OZ/OOPS! Newsletter

SCOOPS! Newsletter Fall, 1993

Phone, Fax or MODEM

Have you ever wished that the OOPS!® Technical Support people could see what your system is doing when you have a problem? Have you noticed that your support contract says "phone, fax and MODEM support?" If you have a modem, and an interactive communications package, we CAN look at your system when you are having trouble.

While regular communications packages allow file and message transfers between machines whose modems are connected via a telephone line, interactive packages allow file and message transfers plus true interaction. The host machine responds to input from both its own keyboard and the remote machine's keyboard. What is displayed on the host machine's monitor is also displayed on the remote's monitor. This allows the remote to run programs such as OOPS!® on the host machine.

There are currently OOPS!® customers using this method to link their plants in different states. Dolco Packaging has plants in Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Washington. They use pcAnywhere to communicate OOPS!® data and other information between locations. Steel Technologies (see Miss OOPS!) which has plants in Kentucky, Maryland and Michigan also uses pcAnywhere. One of their most interesting achievements involves getting their OOPS!® reports to their corporate office. Corporate dials the plant, goes into OOPS!® and runs the reports with the output routed to the printer at corporate.

If you have a modem and pcAnywhere, OOPS!® Tech Support can provide you with assistance using this advanced method. If you have some other communications package, let us know what it is and we will look into acquiring it too. As the old saying goes, "It's the next best thing to being there!"

User Profile - Miss OOPS!

Two years ago, Sally Novick would have laughed at the thought of anyone ever calling her "Miss OOPS!" Now a dedicated user, she considers it a compliment.

Describing herself as a backwoods girl from the small town of South Branch in Northern MO, Sally had no computer experience before joining the Engineering Division of Steel Technologies in Canton, MI. Maintenance management software was a totally alien concept. A program was something you watched on television.

All that changed when Sally met OOPS!® "Not right away, of course," she admitted wryly. "OOPS!® had been installed, but it wasn't up and running."

Initially, Sally was nervous and had serious doubts. She was more than daunted by the prospect of learning to use the system. "I thought the computer would explode, or break, or get stuck if I toughed the keyboard." "My background was waitressing. I didn't know anything about programming. At the time, my only technical experience was the remote control on my TV. I hadn't even tried the automated windows at the bank!" With help from Dave Werdan of the Elkton, MD plant, who taught her how to use the computer and introduced her to OOPS!®, and with the support of George Walter, Rich Mette and others she found, to her surprise and relief, that OOPS!® was extremely user-friendly -- a term that was previously unknown to her.

"You hardly need the manual," she enthused. "The program is so well written that the screen almost talks to you. It's great being able to pop in an out of menus, entering data here, correlating it there, keeping track of inventories or repairs or equipment. It's so useful in so many different areas and types of jobs."

Aftering mastering the OOPS!® basics, Sally expanded her system by adding pcAnywhere -- the software communications package that interfaces with other computers via modem. "Having the ability to exchange information electronically with OOPS!® programs in our other plants is wonderful. With pcAnywhere, I can phone their out-of-state computers and be 'on-line' with them, accessing their files or transferring mine."

Sally has plans to make use of the DOCTOR OOPS!® module by developing full trouble-shooting guides for operators, electricians and mechanics.

"Running OOPS! is addictive.' she concluded. "The interaction of -- 'if I do this, can I do that? -- is fascinating. And best of all, personally, it's good to know I'm not too old to learn something new."

Technical Tip:

If you have a color monitor, you may be able to get a performance boost for OOPS!® by adding a line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to specify the monitor type OOPS!® will use. This will not speed up your disk I/O, but may make moving around the system a little faster. Add the line:

to your AUTOEXEC>BAT file. If you need help with this modification, call Tech Support.