Category Archives: Uncategorized

Merge and Split PDF Files – PDFSam

Found some open source software that’s so useful, I thought I’d blog about it quickly…

PDFSam (

Brilliant… it doesn’t look very pretty and it’s not super user friendly – but when it comes to merging and splitting PDF files, it does the business.


Virgin Atlantic & Air Passenger Duty – Chaos ahead

I’m booked on a long haul flight with Virgin Atlatic on 01 Feb – the day Gordon Brown’s increased Air Passenger Duty (APD) takes effect. My flight was booked back in October, long before the announcement on the 6th December. Watching how the airlines handle this is interesting…

+ the low cost airlines, as expected, are collecting the fee

+ British Airways, unexpectedly, has decided to absorb the fee for those that had paid before the announcement – nice one BA!

+ Virgin Atlantic… have decided to collect the money, but haven’t decided how… quite frustrating for me… only 9 days to go and they still don’t know. I really don’t fancy having to queue up at the airport while the chaos unfolds on the 1st February.

Here’s what Virgin’s “Customer Service” people had to say…

Thank you for your email. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

Virgin Atlantic will be collecting the Air Passenger Duty tax from passengers but is still reviewing how best to claim the tax.

Information will be made available on our website as soon as possible.

In the mean time, I would like to thank you for your patience.

Thank you for contacting Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Kind Regards,

Rashi Nanda
Contact Centre Customer Services Team

SAA specials from UK to SA

Just received this special offer email from SAA, which covers most of the year, but must be booked by 31 Jan.

Who can shed pounds
on fares to
South Africa?
South African Airways
From only £404.*
Visit or
call 0871 226 5397 for reservations.
*Book by 31st January 2007.
Valid for travel between 20th January – 30th November 2007.
Fare includes all taxes. Conditions apply.


  • Fares are subject to availability
  • GBP404.00 includes all taxes applicable for London – Johannesburg – London.
    GBP454.00 includes all taxes applicable for London – Cape Town – London
  • Booking period: 22 December 2006 – 31 January 2007
  • Travel period: 20 January 2007 – 22 March 2007 & 19 April 2007 – 30 June 2007 & 01 September 2007 – 30 Novemebr 2007
  • Valid on South African Airways direct international services from London to Johannesburg and London to Cape Town only
  • Refunds: Tickets are non-refundable and non-endorsable
  • Cancellations: No refund
  • Changes: Not permitted after ticketing
  • Endorsements: Non-endorsable, non-refundable, valid on flights/dates shown only
  • Child fares: Accompanying children aged 2-11 years inclusive pay 75% of the adult fare
  • Infant fares: Accompanying infants under 2 years old not occupying a seat pay 10% of the adult fare
  • Voyager Miles Accrual: Special fares qualify for 50% of flown miles only

Is your business ready for the Millenials?

Very interesting article on how companies and workplaces need to adapt to attract and retain a new generation of staff born since 1980 (like my brother!!)…

Online HSMP Calculator

The Home Office changed the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) rules earlier this month. I put together a little online calculator for people to easily establish whether they qualify under the rules, or not. Give it a spin…

…may not a mean a lot to you, but if your existing (Working Holiday) visa is running out, an HSMP could be the only way to stay in the UK, unless you can find someone to sponsor you for a Work Permit.

Twickenham & Smoking Banned…

Just read this fantastic news that the ban on smoking in public (indoor) places in England kicks off on 01 July 2007… pity it can’t start sooner…

… which reminded me of Saturday… I was very fortunate to watch the Springboks beat England at Twickenham, along with great hospitality before and after the match in the Orchard facility. The only draw back to the whole day was that smoking was allowed in the hospitality facility (a “semi permanent structure” – or “a marqee with walls” as ordinary people call it!). I checked it out with the manager there and his reply was “Yes, I know, but smoking IS allowed”!!! Fortunately by the next lot of Autumn internationals, smoking in enclosed spaces will be against the law.

How to make clients think you’re good

It was like dejavu when I read this article, as it’s along the lines of my thinking lately.

This article is focussed on contractors, but I think it’s valid advice for whole IT departments! Just like real life, and politics, you need to spin things a bit if you want to create the right impression.