NPD Update 3.53 (04/15/02) by Acorn Data Systems

New Release Adds Features To Make You More Productive


New Key Features:

·         Quicker, easier online access to your files at The Washington Post.

·         Instant reporting on accounts with differences that impact service.

·         Direct link to Washington Post Distributor Service web page.

·         Address Update (CASS) now easier to use. The CASS form is now part of your hard drive (so you no longer have to hunt for you paper copies).


What’s on this NPD CD?

·         New NPD Installation—to install NPD on a new computer.

·         NPD Update—to update NPD with the latest features on your current computer.

·         AcornFTP—to update earlier version of AcornFTP.

·         Adobe© Acrobat Reader 5.0—the latest upgrade for reading PDF files.

You may install any of the four applications on this CD that you need. It is redundant to run both the NPD Update and the New NPD Installation. The New NPD Installation and the AcornFTP may restart your computer.


Save This CD

In the event that you buy a new computer in the future, you can use this CD to install the most recent NPD version. If you have an Internet connection and want to take full advantage of it to manage your business, we encourage you to install AcornFTP if you have not already done so. The best way to download a new version of NPD online is to use the Download NPD Update button in NPD Tools. (The password is update, all in lower case.)


Modifications and Buttons to Look for on NPD 3.53:

1.       AcornFTP has been revised. The new version is 1.5 build 04/06/2002. You should re-install AcornFTP from the CD to update to the new version.

2.       The Daily Transaction Processing in Washington Post Online now has an option to omit transactions that are only Office Pay payments or debits/credits.

3.       A new Key Differences report that only displays accounts with differences that impact service has been added to the Washington Post Online feature.

4.       The Address Update (CASS) function on your Address Switchboard has been upgraded. The FTP method of sending the Address Export to Acorn and for receiving it from Acorn is easier to use. When you import the updated addresses, the CASS form is automatically saved on your hard drive for easy printing. No more looking for that form for your next billing.

You can now use the Print Address Update Documents button on the Address Switchboard to view or print the following documents: CASS form, Error Report, Acorn Invoice and the Read Me file. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (included in this CD) to view and print these documents.

5.       We have added two new buttons to the Washington Post Online switchboard:

·         One button opens the Washington Post Distributor Services web page. The Washington Post Distributor Services web page requires a User Name and a Password. Both are supplied by the Washington Post once you are on Central Records.

·         The other button takes you to the Acorn Data web site and opens our NPD Technical Note for the Washington Post Online feature, which has detailed information to help you use Washington Post Online.

6.       The Subscriber List (Subscriber Switchboard) now includes the PAN.

7.       You can now easily code and identify customers not covered by Central Records with the new option button, Not Home Delivery, on the Edit Subscriber screen found though the Subscriber Switchboard.

·         These customers are excluded from the reconciliation and from the Agent to Post file. You can locate these customers in your database by developing a filter that will search your database for you. Go to the Select Codes area under Develop Filter to create your filter.

8.       The Good Start Status Report now includes the PAN, and indicates when there is nothing to print.

9.       The Good Start help now works with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

10.   You can now reach the Acorn Data web page through a button on the Main Switchboard.

11.   The EMAIL option for the Export for Address Update has been removed because the FTP option works much better. So if you haven’t installed AcornFTP, you should.

12.   During startup, NPD automatically checks to ensure that you are not running an older version of NPD than your database. Downgrading to an older version of NPD can damage your database. This upgrade avoids that problem.

13.   In NPD Tools, an attempt to restore from a backup more that 5 days old will generate a warning. You can still restore from the old backup.

Backup Reminder: You should be backing up your work to alternate floppies, ZIP disks or CDs every day. Do not reuse the same floppy, ZIP or CD each day because, if there is an error, it could override all your data and you may end up with nothing to fall back on!

·         Effective May 1, 2002, the Acorn Data fee to recover from a problem when you lack adequate or reasonable backups begins at $200.

14.   NPD Tools now has a Download File from Dropbox button to download special files from the Acorn Data web site. For expediency reasons, you occasionally may be asked to use this feature.

15.   Substitute Carriers now override Permanent Substitute Carriers.

16.   The Cash Receipts Detail report now displays all six digits of the account number. (Until now, it only reported the first five digits, but no one reported it to me! Please report any glitches you may discover by contacting me by phone or email.)


Earl O. Merrill

Acorn Data Systems, Inc. 410-997-0187

Acorn Data Systems, Inc.


FYI: Tips that will make your work a little easier

1.       Passwords:  The password to download a NPD update from NPD Tools is update. The password to FTP an Export for Address Check is earl.

2.       Central Records:  The Washington Post is moving forward with its Central Records project and providing more customer service online. We suggest that you become proficient in basic email and web browser functions, if you are not already.

3.       When to Call Acorn Data:  The best time to call with problems or questions is Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., or between 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Please limit calls at other times to emergencies only.

4.       Higher Screen Resolution:  In the near future, NPD will be supporting 800x600, or higher, resolution so your screens are easier to read. At that time, NPD will no longer be supporting the older 640x480 resolution. If you still use the 640x480 resolution, call Earl Merrill to discuss.

5.       Be Safe, Back Up Your Work:  Use the Backup on Normal Exit option on the Main Switchboard to automatically back up your work on NPD. This feature is not a replacement for external backups (you should continue to do that), but it is a convenient way to restore your database.

6.       Keep Up to Date, Get on My Email List:  Stay informed of updates, tips and other valuable information. If you are not already on my email list, send an email to Include your name and area number. Also, remember to notify me of any changes to your address, phone or email.

7.       Payments via PayPal:  You can make quick, secure Visa/Master Charge payments to Acorn with PayPal. PayPal is reputable and a free service. It provides the credit card service for eBay and several other web sites. To join PayPal, visit NPD at and go to the NPD eStore page which has a link to PayPal. After you have joined, you must return to NPD eStore to enter your payment.

8.       Make your own Acrobat Reader PDF files for only $35.00:  Dane Prairie Systems ( offers an inexpensive alternative for creating easy-to-compose (and great for emailing) PDF files for Windows 2000 and XP. Create PDF files of drop lists or serve reports and then email them to your drivers, carriers, etc. They are easy to create, as easy as printing a document. The software costs only a fraction of what the Adobe product at $249 sells for. The reader part is free and included on this NPD CD. Sorry, the Dane Prairie solution does not work under Windows 95/98/ME.

9.      Keep Track of Your Updates:  You may want to consider keeping this and previous NPD updates in a three ring binder for easy reference.


Earl O. Merrill

Acorn Data Systems, Inc. 410-997-0187