Newsletter - July 2014


We have to thank all our faithful customers for enabling us to experience growth in our last financial year ended 30 June.  This means that we are making solid progress in expanding our business.  We have been asked by the Autodesk distributors, Worldsview, to consider going for Silver reseller status.  This requires taking and passing more exams to gain our certification in two specialisations.  As a team we have decided to work towards this goal for Autodesk's fourth quarter starting November.  We will thus increase both our sales and technical knowledge in the building and infrastructure areas.  More news when we have achieved this status!

QuickBooks Special - one day only!

Upgrade to QuickBooks Premium 2014 at a 40% discount.  Just for one day, so you need to place your order and pay us before Wednesday morning to take advantage of this special offer.  Please contact Judith or Willy to buy.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe is the first major software supplier to go fully cloud-based with a wide range of products.  It's farewell to Creative Suite in the box and hello to software licence management and access from the Cloud.  For an annual licence fee, companies have full access to all the creative products they require to run their business!  Updates are rolled out remotely; users who leave can be signed off the access list and replaced by new employees.  Best of all, the collateral cannot be lost or stolen.

Please ask Judith or Willy for quotes.

PC Tip: Insert Accent Marks in Outlook and Word

Thanks to Andy Lanning, Chief Nerd at Computer Super Secrets, for this tip.  Subscribe at

Autodesk Specials for Q2 2015 ending 23rd July 2014 - two days left!

There are three specials running in this period:

The first is a lovely surprise for owners of pre-2009 products - you can upgrade during this period with a 30% discount!  Please grab the opportunity now!

The second is for owners of product 2009 and later - the discount here is 20% - lower than last quarter's but still a good opportunity for getting current.

The third is an AutoCAD LT special for R10 828.86 inc VAT and, from us, delivery included to major centres.  If you buy with subscription, it is R1934.01 inc VAT in addition.  We suggest that you purchase the subscription and keep it current to avoid having to pay full price to be current in the future.

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:

For more information go to and

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

A great, effective and inexpensive cleaning solution is white spirit vinegar.  It cleans everything and is non-polluting.

Excel Tip #124 - The Data tab (XX): Analysis Group - Solver

We are looking at the "Data" tab on Excel 2010's Ribbon. We now look at the last group, "Analysis", where we will be looking at Solver.  Last time, we saw how to load Solver if it is not already in the Analysis group.

Microsoft Excel Solver is a powerful optimisation and resource allocation tool.  It can help you to uncover the best uses of scarce resources so that desired goals such as profit can be maximised, or undesired goals such as cost can be minimised.  You can think of it as a sophisticated version of Goal Seek. Solver answers questions such as:

To solve a problem using Solver you need to.

  1. Load the Solver Add-In (as explained last time)
  2. Specify one target cell that you want to minimise, maximise, or set to a certain value.
  3. Specify the changing cells that you want to be adjusted until a solution is found.
  4. Specify constraint cells that must fall within certain limits or satisfy target values.

Go to the Data ribbon and, in the Analysis group, select Solver to display the Solver Parameters dialog box. In the main Solver dialog box you are given the opportunity to change, delete or add more constraints:

Solver will produce a solution to the problem by changing the relevant cells in the spreadsheet.  You can then accept it, and produce three reports: Answer, Sensitivity, and Limits.  Note that (possibly because it is an add-in) the "Solver results" dialog does not follow the usual Windows convention where you select reports: They have to be clicked and highlighted in the dialog box, whereas giving each one a checkbox (preferably already ticked by default) would be more obvious.

In the next issue, we look at an example using Solver.

Computius Say:

Guide to Computer Terms:
"Hard Drive" - The sales technique employed by computer salesmen.

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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