Volume 1, Issue 1                                                                                                                                              

Inside This Issue


Linux version announcement


Software leasing


Data conversion


Handheld log scaling


VB/SQL Log system


Contact information
















Forest products accounting comes to Linux

Doesn’t Bill Gates have enough money?

What is Linux you say?  Linux was originally released in 1994 by Linus Torvald as a substitute for the Unix/WindowsNT operating systems.  His goal was to develop an inexpensive ‘open source’ alternative.  ‘Open source’ means that not only is the Linux OS free, but the ‘source code’ is also free, allowing other programmers to build on his work.  In the 8 years since it was released, Linux has taken the computing world by storm.  It now surpasses all other operating systems for web servers.

          Our software has been available on both Unix and Windows platforms since the 80’s.  With the addition of Linux versions of our systems, businesses can take advantage of this economical new OS.  A Linux server is compatible with both older OS’s and will connect to your existing network or function as a stand alone workstation.  Because of the nature of Linux, an older computer that is under powered for Unix or Windows will function efficiently running Linux.




































Data makes the world go round


And you thought it was love?

Management needs data to make informed decisions.  Payable departments need data to accurately pay for logs.  Receivable departments need data to accurately bill their customers.  Unfortunately, that data isn’t always available in a format palatable to your accounting system.  That’s where MicroConsulting can help.  We’ve been converting data from one format to another for 17 years.  Have a batch of logs scaled by bureau A, but your system is only set up to accept data from bureau B?  No problem.  We can convert any bureau’s format to any others.  Have log data print outs but no download?  We will scan your documents and re-format that data in any of the bureau formats, or a format of your specification.  Our log system has the ability to export/import data to/from other systems built in to it.  So data can be easily exchanged with these customers of ours:

SV Pullin, Inc.,  Yakama Forest Products, Quinault Land & Timber Enterprises, Pacific Lumber & Shipping, Spanaway Lumber, Frontier Resources, Kinzua Resources, Georgia Pacific - Fort Brag, Georgia Pacific – Portland, Glide Lumber, Buse Timber, Trask River Lumber, Tubafor Mill, Great Western Lumber and Tumwater Lumber.

        In addition, we have programs to convert data exported from the following companies:  Weyerhauser, Cascade Hardwoods, Holbrook, inc., Roseburg Forest Products, A & A Trading, Internation Forest Products, Ltd., Timber West and Timberline.

          As an introduction to this service, we will convert your first data file free of charge.  Further conversions can be charged on a low per log or monthly basis.























































































The VB/SQL log system


Very Big Size Quantum Large?


No, VB/SQL stands for Visual Basic (Microsoft’s latest programming language) Structured Query Language (the industry standard database language).  So if MicroConsulting’s current log system is so great, why did we spend thousands of dollars and 3 ½ years to rewrite it?  Customer demand.  The average payables clerk toiling away in the trenches doesn’t care what mechanisms are behind the system they are using.  They just want to get the data in and get the payment vouchers out in the most efficient manner.  Management, however has other needs.  Access to information can be enhanced by the latest database technology.


So we started down the long road to creating the ‘New/Improved’ log system.  The first intended recipient of the system was Georgia Pacific in Portland.  Back then we estimated (un-realistically) that we could convert our system in a single year.  When that didn’t happen and they re-organized their company, they decided to postpone implementation of the new system.  Then Plum Creek in Toledo came to the rescue when they offered to beta test the new system.  While the new system was installed there, the performance was poor and a change in company policy forced them to go with another system.  Back to the drawing board with the ‘new’ system.  The processes in the system that were inefficient were re-written using a SQL technique called ‘stored procedures’, and a new company has come forward to beta test the system, Yakama Forest Products.  They’ve been using the current system for a couple of years and will soon receive the new system to begin parallel testing.  More on that in next month’s newsletter …


So you ask, ‘Why should we use the old system when there is a new one in the wings?’  There are advantages to selecting both systems.  At the most basic level they are the same.  They accept data from a variety of sources like scaling bureau’s, store it in a perpetual inventory, produce the reports/documents necessary to pay vendors, invoice customers and track inventory.  One factor to consider is cost.  The cost of the VB system is over double the cost of the QB (Quick Basic) system.  The hardware requirements of the VB system are higher than that of the QB system.  There is also the added cost of Microsoft’s SQL server software (although some companies may have already purchased it for use with other software packages).  One of the most frequently mentioned benefits of the VB system is ‘free form reporting’.  Programs like ‘Crystal reports’ and ‘Excell’ can also access data in an SQL data base.  This allows an experienced user to ‘query’ the data base and produce reports that are not readily available.  SQL allows you to ask a question like ‘Summarize the volume and cost of logs received this week from vendors paid by the ton, sorting and subtotaling by vendor.’  That same report could be produced from the QB system, but you would have to pay us an initial setup fee to create it.  More on the comparison next month …







































































Contact information


Tom McCormick


2110 12th Ave NE

Olympia, WA 98506-4704


360 705-8322

360 705-8010  (fax)