Software Africa Newsletter - March 2022

Online Business Tip ~ Autodesk Notes ~ Excel Tip ~ Training Tip

Rick's Editorial

Welcome. Our eShop has a clearance promotion on engineering hardware and surveying equipment: Save up to 40% while stocks last.

We have two live online courses Excel Macros and Excel for Engineers, scheduled to alternate monthly for the year.

Excel Tips wishes you happy coding after wrapping up much of our basic Excel macros course.

This month's business tip recommends that you avoid the predatory pricing and unethical contract of TeamViewer.

We end with wisdom (or otherwise) from Computius, the Confucius of computers.

Buy Engineering Hardware NOW at the Software Africa eShop at up to 40% Off!

Purchase engineering hardware and surveying equipment from Topcon, Leica, and geoFENNEL now and save up to 40% while stocks last. Ts & Cs apply.

Examples: Topcon Laser Scanners, Topcon Reflectorless Total Station with Single Display, Bluetooth & Laser Pointer; Green Pipe Laser, Dual Grade Rotating Laser with Receiver, Premium Multi-Line Laser with Receiver, Leica Disto D510 and X3.

Please email Software Africa if you need help.

On-Line Business Tip #59 – Avoid the Dangerous TeamViewer Contract!

Let's start with the good stuff.  TeamViewer was a pioneer in the field of live on-line support.  With the permission of the user, the program lets you, connect to any other computer via the internet. You can see their screen and control it exactly as if you were sitting at the remote computer.  You can also record the session and transfer files.  Or, your support person can.

TeamViewer is a boon for remote support.  It's so much easier than "email me a screenshot" or "read me the screen", "Now click on OK", "No not that OK!". and so on.  If you're at the remote computer, you can download and use TeamViewer for free.  However, to use the program to support others, you need a licence.  Like good businessmen, the Germans have pushed up the price over time.  The Rand/Euro exchange rate hasn't helped either.  The most recent price worked out to over R4500 a year.

And that is where the problems arise.  Unlike most software that lets one cancel simply by stopping paying, TeamViewer has an annual contract that requires "no less than twenty-eight (28) days prior" notice of cancellation.  We decided that it had become unaffordable, and cancelled.  "No", they said, no prior notice, pay up.  So we did, eventually, but also gave notice of cancelling the contract thereafter.  Which they acknowledged.

That didn't stop them, however.  Despite our cancellation, they billed us anyway.  And sent several emails to this effect.  To which one cannot respond.  Oh no!  They do not accept return emails!  If you want to respond, you have to log a support ticket.  After all, why make things easy for the customer?

The latest TeamViewer atrocity was an email, all in German, from their collection agency, Creditreform Goppingen Engelhardt KG, demanding payment. I replied in Afrikaans, with TeamViewer's acceptance of cancellation attached. I mentioned that unless I received their abject apology by return email, I would warn others about TeamViewer's predatory and unethical behaviour.  So here it is: Good software, utterly abysmal attitude to customers.  Take note!

Next month we'll look at some alternatives to TeamViewer.

Microsoft Excel Macros live online course

Since February 2019 this newsletter has carried part of our Excel Macros beginners' course.  You can now attend it live online from the comfort of your own computer This course is for you if you have a good knowledge of Excel, and now want to program your own time-saving applications.

Dates: Thursday 24 and Friday 25 March 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).

Venue: Live Online via Zoom.  85-page PDF manual is supplied, and valuable examples.
Price R5,000 plus VAT per trainee.

For more information and to book a course online or in-house at your company, click here and send the resulting email or email

Excel for Engineers Online Live Course

Following Courses:

Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).

Venue: Live Online via Zoom.  65-page PDF manual included, and 14 examples files.
Special Price if paid not later than tow weeks before the course: Only R4,500 plus VAT per trainee.
Thereafter R5,000 plus VAT each.

Course Creator and Facilitator: Rick Raubenheimer B Sc (Eng) (Wits) (1975).

For more information and to book a course online or in-house at your company, click here and send the resulting email or email

Excel for Engineers Online Self-Paced Course

The Excel for Engineers live course is also available on-line as a self-paced course.  The same manual and examples.  The same trainer.. No live support, however.  But done at your own pace at times that suit you.  Take half an hour a day and complete it in a month.  Spend an hour a day and finish it in two weeks.  Or dedicate two days –a weekend, perhaps?– and crack the whole course.

Sign up now and get these Bonuses:

  1. Report, "Are You Making These Microsoft Excel Mistakes?"
  2. A Free Support Group
  3. Our Excel file "Excel Shortcut keys & My Macro Shortcuts" (you'll want this once you start building macros).

Take our self-paced online course in your own time and venue.  All the value at a quarter of the price of the live course.  Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Excel Tip #208 – Where to After the Basic Excel Macros Course?

In the  last issue, we provided an Index to the material in the basic Excel Macros course as covered in these Excel Tips, starting in February 2019.  How can you continue your Excel Macros journey?

Don’t learn to code, learn to automate” – Erik Dietrich, quoted by Tim Ferris from “Ten Lessons I Learned While Teaching Myself to Code” by Clive Thompson. Tim comments, “This is bang on. Nearly every white-collar job on the planet involves tons of work that can be done more efficiently if you know a bit of coding.

So… practice what you have learnt. When you find yourself repeating the same action, manually, for the third time, ask yourself, “could I turn this into a macro?”

At first, it might seem difficult, and it might look like it will take longer than just blindly repeating the actions you know. Don’t give in to this! It takes time to establish new habits! Persevere with creating macros, and you will get your investment of time back tenfold.

We would love to hear from you! Tell us what you liked, and didn’t like, about the course. Help us to improve it for others.

Once you have practised and mastered the basics for this course, you might like to learn more, and get a valuable library of sample macros. If so, please ask about our Intermediate Macros Course.

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.“ – Winston Churchill.

The next Excel Tip will be on something completely different.

Finish Covid-19 Lockdown with a Timesaving New Skill!

Instead of a tiny sliver every month (as above), why not do the whole Excel Macros online quick-start course?  Do repetitive work in a flash, instead of repeating the same boring stuff manually.  Save hours not working late, and spend more time with your family...  The Software Africa Quick 'n Easy Turbo-Start Excel Macros course is now online.  Take it now before the State of Disaster ends!

Computius Say:

"According to my calculations the problem doesn't exist."

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

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: 011 802-6440 ~ Cell: 082 389-3482 ~ e-mail:

Disclosure:  Some links we share might be affiliate links that we promote in return for a commission.  We only promote things we've actually tried and think would be great for you too.

This entire newsletter is Copyright © 2022 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 2015 | < January 2016 | < January 2017 | < January 2018 | < January 2019 | < January 2020 | < January 2021 | < February | < March | < April | < May | < June | < July | < August | < September | < October | < November | Back to top | Updated 18 March 2022 | e-mail Webmaster.