CUS Notes April 2015
Urgent message from CUS Technical Support
Several clients have recently been hacked by the infamous Cryptolocker form of ransomware. Articles about this type of malware have been widely reported in the media. It usually attacks a computer through an innocent looking link in an email message and quickly begins to encrypt all data files and documents. It can travel to other drives connected to this system including mapped network drives and synced offsite cloud applications. Soon it displays a warning message that your files are encrypted and “safely” locked up. You can only recover and open your files if you pay a ransom, usually demanded in untraceable Bitcoin currency, within a short time.
Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware products do not protect against this type of invasion. The only sure way to protect yourself is to NEVER click on a link or attachment that you weren’t specifically expecting to receive from that sender at that time.
It’s very important to guard against losing your valuable data files by maintaining good EXTERNAL backups and keep them DISCONNECTED. We’ve always recommended the Zip backup methods available in CUS as the first step to guard against typical mistakes, but you need to copy the zip files to an external device frequently too. Be sure to disconnect the device once you’ve copied files onto it. You can also take backup copies of the three main CUS data folders: AUCINV, AUCMAIL and CUSAUC onto another device. Don’t rely on cloud backup services for this, they can be affected too.
External USB hard drives are ideal for this purpose. They are inexpensive and can hold a lot of data. Get two drives, one for the office and one to take off site. Again, once you’ve copied the folders to the USB drive, disconnect it so an incoming infection can’t reach it. Always have one external backup drive with recent data that is disconnected from the computer or network. Contact Steve at email@example.com or 954.680.6545 for more information about this serious threat and guidance on the best backup methods for your situation.
New CUS Address
NOTE: Our mailing address has changed from 5722 to 5846 Flamingo Road. See below:
CUS Business Systems, Inc.
5846 S. Flamingo Rd, PMB # 3130
Cooper City, FL 33330
Schedule your CUS Version 11.0 update now!
CUS Version 11.0 for 2015 is in wide release and it’s time to schedule your appointment for the update. If you publish online catalogues or hold online auctions with CUS, you need to update very soon, before posting any new auctions or catalogues to the CUS server. Here are some of the new features we’ve added:
Archive old auctions in a separate folder – Auctions from previous years can be out of the way for daily operations but still easily accessible if needed. This helps to manage updating old auction files during program updates too.
Expanded query filters – You can filter for lot description key words. Find every lot containing the word excavator even if you don’t use Class codes or find every Bridgeport Mill even if you don’t use the Manufacturer field. Print the resulting list or export it to Excel.
Charge expense on all lots by Class code – Use a class/category to identify vehicles requiring a title transfer fee. You no longer need to use a tax class just for this purpose.
Import lot expenses – Add individual lot expenses such as loading or shipping directly into the auction from a spreadsheet.
Save custom documents – As your document is created, you can add it to the Document Manager so it is linked to that buyer, seller or lot record in the future.
Email custom documents – You can also choose to send the completed form by email to the buyer, seller or anyone. You can do this at print time or later.
Redesigned online catalogue searches – Side panel for easy Category or Key word searching pops open/closed next to catalogue view.
More picture display features – Display a set number of images per lot in picture presentations. You might have 35 images of a lot for the online auction catalogue, but only want to display the first 5 in the podium slide show. You can also run the entire slide show unattended during preview.
Auction-specific language text editing – Change the wording on invoices in any auction without affecting other auctions. For example, change Sales Tax to VAT on buyer invoices only for occasional auctions in Europe but not in the US.
Copy word watermarks in emailed invoices – The copy of an invoice that you email to the buyer can now have a watermark. You can also include a watermark in the top copy when printing locally.
All CUS Maintenance and Rental clients are entitled to the new version, of course. If you’ve purchased CUS recently or updated in the past few months, you may also be pre-licensed for Version 11.0. All other clients can order the new version at an upgrade price. Remember, you need the latest CUS program license for the CUS Email/Online features and Zipdata subscription. Contact Ellen at 954.680.6545 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details about your license.
What is the Archive Manager?
The CUS Archive Manager is a new feature in Version 11.0 for 2015. It’s in the Auction System Utility Menu. Using this, you can safely move older auctions to a separate data folder within your CUS system for long term storage. This can be an alternative to removing old auctions completely from the system.
We’ve set up some archive folders for recent years but you can create others for your own needs. Open the CUSAUC folder on that local computer or server drive. Open the ARCHIVE folder inside CUSAUC. You’ll see the yearly folders that are set up for you. You can make a new folder here and name it whatever you like. When you go back into the Auction System, the new archive folder will be in the Archive Manager list.
To archive an older auction, first be sure no one is in that auction on your network. Go to the Utility Menu/Archive Manager and select the archive on the right that you want to place it in. Then select the auction from the left and it will be moved into that archive folder.
It’s easily available if you need to find an old transaction or reprint a bill, but out of the way for day to day operations. When you go to Change Current Auction/Create New Auction, you’ll see the list of auctions in the active directory as usual, plus a link to your Archive directories at the bottom of the screen.
Contact email@example.com or 954.680.6545 for more information about the Archive Manager.
