Newsletter - May 2015


SO Autumn is here and it's distinctly chilly in the mornings!  Still the brilliant sun during the day makes up for this.  We are still looking for a new sales person for QuickBooks and Autodesk products.  Please send CVs to

During load shedding, we can still be contacted via our cell phones - 082 389 3481 and 082 389 3482.

dotPLOT Subscriptions

dotPLOT is the South African standard in easy-to-use Soil Profile and Borehole Log software, now in version 7019.  HotPlot (the Windows interface) is sold in a bundle with new copies of dotPLOT.

Previously, when you bought dotPLOT, you bought the package for a lump sum upfront.  This often made it difficult for smaller firms and start-ups to afford.  In addition to once-off purchase, we are now introducing a subscription model: Licence dotPLOT for a year, or even a month at a time, when you need it.  The price for a year is one-third of the once-off purchase price; for a month it is one-tenth of the once-off purchase price. Contact Rick for details.

Computer Tip: Bypass Windows 8 / 8.1 login screen

From Andy Lanning's Computer Super Secrets, for which we take no responsibility:

Would you like to just use your personal computer without having to login every time? Here is how to bypass the login screen for Windows 8 and 8.1:


1. Click or tap the search button on top right corner (it looks like a tiny magnifying glass)
2. type RUN, then click the run option below the search box
3. A new box opens on bottom left corner, type: netplwiz <Enter>. This opens the User Accounts box.
4. Highlight (click or tap) the main user account to be unlocked
5. Now, above the list, uncheck the box that says: "Users must enter a username and password...blah blah blah"
6. Click OK
7. You will enter your password and confirm it one last time.
8. click OK, OK

SECOND STEP: Disable the wake-up password

1. Click or tap the search button on top right corner (tiny magnifying glass)
2. type ACCOUNTS, click or tap the Accounts option. It might also say "Account Settings"
3. click or tap "Sign-In options"
4. Under the section "Password Policy", just click "CHANGE"

Now restart the computer and shazam! No more login screens. Rejoice!

QuickBooks installation for local customers included

Now that the Payroll offer has ceased, we are offering one hour's installation in the cost of the package within the N1, N3 and M2 motorway box.  This is whether you buy new or upgrade your QuickBooks.  For customers further away, we charge R600 inc VAT per hour to install.

Who wants to take this opportunity to cut down their work and automate everything?  If it's you - please contact Judith for quotes.

In addition, upgrading your QuickBooks to 2015 now attracts a 20% discount, so it's a great time to become fully compliant.

Green Tip

Look after our water please!  This means reporting sewer bursts and making sure that action is taken promptly.  Look out for other polluting spills as well.  South Africa is running out of clean water.  Also oppose new mines, which are heavy water users and polluters.  Already, some communities have no access to water because nearby mines and industry have taken their water.

Autodesk - the best news yet!

We thought last month's news was good, this one's better!  You can buy a new permanent licence for any Autodesk software at a 20% discount if you buy three years' subscriptions at the same time.  The latter have a ten percent discount.  Result - you can buy AutoCAD for less than buying the licence plus one year's subscription!

If you purchase 3 years Annual subscriptions, with a 25% discount, you also pay less than for the above!

These are really great deals and the Annual subscription option gives you all the great support options as well

Please contact Judith for quotes.

Desktop Subscription reminder

This is the solution to managing projects which require software for 3 months to a year or where contractors or interns are used for short periods. They come in two flavours:  Annual and Quarterly.  They come with either Basic or Advanced Support.  The latter support option gives direct support as opposed to the 24 hours response for Basic.  This means that problems are solved faster, as you have telephone access to the support desk.

The Annual subscriptions now come in 2 and 3 year options as well.  By year 3, you reach the breakeven point against purchasing the permanent licence and doing the lower subscription renewal.

Desktop Subscriptions are very flexible: You can have them for the life of the project and you do not need to renew them until you require another subscription for a new project.

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

For more information go to and

An Opportunity to make use of right now

Please note that the Autodesk Permanent Licence option will be phased out in their financial 2017.  So, from February next year, only the Annual subscription options will be available.  If you wish to buy permanent licences - this is the time to do so.  Again, please contact Judith for quotes

Excel Tip #134 - The Developer tab (I): Displaying the Tab

Last time, we finished viewing the "View" tab, concluding with the Macros group and button.  As hinted then, Macros are a subset of what we find on the Developer tab.  The Developer tab should be just to the right of the View tab, but what if it is not there?

The default setting is that the Developer tab is not displayed.  This is because you only need it if you are going to do program development beyond the odd macro (for which the Macros group on the View tab will suffice.

Here is how you display the Developer tab:

  1. On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top left of the Excel window, click the rightmost button (Customize Quick Access Toolbar).
  2. In the drop-down menu, click "More Commands...".  The "Excel Options" dialog box will open.
  3. On the left of the "Excel Options" dialog box, click "Customize Ribbon".
  4. In the list on the right, tick the checkbox next to "Developer".
  5. Click OK, and the Developer tab should now be visible.

That is probably enough for this instalment.  For those who would like to program, we will start looking at the contents of the Developer tab next time.

Computius Say:

Computer messages you might not have seen yet:
"Missing mouse driver. Spank the cat [Y/N]?"

PS: No cats were harmed in this message.

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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This entire newsletter is Copyright 2015 Communication in Action cc t/a Software Africa. All rights reserved. Information may be reproduced in full context as long as credit is given.
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