Phoenix Information Systems
 
Phoenix Information Systems  

Computer Upgrades

Considerations when upgrading your computer

When Upgrading Computers

There is going to come a time when you will upgrade one of your point-of-sale computers and it is at that point you will come to the realization that technology has changed and some of your old computer hardware and/or software may not work on the new computers. So in an effort to help you in this transition, I would like to point out some of the fundamental changes that could affect you when upgrading to new computers.

PS2 Ports

What is a PS2 Port? On older computers, the computer keyboard was plugged into this port on the backside of the computer. Many of the bar code scanners of this era were also PS2 interface. The bar code scanner and keyboard would be plugged into a 'Y' cable and the 'Y' cable would then be plugged into the PS2 port on the back of the computer.

PS2 Ports
PS2 Ports

The problem here is that new computers do not come with a PS2 port. New computers almost solely use USB ports. This means your old keyboard and bar code scanner, if they are PS2 interface, will not work on your new computer. The new computer should come with a USB keyboard, but you will need to purchase a new bar code scanner.

Some bar code scanners can be refitted with a USB interface. I know that some of the Metrologic (now Honeywell) bar code scanners can be refitted. My experience is that is much easier to simply purchase a new bar code scanner.

LPT: Ports

An LPT: port is where older printers plugged into the back of the computer. You may have heard a reference to parallel port or parallel interface, they mean the same thing.

LPT Ports
LPT Ports

When you look on the backside of new computers, you will notice the absence of any LPT: port. New computers and printers are almost always USB interface. So with that, you will need to purchase a new printer for your new computer, one that is USB interface.

There are a few LPT: port cards out there that you could purchase to make your old parallel interface printers work. The drawback to this is that many of them are not true LPT: ports, but merely LPT: to USB translations which simply won't work.

Cash Drawers

Many of the older cash drawers were parallel interface which means they used the older LPT: port and plugged into a 'Y' cable along with your printer. If you have one of these cash drawers, you will need to replace the cash drawer with a newer model that has a USB interface.

Cash drawer
Cash drawer

Point-of-Sale and Video Rental Software

When upgrading to a new computer you will probably be getting Windows 10, which is a fine operating system. Where a problem could arise is that some of the older software may not run on Windows 10. So take a look at your point-of-sale software and discover if it will run on Windows 10.

The Complete Video Store

The Complete Video Store
The Complete Video Store

We created this product back in 1991 and is a DOS based point-of-sale system. This product has reach end-of-life many years ago and simply will not run on the newer operating systems. If you are running The Complete Video Store, you need to consider our new product called Alerion. You can find information on Alerion at these websites:

TURNS

TURNS
TURNS

We created this product in 1998 and it was targeted for the Windows 98 operating system. This product will run under Windows 98 and Windows XP. If you are running TURNS, you need to consider our new product called Alerion. The websites are listed above.

Phoenix for Windows

Phoenix
Phoenix

We created this product in 2000 to replace the older DOS application called The Complete Video Store. Phoenix was written for the Windows XP platform. Since the release of Windows Vista and onward, Microsoft has made changes to their operating system which creates problems with the Jet Database that was used in Phoenix during the Windows XP era. We highly suggest upgrading to Alerion POS and XMT. The links are above.

Alerion Point-of-Sale and Video Rental

Alerion
Alerion

We created this product in 2009 and it is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10. There are no concerns with the software itself when purchasing a new computer. Planning Computer Upgrades I am suggesting that rather than waiting for your computer to crash and burn, that you take a proactive approach to your business computer and plan for its replacement. There are many theories as to how often you should replace your computer, and the average consensus is every three to four years. Planning a computer upgrade not only gives you the ability to save for the project, but helps reduces the chance of a computer failure.