For a successful solution there are several prerequisites.
1. Your Computer
More is better. More powerful CPU, More memory. That said, the software has successfully run on systems with less that 1GB.
Dedicated PC – If you can, run the software on a dedicated PC. It can run minimized to the Systray on your main computer, but you run the real risk of interfering with its operation.
You may have a spare computer that can be set to run the software. Minimum OS requirement in Windows XP Home. Recommend 2GB of memory.
Several clients have gone out and purchased new PCs just to run the software. Especially if you have more than one company.
Multi Account clients will need a dedicated PC.
This is critical to success. Running on your laptop over a wireless LAN is going to be a disappointing experience. You may actually get the occasional order, but it is not going to be a routine event
You really have no other option but to use a wired network unless you are in an area that has little competitive activity.
The software log allows you to review see what kind of performance you are achieving. Some sites are overloaded during the day, and there is a measurable difference in performance between peak day time hours and the middle of the night.
For any given settings you can compare performance at peak times with performance at quiet times. The difference between the two is due to web server performance.
This is where you get the right software :)
Settings will usually be site specific. Some latitude is allowed for you to implement your own ideas about what it appropriate.
5. First come, first served
Manage your expectations, the solutions work. But not every order that you may see has your name on it. The first person to see an order and accept, usually gets it. If processing on the server is slow, there is a small window of time, where the web server still shows the order as available. In heavy traffic conditions, this can be a couple of seconds.
Understanding how and why these misses happen will hopefully reduce the frustration felt at seeing these misses. Consider also, that every order you get does the same to others.