Computer Hardware Requirements
C-Law Cashier / 2000 series is supplied in 32 bit coding which runs on Windows 95 or 98 or Windows Millenium. It also runs on Windows NT4, Windows 2000 and Windows XP (Home and Professional). User reports indicate that it runs on Windows 'Vista'. We have every confidence that it will run on Windows 7.
C-Law Cashier / 2000 series does not run on Windows 3.1 or 3.11 or DOS. (We have an earlier character version which supports these systems if required)
It is usually supplied on a CD-ROM and comes with its own installation software - and we can supply you with a CD with initial blank data with standard settings to start you off when you purchase a system.
Sometimes people reported that dates didn't work or display properly in C-Law - this used to be due to the penchant of computer manufacturers to supply computers set to use a regional setting defined as "English US" (ie United States english) (or to a non standard date format). Quite why this is done by computer manufacturers in the UK we don't know. C-Law ideally needs "British English" or "UK" to be set up in the Windows regional settings.
Having said this C-Law software is designed so that it should be independent of your Windows regional setting and if it finds that dates returned by the operating system are "backsy-fore" it will convert them to display as UK format dates. But it is still better to set your computer up to the correct UK type formatting.
Using C-Law with Windows Vista / Windows 7Reports indicate that C-Law runs well under Vista/Win 7. However these are very funny about what computer experts call 'user privileges' particularly on network operations. This can result in the software refusing to work properly if the data is on a network server and not writing data to the files. This happens when it works perfectly well if being used in the same manner under Windows XP.
The computer itself should have a minimum of 32 Mb of memory available (not usually a problem in the days of 2Gb RAM !! (but at least it means you can use a less than totally modern computer) and the processor speed should be 200 Mhz or better. The faster the computer the better of course.
The hard disk space is minimal by modern standards and generally requires a maximum of 12 Mb.
The screen quality is vitally important for daily use
You really MUST use a good quality screen. This is to us one of the most important things to enable you to work comfortably and efficiently. Nowadays that means usually a 17" or 19" (or larger display) running in not less than 1024 by 768 mode and preferably a higher resolution. It is no longer sensibly possible to run C-Law 2000 on an old fashioned 14" monitor in 640 by 480 mode (although it can be done in extremis). We definitely do NOT recommend use in this mode. You will have to scroll from side to side and up and down to see the information on the screen and the C-Law toolbars will not be visible and you will be really struggling!
If you use a flat screen panel we strongly advise that YOU USE THE NATIVE RESOLUTION for which the flat panel was designed. This means that the video hardware outputs each and every pixel needed for the display - you will usually get a superbly clear focussed picture.
Look at the info sheet that comes with your monitor to see what the native resolution is then right click on the computer desktop background and choose properties then when the properties window appears select the settings tab and make sure the screen resolution slider shows the same as your monitor. Click APPLY and you should find the screen picture quality is vastly superior to when it is having to compromise to fit the picture to a different resolution. This may sometimes mean that you need a new video card (or a more modern computer) capable of providing the video resolution needed for your chosen monitor.This may be that adjustments need to be made to the screen settings in Windows to get the best results. Don't assume that they will be set to the optimum for your screen if you get a new computer. Often this is not the case.
For best results we advise that you use a widescreen monitor if your computer will support it - they have come down in price and gone up in width! Eg: a 19 inch 1440 X 900 resolution widescreen monitor will allow you to see full screen ledger displays filling the entire screen showing all nine amount columns with good clear characters. Very desirable.Please remember that C-Law allows you to tailor the display screens to show the character size that best suits your monitor and eyesight. We often see examples of very badly set up displays at C-Law users premises. Spend a few minutes of your time tailoring the various C-law displays and you will have years of enjoying better quality results. Your eyesight is important. Take care of it.
C-Law data used to be backed up onto diskettes. This can still be done but it is now a bit old fashioned.
C-Law can preferably backup to a USB 'memory stick' or a network drive. Or an external USB removeable drive. CD-RW's can be used but we don't recommend this as it needs special software to write files to the CD (not always present in Windows) and in our experience CD's written on a computer are not guaranteed to be long term permanent. The tracks can be erased or reduced in quality by UV light such as comes from the sun (albeit only occasionally in the UK!)
Backups in C-Law are highly files compressed using a zip system. In C-Law 2000 series this is usually handled by a special Active X control built in to the software but optionally the well known DOS command line PkZip can be used - if the latter mode is selected C-law software sends the command line needed automatically so you should not need to go into command mode yourself.
You can also of course backup onto the hard drive.But this defeats the object of maintaining storage elsewhere in case the hard drive fails or the computer is lost or destroyed. If you have a server with backup software this may at first sight seem ideal. But it is not ideal for accounting data. It is still necessary to backup onto a USB stick or removable drive (or a network drive) each month before the month end procedure as you need to keep these backups for Law Society compliance purposes - you can then produce a list of balances as at any month end on demand. USB sticks can hold multiple backups and it is suggested that you keep one for monthly backups. C-Law allows you to define where to send monthly backups as distinct from daily backups.
We suggest that you regularly copy the contents of the USB stick to another one or to a hard drive elsewhere as a backup in case the USB stick fails. They can fail.
If you use floppy diskettes we stress that it is imperative to verify the file - floppy diskettes particularly as they get old, have a nasty habit of suddenly becoming unreadable. Zip files holding backups are for practical purposes totally useless (even if only a tiny bit of the computer file turns out be unreadable).
It is no longer necessary to do daily printouts and we suggest that, unless you want these for your own purposes, these are disabled on the daily close down screen. You must (as stated above) keep monthly backups and store them away.A backup could be done over the internet to a distant server. If you are willing to accept the security issues involved it might not be a bad idea to copy your C-Law backups in this way. As long as the distant server that you have chosen to use does not fail or lose your data (outside your control) you will at least have the re-assurance that if your premises burn down or you have a burglary and your USB drives and computer are all lost or stolen 'en bloc' you will probably not have lost your essential accounts data.
C-Law backups can be encrypted which in these days of data theft might be worth setting up in case you drop your USB stick in the 'tube' or on a bus. (The backups are not encrypted by default but there is a check box in the backup screen to enable this to be done.)
Important info regarding changing computer
The monthly print reports are not stored within the backups so if you change a computer you must transfer the contents of the C-Law folder to the new computer by manual methods. If you just install C-Law and restore a backup you will have lost old monthly reports. But at least if you have done monthly backups, as you should have done, you can regenerate these if the hard drive in the computer becomes unreadable.
If you need to change your computer PLEASE contact C-Law Systems for advice BEFORE you make the change.
Most printers will work with C-Law. The printer driver software loaded into Windows to support your printer is supposed to take care of the differing standards of printers and thus if a printer is properly installed with its correct drivers in Windows it should normally work with C-Law software.
Note that sometimes C-Law software may need 'tweaking' to ensure that the non proportional fixed font used by C-Law (to ensure columns of figures line up) fits correctly onto the printed page from printers. Some printers are prone to chop off columns or parts of columns. C-Law Cashier 2000 series contains a specially created system for checking this and setting it up to work with your printer (this is described in a later section on printer setup).
Of course with normal text in Word or similar it does not matter if it wraps onto the next line or the next page but this is no good at all when printing spreadsheets of figures.
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