I needed a smarter, larger capacity postage scale and I had been using a small Pelouze PS2R1-P. It worked ok, but did not have the capacity for anything over 2lbs. Unfortunately, my new book weighs over 3 lbs. The first “postage” scale I bought (at OfficeMax in Woodinville, WA) was a Pelouze PE10—which has a 10 lb. capacity. I got this back to the office only to discover that the PE10 was not a postage scale—it was just a scale. Once you knew the weight, you were still required to work through the rate sheets of each carrier you wanted to use.
I took it back after having done some additional research. My next choice was the PS20DL. This 20lb scale supported several carriers (including USPS, FedEx, Airborne and UPS) but I didn’t discover that it does not know how to figure “media” mail that’s used to send books or other media. Sigh.
Ok, so now I had to download the rates into the scale. This got to be a nightmare of insanity. First, the documentation is not at all clear about how to download anything—it just says to go to the www.pelouze.com site. What you’re really supposed to do is click on “Downloadable Scales” as if you wanted to buy one. Note that the documentation for the scales is not available on the site—they only provide a single page of specifications. Once at the right URL, you’re asked to register the scale (provide the serial number etc.). This takes you to the beginning of a rather convoluted path of steps that:
* Downloads and installs a license.
* Downloads and installs the rates
* Downloads and installs the Pelouze application
All of these steps are complicated by the amateurish screens and prompts. It all looks like a first-time developer wrote it all. There are dialog positioning problems and a litany of other issues. Unfortunately, the
application did not work once installed. I called their customer support people (via 877 number) and after a brief hold, was told to repeat the process again (I did) on at least three occasions. All in all, I talked to at least four
different support engineers. As the application was being uninstalled, I noticed that it was referencing the MSHFlexGrid—a Visual Basic 6.0 DLL.
Interesting. After some considerable time (over two hours), I was able to figure out what was going wrong. It seems that the application was installing software one place but registering the DLLs elsewhere. I discovered this by accident when I was told to install the scale reset utility. This was clearly a 1.1 Framework application. It installed all of its executables on d:\program files\pelouze. Even more interesting. When I copied all of the license and rate files from C:\program files\pelouze to D:, both the scale reset and the scale
set rates program worked fine.
I spoke to the senior support engineer for some time as we worked out this issue. She says they have lots of problems with this software. While I can’t mention the word she used, she did say that the Pelouze company had just been purchased (by Newell/Rubbermaid/Sanford) and the software was in
shambles. I offered to help them fix it—or find someone who could.