OZ/OOPS! Newsletter

SCOOPS! Newsletter Fall, 2006

Oz Turnkey System

Many of you have upgraded to Oz already, but some of you are still using OOPS!

Although we love OOPS!, it is 20 years old and we have to admit that as a DOS system it has gone just about as far as it can go. . . and if we do say so ourselves, that's pretty good for a old DOS app in a Windows world. In terms of support, it has outlasted a lot of software, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98. Microsoft dropped support for these operating systems many years ago already. Could it be that they dropped support for these systems to force their user base to "upgrade" to their new systems? Many of our competitors have followed suit and also used this tactic. We don't do business that way.

Years ago, after much research, we made the decision to develop for a platform other than Windows. Since then we have been asked over and over why we weren't developing a Windows CMMS. We have always said that when Microsoft gives us a secure, stable Windows operating system, we would consider it. That time has not come. How many times has your Windows operating system been brought to its knees by a virus, worm or bug? In seven years, none of our Oz users has ever had a virus or worm . . . There was one user who found a minor bug. How much time has your IT department spent installing patches and fixes? In seven years, our Oz users' IT Departments have never had to install patches and/or fixes for the Oz system. And, don't even get me started on "security" I don't believe there are many knowledgable folks out there who would argue that Windows is "secure". We believe we made the right decision to develop for an alternative platform.

But I digress - Oz - Oz is the evolution of OOPS! - We've kept all of the features of OOPS!, but we've also utilized the features of the eCS operating system that makes Oz:

  • 1. easier to use (graphical user interface)
  • 2. multitasking (object-oriented interface)
  • 3. secure (you cannot get to the core of eCS like you can in Windows)

There are lots of changes that you can read about on our web page: www.oops-web.com and you can see screen shots too.

Where Are We and How Did We Get Here? Oz has been around for over 7 years, and it keeps getting better. It's been a long road - and there have been plenty of roadblocks, but we have not given up. We believed, and still believe, that we made the right choice in direction. Beside, being tested makes you stronger, right?

Oz was not developed for the Windows platform(s), and virtually every computer comes with some version of Windows preinstalled, so we made the decision to sell Oz as a turnkey system. At first our computers were built by a third party, but eventually, we started building them in-house. We did this to make it easy and convenient for the user - the user doesn't have to find the right components, install an operating system, install a database or even install Oz. We feel the user has better things to do so we deliver Oz ready to use.

Users wanted to network Oz, but, if they had 4 or more users, some found the cost of multiple users on Oz main and client machines prohibitive. We found a solution. Today, it is no longer necessary to purchase multiple machines, if you have multiple users. You still have to purchase user licenses for every concurrent user, but you can use your existing machines for clients. We utilized both virtual technology and the web to accomplish this goal.

Some users wanted the ability to browse an Oz system in a sister plant or plants to check for parts on hand, etc. Oz now has this capability via your browser. You can use this feature through the internet or through your intranet.

All the while, we have offered support at a reasonable price for the DOS OOPS! and the Oz systems. We have also offered free data conversion from OOPS! to Oz and have offered onsite training, not on a per person basis, but on a flat fee basis for up to five users. This training is usually in conjunction with installation and when we leave a customers' site, that customer is well on his way. No lost data, minimal disruption.

Where Are We Going?

Certainly NOT AWAY. We have met the challenges and we intend to continue to offer secure, stable, up-to-date, easy to use applications. We are currently working on a CD for Oz that will run on any operating system for demo purposes only.

Will OOPS! run under the new "Vista Windows"?

Honest answer: We don't know. Microsoft has been trying for years to eliminate DOS programs. Insuring that OOPS! will run under Vista, (if and when it is released) will require a great deal of work and extensive testing - this could require that we increase the cost of the OOPS! support. Have you kept your support current? Some folks tell us, "We never have to call, we never have any problems, why should we renew support." Since the OOPS! user base is shrinking, the cost would fall on fewer shoulders. Is this a good investment? We won't drop support for OOPS!, but we may not support it if you run it under Vista.

We thank all of our users, both OOPS! and Oz, for there continued confidence and support.

Oz tip 1: In order to save typing, if you want to reuse words or phrases, you can copy and paste.

     To Copy:  
	Highlight the text to be copied, 
            Hold down "Ctrl" key and press the "Insert" key.  
            Release both.  (the text has been copied to the clipboard)

     To Paste:  
            Place your cursor in the field where you want to paste the text,
            Hold down the "Shift" key and press the "Insert" key.  
            Release both.	(at this point, you should have text in your field)

Oz tip 2: In order to force your most used items to appear first in your look-up, place a * before the entry.

Oz tip 3: Using your look-ups to populate fields, not only saves you typing, but also keeps your data consistant and makes for neater reports.

OOPS/Oz Support: 1 (412) 488-9730
OOPS/Oz Fax: 1 (412) 488-0190