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Installing on Vista

May 12, 2009

I’ve been digging deeply into this and feel that you must always save the downloaded file and then run it as an Administrator.

Run As Administrator

Run As Administrator

The picture shows the Install file, MX73Setup.exe being run as an Administrator.

This morning I inadvertantly installed a new version without using Run as Administrator and MX73 still run , but it kept asked me if I wanted to save the Excel workbook file in the open project.

The download link is on this page.


First Tuesday Awards

May 11, 2009

About two hundred people went to the First Tuesday Party after their awards.

What was interesting was the three finalists were not companies that were doing anything revolutionary, but were using the Internet to deliver a very traditional service.

  1. The winner was a company called ShipServ, (, that basically provided services to the 8,000 or so cargo ships that ply the world. The company employs about a hundred people, has been running for eight years or so and claims about 70% of the market.
  2. Another company was Wonga, (, that is basically into unsecured lending. If you want to borrow up to £200 for up to 60 days, then this site may be for you, if you want to pay an interest rate of 2,000 plus percent. But believe it or not about £60bn is lent by traditional companies like this in the UK. I think that the Zopa model is more acceptable.
  3. The third company was WorkHound, (, who have set up an intelligent job search engine. They search all web sites looking for job ads and bring them all together. The useful thing is that you can even search company web sites for jobs advertised there. I just tried it for Project Manager in CB8 (my post code) and I got a lot of relevant jobs. WorkHound appears to have been pretty successful. The interesting thing though is that a lot of its business is now done using Twitter. When they started it wasn’t even in their business model!

So what do these companies have in common?

They are what I would call A to B business, with C taking a fee for the service. Even my granny would have understood that. Anything that stinks of derivatives, swaps and too much cleverness is very much out these days.

I’m going to return to WorkHound, as they are a more than interesting company and in my view should have won.

ShipServ is business-based, has seen a niche and has exploited it. And done it very well, using standard technology, albeit with a good twist! Wonga lends to those at the bottom who need money fast, but it is something that could be replicated. Or possibly! But then I might be wrong about Wonga in that it may be more technology-based than I thought.

But WorkHound is technology based and I think shows how if you get the technology right you can create a very interesting company. For instance, just as I searched for Project Manager vacancies near me, could it be modified to search for things like large projects that are just being started? But it’s their use of Twitter especially to create a community of those looking for jobs, that is interesting.

We should all watch WorkHound.

MX73 on BBC Radio Five Live

May 6, 2009
tags: ,

Well not quite MX73, but I was asked on to the Breakfast Show to talk about what I like about my job.  I talked of Artemis, the death of Celia, my coeliac disease and how I was writing a new piece of software called MX73.

I’ve already had quite a response from old friends, colleagues and clients, who heard me on the radio.

This link to the BBC IPlayer might work!  It’s towards the end of the program after about forty-five minutes.


May 6, 2009

If anybody uses Twitter, I’m now twittering under the name of VagueShot.

Why Venice?

April 21, 2009

I’ve just added a new picture to the top of the web site, which shows Venice on a glorious spring day.  The picture was taken from the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore and shows the Doges Palace to the right, with the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square dominating the skyline.  It is truly one of the great waterfronts of the world and everyone should see it at least once.  I’ve been greedy and seen it several times.

But why put this picture on the web site?

Venice is symbolic of a lot of the world today.  Beautiful, perhaps anachronistic and certainly worth saving.  Some of the world’s biggest engineering and construction projects are being developed to make sure that we leave a planet fit for our grandchildren and their descendants.  Venice for example, is being protected by a massive €4.2m project called Moses.

Not that MX73 has anything to do with that, but it will be used in vast construction projects for the good of mankind in the future.

Celia, who loved Venice, would have been proud of that.

Technical Notes

April 20, 2009

I’ve started to write a few technical notes on MX73, starting with Installing the software on Vista.

As to the installing of the software, there have been a few issues and for this reason, I’m going to impose a temporary restriction.  The software must be installed in an account with Administrative privileges, you must run the software from that account and you should only install it once on a given computer.

This may seem a bit restrictive, but I’ve been more concerned with getting features working, than a fully functioning installation.

Different Sub-Versions of Excel

April 7, 2009

I had this question from someone in Australia.

There are different levels of Office 2003 & 2007 . . . this could cause some issues:

Office Home & Students
Office Standard
Office Small Business
Office Professional
Office Ultimate

Whilst they all have Excel . . . knowing MS . . . I would not be surprised if the updated different functions at different times.

I think that we can nail this pretty swiftly, as MX73 only uses a subset of Excel 2003 commands and as there is only one Object Model for Excel, then the various sub-versions should not cause a problem.

One thing to point out is that if Microsoft did produce an upgrade that wasn’t 100% correct, it would affect a very large number of users. And as I said, we’re very much one of the less inventive ones.