Improving the speed of Biscount.

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 The performance of Biscount depends on many things only one of which is Biscount.  These notes will assist you to maximise Biscount's performance.

Networks

The Network is a major factor in overall system stability and speed.  Good network speeds reduce searching and printing delays, as these tend to be the most demanding tasks on a network. 

When using a CAT5 network, network cards run at 2 speeds - 10Mbits/sec or 100Mbits/sec.  Newer cards also run at Gigabit speed (1000Mbits/sec).  You should check that your network is running at Gigabit speed as this really is worth a little effort to check and upgrade any machines that are not already at Gigabit speed (Don't forget that your network switch may also need upgrading)  Gigabit Network cards have greatly reduced in price and improved in performance so there is no excuse not to upgrade the network.  

Other Programmes

Avoid running DOS programmes on all computers whenever possible.  DOS programmes 'hog' the time of the processor.  This means that other programmes can't get enough processor time. If the DOS program is on the Server then this slows the Server and all other Workstations too!

Some programmes run automatically when the computer starts.  Ensure that any programmes that are not essential are removed from the Windows Start-up folder.  All programmes take operating time when they are running.

Running maintenance programmes regularly improves system performance.  We suggest you run Microsoft Scan Disk and Microsoft Disk Defragmenter on the Server computer once a week.  Do this whilst Biscount or other programmes are NOT being used on any of the Workstations. These programmes can be found through the Windows Start button then > Programs > Accessories > System Tools.  If they are not there, install them using the Add/Remove Windows Programs icon in the Control Panel.  If you have Norton's System Works installed, run the Speed Disk and Disk Doctor programmes regularly instead of the Microsoft programmes mentioned.

General Hints for performance

Printers

Check your Printers folder in the 'My Computer' icon, delete all of the printers in the Printer Folder that you don't use, including extra copies of printers that you do use.  Check your printer settings in Biscount after doing this!  

Check the Add/Remove Programmes in the Windows Control Panel for installed Printer software that is not used, also any extra copies and Uninstall them.

Imaging programmes

Programmes like PartSmart, PowerCom's PowerView, Fiche Finder, PLUS1, etc deal with images that are very large.  Here are a few simple rules which will increase performance with imaging programmes:

If the images on the CD-ROMS can be copied to a hard drive you should do this, also add more RAM to computers running these programmes. (Check your imaging programmes documentation or on-line help system to see if this is possible).

 This helps because:

 

1) The retrieval speed of data from a hard drive compared to a CD-ROM drive is hundreds of times better. 

 

2) You don't have to change CD's constantly when you need to change models/brands as the programme requires.

 

3)  Because you are not changing CD's, they don't lie around on workbenches and get scratched.

 

4) Using Imaging programmes on a network means that Workstations will retrieve data from the Server computer over the network.  If image retrieval is slow and the above hints do not assist, improve your network speed (as described in the section above entitled "On the Server Computer") and increase the RAM.

 

These hints indicate some of the many factors that affect a programme's performance whilst running in Microsoft Windows.  Further assistance can be provided by Biscount Software (Windows issues incur a fee).

 

We hope that these hints help you improve the performance of your system. 

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