a customer display?

Ensure sale accuracy

When a staff member enters a customer's order information, each item and price appears on the customer-facing screen. This means that the point of sale screen provides the customer with a quick and easy way to verify it is correct while being entered. Most queries can be resolved immediately, such as pricing and many incorrect quantities.

Instil customer confidence in you

One of the clear benefits of a point of sale display is the impact on the customer experience. It has transparency. That can be a great help in establishing trust between your staff and your customers.

Drive Customer Engagement

You can also use it to display advertising for your shop.

Professionalism

It much more looks professional, giving your shop a better image.

Speed up cash register operations

As many mistakes are noticed quicker before completing orders, your staff can immediately adjust items. Once the sales go through they, have to process a return which takes longer.

The display screen prompts the customers to act as the transaction proceeds. For example, once you scan all the items, the customer display cues customers to pay, then tells them to pick up their goods and go.

If you're considering a customer-facing display for your own business and want to see what has been working with our customers for years, we can help you. Feel free to talk with us now.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Today touchscreens are now pretty much everywhere.

They help us interact with our computer more naturally with our fingers making them easier to use. After all, it is more natural to press the highlighted buttons on the computer. They also speed up tasks. You don't have to take their eyes off the screen and keyboard. This makes it faster to use.

I find the new models have one point: that it is no longer necessary to find vendor software to calibrate them. Today they now tend to use the native Windows utility; this was always a real headache. We had to keep a library of vendor disks in our software library in case some user had lost their driver disks and needed their monitors calibrated.

As Android moves more into Windows, we can expect to see the integration of touch screens into your computer increase.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Let us start with this:

Move your router.

Often this is the quickest and easiest.

It should be high up and in a place where you can directly see your router. There should be nothing blocking the signal, e.g. metal, glass, concrete etc.

Electrical equipment can also interfere. Keep the router from industrial equipment, lifts, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc. A sign that this is the trouble is when the Wi-Fi works, fails and then works.

Move the router to a spot and test again till you find a good place where it is not an eyesore.

If your Wi-Fi in the shop is still slow, here are some more tips to try first, but we are getting technical.

Now find out what channel you use for Wi-Fi. Typically it is 2.4 GHz, but some technicians, as I do, often set it to 5 GHz. There is no right or wrong here, sometimes 2.4 is better, and sometimes 5 is the way to go.

Once you have this, get an app Wi-Fi Analyzer here.

Now select the appropriate option 2.4 or 5 in the Wi-Fi Channels

Now check the strength of the signal in the places where you use the Wi-Fi. Wait and look, you need a signal better than -80 dBm. Aim for at least -60 dBm. Anything less than that is considered unreliable.

If you can try to reposition the router to a better spot.

Still need more ideas.

Now on the Wi-Fi Channel check whether your neighbours’ Wi-Fi Networks are many. They may be interfering. This is why in shopping centres, people often have trouble. If you see many networks, try seeing the situation on 2.4 or 5.

If that is better, consider switching channels.

Still, need more speed?

Upgrade the firmware of the router.

It’s always a good idea to check for the latest firmware anyway. Talk to whoever you got the router first about how to do this. While you are at it, check your security settings. On some cheap routers, technicians often reduce the security settings to speed it up. Today a router should always be at strong security. If your router needs a reduction in security to get a decent speed, I suggest getting a new router.

Let me know if you need to know more.

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