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Sergio's Advice Column

How to print your own 'Gift Cards' for Quickbooks POS
By: Sergio - 11/17/2015

Quickbooks POS uses a gift card service that requires you to purchase gift cards from Intuit directly. This can be costly, inconvenient and has limitations. I am going to show you how to use your own gift cards (homemade, or printed professionally) with Quickbooks POS. This is done using a simple method of running them as gift certificates in the software. Here is a very detailed guide on how to do this successfully. Before you can sell a gift certificate, you need to make sure the gift certificate functionality is turned on in your QuickBooks Point of Sale. To turn on the Gift Certificate fun...

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Difference between PCI and EMV compliance
By: Sergio - 9/25/2015

If understanding EMV Smart-Chip technology wasn't hard enough by itself, merchants will also have to be compliant with EMV and PCI standards. A brief look at history shows that the PCI Security Standards Council came together in 2006, administering PCI specifications throughout the industry. Card companies like Amex, Discover, JCB Intl, MasterCard and Visa agreed to incorporate the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) as the technical requirements of each of their data security compliance programs. So what does this all mean? Simple: PCI Compliance: Was established to protec...

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CL-S4000 Ticket Printer Review
By: Sergio - 8/7/2015

During a trade show event I met with Citizen at their booth showing off some of their printers. This is routine for me, manufacturers like showing off their new products to resellers with enthusiasm (sometimes exaggeration) and somewhat convincing ideas how they will revolutionize the world. There were some familiar models and a couple redesigns. One product that caught my eye specifically was the Citizen CL-S4000DT. First thing I noticed about this printer was its simple fresh design, which after looking at it for a few seconds makes me rethink everything I knew about label printers. The pri...

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Disposing of POS Equipment
By: Sergio - 1/9/2015

In some states there are strict laws against dumping electronics in the trash or dumpster. I would advise checking with local laws before disposing of your point of sale equipment or cash drawers. The good thing is that there are several options you can choose from to get rid of them. Lately, I've had questions about disposal practices and if we buy them back or can dispose of them ourselves.Here are some helpful tips if you have old Point of Sale equipment that you want to get rid of. Sell it! Some equipment still holds value, especially popular legacy items like palm based handheld mobile ...

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Age Verifiers
By: Sergio - 10/22/2014

Age verifiers help streamline the business by accurately finding the customer's age without taking the time to do math and hoping the card is not fake either. Certain states require this at your place of business. These are simple devices that don't need to connect to a PC. However, there have been times where some customers order an incompatible product, including age verifiers. When it comes to state ID's, there are three different ways information is encoded such as magnetic stripes, 1D barcodes and 2D barcodes. Not all age verifiers read both barcodes and magnetic stripes. Exclusively, th...

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Change Printer Connection
By: Sergio - 9/19/2014

One topic I want to talk about is swappable interface cards. There are a few manufacturers that offer interchangeable connections on printers. These are commonly known as interface cards, or interface modules. Interface cards are commonly found through Epson, Star Micronics, Samsung, POS-X and a few others. Availability on these sometimes varies between different makes and models. These are used when migrating to newer systems that have different port options than what your printer is compatible with. For example, if you have an Epson printer with a Serial connection and you purchase a new com...

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Unitech MS840 Series Scanner Review
By: Sergio - 8/19/2014

The Unitech MS840 series scanner is a great solution for retail environments as well as for general purpose. It provides the user with comparable scanning performance to competitors such as Motorola and Honeywell, at the same time providing great value and reliability. The MS840 comes in three types, USB corded, Bluetooth Wireless, and RF Wireless. The standard Unitech MS840 includes a USB interface cable. This allows the scanner to be plugged into any PC with a USB port and used immediately. A 3-year warranty is included,

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IP Rating on Barcode Scanners
By: Sergio - 7/29/2014

By: Sergio Posted On: 7/29/2014 What is an IP rating and why is it important? The IP code stands for International Protection Marking, while sometimes referred to as Ingress Protection Rating. This is a rating used in equipment for determining protection against the intrusion of dust or water used in casing and enclosures. This IP rating applies to barcode scanners and should be taken into consideration when shopping for one. An IP rating is usually seen as "IP42", "IP53" or similar. The digits determine the rating. The first number being the protection against solids.Level...

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Barcode Labels - Checking Compatibility
By: Sergio - 7/11/2014

Not sure what kind of labels to get for your printer? Typically you may want to stick with the same brand of paper as your printer. For example, it is recommended to use Zebra labels for Zebra barcode printers, Cognitive labels for CognitiveTPG printers. In some cases they can be interchangeable. Use this guide to help you become familiar with some of the characteristics of the label roll itself.

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System Requirements for Point of Sale Computers
By: Sergio - 6/27/2014

Shopping for a new computer terminal? Most manufacturers of point of sale computers, specifically all-in-one touch screen computers, will have many different configurations available from which to choose. These configurations or options will include how much memory (RAM), the size of the hard drive and type (HDD or SSD), the available processor and operating system. Other options may include an integrated magnetic stripe reader (MSR) and rear customer display.

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