Newsletter - March 2013


Rain still happening and so is the heat!  It is time to reconcile salaries and wages for SARS again and submit the IRP5s and the PAYE, UIF and SDL reconciliations.  It would be far easier for SMMEs to not have to do this twice a year, but SARS are threatening to want it done every quarter.  Given SARS's arrogant attitude towards small businesses in particular, we feel that there needs to be a groundswell of protest against them.

AutoCAD Revit Suites Upgrade Special to Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium - ends 20th March

The special is not to be missed as it offers a 40% discount on the product.  The Building Design Suite Premium gives you access to 25 GB of storage on the Cloud.  This enables document viewing and sharing capabilities with your customers, in a truly collaborative workspace!  Two mobile applications are also included: Autodesk Design Review and AutoCAD WS.  Being able to use Autodesk 360 Rendering on the Cloud as well, will free you up to do other work whilst your drawings are rendered remotely.

Other Cloud Services include Autodesk 360 Structural for Revit, Autodesk 360 Energy Analysis for Revit and Autodesk Green Building Studio.

On your desktop, you will have Autodesk Revit (Architecture, MEP and Structural Tools), Autodesk Navisworks Simulate, Autodesk 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk Sketchbook Designer.

What is more, you will be able to work effectively, meet your targets easily and see your business grow!  And go green!

Please note, if you have AutoCAD 2007 this is your last chance to upgrade it.  On 28th March the 2014 version comes out and this means you will then have to buy new.  It is also a good idea to buy Inventor LT before then and the Autodesk Product Design Suites standard and Premium.  They will also rise in price from 28th March, as will all the subscription renewals.

Please contact Judith or Thuli or Willy  or 011 802 2685 for more details or to set up an appointment to discuss your drawing office requirements.

A Compliment from a Customer:


To: Willy Hebanjoko
Subject: RE: Estimate from Software Africa

Thank you for a prompt, friendly and accurate service.

I have sent identical queries to 6 suppliers, you are the only one that has responded on the same day.

Way to make a sale!

I have passed on the quotation to our technical director, he & accounts will discuss and hopefully authorize the purchase by Monday latest.




QuickBooks Updates

Please note that Simple Start does not run customer statements.  A number of customers have been told otherwise, but we have checked this out with QuickBooks and been assured that it does not.  Your most satisfying entry level solution is QuickBooks Pro.  For companies wishing to do quotes, QuickBooks Premier or Accountant are the best solutions.

If you have outgrown your QuickBooks Accountant -then upgrading to QuickBooks Enterprise gives you advanced stock keeping including multiple warehousing, serial / batch number tracking and bar code setup.  If you have many branches then it will do company reports consolidation.

For more information, phone the team on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

Improvements in dotPLOT and HotPlot

dot7012 is expected to be ready this week.  Winston has made major changes to allow for Logos in the new Linearized PDF format, which has previously given dotPLOT indigestion.  He fixed a bug that allowed notes to incorrectly generate Cobbles and Runnels as sample symbols.  The symbols for Vane Shear, Cobbles, and  Runnels have been moved from the User Symbol Library to the standard library, leaving the User Symbol Library free for users' own symbols; which will then not get overwritten by updates. Samples taken over a range starting at the surface (e.g. "0.0--0.5m") were previously not allowed: Now they are. Layers without a description caused the program to crash; this is now fixed.

HotPlot, the Windows interface to dotPLOT, has seen some improvements in the Text File Editor:

Green Tip

Paper not being collected in your orange bags?  Why not put a sign on your gate asking for the recyclers to come and do it instead?  This benefits your local community as well.

If you would like a presentation on greening your office or school, please contact Judith.  As the branch co-ordinator of Earthlife Joburg Branch, she does such presentations in exchange for a donation to Earthlife plus travelling expenses.

Excel Tip #110 - The Data menu (III): Sort & Filter - Filter

We continue looking at the "Data" tab on Excel 2010's Ribbon, and the "Sort & Filter" group.  Having examined the Sorting options, we now turn to Filter.

The functions "Sort" and "Filter" are different but related.  Sorting allows items to be arranged into a particular order.  "Filtering" means that only some items are displayed (unwanted rows are hidden), according to specified criteria.

As with sorting, and as shown in the picture, to filter, a list must be organised with a single row of headings at the top of each column of data, with the data underneath in a contiguous block.

To start a filter, make sure that you have clicked inside your block of data, then click the "Filter" button.  Little buttons containing a downward-pointing triangle appear on the right of each column header. If you click on any of these buttons, a drop-down list like that shown in the picture, appears.

This drop-down list allows you to do a wide variety of sorting and filtering.  Text filters are particularly powerful, as shown. Using the check boxes allows you to select rows containing specific items.  Start by selecting, or un-selecting, the "Select All" checkbox, and then un-selecting, or selecting, the items you want.

The sorting options not only let you sort in alphanumeric order or the reverse, you an also sort by colour ("color" in American), derived from cell style or conditional formatting done on the "Home" tab.  This is not as useful as it might appear, since you can only "sort" by one colour!

Notice that if you have a sort or filter applied to a particular column, the button on the right of that column header shows you a different symbol.

When you have a sort or filter in force, the "Clear" and "Reapply" buttons are available. "Clear" removes the filters, and  "Reapply" puts them back.

We will look at some "Data Tools" next time.

Computius Say:

"Hello, Cell C?  I want to speak to your CEO, Craig!"

"Sorry Sir, our CEO is not Craig, he's Alan: Alan Knott-Craig."

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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