I’m a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to web design – I like simple informative web pages that just “do the job” and don’t tend to follow the latest design fashions.  So our site has not changed overall for a long time.  However, there is a specific issue that clearly needs improvement, which is accessibly for mobile devices. Our old method of having a small set of pages specifically for mobiles is simply not good enough nowadays.

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I have spent a lot of time recently looking at this, but have not found a satisfactory solution so far.

We have disabled the “Buy Now” buttons on the website, so purchases cannot be made using the automated method.  It is still perfectly possible to purchase software licences from us by simply sending a request email.  The transaction and licence code generation is then handled entirely manually, though continues to use PayPal and email delivery as previously. We are told this falls outside the scope of the new rules so no VAT is applied and our prices are unchanged.

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The EU regulations about paying VAT for the sale of “digital services” are changing with effect from 1st January 2015.  There is masses of information and comments on this subject all over the Internet, so I’m not going to describe every aspect of it here (just boring for most people anyway!).  I think however, that  it will directly impact on the Deeproot business – which is relevant to all our existing and potential customers.

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We run the business from our home and in a few days time we will be moving house  to a new area in a beautiful part of Wales, about 200 miles west of our current location.

There are a number of problems arranging an internet connection for the new house, due to its very rural situation.  It may take several weeks for the land-line and broadband to be connected  and it’s probable that communication will be difficult during  most of  July.  We may be unable to respond to support and other queries for a while.  However, we will do our best to catch up as soon as possible.

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A new version of Plant Base is available for download – 2.1.4.

This is a program maintenance release with only minor changes and a number of bug fixes.

Along with the new program version there is also an update to the plant database itself, data release 25. It has been some time since the last data release, so we decided to issue one now. There are many updates to existing records and some new plant records and pictures. However, there were quite a large number of amendments that we could not finalise quickly so these will be carried over for the next release.

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Over recent years there have been more requests for this than anything else!   Well, it should be ready for public release quite soon.

The Mac edition of Plant Base is a direct port from the Windows program and coded in the same language – the spectacular PureBasic from Fantaisie Software.   A large part of the program is exactly the same as the current Windows release and this has greatly helped in speeding along the development. The Mac operating system is however quite different (and new to me!),  so a fair number of changes were needed to switch over and adapt things that are specific to the two environments.  The bulk of this work is done, leaving mainly finer details still to be tweaked and of course some extended testing.

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This has been waiting in the wings for quite a while, but finally completed and released!  Extra Keys Pro is an extended edition aimed at web writers, computer programmers and possibly technical writers.  It is based on the latest standard edition and looks much the same. However,  it offers the important additional capability of outputting characters in a number of coded formats. These include HTML entity name and code, plus other numeric code formats.

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