Foodman. Do-it-yourself Point-of-Sale (POS) Software Systems for Restaurants, Pizza, Fast Food, Delivery, corporate catering.


       When downloading and installing Foodman on a Vista computer,
       you may receive a message from Vista that Foodman "may not have
       installed correctly".  It will have installed correctly in spite
       of what Vista thinks. 

       If this occurs, you must run Foodman by right-clicking 
       on the Foodman icon, then click on Properties,
       then click on "Run as Administrator".  If you have any problems
       with the idiotic Vista, just call us for help - 800-971-3663.


       Modern computers are really ridiculously fast. Even the slowest
       computer made today is much more powerful than a simple point-
       of-sale system requires. This is good, it means you can buy
       the cheapest computers you can find. The smallest hard-drive
       which you can buy today (April, 2004) is about 10GB - big enough 
       to save all your POS stuff for several years. If you have old 
       computers sitting in the closet dig them out. If they will run 
       Windows (any version from 3.1 thru Vista) they will run Foodman. 
       Try them out to see if they work out OK. You need a minimum of
       512mg of RAM to run dependably.

       Search the Internet for your best hardware buys. You can buy
       all the hardware you need at low-cost and just hire someone
       to install it and set it up for you. 

       When you do it yourself, you don't have to pay anyone for 
       hardware support. If something breaks, just throw it away
       and buy a new one - the hardware is inexpensive. 

       Refurbished equipment usually comes with a six-month warranty.
       The odds are that if it survives the warranty period, it will
       have a normal life-span. So, give refurbished stuff serious
       Just about all you need to know about hardware basics follows, if
       you have questions, just call 800-971-3663.

Just Click on the following Links to go to a particular Topic.

Input Methods (Keyboard/Touchscreen). Computers . Monitors and Touchscreens. POS Printers. Cash Drawers. Cables. Fonts and Colors. Networking. Preparing to Install. Microsoft Windows. Environment Variables. Typical Problems. -INPUT METHODS- Foodman gives you the choice of using either the keyboard, a touchpad, or a touchscreen monitor to enter orders. Before deciding on which method to use, it is best to buy the software first. Then, complete your Menu and try using the keyboard. It may be that you can get by using the keyboard. You may prefer to spend the extra money for a touchscreen. You should also be aware that you can use the Mouse on the Foodman touchscreens. Using the Mouse is a viable alternative to using a touchscreen. The Mouse will work on a regular (non-touchscreen) monitor. -COMPUTERS- Your minimum requirements for a PC running Foodman, either single-user or network are: 1. Any Windows PC with Windows 98, 2000, NT, XP or Vista. 2. One hard-drive. (Even a 10gb drive is MORE than adequate.) 3. One CD drive to load Windows. 4. At least 1024meg of RAM. (At least 2meg on the FILE-SERVER. A machine with insufficient memory will run slowly and may crash. 5. A network card (if using a network). 6. As many parallel ports as are required for your configuration. 7. A mouse. 8. A keyboard. 9. We strongly recommend having a "Memory Stick" flash drive to make backups on. 10. Foodman runs OK on Vista, but Vista is so horrible that you would better off using XP. Even the most basic computer sold today will typically meet these requirements for less than $300.00. See our home-page for sources of hardware. -MONITORS- Foodman requires your monitors to be set to 1024x768 resolution.
Touchscreen monitors start at about $360.00 retail. Shop around on the Internet to look for the best deals. Be sure you get the right cables and drivers for the one you choose. IMPORTANT: If you have specified Large Fonts or changed the colors of the desktop, you may have readability problems (Like black letters on a dark-blue background!). To fix this just change your settings back to the default settings. You may also get improperly displayed screens if you are not using True-Color 32bit colors. To change your monitor settings, right-click on the Desktop, click on Properties, click on Settings. Touchscreen monitors can attach to either a serial port or a special port provided by the manufacturer. The serial port model is easier to install. Touchscreen monitors pretend to be a mouse. You can use your mouse on the Foodman touchscreens to see how a touchscreen works - just click instead of touching. -PRINTERS- Please Note: Firewalls on your computer can cause printers not to work. Google "firewall printer problems" to see numerous example of Firewalls stopping printers from working. Anti-Virus software and screensavers can also cause weird problems. Get rid of all that stuff which you should not need anyway, since your POS computer(s) should NOT be on the Internet. There are dozens of printers. Epson, Star, Citizen are the big- three. There are three types of printer: Serial, USB and Parallel. The parallel model is recommended since you will encounter difficulties installing serial printers in Windows. To avoid such problems, merely buy parallel printers.
If you have a serial printer, you can make it work on a parallel port by buying a Parallel-to-Serial Converter.
Serial printers are used when there is some considerable distance between the computer and the printer's location. You can buy inexpensive PARALLEL EXTENDERS to make parallel printers go the distance. If you want to use a single USB printer, you can get DOS2USB for about $20.00 from: Click here to go to DOS2USB's website. We have tested this software and it works just fine. If you want to use a combination of parallel, serial and/or USB printers, we STRONGLY recommend that you purchase PrintFil. This is a utility which makes setting up multiple printers on a network very simple and easy. Click here for help with PrintFil. Click here to go to Printfil's website.
Our preferred model is the Star DP8340 (pictured). It is small and you can get a version which uses wide, 4.5" paper. The guest check looks better on the wider paper. These printers are available for about $220.00. Be sure to specify Parallel if you buy them.
??????????????????????????? Another Star printer worthy of consideration is the TSP800. This is a high-speed thermal printer which also has the more attractive wide 4.5" paper.

