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01/01/2008 - Triangle Welcomes Alt29

Alt29, Design Internet Technology is the new name for venerable Interlink Advantage. Alt29 (pronounced Alt, two, nine) is the only company in the Inland Northwest that combines Design (print and digital), Internet (Web design, connectivity, Web hosting), and Technology (computer and network services, out-sourced IT, software design and programming) all under one roof, according to Tim Chapman, president and general manager. Although the new name, Alt29 harks back to DOS keystrokes, where alt + 2 + 9 produced the two sided arrow that is part of their new name, the primary intent was to have a name that would be short, concise, and could be easily remembered – causing the public to think of them anytime they heard the name.

Along with the new name, Alt29 has diversified into print design to complement its existing activities: Web site design and development, database development and management, dedicated hosting, shared hosting, Internet connectivity, network system design and out-sourced IT services, and e-commerce solutions. They are now a “one-stop” design firm combining in-depth technical knowledge with visual, printed art.

Alt29’s technical depth is exemplified by a new point-of-sale (POS) system, called Apice (a pea chay), which they developed from conception through beta to release, in just six months. The new POS was developed especially for the “meal maker” (meals-to-go to be finished at home) industry blossoming across the United States. The first POS client, a Washington-based multi-store franchise operation, is now using the system in many of its stores across the U. S. and Canada.

To order food items from home, the meal purchaser logs into the Web site, selects their menu items, opts for either pick-up or a preparation session, and schedules the time. Apice calculates the fee, and either accepts the payment or schedules a later payment. Upon completion of the order, the purchaser is sent an e-mail confirmation.

The merchant’s end of the POS is more complex. The POS system is a fully functional, Web enabled system that requires broadband connectivity and the Internet to function. Fail-safes are built into the system. The merchant’s database is stored remotely – either on the Apice servers at Alt29 or on the merchant’s own network fileserver. Each individual store location has its own POS terminal that is tied into the Web-based system and the merchant credit card processing network. If a store’s Internet connection goes down, the POS system remains undamaged and working. In addition, the POS software has a series of scheduling tools and standard financial reports built into it. It can open the cash drawer, process credit cards, and print receipts, schedule sessions and order pick-up times, manage products, etc. via its built-in touch-screen display. Because it is Internet based, Apice allows on-line customers to place orders 24 hours a day.

Apice comes as a total hardware/software system through Alt29. They have recently signed a resale agreement with Toshiba TEC Corp. to begin bundling the Apice software along with Toshiba’s ST-A10 Series of touch-screen-based POS terminals, offering solid-state reliability in a compact, industrial-grade chassis. It contains the Apice software, Toshiba POS terminal, credit card swipe, receipt printer, cash drawer and Web site.

Although the first POS system was created for the meal maker industry, it is readily customized to any industry. Built on an underlying general POS engine developed by Alt29, using C#, a new graphical user interface can be created especially for another industry, and reports modified to meet the needs of that industry.

Like all commercial Internet based systems, reliable Internet connectivity is a must. Alt29’s connectivity is via double entry OC-12 fiber connection configured on a SONET ring. To insure uninterrupted service for their customers, Alt29 has both backup batteries and a natural gas fired generator in case of power failure. The generator can even be switched to propane if the natural gas fails. Because they are on a SONET ring, if a cable is dug up in the street, they have a second entry. For even more redundancy, Interlink has additional above ground T-1 lines. Alt29 also offers 24 x 7 on-site technicians who will keep the servers running even at 3:00 am.

For more information about Alt29 Design Internet Technology, visit

Billie Moreland
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