Archive for ‘May, 2012’

I just found a really old Seth Godin rant video dating back to 2006 which is still highly relevant and entertaining today. It made me smile and is worth 20 minutes of your time if like me (and Seth) you are frustrated by inexplicably bad design.

In my job I spend a lot of time looking at broken procedures and broken design and then fixing stuff. I get great satisfaction from making something better and easier for our clients… but seriously it isn’t that hard. I am continually amazed by how broken stuff is that people put up with day in and day out. Equally I find it staggering how prepared most people are to just shrug their shoulders and carry on regardless. “It’s just the way its always been…”

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Presenting on the iPad
[VIDEO] Tablet Strategy Bootcamp
[SLIDES] Miami Presentation

Author: Paul Saunders

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Just in case you need a reason to visit the Aircraft Commerce Airline & Aerospace MRO & Operations IT Conference in Darmstadt on the 12th – 13th June 2012, then here’s 8 of them for you.

8 Reasons

Visit the Aircraft Commerce website for more details and search Twitter for #AeroIT. If you would like an invite to visit the conference as our guest then please get in touch.

Related Posts:
Presenting on the iPad
[VIDEO] Tablet Strategy Bootcamp
[SLIDES] Miami Presentation

Author: Paul Saunders

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Conduce Software are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a contract by Thomas Cook Airlines to provide hosting and support services for their CAA approved Electronic Techlog and Electronic Flight Bag (ETL/EFB). The contract runs for three years with the work to transition the support and service taking with immediate effect.

The current ETL/EFB solution has been in place with Thomas Cook for a number of years, but when the current provider expressed their desire to exit from the EFB market last year Conduce Software were well positioned to take over the service having already been contracted by Thomas Cook to develop iPad data acquisition software for their pilots. Conduce Software were selected from three tendering companies and have been working with the current provider to ensure there is a relatively seamless transition of service and that licenses are in place to grant usage of the various patents and intellectual property behind the solution.

What is an electronic Techlog?

All flights are required by law to be recorded in the aircraft’s technical logbook. This log details where the aircraft flew from and to and the aircraft utilisation, namely for how long it was flying and how many landings it made. This data is essential to schedule maintenance and safety inspections for the aircraft. A copy of each logbook page is required to remain on the aircraft with a copy staying on the ground at the last destination and another copy being sent back to base. The use of paper of course has its issues and airlines have sought to replace antiquated paper, post and fax systems with more up to date electronic systems. The ETL system in use by Thomas Cook does exactly this. Each aircraft is equipped with a ruggedized laptop installed with the ETL software to record all the data normally entered onto a paper logbook and this data is synchronised after each flight with a centralised server. That uploaded data is then transferred to the airline’s maintenance system for processing and analysis. The solution in use by Thomas Cook also provides a number of additional tools for the pilot and line engineers and is known collectively as an electronic flight bag partially replacing the bulky black bags filled with paper charts and manuals that most pilots use.

Conduce Director Wayne Enis said:

As well as providing service and support for Thomas Cook for the existing systems we will be developing and enhancing the ETL software. At present the software only works on PC based laptops, but we would like to offer potential customers the option to choose whatever platform they wish. There is a new Windows operating system being launched later this year, so preparing the software to work with Windows 8 is an obvious first step, but converting the software to work on iPads or Android tablets is an obvious next step and one we are already working towards.

Thomas Cook General Manager for Line Maintenance Rob Woods is looking forward to seeing how a small company like Conduce Software can differentiate themselves from larger companies who are normally in the EFB arena.

We have been working with Conduce for some time on a number of smaller software projects and we have been very pleased with their ability to react and meet our requirements. I am confident in their ability to be nimble and provide innovative solutions to complex aircraft maintenance problems and that this can be scaled up for a project like this.

About Conduce Software

To put it simply, WE MAKE SOFTWARE… You can buy software we have already made or we can make software especially for you. Either way, our focus is on using the latest and greatest technologies to solve complex problems with simple and useful software.

We have a small and agile development team, so we are able to turn great ideas into REAL working software in a very short period of time. However we are pragmatic and flexible enough to adopt approaches and methodologies that work best for the specific problem. Our own software reflects what we believe:

  • Our software is targeted to performing a specific function flawlessly. No bloat.
  • Our software has open architecture to allow it to connect to other systems.
  • Our software is designed around the user. No added complexity.
  • Our software is mobile and adaptable to work anywhere on any platform.

Founded in 2010 Conduce Software is based in Nuneaton in Warwickshire at the Eliot Park Innovation Centre.

About Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook UK & Ireland is the second largest leisure travel group in the UK with around 19,000 employees and is part of Thomas Cook Group PLC
Thomas Cook UK & Ireland has a network of more than 800 high street stores (Thomas Cook and Going Places), a leading website (www.thomascook.com) and some of the world’s favourite travel brands. The Company’s airline, Thomas Cook Airlines, operates a fleet of 44 aircraft and flies from various regional airports to destinations worldwide.

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The latest issue of the AircraftIT Ops eJournal is out today and I’m the new columnist. Ed and John from AircraftIT approached me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d like to provide a regular feed of my “pithy comments” for the publication. I’d already had a couple of articles published which are quite a lot of work to do along with the day job, so the idea of providing content on a little and often basis was a lot more attractive. The copy deadline for this issue was the same week as the Aircraft Commerce Airline & Aerospace MRO & Operations IT Conference in Miami, so it was pretty simple to pick a topic and rattle off one of my stream of thoughts on a topical subject.

