Martyn's blog

Sheffield Office - or lack of...

So the grand plan was to have the new office open, up and running by the 1st of September.

Well, as anyone who has tried to contact us recently will have noticed, we don't have 'a' Sheffield office at present - and we're ad-hoc working via three 'semi-offices'.

So - if you need to contact us - please use the Contact Form here, or call the usual number: 0114 258 5550 and someone may actually get back to you.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience - and if I sound a bit frustrated it's because I AM FRUSTRATED.

Please also note the new address, which will eventually be our office, maybe, if we can find builders who can build...

RIP - Graham Bagshaw

An email just arrived with the sad news that Graham Bagshaw ( died unexpectedly last Friday (15th July 2011).

Graham after eating

Graham was almost a part of the furniture during the early days of Solis, especially so at TechKnow, our Cybercafe on London Road.

Graham Bagshaw - TechKnow 1998

A passionate interest in information technology - especially how it may be deployed within community organisations, Graham was a founder member and regular contributor to 'Snuffle', the email discussion list of the Network Users' Forum (

Graham Bagshaw - eating

Graham also liked to eat - and would be guaranteed to turn up with Sue to any 'do' that had been arranged.

Graham - eating

Above all, Graham shared with Solis a basic and fundamental respect for the strategy of not taking ourselves too seriously.

Our thoughts are with Sue.

NUF December 1999


Martyn & Charlotte

Top Tip - Better than a USB stick!

Handy as they are for moving documents, files and photos between computers, home and office - USB portable memory sticks also very easy to lose, leave in another jacket, or simply forget to remove from ones computer. 

I was recently introduced to a little program called 'Dropbox' - and have now left my USB memory sticks in the office drawer.  Essentially what it does is create a folder on your computer that is then 'mirrored' on any other computer to which you load the Dropbox software.

So, I place a spreadsheet into the Dropbox folder on my work machine, and it's there waiting for me when I get home, or on my laptop - or (and this is the killer for me), I can access it directly on my mobile phone using the Dropbox 'App'.

Best of all - it's FREE for up to 2Gigabyte of storage!

You can get it here .

Neither I nor Solis are associated with Dropbox - but it's such a handy tool that we felt we really should let you know about it!

Can't download from Android Market!

I - and all the staff here have Android phones.

We also have email accounts.

...and we've found a problem.

As have LOTS of our customers.

Simply put - our phones had stopped downloading from Android Market.

The problem and solution:

PROBLEM: - Google 'mail' in the UK was, until recently known as 'googlemail'.  Now Google offer it as '' and users have the option to switch their 'main' googlemail address to a 'gmail' one.

SWITCHING CAN BREAK YOUR PHONE in such a way as you will either be unable to access the Android Market, or - more of an issue, although able to access the market, unable to download Apps - they go in a queue, but not actually download.

THIS WILL also slaughter your battery life, as your phone will be constantly using wifi, or *G to try and download your Apps in the queue.

SOLUTION: - Just login to your gmail / googlemail account, AND SWITCH BACK to your old @googlemail address.  You can still use either @gmail or @googlemail addresses, and after a reboot, your phone will download all the Apps you have been waiting for.


If this doesn't work - tough.  It isn't a problem caused by us, is in no way related to the service we offer, and the fix provided above is simply as a courtesy.  We are not paid to give support to Microsoft or Google - if you still have a problem - go talk to Gooogle or your phone provider.  DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL US.




Postal Workers' Strike

Solis support the current action being taken by postal workers.

We will not apply any penalty for late payments caused by invoices or cheques being delayed during the course of this dispute.

Furthermore, Solis will not move our postal business away from Royal Mail, however for environmental reasons we prefer to send invoices via email, and for security reasons we prefer to be paid via BACS.


Sorry Mr Mandleson, but you're wrong, plain wrong.  The postal service cannot be looked at in a purely commercial sense.  It is a vital part of our community infrastructure and acts as a safety device for all of us.  Selling off the most profitable parts and planning to break up Royal Mail will have a direct and negative effect on every elderly, vulnerable person in the country.

A Management who do not listen to their workers and customers is destined to fail.  A Management who get in to bed with Mandleson, well, as the old saying goes, if you sleep with dogs...

Support your 'Postie', you never know, they may save yout life one day - or the life of someone you care about.


New Solis Website Launch!

That's launch, not lunch :-)

From our early roots providing 1200baud dial-up via banks of Hayes smartmodems, UUCP and very basic Linux hosting to our current range of high-speed, high quality access and hosting solutions, we've always attempted to offer a robust range of products and services, uncomplicated and uncluttered with unnecessary features, jargon, bells or whistles. Our website has always attempted to reflect this methodology and we hope that this latest incarnation of our site, predominantly text based, enables you to quickly find all you need to know about who we are, and what we sell.

Our previous site served us well (excuse the pun) and lasted around 9 or 10 years (well done Gareth, fine work) but we decided that times move on, and we should get ourselves a bit of a makeover.  This new site offers a lot more functionality (once you're Registered), and is designed to be fully accessible to W3C standards, (click the logo below to find out more).

Once registered, please feel free to add your comments below and let us all know what you think about our new site.

If the technobabble in the first paragraph means little to you, don't worry.  We're here to shield you from the techie stuff, allowing you to do whatever it is you do best.


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