jumping into the computer age


True Grumbler
Jun 29, 2002
Canada, Sunny Duncan, BC. Google Earth V9L 1M4
Mostly I'm looking for a more informed opinion! I want to throw away the paper forms for taking framing orders at the design counter. There are times when three of us are there taking different framing orders. So, do I need three networked computers to run the three screens, keyboards and mice or is there a simpler way? </P>
I like Alan's suggestion of a removeable hard drive for the daily backup as it wouldn't add much to the overall cost.</P>
Well it's off to work I go - up till now I've kept my computer at home so I won't see any replies until tonight.
We have three order taking stations connected to a server. That way all the price data and customer info is the same on all the machines. If you don't use a server you may be able to use a peer to peer network but I do not know anything about that. I would highly recomend a computer system. It seems the customers have more confidence in the price you quote them when you do it on a machine.

Look into the archives, and you'll find a whole lot of discussion of POS software and different setups, others have placed into their shops.

We networked our three "up front" computers with a network hub, and all running on Windows 98 2ed. Two additional computers are networked from the back room. During the Christmas season we ran all three workstations (actually one is the server) with no problems.

Feel free to write me directly about the hardware and software options out there.


If three people taking three orders at one time and needing to price them at the same time is a regular occurance then three terminals may be the only option, I would consider very seriously starting with two and leaving room for expansion. We also have three people taking orders at the same time on a regular basis and find that one terminal for pricing is suffice, (we then load the order into our main POS sytem) however price is often not an issue with regular customers, and a "general idea" of price goes a long way.

Before deciding on your computer setup I would suggest that you make a final decision on the software that best suits your needs, and asking the techies for their opinions about system requirements. If possible buy the entire package from one place so as to save running around if problems occur, unless you are in favour with computers.

If you are planning to use any of the computers on the network to access the internet you also need to find a suitable security package, most of the Windows 9.x OS is generally considered unsuitable for business networks. Windows XP is considered by our tech's to be very good, Win 98 SE is the next favourite choice.

As I understand that most of the framing related POS is already set up with the SKU's for your frames, if there is a need to add more of your own it is advisable to sit down and nut out the best way to load and categorise these so as they will make for easy reporting in a few years time. Plan Plan Plan...

When buying software to be networked make sure that it will run on the remaining terminals if any one of them happens to wipe out.