TimePilot Tips

Q. Can my employees check their work hours on the Vetro clock?

A. Yes, if you’re running in Network Mode. (Network Mode means that your clock is connected to your network and the Vetro Data Manager is running.)

Here’s how: When the employee punches in their four-digit ID code, their name and accumulated work hours for the current workweek are  displayed on the clock’s screen. Every employee was assigned a four-digit code when they were set up in TimePilot Central, even if they only use an iButton to clock in and out. To find an employee’s code, open their Employee Profile (TimePilot Central  > Setup Menu > Profile Setup > Edit Profile). The code will be labeled “User ID.”   

Q. Why do I need to update my TimePilot software? And how can I do it if my computer is not connected to the internet?

A. Updates are a fact of life. Software is becoming so complex (the TimePilot software alone has more than 500,000 lines of code) that virtually every reputable software company—from Microsoft to TimePilot—issues updates to their software. In fact, Microsoft has something called Patch Tuesday: it issues security updates to its software on the first Tuesday of every month.

TimePilot’s updates occur less often, and have included adding features requested by customers, making changes based on customer suggestions and correcting tiny errors that might affect just a few users. In fact, if you call or e-mail TimePilot for support, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is if you’ve updated your software.

Some TimePilot customers don’t connect their computers to the internet in an attempt to keep their PCs secure. That’s fine, but it’s still important to keep your TimePilot software updated. Here’s how:

  1. At a computer that has internet access, go to this page on the TimePilot web site: http://www.timepilot.
  2. Complete the short form, then click “Submit.”
  3. You’ll be taken to a page with a list of updates and programs that you can download. Click the button to download the TimePilot IV Central Update. Save the program to your desktop.
  4. Next, download the update to the product you use (TimePilot Extreme, TimePilot PC, TimePilot Vetro, etc.) and save it to your desktop.
  5. Copy the saved programs from your desktop to a USB drive or burn it to a CD.
  6. Use the USB drive or CD to deliver the updates to your computer running TimePilot. 
TimePilot newsletter No. 5

Whether you're a current or future TimePilot customer, we're glad to see you.

Every month we'll offer news about TimePilot products tips on how to use them more efficiently, some of the "cool stuff" our employees have come across and a special deal available only to those who receive this newsletter!

Power play

Let’s talk about power. The kind that comes from an electrical outlet. Every once in a while, you’re going to lose power—whether it’s from a lightning strike or a downed wire. If you’re running TimePilot Extreme, it’s no problem—Extreme is battery powered.

But what happens if you’re running TimePilot Vetro, which gets its power from an electrical outlet?

First, and most important: Any clock-ins or clock-outs collected by Vetro are safe. Power or no power, it doesn’t matter. The same goes for your employee setup information. It’s all safe.

However, when power is lost, the clocks will lose their date and time settings and will have to be reset when power returns. This process is automatic if you’re using your Vetro in Network Mode; if you’re using your Vetro in Standalone Mode, you’ll need to reset the date and time before employees can clock in or out.  

For more, see below:

Clocks in Standalone Mode

If your Vetro runs in Standalone Mode–that is, not connected to a network–all the data is retained in the clock’s memory. It’s called “non-volatile memory,” which means that if power is lost, it continues to “remember."

When power comes back up, the clock will ask you to reset the date and time. After all, the clock can’t tell how long it hasn’t had power. To do that, enter your administrative password on the clock and follow the instructions that appear on Vetro’s screen. Please note that employees can’t clock in until the date and time are reset.

Will that be a problem at your company? There is a solution.

It’s called an “Uninterruptible Power Supply”–also known as a UPS.

You’ll plug the UPS box into an electrical outlet and plug the Vetro into the UPS. The UPS contains a battery, a sensor that detects if you’ve had a power outage and several power outlets. Many also include a surge suppressor, a device the Vetro User Manual suggests you use to protect your system.  

If you have a blackout, the box instantly switches you to battery power. When your electrical utility restores service, the UPS reverts to power from the outlet and recharges the battery. With a UPS, the Vetro remains available to employees for clocking in and clocking out.

UPS systems start at around $80. Even an inexpensive system should be able to power the Vetro for several hours.

Clocks in Network Mode

If your Vetro runs in Network Mode–it’s connected to a local area network–your data and employee setup information also is perfectly safe. If you were running the Vetro Data Manager on your PC, the clock had a “live” connection to the network and every clock-in and clock-out was instantly transferred to your hard drive or server. When the power comes back up, the Data Manager will reset the time and date automatically.

If you weren’t running Vetro Data Manager at the time of the power outage, the data is safely stored in the clock. When power comes back up, start Vetro Data Manager. It will automatically reset the date and time on the clock and download the clock-in and clock-out data to your hard drive or server.

If you want to avoid system downtime altogether, the UPS solution described above would work here, too. See the previous section for details.

This month’s special offer
to TimePilot customers:

10% off
TimePilot Extreme Starter Kits
and individual Extreme clocks!

To get the discount, click here, visit www.TimePilot.com/newsletter/newsletter4.htm or call us at 1-630-879-6400.

Every once in a while, our employees come across “cool stuff.”
This is where they share their finds.

What’s that thing on the right? It looks like somebody spilled ink on my screen!

Don’t worry—it’s called a QR Code, and it’s the latest thing in marketing. You’ve probably seen them in magazines or at stores. If you’ve been in Chicago lately, there’s a billboard-sized one at Clark and Harrison Streets.

If you’ve got a smartphone—iPhone, Android or Windows—you can use them. An app on your phone uses the phone’s camera to scan the code, and your phone immediately displays a web site or a YouTube video. Companies use them to drive traffic to their web sites or to provide more product information.

For instance, a QR code on a package can direct the smartphone user to a YouTube video giving more details about the product. The billboard in Chicago offers a daily deal at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood—one day it’s shrimp tacos, another day it’s 57% off pizza and beer.

A QR Code is essentially a two-dimensional bar code, and because it scans horizontally and vertically, it can carry more than 200 times the amount of information a traditional bar code can carry. It also can be in color, unlike a regular bar code.

How do you get a QR code for your business? There are lots of web sites that will generate a QR code for you. One free one is here: http://www.qrstuff.com/

Need an app for your smartphone to read QR codes? Just search for “QR code” at your app store and you’ll find dozens of different ones. Here at TimePilot, we like NeoReader for the iPhone and Bar Code Scanner by ZXing Team for the Android.

(Try scanning the code that accompanies this story!)