Start your year with a “New Year Computer Checklist”!

Start out the year right for your restaurant POS systems. Let’s talk about some of the most common and vital mistakes that retail business owners make in regard to some very simple configuration aspects of the computer system.
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Sept. 10, 2009 - PRLog -- Whether you already have a computer system or you're going to configure a new one yourself -- you better make sure that everything is done properly for your own sake.

Please don't let me give you the wrong idea. I do not always recommend configuring your own computer system! I recommend letting a computer professional do the work. But I know 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 UPS
The number one cause of electronic component failure is from fluctuations in electricity (up and down). A good UPS can solve this problem by regulating the power. I would recommend getting a good UPS for your server. And it's a good idea to use them on all your workstations too.

2) Plug All Your Cables Into the UPS
Check if all cables that power your computer and network are 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 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) Passwords and Security
At the very least, I suggest locking down your server with a password on all Windows accounts so your employees and hackers have more difficulty messing with your server.

4) Installing and Configuring Security Tools Like An Antivirus Software and AntiSpyware Software
Make sure that all your security tools are configured to automatically update every day, so you don't forget.

5) Limiting Employee Internet Access
Employees will surf on anything they can on the internet. You mave the lastest antivirus and antispyware software installed but if an employee inadvertently downloads the wrong program or accepts the wrong message, it can damage your system down. You may limit them by disabling internet browsing on their computer stations. Or another option is to 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) Configure Your Back Up To Run Every Night
As well proven in many situations, it's still best to configure your back up to run after work hours automatically. Don't forget you still need to remember to change your back up device (like tapes) every day.

7) Test Your Backup By Restoring Files Once A Month
I have talked to dozens people who think they have a good back up plan for restoring damaged files. But when they try to restore they find it hasn't been working. That's why you need to do a "real" test restore once a month to make sure it's working. By the way, you should restore to an alternate file location so you don't mess up your existing software.

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


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 with over 20 years experience in the restaurant point of sale industry.


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