The Gebesse Blog

Thoughts from the world of technology and business

Gebesse Newsletter – February 2014

Things are changing.

New phone number

Due to some phone problems which don’t matter any more I have a new mobile phone number. It is 0490 452 487, and I hope I don’t have to change it again for the next twenty years. The fax number is still 02 8221 9418 (faxes are sent and received by email) but I have given up on a fixed land line because my office location isn’t fixed to the one spot. (You can see a description of my mobile office here.) If you ever need to contact me but my phone is unanswered (travelling, in meetings, working on something where I can’t be disturbed, or just unable to answer), you can send an email to which will make my phone and tablet beep at me. (Please note: if you have been using please update your records – the old address was discovered by spammers.)

ACT! upgrade special offer

In the past you could upgrade any licence of ACT! to the latest version at a significantly discounted price. After March 31 this year the policy will be that the discount only applies to the two prior versions, bringing this in line with the support and update policy. If you have a version of ACT! prior to ACT! 2012, upgrading after that date could cost you up to $200 more per licence

To ease the pain there is a special offer being made between now and March 31. Until then a 25% discount applies to all upgrades from earlier versions of ACT!. For users of Pro or Standard versions of ACT! (the one limited to ten licences or less) this means an upgrade price of $173.25 per licence, compared to the usual price of $231.00 (or $344.30 after March 31 for ACT! 2011 and earlier). Prices for Premium and ACT! 6 and earlier will depend on the number of licences.

Speaking of ACT! 6, if you are still using this the number or people who can help you with any problems is getting smaller all the time. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to the latest technology and features. I recently did an upgrade from ACT! 5 and the client had been told that this was not possible without a large amount of work. This was not good advice, but probably came from someone who hadn’t been around ACT! long enough to know about the old versions.

Other special offers.

The offer for discounted training has been extended until the end of March. You can see the details here.

Annual support contracts purchased during March will be 10% cheaper. You can see more about this here.

Coming up.

Some things will be happening over the next month or two.

  • The Gebesse office will be moving. I don’t know where to yet, but I hope to still be in the Blue Mountains somewhere. The move will not affect any clients because I’ll still have the Internet for remote access and travel to client premises will be my problem as it always has been. I might be unavailable for a couple days while the move happens, but appointments will be scheduled around any disruption.
  • I will be introducing a weekly email touching on news and information about the IT industry in general, not just Act!. An example of the sort of content would be Apple’s announcement of a major security flaw affecting iPhone and iPad users (and it looks like Macs too), or the ACCC’s recent announcements about the NBN rollout.
  • The weekly email will be reproduced as a podcast. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is an audio recording and it will be available on iTunes (for free).
  • Training for Microsoft Word and Excel will be available shortly. The courses will be abbreviated versions of ones I developed for Certificate II and III courses at TAFE. There will also be a skills assessment service to identify training needs. Most people use only a fraction of the capabilities of these programs, and this is largely because they are self-taught or are only shown the basics by coworkers.

Windows XP

As mentioned before, Microsoft will be ceasing all support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. The deadline has been extended several times but all good things, and even some excellent things, must end sometimes. Windows XP was a very good operating system but it hasn’t come on a new computer for a few years and you can’t buy copies of it any more. If you are concerned about operating system security then your concern should increase daily if you continue to use Windows XP after the end-of-life date, because there will be no more updates to patch flaws and vulnerabilities.

Help desk

We are trialling some new help desk software to make it easier to keep track of the things that people ask us to do. Please feel free to test it out.

So what should you do now?

Contact Gebesse for upgrades, additional licences, installation, customisation and training. All the things we have been doing with and for Act! for many years.

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