I’m quite satisfied with the results and the guys have done a good job of complying with my own personal style. You can download the eJournal from the AircraftIT website or read the latest issue via the AircraftIT iPad app which is due for an update in the next few days. If you have any thoughts or ideas for future columns then please get in touch.

Related Posts:
Presenting on the iPad
[VIDEO] Tablet Strategy Bootcamp
[SLIDES] Miami Presentation

Author: Paul Saunders

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DriveSecure the bespoke web application that has been developed by Conduce Software for vehicle fleet management specialists TR Fleet today enrolled their 500th active user of the system. DriveSecure originally went live in January of this year and is currently undergoing a fourth phase of development. Congratulations to TR Fleet for their fantastic success!

More more information about DriveSecure please visit www.drivesecure.co.uk and please contact us for more information about our bespoke software development capability.

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Previously I’ve made no secret of my confusion about certain social media networks. I think its probably a sign of getting old and cantankerous, but I really don’t understand the appeal of some of the recent darlings of the social network world. Instagram and Pinterest are the two which confuse me the most. I was interested to see a workflow that had been tweeted by one of my favourite writers Dan Pink which I was hoping would clear up some of my misgivings about Pinterest.


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Although beautifully designed and highly informative I thought the workflow was a little one sided so I became inspired to produce a counter. Here it is:


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OK, I admit it. My workflow is very tongue in cheek, but my message is this: Just because Pinterest is the World’s third largest social network it doesn’t mean you have to get it or embrace it. Pinterest’s success should be applauded, they have clearly identified a requirement in the “market” and have successfully exploited it. It speaks volumes that Pinterest’s scrap book style user interface is probably the most copied UI trend in recent months. If something has no apparent value to you, there’s no point wasting time and effort trying to understand it and embracing it. There are more important things to do. This was certainly the case with Foursquare. Our business rarely gets visitors, so Foursquare has little appeal to us, but for businesses in the retail or hospitality sector geo-location based social networks are fantastic.

The original (and better flowchart) was posted by jewellery designer Megan Auman on her blog along with a well reasoned argument where her central statement is:
“Just because you don’t get something, doesn’t mean it isn’t it isn’t valuable”

I think Megan and I are both right. Just because I don’t get something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to some people. Equally there’s no point in embracing something for the sake of it where its value isn’t understood or lacks relevance.

Thanks for the interesting lesson Megan.

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Time Booking with Social Networks
Chatroulette Examined

Author: Paul Saunders

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Conduce Software are thrilled to announce that version 2 of our innovative sticky notes app YBoard for iPad has been approved by Apple for release on the iTunes App Store. Existing users of YBoard should be receiving notifications of the upgrade today and new users can buy version 2 of YBoard from iTunes. This is the first major release of YBoard since its launch in January. This version features support for the new iPad’s retina display offering stunning 2048×1536 graphics plus the much awaited Room feature which caters for multiple boards.

Click here to preview YBoard for iPad on the iTunes App Store

Paul Saunders from Conduce Software explained the new Room feature:
“One of the major features lacking in the first version of YBoard was the inability to save multiple boards. When we started working on YBoard we wanted to get something released as soon as possible. Supporting multiple boards was just one of the features that we had to leave out of version 1. But we quickly came to realise that multiple boards was an absolute must-have feature. We started the design process almost as soon as the first version of YBoard was released.”

“People aren’t just using YBoard as a simple note taking app… they want to use YBoard to organise and arrange their notes, so it followed that we should arrange boards in a similar way.”

Boards are arranged on the Room screen in the same way as notes can be arranged on boards. Users can move boards around and arrange as they please with zooming and panning just the same as the board screens. The major difference is that the boards are represented by a snapshot of the board saved in a stylish Polaroid style frame. The introduction of multiple boards was a major technical achievement with the whole application being re-written to re-factor the revised architecture. Existing users need not worry about their existing notes though. These are all imported as part of the upgrade procedure.

The Help system has had a facelift to accommodate the new iPad’s retina display. As with the first version of YBoard a whimisical help screen is used but this time there is help documentation provided for both the Room screen and the Board screens, plus a more stylish dark grey colour scheme has been used.

The next version of YBoard is already in the planning stage with some great new features on their way very soon. YBoard for iPad is available on the iTunes App Store for £0.69 or $0.99 and is an ideal sticky notes tool for note taking, planning, mind mapping or just having fun. Please contact us for more information about YBoard or if you would like to find out how Conduce Software can help turn your ideas for an app into reality.

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Yesterday the AircraftIT iPad app was downloaded from the iTunes App Store for the 2000th time since launch in October last year. The app which complements the AircraftIT website which is a global portal for aircraft MRO and operations IT suppliers and buyers is developed by Conduce Software. After an initial flurry of downloads, which saw the first thousand downloads achieved in less than a month, there has been a steady trickle of new installs each week.

AircraftIT for iPad, is available as a FREE download on the iTunes App Store. Keep an eye out for the next version of AircraftIT with new content and features coming very soon. Preview AircraftIT for iPad here

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