From the President’s Console: September 1996

Posted September 1996

Boy, have we got our work cut out for us!

In unrelated developments, we’ve lost the services of two of our staff. First, Curt has left us and moved on to a similar, but not quite as varied (or harried) a position supporting PC and Unix systems with a hospital firm here in the Columbus area. He has made himself available to us on a part-time basis to help with hardware, if needed, as we search for a full-time replacement.

And, as many of you already know, Dale has finally succumbed to the heavy travel demands of his position and resigned effective the end of August. He has spent the better part of a decade traveling extensively throughout the East, selling, installing, training and supporting our systems. And the time finally arrived for him to settle down, re-acquaint himself with his family, and enjoy a change of pace in his life. He has taken a position with one of our large customers, (and moved to boot!) and is looking forward to participating in the Welding Supply industry from the distributor side of the fence as opposed to a software vendor. I know you’ll miss him and his extreme patience as much as we will. I’m certain though, that he’ll continue to feed us with good suggestions and ideas on how to continue to make our software the finest available in the industry.

We wish both Curt and Dale only the best in their respective adventures.

Obviously, as I said at the top, we’ve got our work cut out for us. But in every challenge, there is an opportunity. We’re currently interviewing for a replacement for Customer Support Technician to replace Curt, and are confident that we’ll soon have the position filled. We’re holding out for the perfect candidate, and, in the process we expect to ratchet up a notch the level of service and support we’re able to offer to you from our Customer Support Department.

Replacing Dale is another matter altogether, as you don’t just stumble on qualified individuals with his experience and knowledge of the industry. The process of finding and training qualified Account Specialists
continues unabated here. As many of you are aware, Jim Conlin this past Spring moved into the role of full-time Account Specialist and is performing quite well. Fortunately, we have plenty of talent to draw on here, and are confident that we’ll be able to take care of all of your needs for software, training, and support.

In other news; we’ve recently installed our first 200 mHz PentiumPRO dual processor motherboard upgrade at a real customer site. And the results are nearly unbelievable. Our benchmarks on sample data and processes here showed a doubling of speed over our formerly top of the line Pentium system. But I just received a fax from this beta customer claiming an Invoice Journal, which used to take 2-3 minutes to compile, ran in 2-3 SECONDS. That computes out to 40 to 180 times faster! Suffice it to say, the PentiumPRO is noticeably faster (and affordable too!). We’re taking orders now, so pick up the phone and give us a call!

Progress also continues with regards to R&D of SCO UNIX Version 5. We’ve confirmed that indeed the new compiler does eliminate programming barriers that have frustrated our efforts to enhance and expand some of our programs. It also appears that the resulting software runs faster and cleaner than the same code developed with older compilers. All this techno-mumbo-jumbo means our next version of software will do more, and do it faster, but on the same hardware as before! Isn’t that a nice change from a software vendor.

If that isn’t enough, we’ve also begun shipping an improved PC/Workstation configuration. We’ve up’d the processor to a 120 mHz Pentium with 16 megabytes of RAM and a PCI bus. And, we’ve lowered the price! Combined with our TinyTERM+NFS PC networking package, we now have a PC/Workstation that we feel is a better terminal than a regular terminal!

It’s been a busy summer, and promises to be an even busier fall. But we’re looking forward to the challenge and opportunity present therein. We’re all working hard to make you proud, and appreciate your continued support and confidence.

–David J. Frea