“SOLD II in the News”
Auction Survival Kit

The Auction Survival Kit
Little things to avoid big problems

Did you you ever start an auction and then find your printers wouldn't print or the clerk's workstation wouldn't hook up? Perhaps you're prepared for this or have been lucky, but we know it happens all too frequently, and 99% of the time it's a matter of a broken cable or other inexpensive part. 99% of the time the crisis could have been totally avoided by having an extra $10 or $20 part on hand.

A piece of hardware can break at anytime, and it's usually the small things that bite you. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to computer hardware.

I can't count the times I've gotten panic support calls from clients just before an auction only to find out that the only problem was as simple as a broken printer cable,” commented Hugh McCurdy, head technician for Proven Software. “If they had had an extra $10 cable with them the whole crisis would have been averted.”

The auction survival kit is all of those extra items you should carry with you to your auctions. If you often move your system around, and most auctioneers do, cables and other peripheral connections are especially vulnerable. Even if you are careful, these items get stretched, pulled and otherwise suffer unusual wear and tear. It only takes one bad wire for a printer cable or a workstation cable not to work. A small investment and a little foresight can eliminate most of the potential problems. Here's the minium survival list:

Extra Printer cables, one of each type you use on your system:

  • Parallel (standard printer cable)

  • USB to parallel converter cable

  • USB direct printer cable (A -B cable)

Extra workstation connection cables and devices; again one of each type you use on your system:

  • null-modem serial cable (linux users with a serial connection)

  • USB to serial converter adapter (linux users with usb to serial connections)

  • ethernet cable (msWindows or Linux users using a network)

  • ethernet hub (switch) (msWindows or Linux users using a network)

  • ethernet cross-over cable (msWindows or Linux users with peer to peer 2 user “network” and no hub)

As stated, we only recommend including one of each device you use in your survival kit. The exception would be the ethernet cables which seem to be the most vulnerable and a single bad cable can bring down the entire network not just the one user. Since these cables are also cheap, we recommend doubling up your cables for on the road systems.

Extra cabling is an inexpensive way to avoid unnecessary problems and interruptions at your auctions, and perhaps solves 90% of problems our clients experience. For those who wish to invest more “just in case” the other 10% happens, redundant hardware such as extra printers or computers ready to act as terminals/clients can give one more level of protection if something breaks at the auction site. Some auction firms even elect to have an extra “server” handy.

As the ulimate backup, SOLD II recently introduced “Plug 'n Go SOLD II.” This innovation includes the SOLD II® auction programs on a usb flash drive or hard drive. You can also backup your data to this drive throughout the auction. If your worst fear comes true and your server breaks, you can use your SOLD II Plug'n Go on another available computer (such as one of your client or terminal computers). You can be up and going again after only a minor delay (Learn more about Plug'n Go).

Higher levels of security also are available such as risc systems for total system and data redunancy. These are expensive options that cover the long odds of very rare events. But for most auction firms, most of the risks of equipment failures at an auction can be averted with a little foresight and a small investment in the extra cabling recommended in our Auction Survival Kit.

About Proven Software, Inc.:

Proven Software, Inc. is a leader in providing software solutions for auction companies of all sizes. The company was formed in 1982 and has a growing list of clients in the United States, Canada, and abroad. In addition to auction software, the company also provides its own accounting and point of sale products. Its core product, SOLD II® auction software, has been a multi user program from the beginning and has led the auction industry with many innovations. SOLD II® is available in for both msWindows and linux operating system platforms. It is also available as a secured service via the internet (SOLDII.net). The company also recently release ProvenBenefit®, software for fund raising events and auctions. Built on the SOLD II® engine for the auction platform, ProvenBenefit includes all the functions needed to plan execute a successful fund raising event.

Mark Matt
Director of Sales
Proven Software, Inc.

Can't find what you need? call or Email us.