14. Program Maintenance

Your QuoteSoft Pipe estimating system is designed to maximize your efficiency as a mechanical contract estimator. The following are guidelines and helpful hints to optimize your benefits from this system.

Backups

Computer technology has advanced significantly, providing reliable high-speed systems than can sit on your desktop. Unfortunately, even with these advances, personal computers still can and do fail, and this can result in loss of critical data. Since you will spend much of your valuable time creating job takeoffs, we strongly recommend that you protect yourself against loss of critical data by periodically backing up your system.

Recognizing the importance of backups, QuoteSoft Pipe was designed to simplify this process as much as possible. In general, there are two types of data that you should consider for backup: global data and job data.

Global data includes the Configuration, Database, Global Material/Labor Discounts, and Global Specs. All of these components are stores as files under a single Windows directory named C:\QPIPE\_GLOBAL. This directory should be backed up after making significant changes to any of these data components. Typically, the longer you use the system, the less frequently you will change these data components and the less frequently you will have to perform this backup. For complete details and instructions on backing up a Windows directory on your system, refer to the Backup section of your computer’s documentation.

Job data includes all information that is specific to a job, including the takeoff, specs, and calculations. All of these components are stored as files under a single Windows directory named C:\Qpipe\XXXXXXXX.JOB where XXXXXXXX is the 8-letter name you assigned to the job. This directory is small and should be backed up frequently, especially while you are taking off a job. It should also be backed up once at the end of job takeoff and stored for future reference.

Backing Up a Job

  1. Select the job you want to back up.
  2. Select . A directory of folders appears.
  3. Select the directory (or external drive, possibly E:). Select . The system tells you the job was exported successfully.

Display Resolution

QuoteSoft Pipe is best displayed by setting your computer’s display resolution to either 800×600 (SVGA) or 1024×768 (XVGA). If you choose a lower resolution (e.g. 640×480 VGA), QuoteSoft Pipe will adjust the screens appropriately but will have less information available at your fingertips. If you choose a higher resolution than 1024×768 the graphics may appear smaller.

To adjust your display resolution, go to the Windows Control Panel and select Display. Choose the Settings tab (normally the right-most tab at the top) and you will see your current settings. Adjust this (using the slider bar) to achieve the best display results.

Performance

The speed of the QuoteSoft Pipe system is primarily determined by three components of your computer system: CPU Speed, Disk Speed, and RAM. When selecting a computer system, we strongly recommend you purchase a 1500MHz (or faster) Intel with at least 512MB of RAM and 500MB of disk space. The cost of these systems continues to decrease and running slower equipment is generally not worth the savings.

If you have already purchased a system (or are using QuoteSoft Pipe on an existing system), the following items should be considered for obtaining optimum performance:

RAMYou can purchase RAM upgrades for most systems for a few hundred dollars. If you have a 512MB system, consult your computer dealer about upgrading to 1 GB.
Free Disk SpaceHard disk drives become fragmented and will perform poorly as they become filled. You should always make certain you have at least 10% of your drives total capacity free, especially when installing QuoteSoft Pipe. Consider backing up and deleting old job directories if you are short on hard disk space.

Always consult your personal computer dealer and user’s manual if you have any questions on these topics.

Tablet Maintenance

Digitizer tablets are high-precision instruments that should be treated with special care in the work place. Always avoid sudden impacts or constant vibration. In addition, care should be taken to keep the surface clean of dust and or other foreign matter (coffee, soda,…). Also, keep all cables secured and out of the way to avoid tripping or stepping on them.

Quote Software Inc. normally ships a 4 or 16-button cordless cursor (mouse) with each digitizer system. This mouse is made of hardened plastic, but is still vulnerable to drops, impacts, and liquids. When not in use, always store the cursor out of the way (ideally in its original shipping container) and away from coffee cups.