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Newsletters – January / February / March 2008

Click on a link to any of our recent newsletters, or just scroll down.  Every month there are valuable tips and hints on Microsoft Excel, Maximizer and more!  In Internet Explorer, you can search this page for keywords using Ctrl+F.  On our home page you can search this entire web site.  Click here for the list of ALL Newsletters.

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Newsletter – January 2008

Editorial

All the very best to you for 2008!  According to numerology, this is a year of new beginnings and the results of Polokwane would seem to affirm this.  With rising oil and food prices giving economists a doom and gloom scenario, businesses are being challenged to take a different approach to the way they operate.  We will need to be sure of least-cost vehicle routing for our delivery vans, sales people and technicians.  Perhaps more telephone conferencing instead of flying people into Head Office and also, can we look at keeping all meetings to the point, with faster decision making?

I suspect that exchange rates are going to influence the price of imported software heavily this year.  Isn't it time to look local and support our developers so that they can make an international impact?  Paying for software in Euros and Pounds is an expensive route to go.  Never before has the saying from Friends of the Earth, "Think globally, act locally" been more apposite!

Telesales Position!

We are looking for a telesales person to start immediately – to apply, please send your CV to Judith judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

Free Quote Sheet Revised (Version 2.05)

We have revised our free Quotation Spreadsheet and it now lets you change the currency.  This spreadsheet produces general quotations, and Bills of Materials for manufacturing. You can enter your own price lists in different categories. If you register, the output will be personalized with your company name and details.  Get it from www.softwareafrica.co.za/quotesheet.htm.

To order many other free spreadsheets, visit our free spreadsheets web page.

Excel Tips #49 – Add Useful Features to Your Toolbar

If you frequently Paste Special > Values, or Paste Special > Formats, etc. you can speed up your work by adding these features to your toolbar.  Do the following:

  • Make sure the "Standard" toolbar is visible: Click on the grey area to the right of the Help menu, and on the pop-up menu click "Standard" if it not already ticked.

  • Click again on the grey area to the right of the Help menu, and on the bottom of the pop-up menu click "Customize".

  • The "Customize" dialog box pops up.  On the second tab, "Commands", under Categories on the left. click "Edit".

  • Scroll done in the right-hand list until you see "Paste Formatting" (see illustration >>).

 
  • Drag "Paste Special", "Paste Formatting", "Paste Values" and anything else you use frequently, onto the Standard toolbar, probably best next to the Copy button.

  • Click Close.  The toolbar will look like this when you are finished (new items circled):

 

For plenty more Excel tips, visit softwareafrica.co.za/tips-excel.htm

Remember:  We can Help you with:―

  • Automating your processes with a custom program or database.

  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.

  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).

  • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.

  • Your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
PO Box 987, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685.  Fax: 011 802-4576.  Cell: 082 389-3481/2. E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2008 Communication in Action (Pty) LtdPlease share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.  To unsubscribe, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail from the address to which this newsletter was sent.

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Newsletter – February 2008

Editorial

Suddenly, it's Summer now that we are in February and the temperatures are more like we wanted in January.  However, rainfall has also been good.

For now, Eskom is giving us power except when faults arise and knock out whole suburbs unexpectedly.  The hunt for solutions to powerlessness is on and gaining momentum.  Look at battery backup and solar as the best choices.  Generators require increasingly costly and diminishing oil to fuel them; consequently they are not a long term solution.

Laptops are a solution as they already have batteries that last for up to four hours.  They have saved our productivity during January as our programmers used them when the blackout came.  Put UPSs on all your computer equipment to ensure that you have time to save your work and also to protect them from spikes when the power returns.  You might want to do this for other vulnerable electrical and electronic equipment - think fridges, entertainment centres and TVs.

Solar voltaic is a longer term solution - largely because of the costs.  Start looking at saving up for it and investigating the Eskom subsidies for taking this route.  Gas for cooking is an option.  It also uses less fuel!

Labbie Phase 3

Our Civil Engineering Laboratory  program, Labbie, is now entering Phase 3.  We have added a billing module and a certification module for concrete cubes.  Cube results now go through an approval process and only then can they be printed with the supervisor’s signature.  The new phase also allows results to be e-mailed and faxed to the client.  Please call Rick at 011 802-2685 for a demonstration.

Excel Tips #50 – Using Excel to Produce Data for Other Programs

Excel formulas are very useful to calculate text that you can copy into other programs.

For example, we go walking on the Sandspruit most Sundays (and you are welcome to join us, just phone first).  I want to make up a list of Sundays with their dates to put into an e-mail and on the web site.

Start by entering a Sunday, say 10 Feb, into cell A2.  Press Ctrl+1 to Format Cells.  On the Number tab, choose Custom, and type in the format dddd, d mmmm yyyy – this formats the cell as Sunday, 10 February 2008.

In cell A3, add 7 days by entering the formula: =A2+7.  Excel is clever enough to format this the same as cell A2.

