Where it all began…

I was going through some old photos the other day and was reminded where it all began. My first computer that I built with my uncle, ok so he did most of the work but I helped. It was the late 70’s or early 80’s and I was about 10 years old. I think it was a Zilog Z80 processor with 32kb of RAM. Yes, that’s kb (kilobytes), not mb or gb! That’s less than the size of a typical email.

When I first got it, it had no storage device (no disk drive, not even cassette tape) and no printer. I would type in my programs, debug and run them. The “Save” button was pen and paper, I’d write them down then next time I wanted to run them I had to type them in again. I eventually got a cassette recorder attached (seen on the floor above) so I could finally save and load my programs.

Later I got my first “real” computer, a Commodore 64 (below) with a whopping 64kb RAM

After the Commodore 64 I got my first PC, an IBM XT Clone with 640kb RAM and twin 360kb 5 1/4″ floppy drives. That was in the late 80’s and the rest is history.

So there you have it, once a nerd, always a nerd!


Contact Us

We recently removed the Contact Us form from our web site due to excessive spam.

Our contact details are at the top of our web site, we’re not that hard to find.

Apologies for any inconvenience


When to celebrate milestones?

We have a big year coming up in 2019 with our company turning 10 years old. However we operated in QLD as a sole trader for 10 years prior to that so really the business will be 20 years old. Then again, prior to that Epsoft was registered as a business name in WA for several years, although that was more of a side venture. If we really go back, I coined the Epsoft name when I first starting coding back in the late 70’s, early 80’s. That makes it nearly 40 years old and on a personal note I turn 50 in 2019 so either way it will be a significant year.

In case you were wondering, Epsoft is just a simplification of my surname “Epps” and “Software”. It confuses a lot of people because there are two P’s in “Epps” but only one in “Epsoft”. Before you judge, I was 10 when I came up with it and “Eppsoft” just didn’t look right to me at the time.

The question is, what, when and how to celebrate? I think a birthday party for my 50th is a given, but how do I celebrate the business milestone (whichever one that is)? Most of my current clients didn’t know me prior to 1999 so I’m thinking the 20 year milestone is the sensible one to celebrate.

How did you celebrate your business milestone(s)?

TM2014 Adds Rehab Photo Annotation Tool

To complement our popular Core Photo Renaming Tool, TM2014 now has a Rehab Photo Annotation Tool. Like it’s Core Photo brother, the Rehab Photo Editor is a simple tool which allows you to quickly and easily annotate your photos adding site, project, location date and other information directly onto the photo. When linked to an existing site in TM all the required info is populated automatically so all you have to do is click a button and save the resulting image file.


Backups are vital, we all know this but so many of us don’t do it, or don’t backup frequently enough. In the past backups were very manual and time intensive but these days they can be completely automated.

Traditionally you would plug in an external drive and backup the entire system taking hours. While these types of backups are still common, new cloud based systems offer many advantages.

The biggest consideration with any cloud based product is data security. Many cloud systems are operated by overseas organisations in countries with different privacy laws. If you are storing sensitive data such as medical or banking information you will need to carefully examine the legal implications and may be better served by more traditional backup systems and/or locally based cloud offerings.

Various cloud storage products such as DropBox, Google Drive and OneDrive offer free accounts for personal use and/or small quantities of data. Most also offer business packages at reasonable costs. These can easily be used as offsite backup storage. However, unless you also use these as your primary storage you will need some software to automatically sync your main files with your DropBox (or equivalent) folder.

Personally I use a product called Cubby mainly because unlike the ones mentioned above, it allows me to nominate any existing folder as a Cubby folder. I can also use it to synchronise folders between PC’s without that data going into the Cloud. This is useful for more sensitive information or large bulky files that I don’t need in the cloud, just backed up to another PC.

Of course there are many other types of backup but the above are easy and relatively cheap to setup.

Contact us if you would like more information about backup systems

Windows 10 Upgrade

*** This information is now obsolete as the free upgrade offer has ended ***

If you are running Windows 7 or 8 I highly recommend taking advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10. I have performed the upgrade on a number of PC’s without any major issues. There may be the odd driver or application that needs to be reinstalled but on the whole the process has always been relatively painless.

The free upgrade offer expires on the 29th July so what are you waiting for?


Ransom-ware is a type of software that installs itself on your PC then proceeds to encrypt all your files so you can’t access them. It will usually then direct you to a web page where you can pay to have the files un-encrypted. At present there are few options, either pay or restore your files from a backup. Even if you pay there’s no guarantee that they will actually decrypt your files.

The best way to avoid ransom-ware is to be careful opening email attachments or clicking suspicious links. As always, make sure you have good backups in place including offsite and/or cloud based backups. If your backup drives are connected to your PC or network the ransom-ware can encrypt that as well!

For example, check out this suspicious email I received just today:

There’s a few obvious issues here the most obvious being the return address, pchapman43@cox.net, doesn’t seem like a likely address that the ATO would use. Also, the attachment is a Word document, the ATO would never send a word document. Always be suspicious and if in doubt, don’t open it and contact the sender directly via a known phone number or email address.

Another thing to look out for is attachments with hidden extensions. The extension is the letters on the end of the filename that indicate the type of file. Scammers will often put a double extension such as .pdf.exe Windows often hides these extensions so you don’t see the .exe and might think it’s just a .pdf file.

I recommend always showing the extension so you can see the file types. You just have to be careful when renaming files that you retain the correct extension/type. Just go into your Folder Options and un-tick “Hide extensions for known file types”. I also show hidden files but that’s just a personal preference, you don’t normally need to see those.