BCSS Technical Support provides online answers to technical questions about our software and its compatible hardware.
Select links on this page to find products and product descriptions, suppliers and their contact information, manuals and setup procedures, printer drivers, specs, supplies, troubleshooting and hardware warranties.
Telephone and Remote PC Support ($20/15 minutes):
Solutions for Cheap Office Printers
Budget-minded business owners often pay less for printers online then spend the savings on IT help fixing the reasons why the printer was dumped by the previous owner. Here are tips for struggling with 'cheap printers'.
Common Printer Problems
By far the most common problem with printers is lack of knowledge and skills. Printers have a long way to go before catching up with our plug-and-go expectations. Knowledgeable and skilled users will experience far fewer problems and spend far less time resolving issues that do arise. The rest of us will spend hours, not struggling with printers that 'don't work' but with our lack of understanding as to how to use them correctly.
The second most common cause of issues with printers is buying inferior or used/refurbished equipement with the expectation that they will not only 'work' but work as well, perhaps, as a new printer - at least close enough to get by on a tight budget. The scenario that plays out under these circumstances is that the money saved by purchasing used equipment (someone else's problems) is spent on fixing the reasons why the printer was sold to the bargain hunter.
Should any store owner build the foundation of his or her business on inferior or used equipment? Should the samem person (unreasonably) expect that someone, anyone will be able to make the bargain printer work, and if in fact it's just broken or otherwise inoperable, should others lose money by investing their time in a piece of equipment chosen by the buiness owner? No. If you want to purchase hardware that isn't recommended by the software provider and if you want anyone (including the software provider) to attend to your eBay gem, then the risk of it not working falls squarely in your lap and you should compensate anyone you ask to assist you in 'making it work' and when it doesn't, take responsibility and absorb the loss.
How Windows Printers Work
Software programs do not print to printers. They send print jobs to Windows which interprets print jobs and relays them. There are many issues with Windows printing. (See https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+issues+with+printing .) If you're lucky, you'll get a printer that is not a lemon. You'll have a clean installation of Windows that is not corrupted and confused. You'll be using a computer that hasn't been hacked, attacked and infected with malware, and printing will hum along forever.
For the rest of us, attempting to print will be a potential struggle with every press of the print button and if we are not knowledgeable and skilled in the way of printers, Windows and printing, we should be prepared to do one of two things: learn or pay.
Fix Many Printing Issues Easily
Printer issues are innumberable because new ones crop up with regularity. Keeping printers (actaully Windows) performing as expect requires some effort, which is why there are occupations like 'IT Technician'.
Before reaching for an email or the phone (and your credit card) shut everything off, incluidng the printer, and try again.
If you think "It's the software.", open Notepad, type one character and press control+P to print. If nothing prints, "It's the printer." or "It's Windows.".
Consignment Software / Dual-Band Routers
Why Are POS Stations Slow?
Cheaper routers designed for home use have only 3 non-overlapping channels for transmission and they only transmit at a slower 2.4GHz (gigahertz) speed, making them unacceptable for commercial use.
Unfortunately, because of their lower price, cheap routers are commonplace in the work environment, making data delivery and software performance unsatisfactorily slow.
'Latency' is the time interval between stimulation and response and will be (much) longer on a wireless network. If wireless is in use, connect the PCs to the router with cat6 cables and note the reduction in latency.
Speed on POS stations will also be determined by the resources of each computer. If the PC is slow on its own, it will be slower on a network.
Look on the back of the router for specs, or search online using the make/model #. The common Cisco Linksys WRT120-N is a 2.4GHz single-band router.
The limitations of a 2.4GHz router are that there are only 3 channels and they are on the same wavelength as other Wi-Fi access points, Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors - all of which make for a very crowded and noisy transmission environment. Interference is at its greatest and performance is degraded. Connections are lost/dropped and data can be corrupted.
A dual-band router can transmit on 2.4GHz and 5 GHz. The latter has 23 non-overlapping channels (eight times more) so channels are much cleaner with significantly less signal interference. It has twice the bandwidth so data flow in much faster.
Working with BCSS
When POS stations are unacceptably slow, a way to determine that the router is the bottleneck is to:
- Make a backup of BCSS data to a flash drive.
- Take the flash drive to the POS computer and plug it in.
- In BCSS, go to File then Program Setup then Networks.
- Change the settings to:
(Make sure the path is C:\BCSS.)
- Save and Exit.
- Close the program and reopen it.
- Try a function that was slow on the network and observe the increase in speed.
The reason for the increase in speed is that the POS station is drawing data from its hard drive which is much faster than pulling data from the host computer through the router.
Still slow? How much processing power does the POS computer have? (To the right of the Start Button type 'system information' and Enter.)
The computer should have at least a 2.7GHz processor and 8GB of RAM. If not, the computer is the next bottleneck on the network.
A third cause of slowness (on or off a network) is the accumulation of historical records and transactions.
In consignment and resale, turnover and payouts are quick so there's no useful purpose in maintaining records more than 1-2 years old. Tech support can remove old records (prior to a date provided by the shop owner) which will reduce the number of records the program has to look through for each task.