Click on cell A3, grab the little plus sign (+) at the bottom right-hand corner and drag down as far as required.  Your results, ready to copy and paste into any other program, will look like this:

Hike Dates
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Sunday, 2 March 2008

Maximizer 10 Released

This is the latest version of Maximizer and comes in a number of flavours.  Maximizer Entrepreneur will be released in March and is a pure contact manager with a limit of 5 users.  All of the others are already released and start with the Group version - up to 15 users.  All versions include full mobile phone connectivity, including Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile.  Upgrade paths are available and there is a special running until 27th February 2008 on upgrades and new packages.  Please phone Judith to obtain more details or e-mail her on judith@softwareafrica.co.za

Remember:  We can Help you with:―

  • Automating your processes with a custom program or database.

  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.

  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).

  • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.

  • Your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
PO Box 987, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685.  Fax: 011 802-4576.  Cell: 082 389-3481/2. E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2008 Communication in Action (Pty) LtdPlease share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.  To unsubscribe, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail from the address to which this newsletter was sent.

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Newsletter – March 2008

Editorial

This year Easter is early and schools are going on holiday on 20th March.  How is this affecting your business cycle?  With power cuts predicted for this month and after the chaos of January, can you afford to take a break at this time?  How have your moves into Eskom-free power gone?  We have obtained two quotes and now await the bank's recommendation on the matter.

The newly published schedule for future cuts fails in one major aspect - it fails to give real forewarning of the actual cut.

However, a question comes to mind - if a 10% cut in normal usage is being attained or even something close to that - why more cuts?  Why aren't consumers being fed the carrot of no cuts if the target is reached?  Have we actually been told the truth in this matter/  Do either government or Eskom care about the effect on the economy, when, as electricity consumers, we have no alternative supplier to go to at present?

I was pleasantly surprised to see our electricity bill the other day, as I have not been tracking it.  On our property, we run our offices - 7 PCs, 2 printers, ADSL, LAN switch, PABX for the office.  Then we have a boarding facility that accommodates ourselves full-time plus 6 lodgers; a housekeeper, our gardener and his wife and child.  We have a large double oven (seldom used) three fridges and a deep freezer, plus a further cooker and four TVs.  Average summer account is R600.  All water is heated by solar.

In Winter, our account goes up to about R1 000.  Obviously the 14% rise will make a difference.  I do think that solar water heating is more than paying its way on our premises.

Green Tips

When cooking

Once your pot has reached boiling point, turn down the plate to its lowest.  The food will continue to cook and very little power will be used.

When washing up

My worst!  Boil the water if it takes a long time to come hot from your geyser, or use the cold water to fill water bowls for your animals.

Labbie Phase 3 Beta – Quality Control, Billing, Faxing and e-mailing

Our Civil Engineering Laboratory program, Labbie, is in Beta testing for Phase 3.  We have added a billing module and a certification module for concrete cubes.  Cube results now go through an approval process and only then can they be printed, and bear the supervisor's signature.  The new phase also allows results to be e-mailed and faxed to the client.  Please call Rick at 011 802-2685 for a demonstration.

Excel Tips #51 – Using Excel Formulas to Produce Data for Other Programs (II)

This tip is intended to stimulate you into thinking about ways that you can use Excel to do your other work more efficiently, for example by avoiding unnecessary re-typing.

Last time we used a simple formula with formatting to produce a table like this that we could copy into a Word document, an e-mail or a web page:

Hike Dates

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunday, 2 March 2008

This time we will take it a little further.  Staying with our example of Sunday hikes, we walk upstream one weekend and downstream the next.  The easiest way to add this is to use another column on the right, headed "Direction", and in the two cells under this, the two directions.  The trick here is to select both directions, grab the little "+" at the bottom right-hand corner of the selection, and drag it down as far as required.  The two-cell pattern repeats.  Your results should look like this (dates adjusted for the new month):

Hike Dates

 Direction

Sunday, 9 March 2008

 downstream 

Sunday, 16 March 2008

 upstream

Sunday, 23 March 2008

 downstream 

Sunday, 30 March 2008

 upstream

Sunday, 6 April 2008

 downstream 

Sunday, 13 April 2008

 upstream

Maximizer 10 "Entrepreneur" Released

Now released, this is the entry level product with a limit of 5 users.  It includes support for mobile phones and Outlook, and is the ideal tool for tracking customers and suppliers in a small business.  Please phone Judith to obtain more details or e-mail her on judith@softwareafrica.co.za

The Parthian Shot

Will the last person to leave please turn off the compu... oh, never mind, Eskom did it!

Remember:  We can Help you with:―

  • Automating your processes with a custom program or database.
  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.
  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).
  • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
PO Box, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2695, Fax: 802-2685, www.softwareafrica.co.za, E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za.

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2008 Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd.  Please share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.   To unsubscribe, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail from the address to which this newsletter was sent.

 

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