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   ► KBIT Water-Coo...Computer Ind...   Print This     
Computer Industry:
Sometimes the Smallest Software Adjustments Can Mean the Difference between Success and Failure
Posted 8 months ago on 1/30/2020
Take Away:

This article discusses a recent job assignment that nearly ended in failure without a very minor software adjustment.


I recently went to see a longtime software development customer who needed me to modify their delivery slip system in Visual Foxpro 9. The current delivery slip will print on two consecutive tractor feed delivery slips (each one 7 inches deep) on a Okidata 320 impact printer. I was asked to modify that so that the two consecutive delivery slips will print for product going out on common carriers, which the company uses 20% of the time and a single delivery slip for the other 80% for company truck usage.

The double delivery slip scrolled through the correct depth (14 inches deep or legal sized form) and stopped. However, the single delivery slip would run through the 7 inch depth and keep going and going until I powered off the Okidata 320 printer. I tried all sorts of adjustments in the Okidata printer software and nothing would correct the scrolling problem for the single form. I was using the correct form size and doing everything correctly and it just would not scroll the correct 7 inch depth when printing. I was running out of time before the administrative vice president of the company I work with was about to leave for the day. I was beside myself. It looked like another trip out there would be needed and they were a good 40 something miles away from me.

Just then, I got an idea. I did not know if this would actually work, but I was getting desperate and I had to try regardless. In the Okidata software for the printer, there was a combo box for TRAY, or how the paper was fed through the printer. It was set to AUTO, which in theory should work just fine, but it wasn’t doing what it should be doing. So I set the TRAY combo box to TRACTOR FEED. I then tried to print something as I had numerous times before and this time it worked and scrolled correctly through the 7 inch depth of the single form. Problem solved!

In the computer business as in life, sometimes all it takes is next to nothing to grow success where failure seems imminent. I have been doing this for so long and it never ceases to amaze me how almost nothing can make the difference in the eventual outcome of solving a problem.


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