Showing posts from July, 2010

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

New LED hand-held floodlight available

We've been scouring the market to find a good quality, lightweight, pocketable, affordable LED floodlight for use by surveyors where the built-in flashes on pocket PC/phones aren't sufficient to light an area.

In fact, some of the most popular pocket PCs (such as the HTC Touch Pro 2 units) don't have flashes at all and so the quality of the image suffers in poor light.

We've now found one and have it in stock! Bargain at £25+vat.

The two photos shown here were taken in a pitch-black room with no windows, illuminated only with the floodlight.

You can find it on our online shop at

Major router security flaw spotted - millions potentially affected

Something we check and test during out IT Security Audits is that the routers in use are secure and have up to date firmware.

This article shows how important this sort of testing is:

More thorough testing of the security of a network includes port scanning and the use of specialist companies to attempt to gain access to a company's infrastructure.

Development of new scanning/workflow/OCR application begins

For a while we've been considering the development of a new module for our Tracker product line to enable documents coming into a business to be scanned, tagged, processed, OCR'd and then sent via a workflow system to the relevant part of the business for action.

For example, incoming invoices could be scanned, tagged and sent to accounts payable and orders arriving by fax could be scanned and then sent on to the sales team. If the OCR'ing is sufficient reliable and robust, the data on the invoices and orders could be added to Tracker automatically saving considerable data entry time.

Our new Mill Tracker development also has this requirement so we are developing a general-purpose facility which will set alongside Tracker-based systems whatever their target market.

Development of the prototype has begun with an in-depth analysis of the different OCR engines available in the market and it is already clear that each have very different strengths and weaknesses.

Access 2010 - first thoughts

We're switching over to Access 2010 now as a development team and - as always with new software - there are some positives and negatives to report.

It is a better development environment than Access 2007 for lots of reasons, not least because there is "Intellisense" now throughout the application (including when building queries) and the old File menu (now called "Backstage") has returned.

Our standard application framework has caused us problems, however, as Access 2010 mysteriously reopens the Switchboard form when the user asks the system to close. We have reported the issue to Microsoft and they are as baffled as us, so it has been a case of finding a workaround rather than a solution. We have done this now and will continue to test.

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