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Topics - norman

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Loadmaster / TPN labels not printing properly
« on: June 19, 2019, 08:53:43 am »
The biggest problem is not using the correct printer driver and not setting the page size correctly.

Printer drivers can be obtained from either Zebra or Seagull Scientific. The Zebra ones are fine for standard paper sizes but you should consider the Seagull one for unusual sizes or use with XP. If your printout goes across the page instead of down then again use the Seagull ones. If you upgrade from the Zebra driver to the Seagull driver then check the printer properties afterwards. If this does not have a banner that says 'Drivers by Seagull' then it has pulled the original Zebra driver back in (and Windows is being over-helpful), resulting in you wasting your time.

If you get blank sheets of paper out of the printer when you try to print, even though the Windows test page printed, then the chances are that you are using the wrong paper size in the printer settings. The default paper size is 2 inches by 4 inches. TPN use a paper size of 101.6mm by 203.2mm (4 inches by 8 inches). Set the paper size in Stock and click on the Advanced button and set the values in this section to the same values.

Most problems that we get calls about occur immediately after the change of a label roll and are due to not performing an 'autosense' procedure (as per the manual. You did read it?) Typical effects are spurious characters on the labels or printing the wrong page length. You may even push some printers into Line Mode instead of Page Mode.

Before you start doing a lot of work try changing the printer cable. It may be faulty!

If connecting the printer via USB you should carefully read the instructions in the manual BEFORE attaching the printer. Failure to do so will result in the need for complicated solutions and you will need to contact your supplier to resolve this.

Zebra GK420D - We recommend that you do not use the driver supplied with the printer but use the ZPL driver obtainable from - set the paper to portrait and set the orientation to 180 degrees.


Loadmaster / Loadmaster released 05/06/2019
« on: June 06, 2019, 12:56:40 pm »

We altered:-

1. Sage export so it is possible to export the date as either DDMMYYYY or DD/MM/YYYY. (Tested with V25)
2. TPN Unique surcharges updated so it was possible to zap all the rates for an individual customer
3. Import customer data routine reports the number of records read in at the end for checking


TPN Invoicing / Problems importing Invoice file
« on: June 06, 2019, 12:51:07 pm »
You try to import the invoice file from the hub and it doesn't seem to do anything.

Check the file in Notepad. Have a look at the dates in the file. Are they in MM/DD/YYYY format instead of DD/MM/YYYY?

We have reported this to TPN I.T. and they were producing a fix.


Miscellaneous / Splashtop Streamer fails after reboot
« on: April 01, 2019, 06:14:28 pm »
Splashtop Streamer is installed on the computer and after a reboot it fails to start.

If you reinstall/repair the program then it will work again.

Do you use Advanced Systemcare? This effect will occur immediately after an optimization as it will reset the two Splashtop services from AUTOMATIC start to MANUAL. So the next time you restart the computer - they won't!

You will need to to into Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services and reset the two Splashtop services back to AUTOMATIC.

To stop it from happening you can go into the STARTUP MANAGER then SERVICES and set Splashtop services to ENABLE.

If running Advanced Systemcare on Automatic then take the tick out of Startup Manager before you start.


TPN Invoicing / Making Tax Digital
« on: March 15, 2019, 08:36:54 am »
Do our systems link with Making Tax Digital?

No. They create export files to import into Accounting systems that deal with MTD.

Our programs calculate charges, create invoices and post to accounting packages.

Programs like Sage and Quickbooks do operate with MTD.


General discussions / Making Tax Digital
« on: March 14, 2019, 03:30:47 pm »
Do our systems link with Making Tax Digital?

No. They create export files to import into Accounting systems that deal with MTD.

Our programs calculate charges, create invoices and post to accounting packages.

Programs like Sage and Quickbooks do operate with MTD.


Operational Status / Internal Operational Changes
« on: March 10, 2019, 10:30:35 pm »
As a security measure we have split our operation between two sites with a different broadband link to both. Each connection is currently at least 80MB.

At each site we run an office system on one Linux server, with 'live' program backups on another Linux server and the bulletin board on a third Linux server.

This should give us a lot of redundancy in the event of any kind of failure or DOS attack.


Windows / Smartscreen - no Run Anyway option
« on: March 10, 2019, 10:23:17 pm »
This has changed when installing software.

Now right-click on the installer program and choose PROPERTIES.

There is an unblock tick box at the bottom.


