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run a successful video/DVD
games/music store!

getting yourself prepared

The following are technical notes to assist prospective users to prepare their existing data files for conversion to ROCKET, and to modernise their hardware to enable ROCKET to run adequately.

  1. What hardware you will need
  2. What operating system you will need
  3. How will older machinery handle ROCKET?
  4. How much data will I get across from VideoMinder?
  5. What preparation must I do in my VideoMinder files?


1.  What hardware you will need


1-2 users

3-4 users

5+ users

Windows 8.1

8.1

8.1

8.1 Pro

Windows 7

Home

Home

Professional

Win XP

Home (SP3)

Home (SP3)

Pro (SP3)

File server

i5 / 2 Gig Ram
(4 Gig for Win 7 / 8.1)

i5 / 2 Gig Ram
(4 Gig for Win 7 / 8.1)

i7 / 4 Gig Ram –
Dedicated file server

Workstations

i3  / 2 Gig Ram
(4 Gig for Win 8.1)

i3  / 2 Gig Ram
(4 Gig for Win 8.1)

i3  / 2 Gig Ram
(4 Gig for Win 8.1)

Back-ups

DVD Burner/USB keys

DVD Burner/USB keys

DVD Burner/USB keys

Resolution

1024 X 768 or higher

1024 X 768 or higher

1024 X 768 or higher

Network

Cat 5

Cat 5

Cat 5

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2.  What operating system you will need

Windows XP (SP3) or Windows 7/8 must be loaded on all machines. If you have more than four machines in the network, you will need to install XP Professional/Win7/8 Professional rather than XP/Win7/8 Home. Windows 95 and 98 are not suitable for ROCKET.

A WARNING!

It’s important that you should time the purchase and installation of a new Windows operating system and new hardware in preparation for ROCKET in conjunction with when you actually expect to begin using the software. This is because there could be problems with your running some peripherals and plug-in devices in conjunction with VideoMinder in the period before you change to ROCKET.

While VideoMinder works well with (only) Windows XP, there are issues with the following peripheral devices, which are designed primarily to operate with a Windows program and are thus not entirely compatible with DOS-based programs such as VideoMinder.

USB devices

DOS programs do not natively talk to USB cash drawers, report printers, receipt printers, etc. It may be possible to set up USB devices to work with DOS, but we recommend that you do not replace your peripherals with USB devices until you are ready to upgrade to ROCKET. However, USB scanners are fine with ROCKET and VideoMinder.

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3.  How will older machinery handle ROCKET?

As ROCKET is client/server technology, the most important computer in the network is the server. This machine “serves” all workstations with the results of any data queries, and in this environment workstations do very little work, unlike VideoMinder. We have tested older machines as workstations running on fast servers and found them to be just adequate as a counter machine. The newer the machine the better ROCKET will perform.

When VideoMinder ‘talked’ to a cash drawer or printer, often there was no need for Windows to have a driver installed for that device. With ROCKET, Windows handles all the communications and often requires the device driver to be installed. The driver can usually be obtained from the website of the device manufacturer.

Also, serial cash drawers that worked perfectly with VideoMinder will require a power pack to work with ROCKET, as Windows-controlled devices (unlike DOS-controlled devices) do not get their power from the computer. Note, however, that under some circumstances your existing cash drawer may not work with ROKET and will need replacing.

For barcode scanners, the programming manual for the device may be required if you need to reprogram; all scanners purchased from us are supplied with the programming manual.

Under rare circumstances your existing cash drawer may not work with ROCKET and will require replacing.

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4.  How much data will I get across from VideoMinder?

All members, titles and stock lines will be taken over, as will items on hire, amounts owing, overdue fees, etc, with all their relevant details. However the most important area of the conversion is the amount of history that will be converted, and this depends on your history retention settings.Take note of the history retention that you have set up in VideoMinder as this is the basis for the transactional conversion.

For example, if you have 200 days set as your TRANSACTION DETAILS retention setting then you will get 200 days of daily transactional data converted. If you have seven days, then you’ll only get seven. If the members’ history is set to the last 100 hires and sales, then you’ll get this amount of information converted.It is a good idea to check this now and update to at least 100 days for transaction details retention and 100 for member history retention.

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5.  What preparation must I do in my VideoMinder files?

Before starting the conversion you must clean up your existing VideoMinder data. The following is a suggested plan, in order. Please note:  You must be running VideoMinder 6.4a or 6.4b to run the conversion to ROCKET.

