Eastern Business Systems "Marketeer": User Manual [PDF]

Chapter 3: Requirements

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

To run MARKETEER, you need:
  1. an IBM Personal Computer XT with IBM Color Display and Keyboard,
  2. a 15-inch fast draft-quality printer with tractor feed capable of 8.25, 10 & 16.5 chr/inch print sizes,
  3. a 10 chr/inch letter quality printer or typewriter with auto sheet feeder.

The computer must have 256k RAM on its motherboard and be fitted with an IBM Color/Graphics Adapter, an AST Six-Pak-Plus or equivalent expansion board and a 20Mb fixed disk. If both printers have parallel ports, then an extra parallel port must also be fitted. The Six-Pak-Plus must be equipped with 128k RAM bringing the computer's total RAM to 512k. This board also provides the serial or parallel port for the second printer and a permanent date & time reference.

IBM PC/AT or IBM PS/2 MODELS may also be used, but in this book we refer only to the XT for clarity. (PS/2 Models with Micro Channel Architecture [MCA] currently require an external modem.)

The computer should have the Disk Operating System software (DOS 3.3 or later) installed on its fixed disk.

You also need a telephone. This should be of the type suitable for use on extension circuits so that its bell won't tinkle while the modem's autodialler is operating. The telephone should preferably have a jack outlet in which to plug a telephone headset. A headset is recommended for intensive telesales work as it leaves the user's hands free for operating the computer keyboard and for writing notes.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

In addition to the actual equipment, you need a copy of the HMSO booklet 'STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION Revised 1980', the Post Office booklet 'USING POSTCODES IN BUSINESS SYSTEMS', and a Bartholomew's postcode key map of the United Kingdom. A wall mounted write-on/wipe-off plastic laminated version of the map is preferable.

COMPATIBLES

There is no reason why you should not use a so-called 'compatible' computer made by another manufacturer to run MARKETEER. However, while many 'compatibles' will run MARKETEER perfectly, there are many that do not. Any true 'compatible' should run MARKETEER. It must, however, be up to you to ensure that the 'compatible' you buy will in fact run MARKETEER.

Some 'compatibles' have what is called 'colour compatible monochrome' graphics. They have green or amber monochrome screens which reproduce colours as different patterns of shading. These give an excellent presentation of MARKETEER which may in the long run be less fatiguing on the eyes than colour screens. However, one popular 'colour compatible' monochrome PC was found to be unsuitable for running MARKETEER because it would not reproduce one of the essential colours. Again, check before you buy.

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

Whenever more than one person needs to view the screen displays produced by MARKETEER, it is strongly recommended that a video projector be used instead of having crowds of people squinting at the computer's own small video display screen. A projector is especially valuable when you wish to show your current market statistics or sales area maps at a sales or marketing planning meeting. The projector should accept RGB or composite video input.

MAINS SUPPLY

The computer, its colour display, and the two printers each need a mains electricity supply. This requires 4 mains outlets. Since none of these items takes very much electricity they can be safely supplied via an 4-way socket strip fed from a single mains outlet. If your mains is subject to high voltage transients, the socket strip must be fed via a 'power cleaner' or uninterruptible power supply unit.

THE PRINTERS

MARKETEER produces listings and reports which can be quite long and which are often needed in a hurry. To avoid long frustrating waits and to ensure reliable service, a fast draft-quality printer with a 15 inch platen width is required.

MARKETEER also produces high quality 'front line' sales letters which are sent out to customers and prospects. In this area, first impressions count. Nothing but the best in print quality can be accepted. And the printing must be done on single sheet high quality company note paper. A dot matrix printer using continuous stationery is not suitable for this. This role is far better played by a low speed daisy wheel automatic typewriter which can print letters of the required quality. The typewriter must be able to be fitted when required with an A4 size automatic sheet feeder to allow MARKETEER to output an entire mailshot.

When not printing sales letters for MARKETEER, the typewriter can double as a normal office typewriter. This fact alone justifies its purchase. MARKETEER simply needs to 'borrow' your normal office typewriter on those occasions when it needs to print a batch of high quality sales letters. MARKETEER thus has only a minority share in the typewriter. For this reason, it is best to install the typewriter on the 'return unit' of a normal typist's desk separate from the rest of MARKETEER'S equipment.

Before buying your printers, please ask for the list of those currently recommended for use with MARKETEER.

OFFICE SPACE & FURNITURE

To be comfortable, it is recommended that you allocate about 100 sq ft (9.3 sq metres) of office space specifically for MARKETEER'S equipment and general working environment, plus the space required for one extra desk with return unit for every additional user in a network installation.

The following office furniture should be acquired specifically for MARKETEER:

  1. A large desk with return unit,
  2. a robust and stable (preferably steel) 18 by 24 inch table.
  3. a separate typist's desk or table,
  4. MultiStor type filing cabinets to accommodate A4 folders.

The recommended arrangement of equipment on the main desk is as follows:

An additional desk and return unit is required for each additional user on a network.

The small steel table is to hold the computer and colour display. It should be located within easy reach of a telephone socket. The computer's keyboard and the telephone are conveniently located on the return unit of the main desk. The main desk itself is reserved for general working space (a vital necessity frequently overlooked when installing computer systems).

The main desk should be of the type equipped with built-in cable ducts and a power distribution strip. This will help to keep your office neat and free from the hazards of tripping over open cables.

The typewriter is located on the separate typist's table which should have accommodation for notepaper and preferably a cupboard to house the automatic sheet feeder when not in use. The draft printer should be mounted on its own stand and placed away from the desk and tables.

The MultiStor type filing cabinets should be equipped with lateral suspension files containing as many A4 wallet folders as you are likely to have prospects, and fitted out to accommodate at least one row of suspended computer printout binders.

CONSUMABLES REQUIRED

The following computer consumables are necessary before you can begin:

  1. boxes of diskettes for backing up your data,
  2. a box of single part 15-inch wide by 11-inch drop music ruled listing paper,
  3. a box of sticky label continuous stationery with 82mm x 37mm labels arranged 4 across on 165mm wide waxed continuous backing form.

SETTING UP THE EQUIPMENT

Please unpack each item of equipment and do any assembly work necessary as directed in the respective instruction manuals. Then locate each piece of equipment in its permanent position in the room. Mount the draft printer on its recommended floor stand, then load it with 15 inch music ruled listing paper ready for use.

The way the peripheral devices should be connected to the computer is shown in the following diagram. Connect them up referring to the computer's installation manual and the manual of each respective device for detailed procedures. Ignore references to the modem if this has not yet been installed inside the computer. This will be dealt with in the next chapter.

PRELIMINARY TESTS

Test the computer, colour display, printer and typewriter according to the tests given in the respective manuals including the running of the computer's diagnostic tests. Once you are satisfied that each device is working correctly, switch off all the devices and disconnect them all from the mains supply. You are now ready to install MARKETEER.