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Newsletters – October / November / December 2009

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.  Below and on our home page you can search this entire web site.  Click here for the list of ALL Newsletters.

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Newsletter – October 2009

Editorial

The birds are singing, the trees and gardens are alive with new leaves and flowers.  It's not just nature that is awakening, but business as well. We have weathered the economic storm and economists are pressing for a different take on Eskom's problems. The latter is essential if we are to see a greater balance between rich and poor and economic growth.

As the most blessed country in the world for solar power, now is the time to convert to solar geysers and to start putting money away for solar voltaic.  As more of us move in this direction, we will free ourselves of Eskom's bad planning – it seems they failed to and thus planned to fail!.  As we create a bigger market for the Solar companies, prices will come down.  Remember – it looks expensive initially, however once you have it, no more Eskom and a cost recovery within 5 - 10 years!  Even more, your business can run when we have "rolling blackouts".

The best news: Rosie has produced 9 live new potential guide dogs! Two girls and seven boys with three yellow pups and the rest black, healthy and raring to go!

Short Courses in PowerPoint, Excel and Word

Judith will be offering one day courses at Entrepreneur.co.za starting with Outlook on the 27th October.  She is also happy to come on site and do focussed training for you and your staff to increase skills in these key packages.  In the New Year, a Windows course will be added together with QuickBooks and a Business Law explained for non-lawyers.  Please ring Khanya for details on (011) 802-2685

dotPLOT 5009 Released

dotPLOT is the high-speed South African program to create graphical soil profiles, core logs and borehole logs on PDF from a simple text file.  The latest version has extra licensing options: A network license (as many concurrent users as you want), and the ability to license on a USB flash drive of your own, making it portable.  Licensing can now be done by e-mail, so there is no more waiting for a dongle to arrive by courier. Read more about dotPLOT or download the upgrade here.

Licensing for the Windows interface, called HotPlot, is now integrated with dotPLOT: You can test a fully-functional HotPlot, and it will run dotPLOT as a Demo until licensed.  The price of HotPlot will be going up at the end of October, so now is a good time to try it out.   Read more about HotPlot and download it here.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends in Soils and Engineering Geology.

Entrepreneur.co.za – Are you serious about business success?

Entrepreneur.co.za is not just for people in business for themselves.  It is for anyone who wants to succeed.  If you could access sales training, courses on business savvy, on goal setting etc. for just R224 inc. VAT a month – would it be worth your while?  Well, that is what is offered and to join the well-named Success Club, just click on this link and sign up

Introduction to QuickBooks, the Easy Accounting Program

Judith will be running "An Introduction to Accounting using QuickBooks" at the Entrepreneur Centre above the Rivonia Spur from January onwards. For personalised training and assistance with setting up QuickBooks at your premises, please phone us for pricing..  Contact Judith or Khanya on 011 802 2685 to set up an appointment!

Green Tip

See the Editorial above as well as join us for walks on a truly beautiful river –the Sandspruit– on Sunday mornings.  We leave from 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside at 08:00 and have lots of safe parking.  Socialised dogs and children are welcome.  We have set up the Save Our Sandspruit group to make sure that polluters pay and clean up the river, plus we want to start regular river clean-ups.

Judith is available to address groups on the looming water crisis.  Her presentation takes about 30 minutes with extra time for questions.  Please phone to book her and to obtain costs.  We want to set up a Schools' competition for caring for the river and need a sponsor/s.

Maximizer CRM Special until end October - power up your sales for 2010!

Now is the time to gear up for 2010 and this Maximizer special enables you to purchase a 5 user Group Edition, have it installed, configured and your users trained on it for R50 000 plus VAT.  Get your top sales people focussed and raring to go with this easy-to-implement sales tool that also supports your customer service and marketing teams.  Move into simple and effective campaigns to market your products and services without having to utilise list-management companies!

In addition, keep your sales people out in front of customers connecting via their Blackberries to keep you up to date with their results in the field.  Trim costs by everyone going straight to meetings instead of coming into the office to collect new appointments and update their diaries!

What's the Catch?

There's no catch!. 

What's the Benefit?

