Software Africa Newsletter January 2016

Editorial

Welcome to 2016!  May this year show real change and a turnaround from last year's shaky end, which still continues.  We possibly set a record with three Ministers of finance in four days.  Certainly the Rand is still setting new records for dropping like a stone against major world currencies.  This is making importing difficult.  Now is the time for SARS to encourage all exporting companies to do more exports by making its export permit system work.  We submitted everything and were turned down.  Their claimed reason: No bank statements.  The SARS official accepting the application took the bank statements from my partner - what did he do with them?

Applying for export permits should be an on-line function, especially as SMEs have limited time to spend on government red tape.

Meanwhile, drink lots of water in this heat!

Cloud Backup

More on Irontree Cloud Backup services: we backed up 60GB of key data initially and now do daily incrementals.  This does not include graphics files, which they do not do.  We can confidently recommend their services.  If you want more information, please contact Judith.

January Special on dotPLOT!

You will recall that dotPLOT is the South African standard in Soil Profile and Borehole Log software.  At present, second and subsequent copies (paid for by the same Accounts Department) cost 50% off the price of the first copy.  Likewise, old second and subsequent copies of dotPLOT can be upgraded at half price.  This also applies to upgrades to HotPlot, the Windows interface.

However, after January 2016, this discount will be discontinued. All copies of dotPLOT and HotPlot will be at full price, as is the case with most other software.  Might this be a good time to buy or upgrade your second or third licence?  Please email Rick or phone 011 802-6440.

QuickBooks - 2016

As intended, we upgraded our systems to 2016.  It runs much faster than 2015 and has greater dashboard reporting.  We also like the pricing structure, as it gives discounts the more users you take.  Pro and Premier are still both limit to 5 users.  Premier Accountant goes up to 30.

Microsoft Office 365

Get Office 365, the professional toolset without the hassle!

We've still to test to obtain an in-depth understanding, plus looking at certification.

Try it free for 30 days: Ask Judith for the link to download.

Green Tip

In the almost countrywide drought, remember that watering needs to be sparingly before 06:00 and after 18:00.  As the water that comes out of the cold water tap is usually hot, stop using hot water!  Put a brick or a 2 litre bottle of water in your toilet cisterns to lower the amount of water used by flushing.  Report all leaks - water and sewer mains.  Nag the municipality into fixing them fast.

Autodesk updates

The disastrous fall in the Rand's value means that prices will rise on 13th January!  If your company has any outstanding invoices for subscription renewals - please pay then before then!

From the 1st February 2016, the only way to buy Autodesk products will be either annual or quarterly desktops subscriptions.  These come in two flavours - with basic support or with advanced support.  The latter gives you access to storage in the Cloud through A360.

From  1 February 2016 the "outright purchase" option will no longer be available for Autodesk products; however, if you have already bought "outright", you will still be able to get the annual Maintenance Subscription to keep your product up to date.  Since "outright purchase" + Maintenance Subscription is cheaper in the long run, might this be a good time to buy?

Please note that from 1st February 2016, all maintenance subscriptions must be renewed promptly!

Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams

The 2015 release of Creative Cloud for teams - including the brand new Adobe Stock service introduced today for the very first time - is here! This is an amazing new release, chock full of innovation, that ushers in a new era of creativity and collaboration. With the 2015 release of Creative Cloud, businesses and creative teams will be able to:

We are already geared up and waiting to tell you far more about this exciting upgrade and the solutions.  Remember that, once you have had your subscription registered, you can update all your software to the very latest at once!  All your software licence details are located in the Cloud, so no more losing the so-easily-lost and -stolen packages!

Please go to the brand new Creative Cloud for teams pages on Adobe.com, which provide a rich set of content to help inform, impress and quickly convert you to this new way of working.  For pricing and more information please contact Judith for quotes

Excel Tip #140 -  Prevent Malicious Code Running

As seen last time, Excel 2007 and later default to file extensions that distinguish file content. Specifically, XLSM and XLTM files contain programming code (macros).  Macros can be set up to run as soon as you open a file. It is a good idea to stop them from running except in files that you know do not contain malicious code.  Here's how you do it:

Now, when you open a file you may see a message under the ribbon: "Security Warning: Macros have been disabled". If you see this message and know that the code is safe, do this:

You can also set up your file security to recognise certain folders as "Trusted Locations" that always allow macros to run. We might look at this feature next time.

Computius Say:

New word: "Mailicious" -- an email with malicious content!

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 standard and custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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