JANUARY 2008


IN THIS ISSUE

Pizza, Politics & Promotion

ASI User Group Meeting Survey

WebShare Webinar Schedule


New ASI Fax Number

Please update your contact information with our new fax number: 440-627-2089.


Tana's Tech Tip

Veri-Shred Now Has "Week-View" Calendar
Veri-Shred's calendar can now be viewed in a week view. 

When viewing the monthly calendar, right-click on any day of the week for which you would like to see the week view.  Select to view the 5-day week (Monday – Friday) or the 7-day week (Sunday - Saturday). 

This feature is only available in the latest Veri-Shred Update, Version 2.1.220.  If you have not received the latest update, please contact ASI Support to schedule it.


Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions.

Have You Registered?
Our next webinar, VCK Just Ask! Menu, will be held January 29th. Register today!


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can implement ASI Mobile for  $100* per truck per month. 

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com

*does not include shipping, taxes, duties, finance charges or additional supplies.


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center
Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.


24/7 Software Support
Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!


Upcoming Events

PRISM Int'l Asia Pacific Conference
Feb. 20-22, 2008
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

NAID Annual Conference
April 2-4, 2006
Anaheim, California

PRISM Int'l Annual Conference
May 13-16, 2008
Anchorage, Alaska


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Fax: 440-627-2089

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com

Happy New Year!

Pizza, Politics & Promotion
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

A friend of mine recently showed me a video on YouTube called “Feeding Google". It’s a documentary on how a startup company, Cambrian House, accomplished the gargantuan feat of feeding 1000 pizzas to Google -- unannounced. The video is an entertaining, irreverent example of the rapidly changing rules for marketing in today’s new media environment. Cambrian House not only got the attention of Google by showing up at their front door with a thousand pizzas, they then posted it on YouTube – and marketed themselves to an international audience. I have no idea how much it cost this new company to setup their pizza delivery ploy. I would expect it was not terribly expensive, especially in light of whatever the initial cost was, they then took it to the masses via YouTube at virtually no cost at all. Genius!

This got me thinking about the numerous new ways companies and individuals can now promote themselves, their products and services. Youtube, and social networking sites like them such as MySpace, is certainly proving to be ripe with talent, from new music and entertainment artists to small companies such as Cambrian House who demonstrate neat, new ways to get things done. The daytime talk show, Ellen, routinely features fledgling artists from the YouTube and gives them the chance to perform for a national audience – and the opportunity to be discovered.

Youtube and MySpace are just a couple of examples of how the new media is changing the rules of marketing. There are many other tools available via the Internet that enable immediate connection to a target audience. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the United States and its respective political parties who are busily positioning themselves for next year’s presidential election. While Democrats and Republicans are unilaterally divided on most issues, they share a common interest in gleaning the gold that is found along the information superhighway. Every candidate now has a website that features daily blogs, podcasts, photo sharing and RSS feeds to keep the American public up-to-date on new content. Through these many techniques, candidates are reaching a younger, more diverse audience and also have the forum to share much more of their vision than what can be delivered during a sound bite on CNN.

I guess my point is that there are many, many ways you can get the attention of your key prospects or target market. While it doesn't necessarily start and end with the Internet, we can’t ignore the power of the new media and should look for ways to incorporate it into daily marketing strategies. But let’s go back to what got me thinking about how marketing is changing – feeding Google. Cambrian House’s idea to grab Google’s attention did not start on the Internet. Rather, it was expanded to the Internet and awareness of the fledgling company grew exponentially because of this. I challenge you and your team to think of innovative ways you can capture the attention of key prospects and strategic partners. Then, take that idea one step further and see if you can build upon the marketing power and expand awareness among your target market. And remember, the best marketing ideas are usually the simplest. It could be as easy as delivering a pizza.

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ASI User Group Meeting Survey

Last fall, we asked ASI Users what their preference was regarding the date for our User Group Meeting. Should we keep it in October as usual, move it to November or perhaps another time of year? The feedback we received did not provide a clear cut answer; however, some respondents raised what we thought was a valid consideration, that being that perhaps we hold our User Group Meeting in conjunction with the PRISM and/or NAID industry conferences. We must make a definitive decision regarding the User Group Meeting and are asking for your feedback to determine the value of this idea to you and your business.

Please take a moment to answer the following three questions: Appropriate to note you will be redirected to a Zoomerang web page.

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WebShare Webinar Schedule

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions with step-by-step instruction on the proper usage and neat features offered by our many records and information management software solutions.

