Keeping Your Computer POS Systems In Tip Top Shape With A "New Year Computer Checklist"!

Here's a useful checklist to keep your restaurant POS computers in tip top shape! You may not be aware of this or doesn't pay much attention to it, but regular cleaning of your computers can extend their usable life.
 
 
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Sept. 10, 2009 - PRLog -- Let’s point out some of the most common and crucial mistakes that retail business owners make in regard to some very simple configuration aspects of the computer system. Some of these mistakes can cost restaurant owners hundreds and even thousands of dollars of wasted time and money. And even worse... it can frustrate your guests and employees.

Whether you're the one who's going to configure your restaurant's computer system or hiring somebody else to do it for you -- you better make sure that everything is done properly for your own sake.

Don't let me give you the wrong message. I don't always recommend configuring your own computer system! I recommend letting a computer professional do the work. But I'm sure some of you will do it yourself no matter what I say. So this is for those of you that insist on doing your own computer installations and for everyone else to double check and make sure everything was done properly. This could help you avoid some major problems and save hours of precious time.

So here's your retail computer system configuration checklist for a Windows network:

1) Using a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
The number one cause of electronic component failure is from fluctuations in electricity (up and down). Having a proper UPS can solve this problem by providing clean power. I recommend that you at least put a good UPS on your server. And it's a good idea to use them on every worstations too.

2) Plug All Your Cables Into the UPS
All cables that powers your computer and network must be properly plugged into your UPS. You also need to check if the cables that are plugged into a surge protector or UPS are carrying the right amount of power. For example, the phone line for your modem can easily heat up and fry your computer if you do not plug it into a surge protector. So you better make sure that all cables are plugged properly. Your modem line, network cables, and power cords can cause severe damage if not plugged properly.

3) Tightening Up Security
It is advisable that you lock your server with a hard-to-break password on all Windows accounts so that no one will be able to access it especially hackers who ruthlessly damage your server].

4) Install Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware Software and Configure For Automatic Updates
It's also very important to configure that software to update automatically every day, so you don't forget.

5) Limit Internet Access
Employees that surf the internet can cause more problems than anything. You must have the latest antivirus and anti-spyware software installed but if an employee unwittingly downloads the wrong program or accepts the wrong message, it can cause some serious problems to your system. You may limit them by disabling internet browsing on their computer stations. Or you could password protect internet access.

For a restaurant, this is very important! In order to protect secured files from evil hands, limiting employee internet access is a must. A retail business owner has to enforce rules to protect his business as well as his profit. Otherwise, what good will a restaurant POS system do if it's run by a misbehaved or ignorant personnel.

6) Configuring Your Back Up To Run Regularly
In many situations, it's still best to configure your back up to run after work hours automatically. But you still need to remember to change your back up device (like tapes) every day.

7) The Importance of Testing Your Back Up Regularly
I have talked to many people who think they have a good back up for restoring damaged files. When they try to restore they find it didn't properly function. That's why it is very important to test your back up at least once a month by restoring files so you would know that it your back up is working as it's supposed to be. By the way, you should also remember o restore to an alternate file location so your existing software won't get messed up.

So please, start checking your computer systems now and do the neccessary updates, configurations and back ups.

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Got a Question?

If you would like to know more about this topic or have a question in mind, you may ask for advice with our Restaurant POS professional serving your area.

The author of this article is the Vice President of Customer Relations at http://www.pos-for-restaurants.com with over 20 years experience in the restaurant point of sale industry.

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