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POS Follies: Part 2

Brian Hibbs

Rob had to help his sister move this week, so I did two back-to-back full days at the store today (well, “am still doing”, technically), which I haven’t done in a while. It is really good for me, honestly — got caught up on buckets of stuff in filing and sorting and making sets or whatever. But I’m now very very tired.

James Kochalka came by on his way to his event tonight at Giant Robot, and we chatted for a bit. He’s a really terrific guy, and he did some really color nice sketches in two volumes of his books on the shelves. I’m not going to tell you which books they are, in the hopes that they’ll end up with some unsuspecting soul whose day is then utterly made.

I’ve installed all of the POS hardware now at this point, with the sole exception of the “pole display” (will actually be countertop) — the bit that shows the customer how much is due, etc. Didn’t really want it underfoot for the next x weeks it’s going to take to get everything finished before POS launch.

I’m not sure I hooked it all up CORRECTLY, however, since I don’t really have the software yet to test it all. I have a demo version of MOBY downloaded and installed, but the PDF manual that came with it is a couple of builds out of date, and I can’t really piece together what I’m doing on my own. I had sorta hoped I’d’ve been able to get away without training, but I think now that’s a bad idea.

Problem is, that’s going to add MORE time to the implementation, since I either need to go to St. Louis, or have them come here. Plus it’ll be another, say $500, for travel and lodging that I didn’t want to spend. Ah, c’est la guerre.

The next major step is going to be the evil one — building our initial inventory file. There’s something close to 10,000 individual items we carry (not counting single back issues, or sets or quarter books, or whatever), and even if it only took me 1 minute to get each item into a database, that’s something like 20 8-hour days, right?

What I’m trying to do is to arrange to get the “pre-populated” database BEFORE I actually get the final version of MOBY, so I can massage it in excel or something — it’s much easier to use Excel to “globally” change 2-3 parameters for all of the, say, ESSENTIAL volumes to be what I want, then it would be to rebuild all that data from scratch. I’m waiting to hear what my real options are here, because I’ll cry if I have to build this thing from scratch.

Until then, I’m kinda in limbo — many people are commenting on the new computer, but it’s kind of just an internet-surfing paperweight at the moment, since I can’t do any POS with it just yet. I’m sure I’m beginning to inculcate some bad habits (NO SURFING AT WORK, DAMN IT!), but hopefully by Monday I’ll know the shape of what my next 2 or so months shall be.

It’s really crazy running 2 parallel systems at once — running stuff through the cash register at the same time I try to set up POS, and I’ll be really REALLY glad when the system is fully in and running, and a lot of the stupid time wastes in my week will go away (to be replaced by new ones, I’m sure)

Anywhere, so that’s where I’m at.

(in case you cared)


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