Convenient and easy-to-use, WebShare webinars are a great value as well, priced at only $49 per connection.

Register today for one of our upcoming WebShare training opportunities.

Please note all times are EST.

Tues., Jan. 29

10am - 11am
2pm - 3pm

VCK Just Ask! Menu

 

Tues., Feb. 12

10am - 11am
2pm - 3pm

VCK / Veri-Shred -- Invoicing / Instant Invoicing
Tues., Feb. 26

10am - 11am
2pm - 3pm

InfoKeeper Training
Tues., Mar. 11

10am - 11am
2pm - 3pm

Veri-Shred Information Menu
Tues., Mar. 25

10am - 11am
2pm - 3pm

VCK Super Search & Custom Reports

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All roads lead to Rome, but should you take just any path to your application?
Tony Kovalik, ASI Senior Developer

Occasionally, the ASI Support Team will field calls where they are asked to correct certain irregular behaviors caused by one or more workstations having a drive mapped to the VCK/VVK/Veri-Shred server as a letter that is different from the mapping of one or more other workstations. For example, let’s pretend that in your office, VCK and Veri-Shred are installed on the local C: drive of your desktop. The name of this machine is MAIN_MACHINE. Of course, on MAIN_MACHINE, the VCK application can be found very conveniently on C:\VCK. You have been kind enough to share your C: drive (taking the appropriate security measures, of course) so that other employees can access the VCK application from their own workstations. Since they already have a C: drive on their own computers, however, they need to map your C: drive as a different letter. Let’s call this the S: drive. To summarize, to log into VCK, you run C:\VCK\VCK.EXE and everyone else in your company runs S:\VCK\VCK.EXE.  Despite the difference in drive letters, everyone is running the same application, so what could go wrong?

Now let’s say you’re running Veri-Shred. You run C:\VCK\VCK.EXE and navigate to Destruction -> Veri-Shred to launch the Veri-Shred application. Prior to going out of town for a few days, you go in on 1/31/2008 and build the service orders for 02/01/2008. After the service orders are built, you make changes, plan the routes and print the orders. At the airport on Friday, you remember an existing customer called for a one-time purge for the 1st and you forgot to add it to the calendar, and thus to the list of Service Orders.  No problem. You call Melissa, who is still in the office, and ask her to add the order. Even though all of your drivers have left for the day with their orders, Melissa can send one of them out in the afternoon with the extra order.

Melissa goes to her machine, logs in to S:\VCK\VCK.EXE and runs Veri-Shred. She adds the one-time schedule and goes to rebuild the service orders. She’s seen you do this from YOUR machine plenty of times.  Before the rebuild, she goes to quickly view what’s been done so far and gets the following message:

service_order_msg

Melissa decides to rebuild.  Everything seems to go fine. The new order is there and she prints it.  Oddly enough, however, none of the other orders appear to be printed. Later that day, when the drivers dump their wands, none of the orders are being verified. Now you’ve got a fun Monday to look forward to when you return to the office.

So, what went wrong?  It all comes down to paths. What is a path, you ask? A path is a list of directories where the operating system looks for files and it determines where a file’s unique location is in the file system. A path can be either absolute or relative. A full path or absolute path is a path that points to the same location on one file system regardless of the working directory or combined paths.  It is usually written in reference to a root directory. A relative path is a path relative to the current working directory, so the full absolute path may not need to be given.

For various reasons, many of the paths to “temporary” tables are stored as absolute paths. This is especially true in Veri-Shred where these files are saved with the full path, including the drive letter. It is for this reason that having different machines referring to the same application, but using different drive letters, can have real consequences. It is critical, therefore, that you review the shortcuts on your various workstations to make certain they are all pointing to the same application with the same drive letter.

One important feature of Veri-Shred is that its EXE can technically run from any folder and connect to the right path and data by referencing its INI folder. Given this, it is important to verify what data the application is looking at. Storing absolute paths to the service order tables is one such check. On the other hand, being able to verify the exact location of a service order table means extra vigilance when it comes to setting up drive shares and shortcuts.

So, in the above example, what could be done to make the configuration work? The server and the workstations can easily access the same application by the same absolute path in a few easy steps.  First, the local C: drive of the server, once it has been shared (taking the appropriate security measures) can be mapped on the server as another drive. Again, let’s name this our S: drive. Now, if all the shortcuts on the desktop point to an S: drive instead of a C: drive, the user on the server will run Visual Corporate Keeper (VCK), Visual Vault Keeper (VVK) or Veri-Shred using the same absolute paths as users on other workstations.

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