What I mean by legacy peripherals are the various label printers, barcode scanners, cash drawers, and other supported point-of-sale devices that connect to a computer via serial ports. Most use USB ports now, but my very expensive peripherals are four years old. Modern computers have a limited number of serial ports, with new computers having no ports (Acer) or maybe one (Dell). You need to add a special card for these ports, which is no big deal, unless you buy a computer with a small form factor, however the case is too small for full size cards.
Thus the dilemma of getting both a small computer and a peripheral supported computer. Custom build point-of-sale machines are both small and peripheral supported, but their performance is weak, as they're built with one function in mind, as a glorified cash register. They also use small form factor parts that can't be upgraded, like our current Windows XP POS system that's maxed out with 500MB of RAM. This is a big deal, since we could probably forgoe a new system today if we could simply double the RAM.
The solution? It wasn't going to be anything at Fry's. Computers were too big or too small. I was having a Goldilock's moment. I looked on the Dell website and found several small form factor computers that may support full height cards and also found point-of-sale systems, but with poor performance and a high price tag. Nothing on the website would work, but I called them anyway. They main tech guy brought in the point-of-sale team and we put something custom together using a small form factor Optiplex 755 and and a serial card with adapters that weren't available on their website. Thus we get a computer that works with legacy peripherals, has a small form factor, with high performance, and 50% cheaper than a dedicated POS machine while also being upgradable. It was twice as expensive as the Acer, but it should work .... when it arrives in a couple weeks. Until then, we limp along with no HTTP connectivity on the POS system (HTTPS curiously works).
Don't pat me on the back yet. This is the third Dell I've ordered in my lifetime (other than work) and I've yet to have any of them actually arrive.
Now you understand why I had someone else get me a machine when I first started the store. Getting the right one has been incredibly time consuming and it's not something I wanted to do while juggling a dozen other new business tasks. Plus back then I didn't have any of those peripherals yet so I only had a vague idea of what I needed.
The Dell shipped this morning.
|Order Number: 460990611|
|Item Number||Quantity||Item Description|
|223-6840||1||OptiPlex 755 Small Form FactorPentium Dual Core E2180/2.0GHz1M,800FSB|
|420-3699||1||NTFS File System,Factory Install|
|311-7440||1||2GB,Non-ECC,667MHz DDR2,2X1GB OptiPlex 740|
|310-8010||1||Dell USB Keyboard,No Hot Keys English,Black,Optiplex|
|320-3704||1||No Monitor Selected, OptiPlex|
|320-5642||1||Integrated Video,GMA3100,Dell OptiPlex 755|
|341-5473||1||160GB SATA 3.0Gb/s and 8MB Data Burst Cache,Dell OptiPlex755|
|341-3911||1||No Floppy Drive with Optical Filler Panel,Dell OptiPlex 745and 755 Small Form Factor|
|467-4880||1||Vista Business,Service Pack 1 with Media,32 Bit,English,DellOptiplex|
|310-9627||1||Dell USB 2 Button Optical Mouse with Scroll,Black OptiPlex|
|310-9492||1||ASF Basic Hardware Enabled Systems Management (No Upgrade to vPro/iAMT) Dell OptiPlex|
|313-6090||1||8X DVD-ROM,OptiPlex Small FormFactor|
|420-8856||1||Cyberlink Power DVD 8.0,with Media,Dell OptiPlex|
|313-4825||1||No Speaker, OptiPlex|
|310-8762||1||Resource DVD contains Diagnostics and Drivers for Vista Dell OptiPlex|
|313-7168||1||Resource CD contains Diagnostics and Drivers for Dell OptiPlex Systems|
|310-9504||1||Energy Smart,Energy Star,EIST for OptiPlex (if applicable)|
|310-6619||1||PS2 Serial Port Adapter,with Dongle for Second PS/2 Port Half Height,OptiPlex 330DT/740/745/755DT/SFF|
|310-9332||1||Shipping Material for System Cypher Small Form Factor,Dell OptiPlex|
|985-6030||1||Basic Support: Next Business Day Parts and Labor Onsite Response Initial Year|
|989-1587||1||Dell Hardware Limited Warranty Plus Onsite Service Initial Year|
|989-1588||1||Dell Hardware Limited Warranty Plus Onsite Service Extended Year(s)|
|985-0582||1||Basic Support: Next Business Day Parts and Labor Onsite Response 2 Year Extended|
|991-2878||1||Dell ProSupport Service Offering Declined|
|900-9987||1||Standard On-Site Installation Declined|
|310-8642||1||You have chosen a Vista Premium System|
|466-9045||1||Thank you for buying Intel/Dell|
|310-8977||1||Info SKU-Software and Peripherals products and solutions catalog included in system boxes|
|Shipping and Handling:|| $0.00|