Try the CUS Online Auction or Catalogue
You can see a sample of the CUS Online Auction here:
Your private brand auction blends in with your company’s image, color scheme and logo. The “Welcome” page has all of the auction details and pictures of featured lots. There’s a photo slideshow display, “Watch this lot” and “Buy It Now” features with bidding from either the individual lot page or the catalogue screen.
The CUS Online Auction is an extension of your regular CUS Auction System, with one-click uploads and photo management built right in. You don’t need to import or export data because it’s all in one system. Add a new lot or a few pictures at any time, adjust your opening bid amounts, or change the closing date. See who is looking at your auction at any time and watch your bids as they happen. After closing, instantly execute all of the high bids as sales; there’s no data entry needed! Email the invoices to your bidders and display post-auction sales results too. Everything is in CUS and it’s all under your control.
It’s easy to publish a catalogue with pictures also, allowing pre-registration and absentee bidding if you like. Don’t send your customers somewhere else to see YOUR catalogue. The advertising clutter distracts them from your important event and they can wander away from you. Contact Ellen at 954.680.6545 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a private demo of the CUS Online Auction.
From the Technical Support Team
Network Speed Issues in Windows 7 or 8 Laptops
When several Windows 7 or 8 laptops are networked together, sometimes the network response time is slower than expected. Even though you’re using wired ethernet network adapters and a wired network switch or hub, the laptops might try to communicate through their wireless adapters instead. This can slow down the network.
You can try to avoid this by changing the network adapter priority setting on each laptop workstation so it looks for the wired adapter first. If that doesn’t help, you can disable the wireless adapter in the laptop stations so the network is forced to go through the wired adapter instead. As a last resort, you can change the priority settings or disable the wireless adapter on the server too.
There are also IP configuration changes that can affect network speed. Sometimes changing scanning settings in your anti-virus protection will help too. Contact Steve at 954.680.6545 or email@example.com for guidance on network speed issues.
Using CUS on Windows 7 or 8 Operating Systems
We’re satisfied that most current CUS versions are compatible with Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. In general, Windows 7 is compatible with CUS Versions 8.0 and higher, but not older CUS versions. Windows 8 has been tested successfully on CUS Versions 9.0 and higher. There are some Windows Registry changes necessary for CUS on Windows 7 or 8 systems. We install a utility file to handle these for you. For any CUS network containing Windows 7 or 8 stations, please contact Steve at 954.680.6545 or firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Microsoft recently ended all support for Windows XP systems. This means that your anti-virus applications may not fully protect you, even if you subscribe to anti-virus updates. We advise you to keep XP computers off the internet, especially in a network. If you are replacing your old XP systems in the near future, you may want Windows 7 for staffers who aren’t comfortable in new environments. The Windows 8 user experience is very different from Windows 7 or XP, although Windows 8.1 is an improvement over the earlier Windows 8. Windows 7 systems are still available online but aren’t easy to find in your local retail store. It’s also possible that some of your older devices (printers, scanners etc.) may not be compatible at all. Contact us at 954.680.6545 or email@example.com for further information before buying any new computers, especially if you aren’t yet licensed for CUS Version 8.0 or higher.
Note: DOS versions of CUS are NOT compatible with any Windows 7, Windows 8 or Vista computers at all.
Advantage Database Server for CUS
Many of our larger network installations use a more robust “client/server” CUS edition that has the Advantage Database Server engine as its foundation. This enables networked CUS applications to run more securely in wireless or remote access environments. If you have a large network with a Windows Server or are planning to expand, you may be a candidate for the CUS ADS Server edition. It’s very important to contact CUS before upgrading any server or installing a new one, to be sure CUS supports that server operating system. If you have an older ADS Server release version, you may need an ADS update before installing a newer Windows Server.
Contacting Technical Support
Please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of an individual email address. Other CUS consultants will see the question and be able to help you if the person you tried to reach is not available. If you don’t get an answer to your emailed question in a day or two, follow up by calling to our office at 954.680.6545. Your email might have been trapped by a spam or junk filter and blocked.
Of course, if you have an emergency, don’t rely on email at all. Call us right away at 954.680.6545 (all hours). If you reach our automated recording, choose extension 501 for emergency support. You’ll be transferred right away to the consultant on call.
Technical Support via Remote Access
If you need technical support but aren’t comfortable on a computer, we can help. With your permission, we’ll get the job done using an internet connection to let us log in remotely. We can troubleshoot most network issues, install CUS on your computer or do program updates from older CUS versions.
There’s a link to our live remote support from the CUS Version 9, 10 and 11 Support Centers at www.cus.com or from the Help Menu in your Version 8, 9, 10 or 11 CUS program. For older CUS versions, contact Steve to help you connect to CUS remote support. This is live real-time support, so you must make arrangements with us before connecting to have a consultant available for you.
email@example.com for price quotes or other sales related questions
firstname.lastname@example.org for any support or training questions
email@example.com for website content or maintenance
firstname.lastname@example.org for any billing questions to our bookkeeper
CUS Business Systems
5722 S. Flamingo Rd. PMB #3130
Cooper City FL 33330
Phone: 954.680.6545 (all hours) Fax: 954.680.6018