TPN Invoicing / Pricing updates slow with data on network
« on: December 28, 2018, 01:29:47 pm »
If your data is stored on a network drive and you have a lot of customers and pricing systems then this may take some time. This is due to the fact that the network must be given time between each write for other computers and programs.

If you want to speed this process up then consider doing the process on a loacl drive instead.

How to do this -

1. Make a new directory on your local C: drive. As an example one called TESTDATA
2. Run TPN Invoicing and note the current data location. This appears on the top of the screen between square brackets e.g. [T:\]
3. Go into Utilities and BACKUP. Alter the destination to the new directory e.g. in my case C:\TESTDATA
4. Now go into Utilities and DATA PATH. Alter this to the new directory.
5. Go into Utilities and RESTORE DATA. Browse for the file BACKUP.ZIP in the directory you are using. Restore the data.
6. Do your pricing alterations. This will be a lot quicker. (Your original data is still in the original location). Check the price changes look OK.
7. Go into Utilities and BACKUP. You can save to your temporary directory again.
8. Go into Utilities and Data Path. Alter this back to the original directory e.g. in my case T:\
9. Go into Utilities and RESTORE. Browse for the file BACKUP.ZIP in the temporary directory. Restore this.


All done.


Operational Status / Main web site change
« on: December 10, 2018, 11:00:48 am »
We will be changing back to using as our main website from (we own both).

This is due to the crazy situation of the EU demanding that only countries in the EU being allowed to run EU websites. In effect we could lose the use of the EU website on 29/03/2019 and we cannot allow any problems with service to our customers.

This will just be a load of work on our behalf.

Emails to our addresses are currently forwarded to the equivalent .eu address. We will simply reverse this process.


Note: It's now April and nothing has happened - yet.

Sameday Express / Sameday Express 2.66 - release notes
« on: October 16, 2018, 09:23:00 pm »
All Google API calls are replaced by OpenStreetMap equivalents.

We used the Google API to decode postcodes and create maps. All calls have now been replaced and in most cases exceed the results from Google. The reason for doing this was because Google have started restricting these to a a few calls without payment. Google now charge a minimum of $200 a month for this facility.

We have tried to exceed the previous calls. You can decode postcodes to the associated street address or enter the address and it will return the postcode. In addition, in mapping it will give you the wind direction and the temperature.

We also added two slots for additional people involved in a job i.e. in addition to the collector and deliverer.




Loadmaster / Loadmaster V44.0.1.24 - release notes
« on: October 16, 2018, 09:09:49 pm »
This update includes all Google API calls being replaced by OpenStreetMaps.

Google was used for looking up addresses from postcodes and the production of maps. Unfortunately, Google have started charging for anything but a low use of these calls. The curent cost is a minimum of $200 a month.

We therefore recoded everthing that used the Google API and replaced it with the OpenStreetMap versions. In all cases we have produced a better result.

The postcode lookup now lets you work the other way, so that you can put the address in instead and it gives you the postcode. You can even out in a location of any type e.g. EIFFEL TOWER. It also displays the wind direction and temperature for the chosen location.


Loadmaster / Local Parameters blank after update
« on: September 12, 2018, 08:37:41 am »
Copy the four files that start with LOCAL from C:\ProgramData\Zipzap Computers\Loadmaster to C:\ProgramData\Zipzap Computers Limited\Loadmaster

These are -



Windows / Frequent Crash log warning - Windows 10
« on: September 07, 2018, 11:02:24 am »
You keep getting notified of a Crash by a message box. Nothing seems to be wrong.

When you look in the log it says -

The highlight filter query for the "Thread Activities" preset in the "Regions of Interest" table is invalid.
The initial filter query for the "Thread Activities" preset in the "Regions of Interest" table is invalid.

Researching this you find that this is a non-harmful message that Microsoft say you should ignore. Something to do with One Drive.

The chances are that you are running Iolo System Mechanic and it is reporting the issue whereas Windows ignores it.

Hopefully either Microsoft or Iolo will sort it. It's just annoying.


Raspberry Pi / Our latest Pi - a journey
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:54:38 pm »
Our latest Pi is a 3B in a Makerhawk case 12.2 x 9 x 5.6 cm with X820 expansion board. 60GB SSD. Complete with 7 inch LCD screen. Not quite a nanocomputer - but getting there.

Cannot see why the X820 wouldn't connect to the Pi Zero.

Might try an Orange Pi or a Beagleboard next!

The aim is to get as much computing power in the smallest possible space.


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