Put you 2010 sales targets into crystal clear plans and start working to achieve those targets right now!   Utilise Campaign Manager to start effective marketing campaigns via e-mail, fax and letters to target your niche markets.

Ring now for a full quote on this outstanding offer!

Judith (011) 802 2685 or e-mail her on judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

Excel Tip #70 – Printing Secrets: Adjusting Margins in Preview

When you preview a spreadsheet, you can click the Setup button and go and fiddle with the margin measurements.  However there is a simpler way: In Print Preview, click the Margins button:  The preview will show grey lines where the margins are located.  You can grab these margin lines and drag them to a new position to enlarge or reduce your margins.

There are two horizontal  margins at the top and bottom of the sheet.  One is the top (or bottom) margin, the other is the header (or footer) margin.   The top and bottom margin is the distance from the edge of the sheet to the text.  The header and footer margin is the distance from the edge of the sheet to the header or footer.  You can change the one without affecting the other, but a header or footer margin larger than the corresponding top or bottom margin will cause your header or footer's text to print over the spreadsheet!

Understanding Engineers – Take Seven

Normal people believe that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Engineers believe that "if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet".

(we learn this the hard way when we add a new software feature and it breaks a previous one!)

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:―

  • Automating your in-house 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).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting 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

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2009 Communication in Action.  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.

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Newsletter – November 2009

Editorial

So we are approaching the silly season again!  How is it that South Africa closes from mid-December until mid-January (with some businesses closing for even longer periods), when we need to raise productivity and recover from a self-imposed recession?  There is a startling lack of logic in this behaviour.

Two recent conferences raised my awareness of the parlous state of our water and sanitation infrastructure throughout the country.  South Africa is rapidly approaching a crisis of water scarcity as demand threatens to be 30% more than supply.  As water is a finite resource, we have to act on this matter to rethink how we are using it.  Inappropriate sanitation solutions are also polluting what resources we do have.  On Sunday I learnt all about the reasons why the VIP latrines are a disaster of major proportions.  The upkeep of them is one of the dirtiest jobs around, IF (and it is a real IF) people can even get to them to empty them regularly.

Short Courses in PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel and Word at Entrepreneur.co.za

In the New Year, a Windows course will be added together with QuickBooks and a Business Law explained for non-lawyers.  Please ring Khanya for details on (011) 802-2685

dotPLOT 5010 Released

There's a new version of dotPLOT, the African standard for graphical soil profiles and borehole logs.  This version has all the prompts and messages translated into Afrikaans, and works even more seamlessly with HotPlot. Read more about dotPLOT or download the upgrade here.

The price of the Windows interface, HotPlot, has now gone up to R500 + VAT from the introductory offer of R200 as we warned you last month.  What, you missed it?  All right: Reply to this newsletter and pay within a week and you can have it for half price!  Deal?   Read more about HotPlot and download it here.

Entrepreneur.co.za – Are you serious about business success?

Entrepreneur.co.za is not just for people in business for themselves.  It is for anyone who wants to succeed.  This month there is an emphasise on purchasing from each other and growing the members' businesses.  Sound like a good idea?  Well, that is what is offered and to join the well-named Success Club, just click on this link and sign up

Introduction to QuickBooks, the Easy Accounting Program

Judith will be running "An Introduction to Accounting using QuickBooks" at the Entrepreneur Centre above the Rivonia Spur from January onwards. For personalised training and assistance with setting up QuickBooks at your premises, please phone us for pricing..  Contact Judith or Khanya on 011 802 2685 to set up an appointment!

Green Tip

Does it sound environmentally friendly to avoid your new puppy chewing up your furniture, Persian rugs, etc.?  It will certainly be more friendly to your environment!  Here's the tip: Create a puppy toy box.  A small cardboard or wooden box will do, such as a shoe box or five-ream paper box.  Place it prominently in the house.  Put all the puppy toys you can find into it: Suitable toys are tennis balls, other balls, a pine cone, wooden blocks, rope, a kong (almost indestructible hard rubber chew toy available from Vets), and a wooden "bone".  When puppy is found chewing anything she is not supposed to, tell her off, then take her to her toy box and offer her one of her toys.  Praise her when she takes it or you find that she has taken a toy on her own accord.  PS: Watch where you walk!

