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Odd jobs

Odd jobs

Strange Software is happy to discuss odd jobs and more unusual requests. We enjoy solving problems, undertaking difficult projects and applying all our experience and expertise to create an effective custom solution. We're also aware that a task that can be a nightmare with packaged software can be child's play with a small, straightforward program tailor-made to do the job and that "impossible" data conversion or extraction jobs unravel like a Sherlock Holmes case when the right tools and approach are applied to them.

Some of the projects we've undertaken include:

PC-process equipment disk conversion

We reverse engineered the disk format and filing system for a piece of factory equipment for our client, creating a PC utility that gave them full access to the machine's proprietary disks (format, copy, delete, rename, etc.). This gave the client, a major UK computer manufacturer, the ability to easily create, manage and archive jobs for the equipment.

PC game patched in binary to support unusual UK video card

The Amstrad PC1512 low-cost PC clone was a startling breakthrough in its day but had one or two eccentricities including a non-standard version of the IBM PC CGA display. We patched a licensed American product for a UK games company at object-code level to make it work on the best-selling machine.

Generate winning and non-winning numbers for competition cards

We generated winning and non-winning car registration numbers for lottery cards for a UK car dealership chain, providing the printer with the data in a suitable format for their press.

PC support for a piece of electromechanical art

We developed an RS232 link and end-user interface to the machine's Forth-based controller with real-time logging of machine's operation and on-demand colour printouts of machine's current 'work'

Windows VxD support for bar code scanner

We created a Windows Virtual Device Driver to allow a client's DOS-based handheld barcode scanner to drive new Windows-based terminals in their shops across the UK.

9-track tape reading and data conversion

We hired a 9 track tape controller and read hundreds of tapes in almost as many different formats for a city client, converting the data into a common format and compiling in a manageable PC database for future processing.

Anything legal & reasonably decent considered. Try us


Interactive Bird Nest Plotter We developed a small custom Windows application for a wildlife survey engaged in monitoring the effects of coastal defence works on the local and visiting wild bird population over a number of years. The software allows surveyors to easily overlay the locations of the birds' nests onto a licensed colour large-scale OS map of the area, producing useful and easily understandable colour diagrams for reports and encoding the data in a compact file format for possible future use. A dramatic improvment over felt tip blobs on rain-soaked photocopies and a good example of how a small, focussed custom application can prove an excellent solution to a real world problem.

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