  • Bulk delete members who have not been in to the store for a chosen time. There is no point in converting data for members who have not been in for, say, two or more years, as they and their history will be re-created in ROCKET. Members who have items on hire or who still owe money are not deleted by VideoMinder’s Bulk Delete function
  • Bulk delete hire items that were sold or damaged before a chosen date. Again, these will clog up ROCKET.

NOTE: If you are on a revenue share scheme, make sure you comply with the studios’ rules about deleting old records

  • Re-align Member history. This function will delete history for members who are no longer on the system.
  • Clean up your ex-rental copies if you were not using the VideoMinder 6.4b method of selling in a transaction. Eg, if you had marked all ex-rental copies as Sold in the titles file then added them as stock, you will need to mark the current ex-rental copies with an unused status (say, Unavailable or Lease returned) before conversion.  When they are converted to ROCKET they can then be bulk changed to the new ROCKET Ex-rental status.
  • If you have added your ex-rental titles to your VideoMinder stock file, these should be deleted before the conversion.
  • Print out the Member and Tape Profile Analysis report and check that:
  1. Formats are attached to the correct price codes
  2. All price codes used have a description
  3. Only relevant categories have been listed as used
  4. The member types used are relevant
  5. You have no stock in other locations

If you have anything listed that looks incorrect, use your Title and Member reports to list just those price codes, categories, etc, then change these records to the correct setting.

  • Run the Clean up Addresses function, to make sure your members’ addresses agree with the suburb table in VideoMinder. This will save having ROCKET add all the various incorrect spellings of each suburb to its table. This is a very important step. Check that the suppliers that you are using are valid. Test data has shown that many hire items have been coded with suppliers that are not in the Supplier table, and are often rubbish data, such as A, **, or blank. ROCKET will add all suppliers found to a Supplier table, so it is prudent to make sure that they are valid before starting the conversion
  • Check that the Ratings you are using are valid. Test data has shown that many variations of the same rating are often used.

    NOTE: A cleanup routine called MinderCleaner is included on all ROCKET master disks. This will assist with suppliers and ratings. The routine is also available to support customers who have not yet purchased ROCKET. Check that titles of the same name do not have extra characters at the end of the name line, as each of these spellings will come across as a master product into ROCKET. For example, “Gladiator ** Sold” and “Gladiator” will be treated as two master products rather than one product with two copies.

  • Delete stock items that are no longer available or that you no longer carry. Only items that have a stock level of zero can be deleted. Take particular note of “dummy” items that you have entered to use with promotions, etc. A routine included in the MinderCleaner suite will allow you to delete them in bulk. If you have entered DVD stock with something at the front of the title name, you should delete the “DVD” as this is not required in ROCKET. A routine included in the MinderCleaner suite will allow you to delete this in bulk.
  • If you have entered all games with something at the front to denote the game format you should consider shifting these words to the end of the line. You can then search for, say, Grand Theft Auto in one hit across all formats in ROCKET. Do NOT delete the format from the line. Only shift it, or leave it at the beginning of the line. Change the supplier code on all revenue share stock that is no longer on a revenue share plan. ROCKET will add hire items coded with BUE, FXX, TSR and WNR as revshare stock and attach to the correct revenue share plan.
  • Run a Check File Integrity across all files
  • Pack and re-index your data

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Windows XP (SP3) or Windows 7/8 must be loaded on all machines. If you have more than four machines in the network, you will need to install XP Professional/Win7/8 Professional rather than XP/Win7/8 Home. Windows 95 and 98 are not suitable for ROCKET.

A WARNING!

It’s important that you should time the purchase and installation of a new Windows operating system and new hardware in preparation for ROCKET in conjunction with when you actually expect to begin using the software. This is because there could be problems with your running some peripherals and plug-in devices in conjunction with VideoMinder in the period before you change to ROCKET.

While VideoMinder works well with (only) Windows XP, there are issues with the following peripheral devices, which are designed primarily to operate with a Windows program and are thus not entirely compatible with DOS-based programs such as VideoMinder.

USB devices

DOS programs do not natively talk to USB cash drawers, report printers, receipt printers, etc. It may be possible to set up USB devices to work with DOS, but we recommend that you do not replace your peripherals with USB devices until you are ready to upgrade to ROCKET. However, USB scanners are fine with ROCKET and VideoMinder.

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