Judith is available to address groups on the looming water crisis.  Her presentation takes about 30 minutes with extra time for questions.  Please phone to book her and to obtain costs.  We want to set up a Schools' competition for caring for the river and need a sponsor/s.

Maximizer CRM - power up your sales for 2010!

Imagine regular feedback coming to your CRM via your sales people's cell phones as they call on customers!  Well with Maximizer's wireless server for Windows, Smart and Blackberry phones, this can be made a reality.  As the phones synchronise, new appointments can be sent out to the users, contact updates made, meaning that they and you are on top of your sales cycle.

This means you can plan more accurately.

What's the Benefit?

Put you 2010 sales targets into crystal clear plans and start working to achieve those targets right now!   Utilise Campaign Manager to start effective marketing campaigns via e-mail, fax and letters to target your niche markets.

Ring now for a full quote on this outstanding offer!

Judith (011) 802 2685 or e-mail her on judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

Legal Contracts just where you want them!

There is a website which offers you South African legal documents and keeps them up to date!  Please click here to go to agreementsonline to see what they offer!

Excel Tip #71 – Printing Secrets: Adjusting Column Widths in Preview

Did you know?  When you preview a spreadsheet, you can change the column widths without having to go out of Preview: In Print Preview, click the Margins button:  The preview will show black squares at the top of the page corresponding to the column edges.  You can grab these boxes and drag them left or right to change your column widths:

Understanding Engineers – Take Eight

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to have a wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed having a mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like to have both."
"Both?"
"Yes. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:―

  • Automating your in-house 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).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting 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

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2009 Communication in Action.  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.

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NewsletterDecember 2009

Editorial

This is our holiday edition!  Next year will see some changes in the format of the newsletter.  We will have a separate one on Maximizer issues and only run specials in the main newsletter.  Software Africa Engineering will carry updates and information on engineering solutions.  Software Africa Training will cover the courses we are offering and when they are happening. Then this newsletter will carry information on product specials; the Excel tip; the Green Tip; Positions Vacant and links to worthwhile websites like Entrepreneur.co.za and agreementsonline.co.za.

With the Festive Season coming rapidly upon us all, we can look back on the past year as being one that has challenged everyone in the country.  We have had to deal with many fears; have proved the recession true by making it so and yet many small businesses have also proved resilient.  Newly tempered to a focussed purpose, we can look forward to 2010, knowing that we have grown from this tempering.

On 28 November, Judith attended a Sales Partner's workshop - "Income Explosion".  What an experience!  Both she and Rick can thoroughly recommend attending it.  The next one will be at Entrepreneur.co.za on 26th January 2010.  Go to the web site and look at booking your team on it and exploding your sales in 2010!

Finally, the Software Africa team wishes you and your team all the very best for 2010.  Thank you for the business that you have given us during 2009!  Have a wonderful Festive Season, travel safely and return refreshed and glowing!

Short Courses at Entrepreneur.co.za

These will include Windows, Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Presentations, QuickBooks and a Business Law explained for non-lawyers.  Please ring Khanya for details on (011) 802-2685

Special Presentation on 18th January 2010 at Entrepreneur.co.za

Judith will be presenting "Raising the Bar – Using Software effectively" starting at 15:30 and finishing at 18:00.  Bring your laptop along so that she assist you in solving problems, as well as providing you with some tools to make using Microsoft Office a pleasure!  There is no charge for this presentation - however please book with Khanya (011) 802-2685 to ensure that there is a place for you.

Newsletter for the Serious Shopper

As a bit of a hobby arising out of a desire to give people useful information, Rick has developed the world's largest and most detailed web site of shops, restaurants and other businesses in Woodmead, Rivonia, Morningside, Morningside Manor, Gallo Manor and now, Wendywood, at www.megaplex.co.za.  We have now launched a monthly e-newsletter, "Shopping in Morningside, Rivonia and Woodmead", that alerts the Sandton shopper to all that is new, fresh, and exciting in the area.  We aim to bring the reader the best bargains, the most interesting restaurants, the liveliest shops, together with the usual weak humour. It's also a good place to advertise.  To see the November issue and subscribe, click here.

