Newsletter - November 2014

Editorial

Where has summer and 2014 gone?  Cold rain-filled gray skies seem to be heralding the end of the year.  At least they mean the droughts are being broken.  We trust that it is raining in KZN where rain is truly desperately required.

We will only close for the festive break from 19th December until the 5th January 2015.  The same timeframe applies to all the distributors.

QuickBooks Upgrade Special

For the rest of the year, upgrading to any version of QuickBooks 2015 will attract a 30% discount.  Please contact Judith or Willy for quotes to buy new or upgrade your earlier versions.  Pricing is the same as for 2014.

HotPlot Changes

HotPlot is the Windows interface for dotPLOT, the South African standard in Soil Profile and Borehole Log software.  From next year, the price of HotPlot will rise to R3000 + VAT and it will be sold in a bundle with new copies of dotPLOT, rather than be optional as in the past.  If you have dotPLOT, until 31 December you can still buy HotPlot at only R2500 + VAT.  Might this be a good time to upgrade?

Outlook Tip: New Files and Backups

After a few years of business use, your PST file (in which Outlook stores your emails) can become enormous, possibly running to several Gigabytes.  This can slow down your Outlook and make the file prone to corruption.  A technique that Rick has used for several years is to start a new PST file each year: With a new year due shortly and unlikely to be cancelled despite Eskom, this seems a good time to mention it.

You can create a new Outlook file from within Outlook, or from Control Panel.  From within Outlook 2010, click the File menu > Info > Account Settings  > Account Settings.  To use Control Panel, click Start > Control Panel > Mail; the Mail Setup window opens: Click Data Files.

The Account Settings window opens: On the Data Files (second) tab, make of note of where your existing files are, then click "Add...".  In the Create or Open Data file dialog box, locate the folder where your existing files are, then enter a new name.  We suggest something obvious like "Rick2015.pst".  Click OK.  Back in the  Account Settings window (and you might like to postpone this step until 2 January), click on the new file and then Set as Default.  That will direct new emails into the new folder.  You can also "Remove" older files here: Relax! This does not delete the file, it just removes it from the list that Outlook opens each time, and searches if you tell it to "search all files and folders".

There is one drawback to this: You will need to recreate your folders for the new year in the new file.  If you don't mind a bit of simple programming, we can give you some VBA code to do it.  Please ask!

Make a habit to zip your PST file periodically and copy the zip to another PC, Server, or DVD, so that you have a backup of your emails!

Autodesk

The specials running at the moment are dependent on stock availability.  AutoCAD LT has a 10% discount and full AutoCAD a 15% discount.  The Q4 special is on renewing your subscriptions to your Autodesk package without it attracting a late penalty.  In order to qualify, your subscription must be renewed within 11 months of its becoming due.  Please contact Judith or Willy for quotes.

Autodesk Subscription Changes

From 1 February 2015, upgrades of Autodesk products will no longer be available and all products will have to be bought new.

So keeping your subscriptions up to date now gives real value to your Autodesk product users.  They include the following:

In addition, a new form of subscription is to be launched.  It does, in fact, already exist for the various Design Suites.  This is the Desktop subscription.  This is the solution to managing projects which require using a solution for 6 months to a year.  Subscriptions are therefore very flexible as you have them for the life of the project and thereafter do not renew until you require another subscription.

If you have this kind of requirement, please contact Judith or Willy for quotes.

For more information go to https://360.autodesk.com/landing and http://www.autodesk.com/subscription/overview

Why does keeping a subscription current pay out for you?

Well, in fact Autodesk is not the first to go this route.  The various CRM providers and also major ERP providers have done this for years.  In order to keep their software at a level which meets your changing needs, the renewing of subscriptions gives them the base for ongoing development.  Companies can address your wish lists and the requirements of changing standards (government and professional associations).  In addition, your keeping your subscriptions current means that you do not have to pay a huge amount of money to become current two years down the line.

Think of it as the fee you pay to your security company or the premium you pay to your insurance company.

Green Tip

Water harvesting has become the new trend not only in rural areas, where it has been done for years, but also in urban areas.  By collecting the water from your gutters, you can use it to water your vegetable garden and everything else.  A real cost saver for us all in these hard pressed times of rising costs for everything!

Excel Tip #128 - The Review tab (III): Changes group

Last time we continued looking at the "Review" tab on Excel 2010's Ribbon, with the Comments group.  We now look at the Changes group. The Changes group has these buttons:

That concludes our review of the "Review" tab.  Next time we will start viewing the "View" tab.

Computius Say:

Guide to Computer Terms:
"System Update" - A quick method of trashing all of your software.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action cc trading as Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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