On networks, printers should be installed on the physically- closest computer. Any computer can print to any printer on a network. Buying printers depends entirely on how much you want to spend and what you need. They are all basically the same. They are all dot-matrix and use either ribbons or thermal paper. The cost of ribbons and paper may influence your decision - ask about those items before you buy. -CASH DRAWERS- Cash drawers must be physically attached to the PRINTER, not the computer. For this reason, be sure to specify which printer you are using before ordering a cash drawer. -CABLES- The odds are that you will have to run cables, the cables may have to be custom-made, so you might want to consider hiring someone to do the installation for you, especially if you require long cables. -FONTS and COLORS- Many of the screens in Foodman use Britannic Fonts. Sometimes the fonts will be truncated on the screen. This is because the Britannic Font in Windows is messed-up somehow. You can fix this by copying the two Britannic files in the Foodman directory into C:\Windows\fonts. You can fix this yourself by doing the following: Click on Start Click on Run Enter one of the following depending on which Foodman you have: C:\XOD\FIXFONT - For Office-Delivery. C:\XSS\FIXFONT - For Server-Station. C:\XHD\FIXFONT - For Home-Delivery. After doing this, you may have to reboot. If you still have font problems, it will be necessary to delete the Britannic font from c:\windows\fonts and re-install them from the appropriate Foodman directory. If you need help doing this, just call 800-971-3663. (This is done via the Control Panel/Fonts) If you have changed your colors, you might get unreadable combinations. Just change your colors back to the Windows default to fix this problem. -NETWORKS- On a network, the Foodman software is installed on the computer designated as the FILE-SERVER, the other computers are called WORK-STATIONS. Foodman does NOT require a dedicated FILE-SERVER. The Foodman software is EXECUTED on each WORK-STATION, but takes the software and the data from the FILE-SERVER. In other words, it does not use its own hard-drive, but the one on the FILE-SERVER via the NETWORK. On a network, Foodman is installed on drive C: on the FILE-SERVER. That drive must be designated as a SHARED DRIVE. When the drive is so designated, it will have another letter assigned to it. This is usually the next available drive-letter. On your FILE-SERVER it will probably be E: or F:. IMPORTANT: All users must have FULL WRITE PERMISSION to the ENTIRE shared drive - not just the Foodman directory. ON THE SERVER, the SHORTCUT to run Foodman will specify drive C: as the TARGET. E.g., C:\XSS\SS.EXE would run Server-Station. Be sure the START-IN directory is either C:\XOD, C:\XSS or C:\XHD appropriately. The SHORTCUTs ON THE WORK-STATIONS will specify drive E: or F: appropriately. For example, F:\XSS\SS.EXE. DO NOT USE the computer-name in the SHORTCUT TARGET on the WORK-STATION. DO NOT INSTALL FOODMAN ON ANY WORK-STATIONS. Foodman is installed in one of the following directories (Folders): C:\XOD, C:\XSS or C:\XHD appropriately. NOTE: If running Windows Vista, Foodman must be "Run as Administrator" since it writes data to drive C: To eliminate this annoyance, you need to turn off "User Account Control". Turn it off in the Control Panel under "User Accounts". -PREPARING FOR INSTALLATION. The versions of Windows which come with computers from the big companies like Dell, Gateway, etc. have customized versions of Windows which may not be compatible with other hardware. Also, when in need of support you have to call the appropriate manufacturer. For this reason, we recommend buying computers which do not have Windows installed and buying your own version of Microsoft Windows. Those computers also come pre-loaded with lots of software which you will probably never use (or even know about) and which may well cause problems. And, you can get support directly from Microsoft rather than the manufacturer. You can tell if there is other software running on your computer by running MSCONFIG (See below). You need to get rid of that extraneous software which will free up resources on the computer and make it run faster. Most computers come with all sorts of stuff installed which you will never use and which are hogging resources. That other software can also interfere with Foodman. So, before you install the system in your business, it may be a good idea to REFORMAT the