Entrepreneur.co.za – Are you serious about business success?

Their year ended on Monday 30th November with a buffet and drinks party.  All the Success Club Members present had the opportunity to present their businesses and practise elevator pitches in doing so.  A lot of good networking took place and, I am sure, business will follow out it.  Would this benefit you?  Then click on this link and sign up

Introduction to QuickBooks, the Easy Accounting Program

Judith will be running "An Introduction to Accounting using QuickBooks" at the Entrepreneur Centre above the Rivonia Spur from January onwards. For personalised training and assistance with setting up QuickBooks at your premises, please phone us for pricing..  Dates and times for this course will be published in the January newsletter.  Contact Judith or Khanya on 011 802 2685 to set up an appointment!

Green Tip

This year's Copenhagen Climate Talks are potentially the world's last chance to secure an emissions reductions agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol before it expires.  We need to make our voices heard. 

Earthlife Africa Jhb, Climate Justice Now! (South Africa Chapter) and Well Worn Theatre are organizing a week of activism and protest from the 7th to the 12th of December 2009. There will be film and documentary screenings all week from Soweto to Observatory followed by discussions and Movement Building for the GDA on the 12th. A Die-In will be held outside SASOL's monstrous polluting plant in Sasolburg on Wednesday the 9th December.  A Candlelight Vigil will also take place outside the US Consulate on Friday 11th December and then the week's activities will culminate in a jaw-dropping Mock Funeral Procession, a rally and mass Die-In outside the Gauteng Legislature on Rissik Street at 10am on the 12th December. The message behind this is that, if our leaders don't do the right thing in Copenhagen, we are pretty much doomed. Depressing, but true.  

So, please join us for some or all of the activities as Johannesburg adds its voice to the cry for Climate Justice Now!  Go to Earthlife Africa Jhb and then click MORE (more…).

Maximizer CRM - power up your sales for 2010!

Already have Maximizer but feel rusty around using it?  Want a motivated, shining team raring to go in 2010?  Then call us and book an interactive user course.

For January, we are offering this for you and your team at a special price of R5 700 inclusive of VAT for the day's training.  We take up to 6 people per course and run it at your premises

Ring now to book!

Judith (011) 802 2685 or e-mail her on judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

Legal Contracts just where you want them!

Just setting up a partnership agreement?  Employing new staff and want the right contract?  Frightened of high legal fees?  Then Agreementsonline is for you!  Please click here to access their website and see what they offer!

Excel Tip #72 – Printing Secrets: Useful Tips

When you preview a spreadsheet, and click the Setup... button, there are a number of interesting things you can do:

  • Scale the printout to a percentage of normal size, or force it to fit a certain number of pages high and wide: On the Page tab.
  • Set your margins: On the Margins tab.
  • Centre the page horizontally, vertically, or both: On the Margins tab.
  • Set custom headers and footers: On the Header/Footer tab.  We find it particularly useful to put the Path and File name on the footer, along with the date.
  • Print gridlines, and row and column headings –useful for documentation: On the Sheet tab.

Understanding Engineers – Take Nine (and last!)

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."
He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."
The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.
The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do anything you want."
Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.
Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, and that I'll stay with you and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

End-of-Year Gifts: Free Spreadsheets

The updated Bank Reconciliation Spreadsheet will soon include the revised FNB Cheque account format (with Reference) as well as the other banks.  You copy from the bank's internet banking page and paste into the spreadsheet, then click a button and Excel reformats the data into a meaningful arrangement, complete with running balance and available amount.

Check your water and power bills and reduce consumption!  There is a spreadsheet to let you monitor your electricity use and work out the cost using Eskom's latest domestic power rates, and another one for water consumption and Johannesburg Water's charges.

To order these and several other spreadsheets, visit our free spreadsheets web page.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:―

  • Automating your in-house 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).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting 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

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2009 Communication in Action.  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.


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