Minimal Point-Of-Sale (POS) system for Atari ST in HiSoft BASIC
I am an old bicycle tech (not a software guru) running a small bicycle repair shop.
For several years I used an overpriced and overfeatured commercial POS package under Windows. Having played around with GFA-Basic during the Atari heydays, I decided early 2020 to code something that does what I need and nothing more.
Did an early version in Windows QB64. I wanted it to look like a TOS program, so I used the black Atari font on a white background.
That made me realize nothing beats the real thing. Dug out my old MagiC-PC software (an excellent multi-tasking Atari-ST emulator dating from 1996) only to find out that nor the original GFA-Basic, nor its semi-official successor GBE*, will run properly under MagiC. However, the (equally excellent) HiSoft BASIC 2.1 from 1993 does work without any problems. That was my weapon of choice to create MINIPOS.TOS.
I have been using the MINIPOS program since mid-2020 on a daily basis. Definitely not bug-free, but certainly useable. Maybe it's of some use to someone.
The binary directory contains the most recent MINIPOS.TOS. It requires the included directories DATA, RECEIPTS and TOOLS.
The DATA directory contains sample files needed by the program.
Receipts will be stored in the RECEIPTS directory. TOOLS contains a helper program (GAPFTP).
The program should run on any Atari (or Atari emulator) that can display 80x25 chars in 4 colours. You will need an internet connection to use the sms functionality (see below).
Basically, the program prints receipts in plain ASCII to your default printer. Receipts have a width of 30 characters. Works best with a thermal 58mm POS printer and a monospaced font. I use the cheap XP58 from Xprinter. Any printer will do if you can set the margins and feed it the right (endless) paper size.
The program maintains a customer base and a product base from which you choose what will be printed. The required files are stored in the DATA directory:
- CUSTOMER.TXT - name and phone number of your customers
- DATABASE.TXT - sales history
- HEADER.TXT - the header for your receipts
- LAST.TXT - last receipt number
- LOGO.TXT - your logo in 5x80 ASCII to be displayed on the home screen
- MINIPOS.CFG - tax, currency and language configuration (see the file for details)
- MTOTAL.TXT - monthly sales totals (summary displayed on home screen)
- PARK.TXT - parked sales
- PAYMENT.TXT - available payment methods
- PRODUCT.TXT - name and price (including tax) of your products
- REMARK.TXT - your remarks for each sale (if any)
If you put a sale on hold (by choosing PARK in payment methods), you will have the opportunity to send an SMS to your customer. The SMS text can be configured in MINIPOS.CFG. At this point the SMS will be sent through my pre-configured gateway. You can try it if you like, there are plenty of free sms's left.
Latest version can do digital receipt to customer. Well, all the program does is send the receipt plus phone number to my home server. A script on the server converts the receipt to pdf, gives it a unique name and sends the customer an sms with a download link. Looks professional but is just homebrew. It all happens when you press Link in the receipt routine.
To compile the source you will need HiSoft BASIC 2.1 for Atari with the NETWORLD library (for talking to the internet).
HiSoft BASIC 2.1 was released in 1993. In 1999 the additional ENCHANT library was released, which contains NETWORLD.
An excellent online resource for anything related to BASIC on Atari is dev-docs.org. Search for HiSoft and you will also find the (scanned) HiSoft BASIC manuals.
Since HiSoft BASIC is similar to QBASIC, it will be relatively easy to port the source to the modern QB64 compiler (for Windows/Linux).
MagiC and ARAnyM behave differently in (not) displaying the cursor. Until I find a workaround, the latest version is optimized for MagiC.
Contact me by reporting an issue. I will get back to you soon.
I'm releasing this under the GNU General Public License 3.0-or-later. In short this means you can do what you like with it, as long as you don't ask money for it. See the file COPYING for details.
* Update 04-01-2021: The latest version 3.70 of GBE runs smoothly under MagiC.