Software Africa Newsletter - March 2016

Editorial

It has been a disrupted month, hence the lateness of this newsletter!  We have had good rains but too late to produce good crops for the year.  Rising interest rates, electricity and petrol prices are adding to everyone's stress.  Yesterday's announcement, by Janet Yelland in the USA, that those interest rates will stay as they are, has taken pressure off the Rand for now.  Now to see what OUTA's court actions will do about stopping the electricity price increase.

Sales Position

We still have an opening for a salesperson to sell QuickBooks and Autodesk products.  Come and work in an office which uses Cloud telephony solutions!  In addition, you get to use QuickBooks in your daily tasks and pass the Autodesk exams online.  Please send CVs to Judith.

Hot Tip!

"Ransomware" is real!  Malicious software, that installs itself on your PC from dangerous websites, can encrypt the files on your hard drive and then demand payment in Bitcoin to release them.  A customer recently found that their dotPLOT licence has disappeared, to be replaced by a file with a "LOCKY" extension, and a text file, _Locky_recover_instructions.txt, containing the following:

!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!!

All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.
More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard

Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server.
To receive your private key follow one of the links:


Three links to the "dark web" via tor2web.org follow, and then instructions for using the Tor browser directly (probably in anticipation that the links to illegal content will be blocked).

What should you do?  Prevention is better than cure!  Make sure that you:

  1. Have a good, current anti-virus, such as AVG, to block ransomware.
  2. Have a regular offsite backup, like IronTree, so that you can restore your data if the malicious software does get through.

We can make recommendations.  Please email Judith or phone 011 802-6440.

QuickBooks - 2016

QuickBooks 2016 comes in three flavours - Pro, Premier and Premier Accountant.  QuickBooks have rationalised their pricing and now only support the 2015 versions as well as 2016.  We advise people to upgrade to 2016, not only because it works better than 2015, but because the cost is the same.

Green Tip

Still be waterwise, as we are definitely facing severe water problems. Some of these are caused by government's inability to maintain and extend infrastructure.  However, also impacting on our water supply and constraining it, are the continued granting of mining licences, the possibility of fracking licences being granted, and more coal-fired power stations.

Autodesk updates

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

The Subscription Options

From the 1st February, only subscription offerings are available.  These are as follows:

Quarterly Desktop Subscription with Basic Support - which gives you 24 hour turnaround (1 day).

Quarterly Desktop Subscription with Advanced Support - which gives you same day turnaround

Annual Desktop Subscription with Basic Support - which gives you 24 hour turnaround

Annual Desktop Subscription with Advanced Support - which gives you same day turnaround

AutoCAD LT subscriptions only come with Advanced Support!

Ironically, I discovered that some of the Design Suites are still available on permanent licence plus maintenance subscription.  If this is a direction you want to take - do it now!

You can pause your subscription if you do not want to renew at the end of the period.  This means you can renew when work loads justify doing so.

Revit Offerings

The most exciting development has been the release of the Revit Collaboration Suite.  This gives you Revit and AutoCAD plus A360 in the Cloud.  This is a highly cost effective way to bring the power of Revit into your designing.

There will be a new surprise around Revit next month.

Excel Tip #142 -  Undo Trusted Documents

Last time we looked at how to Create Trusted Locations in Excel 2007 and later.  We have also seen that you can get the message under the ribbon: "Security Warning: Macros have been disabled", and then approve ("trust") that content. What if you have "trusted" a document that you no longer want to trust?  Dealing with this is a blunt instrument, as you have to remove the trust setting for all trusted documents!  This has to be done on each PC.  Here's how you do it:

Now, when you open a file that is not on a Trusted Location, you again see the message under the ribbon: "Security Warning: Macros have been disabled".

Computius Say:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

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"
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 2016 Communication in Action cc t/a Software Africa. All rights reserved. Information may be reproduced in full context as long as credit is given.
Newsletter Index | < January 2014 | < January 2015 | < January 2016 | < February | April > | Back to top | Updated 21 April 2016 | e-mail Webmaster.