Why Having A Reboot Alert In-Place Helps Consignment Stores

Peeps' Reboot Alert

The Computer Peeps monitor a variety of things for consignment store owners.  There are plenty of ‘monitoring’ systems and software out there and you can pay a lot of money for said systems, but simply buying a monitoring service and trying to resell it as a ‘managed service provider’, isn’t the same as what The Computer Peeps do.

We know what to look for and why.  In this case, if the computer has been rebooted.  If a computer is rebooted in the middle of the day, that usually means the customer is trying to fix an issue or troubleshoot something.  🙂

So in our own, custom-developed system monitor, I’ve built-in an alert to let us know when the system has rebooted.

Case in point, a customer this morning came in to find her Liberty4 Consignment software had locked-up when they left it open over night.  This on a perfectly-clean, perfectly-configured, extremely fast MiniPeep consignment computer system (with an Intel i3 CPU, SSD, and 8 GB of RAM).

It’s the consignment software, but this post is about detecting if a system is rebooted and knowing that if it’s rebooted during the middle of the day, it means the customer is likely in need of help.  🙂

We have our Peeps’ Liberty Task Killer button on each computer, so our customers can safely and quickly kill the locked-up program and open it again, without having to reboot.

Knowing the system had been rebooted, allowed me to call the store, check-in, and help our customer.  The employee is now aware of our Kill Liberty button, so she can save time, and she’s also aware that Liberty can lock-up overnight if left open (e.g. if you leave the backup utility window open).

We build our monitoring systems around a set of issues unique to consignment and resale store owners and in such a way that we can identify problems + proactively help them — we’re not just sitting here waiting for our customers to call us with issues.

New MiniPeep for Repeat Street IL

Repeat Stree IL MiniPeep

One of our long-time clients, Julie @ Repeat Street, is expanding her consignment store.  We’re building a new MiniPeep computer system + providing all of the consignment hardware for her to utilize with her Liberty4 Consignment software.

We start with a new Gigabyte Brix system, new Crucial or Kingston RAM, and a new MyDigital or Samsung SSD.  We only utilize well-vetted, in-house tested, field-tested hardware that we’ve seen work reliably for years — it’s our clients’ businesses, time, and money that are on the line and we take that seriously.

New MiniPeep for Repeat Street IL

I hand-build each of our systems for our clients — these are not off-the-shelf computer systems.  First, installing the new RAM:

New MiniPeep for Repeat Street IL

And then the new SSD:

New MiniPeep for Repeat Street IL

The benefits Julie @ Repeat Street will see from this build:

  • A pre-built, pre-configured, clean, secure system, ready to go when it arrives.
  • A clean installation of Windows.
  • A properly hardened, fully PCI Compliant system.
  • A fully labeled system, from ports, to each and every cable — this makes all the difference when you have a variety of cables running through countertops.
  • A system that automatically backs-up the entire computer each night, providing a one-click recovery via Macrium Reflect.
  • A system that’s not only warrantied for a year, but since she’s on Peeps’ Support, we replace our clients’ systems at any time AND we proactively monitor the system health so we know about issues before they become actual issues.


How To Reboot Your iSC Touch 250 PIN Pad

iSC Touch 250

Consignment software users who are also utilizing integrated credit card processing, typically utilize one of a few PIN Pads.  Ingenico is one of the more-common PIN Pads in-use.  From time to time, you might need to reboot your Ingenico iSC Touch 250 PIN Pad — e.g. to change the comm mode, to recalibrate the touch screen, etc.

You don’t have to pull the power cable or track down the power plug.  Instead, just press and hold the Clear and buttons until it reboots:




Peeps’ Consignment Software, as well as other consignment software, utilize the Ingenico series of PIN Pads for credit card processing.  Hopefully this saves someone out there some time vs. trying to track down the power plug.  🙂

Why Using Your ISP’s Router Can Crash Liberty, Even When You Only Have One Computer

Liberty4 Consignment Connection Failures

We’ve covered Connection Failures in Liberty4 Consignment before.  I’m not here to bash Liberty, it is what it is.  I just got off the phone with a client who’s getting the *dong dong dong dong dong* Connection Failure messages filling-up her screen:


Liberty4 Consignment Connection Failures


When this happens, the customer feels their entire system is frozen/stuck — and it seems like it to them.

This is happening on the ‘server’ computer, so it’s not on a networked workstation connecting across the network.  So why is this happening?  Liberty utilizes MS SQL Server for its database management system — that’s a good thing.  Programs communicate with SQL servers like that using *network protocols*.  I’m not going to bore everyone with the technical details, so the important takeaway for consignment store owners running Liberty is, your router that was put in by your Internet Service provider, can break Liberty and cause this issue over and over again.

Case in point, this customer who just called and is using a Comcast all-in-one router.  So even though it’s not a networked computer, it’s still ‘using’ the router for network communication/network traffic.  Pull that router out of the mix or disconnect this computer from the router and this issue won’t happen.

First, to get out of this quickly, we’ve written an application for our customers that allows them to quickly Kill Liberty so they can close it out and get back up and running without having to reboot:





The kill portion isn’t a jab at Liberty — killing a process is the name of ending a program that’s running and needs to be forced closed.

You can do this from the command line or create a .BAT file with the following in it:

taskkill /f /im rwd.exe
taskkill /f /im rwpos.exe
taskkill /f /im rwreport4.exe

It’s much quicker to kill a task than it is to do ctrl + alt + delete, click the Processes tab, find each of those .EXEs, click them, and click End Process.

Second, we recommend getting rid of your ISP-provided router and using your own, separate modem, as well as your own router.  This makes for a much cleaner, controlled, predictable environment.  So everything from PCI Compliance, to keeping programs running smoothly, to keeping employee phones on their own WiFi network, there are multiple benefits to using your own modem and your own router.

NOTE: Some ISPs won’t let you use your own modem, so in that case, their ‘all-in-one’ should be switched to bridged/transparent/pass-through mode, then you can use your own router.  This isn’t the perfect setup, because you still have their device in the mix and history has shown, they can (and will) update it, reset it, change it, etc. without you knowing, thus, blocking security cameras or causing other issues.  Comcast will let you use your own modem and even have their own option when calling-in, to activate your own modem.

We typically recommend the Arris Surfboard modem and an Asus router, usually something in the ‘RT’ range of models.

Should Liberty pop-up those messages over and over again?  We don’t think so — a Timer.Stop event right before the MessageBox alert would improve this behavior.  We’re not Liberty and we focus our efforts on our Peeps’ consignment software.  Our goal is to help our customers that are still using Liberty and the best we can say is, you’ll help avoid this issue (and others), by not utilizing your ISP’s router.

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