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Category: Uncategorized

HMRC online filing availability notice for April 2009

image We have received early word from our contacts at HM Revenue & Customs that their own web filing product (the HMRC online portal) will be unavailable for the first weekend in April (3rd to the 6th). Third party software such as ours will are expected to work throughout this period although for 24 hours at the weekend will not return an immediate delivery receipt.

Acer Aspire One. Probably the best ultraportable “Net Book” in the world. (150Ab model)

clip_image001[4]Aspiring yuppies all have seem to them these days. 2008 gave us a whole rash of these sub-notebooks; laptops with tiny keys and piddly screens became the must-have accessory for the trendy coffee drinker and train commuter. It’s been awfully hard to get a coffee around here without having to wade past the gauntlet of expensive-looking micro-computers adorning every table. I’ve even seen them in McDonalds.

Just what are all those people doing, looking busy with their mocca-frappucinos and super-hectic lifestyles, anyway? I presume they are making very important life-or-death executive decisions and are not simply checking their eBay auctions and updating their MyFaceSpace page.

Assuming you’re a super-busy coffee-drinking executive with no time to read articles like this one, I’ve put the conclusion in the title especially for you. You can stop reading now and go out and buy one.

New Marketing List: UK Local Authorities (Councils)

parliamentThe Government, over the past few years, has been professing its intention to do more business with SMEs by encouraging more small business owners to tender for contracts and making the tendering process accessible to more businesses than ever before. Although the contracts on offer tend to be of a large scale supply of services, local authorities are free to purchase products and minor services without putting these expenses out to tender. However, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, approximately 25% of their members sold into local authorities in 2006 and in 2008 the FSB calls for more support from the Government to raise the share of contracts to small business to 30%. We are not an FSB member, but we do supply services and products to the public sector and in particular, local authorities.

Announcing InstaTrans 1.1 beta: Instant desktop language translations (BETA)

17-02-2009%2014-52-04[1]Dear readers. I’m looking for beta testers for my latest application, InstaTrans. It’s a utility for making fast translations of text on your desktop, it’s quicker, more convenient and easier to use than the web-page translation services and translations can be easily compared between them so it’s easier to get the translation you need.

The original idea came out of a small contract requirement to translate a customer’s English-only application into several different languages. Currently the only way to do this was to parse the strings out of an existing application and copy/paste each phrase into a translation web page or hire the services of a professional linguist. InstaTrans was born to save time and make performing regular translations easier.

The Evolved ISV: 300 comments, 91 posts and 33 subscribers

imageAbout six months after I started blogging I posted about how much progress the blog had made. Almost another year on it now seems that this would be a good time to post some more statistics for my blog. In March 2008, I had reached a consistent 100 unique visitors a day. By March I was peaking at 200 unique visitors, and in June everything went nuts for a short period as the 30 day challenge got started. I’m getting about 200 unique visitors a day, about 20 returning visitors and each visitor on average visits 2.5 pages each.

songsmith makes comedy gold


Today I’m in a musical mood. I sold my well loved Korg Trinity this morning (I’m now using a Yamaha MO6). Searching for some musical inspiration I thought I’d give SongSmith a try, as it’s available on a six-hour unlimited trial. Songsmith is the first “record and go” instant-on music solution for amateurs using Windows. Songsmith can generate instant computer-generated backing tracks to your own vocal-lead. All you need to is pick one of the many relatively cheesy styles and a tempo then you hit record and sing your best amateur vocals into the microphone along to a metronome beat. The computer does the rest, applying the drums, bass, guitars and variations. All well and good, but imagine what would happen if you used a professional vocal track from a popular song instead of your own vocal?

The result: Comedy tribute covers!

Starting a business in the middle of a recession. Am I crazy?

Esteam-LogoYou’ve probably noticed that across the world we’re all experiencing a financial crisis, a global financial meltdown that has driven the UK into a strong recession. You might be one of the people who have been directly affected by this or you might be working or investing in industries that are relatively untouched. In any case, I would like to tell you a little about a nice little start-up that I’m involved with and why I feel that the current shaky economic conditions might not be as bad for starting a new enterprise as we’ve been led to think. At least, I hope so.

How to successfully appeal a CIS penalty fine (construction industry scheme)

_150372_tax_man_cartoon_300This month I’ve noticed a substantial increase in the number of people who are hitting our website searching for ways to avoid or otherwise appeal their automatic penalty notices received under the new Construction Industry Scheme. HMRC started charging penalties in October 2007 although our logs this month have recently shown a vast increase in the number of contractors who are searching Google for a way to appeal their penalties.