hard drive to get rid of software you neither need nor want, and install the SAME VERSION of Windows on all computers. You should also take care to prevent installation of other software on your computers by your employees either with or without your consent. You might wish to remove the CD drive from the computers since you will rarely use it. It is not a good idea to have your POS computers on-line to the Internet. To do so exposes your computers to risk of viruses, and other types of nasty software. In addition, you do not want your employees surfing the Internet on your POS system. When short of space, be aware that you can hang computers on the wall or stand them on their side. -MICROSOFT WINDOWS- When you buy a computer, buy one that does not come with Windows already installed. Just buy a legitimate copy of Windows (any version) on eBay or elsewhere and install it yourself. This will entitle you to support directly from Microsoft in case you need it. After installing Windows on the re-formatted (see above) drive, be sure to run MSCONFIG (Click on Start, Click on Run, type in 'MSCONFIG'). Click on the start-up tab on the right. Then, uncheck everything that is checked and re-boot your PC. It may be that you might have to go back to MSCONFIG to re-check something if it turns out that something doesn't work. Don't uncheck the drivers for touchscreen monitors. -ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES.- PLEASE NOTE: Foodman systems purchased after October, 2007 do NOT use Environment Variables so the following may be ignored. Network versions of Foodman require an ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE which identifies each user on the network. WINDOWS VISTA REQUIRES THAT YOU SET THE ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE USING THE CONTROL PANEL, AS BELOW. The environment variable is normally automatically inserted when Foodman is installed in C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT and is in the form: SET xxUSER=xxUSERyy where xx is either OD, SS or HD depending on which Foodman system is used. yy is either 01, 02, 03, etc. and must be different for each user.
Environment variables in XP and Vista can be set as follows:
Click on Start Click on Control Panel Switch to Classic View Click on System Click on Advanced Click on Environment variables Click on New Enter variable name as xxUSER Enter variable value as xxUSERyy To put the environment variable in C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT (Windows 98). using Windows Notepad, do the following: Click on Start Click on RUN Enter 'Notepad' Click on File Click on Open enter C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT move the cursor to the bottom and enter one of the following: SET ODUSER=ODUSERxx (Office-Delivery) SET SSUSER=SSUSERxx (Server-Station) SET HDUSER=HDUSERxx (Home-Delivery) (Where xx is either 01, 02, 03, etc. Each computer must have a different value.) Click on File Click on Save Click on File Click on Exit. After setting variables, reboot. If you have any questions, or would like to talk about your requirements, just call 800-971-3663.
Thank you.

-TYPICAL PROBLEMS.- 1. GENERAL PROTECTION FAULTS. These are always caused by conflicts with OTHER software running on the PC. To make the problem go away, do the following. Click on Start, Click on Run, type in 'MSCONFIG'. Click on the start-up tab on the right. Then, click on the DISABLE ALL button, then APPLY. You must then reboot your PC. Periodically, run MSCONFIG and DISABLE things which have miraculously appeared on the Startup Tab. 2. LOAD FAILURE (on xxxxxxx). This should only happen on networks and indicates that there is something wrong with the shortcut to the software on the server. See: Networking. 3. FONTS Foodman uses the standard Windows Fonts which SHOULD be on every Windows PC. Unfortunately, because of bugs in Windows, the fonts on the Foodman screens may not display correctly. Foodman uses the Britannic Bold font. If you have changed the colors in Windows, you may get unreadable screens with black text on a blue background. See: Fonts and Colors. 4. NOT INSTALLED PROPERLY. On some Vista machines, there can be an occasional machine which gives a message to the effect that the software did not install properly. When you run Foodman after this message, Foodman gives an appropriate message. If this happens, right click on the Foodman icon on the desktop, then click properties, then click "Run as Administrator".