Come and meet us at BVE 2018

We’ll be exhibiting at the Broadcast Video Exhibition, aka BVE, again this year, making it our 7th visit. This year the show runs from the 27th of February to 1st March at Excel London and we’ll be there demonstrating how our flexible leases can benefit the broadcast business.

Why BVE?

We look forward to BVE each year because we get to experience the latest technology hands on, as well as meeting our existing and potential new clients. With around 300 companies attending there will be lots to see with businesses showcasing their products whilst an extensive program of free seminars featuring more than 200 speakers and over 100 sessions across the 3 days. We’ll be on the same stand as last year – R29 – so come along and meet some of the HardSoft team who will be there explaining how our leasing can benefit those in fast-moving tech heavy industry. You’ll find that leasing turns the un-affordable into something very affordable indeed. read more


Unlocking Strongbox: VR & the World’s Fastest Workstation

Strongbox’s graphic rendering power – perfect for VR development

Asus’s partnership with High Performance Computer manufacturer Strongbox has resulted in the creation of the world’s fastest PC workstation.  With outstanding graphics rendering, this makes it perfect for VR development use.  As they are keen to point out, their system has so far broken all records, taking over the OctaneBench top position with the highest score of 1620.82, all powered by less than eight ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 Tis in an eight-way SLI configuration.

As Strongboxes technical director, Brian Gannon, points out “Our computers are demonstrably faster than our competitors like HP. I would say Dell are now pretty much out of the running. HP are still making excellent systems and are very well built but the fact is they are going down the XEON route because that’s what the industry recommends, which isn’t necessarily correct. Because they are going down the XEON route and they are clocked so much lower it means that our machines especially our i7X machine absolutely pummels it in to the ground. Especially with video editing, VFX and grading.” read more


Should we use iPads in Schools?

The debate rages on and the same question is asked: “Should we use iPads in Schools?” With so many varying opinions, we take a look at the issue in detail, asking are they just a passing craze or can they really help children to learn in a new and exciting way?

Check out the advantages

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you need to at least consider the question as not doing so could mean that your children are failing to benefit in ways that they should. Many teachers that already use iPads take the view that they are a great asset to the classroom, enabling them to support and add to lessons rather than detract. Let’s look at some of the reasons why many rate them so highly: read more


iMac Pro – What Else Can You Get for your Money?

Apart from a small car or a dream holiday… The iMac Pro is here with a starting price of £4899 configurable into the £13000 mark… apart from a small car or a great holiday could there be computing alternatives.So what alternatives are there to the iMac Pro, and does it represent good value.

The first issue you will have to face is that you will need to jump ship from Apple and into a PC and Windows 10 operating system. If you’ve spent your entire life using Apple’s iOS, this is probably the thing that scares you most about making the move to Windows. But what’s it actually like using Windows? Current PCs aren’t what they were, in fact Microsoft hasn’t just caught up with Apple, in many ways they’re leading the pack. read more


GDPR – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It!

Hold onto your hats, the world is coming to an end!

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect, and the world as we know it will end!

The implementation of the GDPR is going to have effects in every corner of the digital world. There will be marketing teams around the world with a mountain of consumer data that has been gathered in all sorts of ways and they will be being held to account for any dodgy practices they have used in the past

There’s a data revolution coming and it’s here to put a stop to all those spam emails and super annoying social media ad campaigns that besiege us every day at the behest of the army of digital marketers across the globe. read more


Microsoft Surface for Education

When it comes to the education sector, most schools have been using Apple’s Macbooks and iPads which work really well for them. However, the release of Microsoft’s Surface range means that there is now a great alternative to those iPads and Macbooks.

A study conducted by FutureSource found that Apple iOS and MacOS devices are in decline, particularly in the USA, and are not necessarily the primary tools of those in the education system. They found that outside of the US, Microsoft is still a leader in the market read more


Are Apple getting serious about VR game development?

There have been issues with some older Apple computers not supporting VR game development and users finding it difficult to work out which are compatible and which are not.  But that will not be the case for much longer as things are changing for the good with the introduction of Apple’s new High Sierra OS.

Addition of metal 2 API + eGPU

As we already know, within the High Sierra update there is already an improved version of Apple’s Metal graphics API and this, together with the eGPU Development Kit, enables developers to continue on their journey of creating apps with full VR content. read more


The next developments for the Mac Pro

Next year could be a big one for Mac users, with the announcement from Apple that we’ll soon be seeing a radical revamp to the Mac Pro. But what is in store and when might we see these big changes? Here’s everything we know so far.

When is it coming?

In April 2017, Apple made a series of announcements regarding the Mac Pro. It’s been a long time coming – the current version of the Mac Pro has been available since December 2013. With new iPhones coming and going, it rather seemed like desktop users were being forgotten so it’s great to hear that Apple have some big developments in store. read more


What Does High Sierra mean for VR Developers?

The release of Apple’s new operating system, High Sierra, has seen a whole host of additions and improvements aimed at VR developers. Join us as we delve in and take a look at them in more depth!

Metal 2 API – what it is and what it does

Included in the High Sierra update and apparently at least ten times faster than the previous version, this is an increased form of Apple’s Metal graphics API, enabling VR developers to sidestep the macOS system and go directly to a VR headset; even using only a MacBook there will be sufficient GPU function to utilize the VR and SteamVR, the HTC Vive, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity will also work with a Mac. read more


New Start Businesses – Lease Application Process Explained

So you’ve got a new start business and you want to lease your IT equipment. What do you need to do, and how does it work? If you are a new business you are probably well aware of how difficult it is to establish a credit history, as well as how traditional financing methods such as banks can be difficult to deal with. HardSoft can provide from £1,000 to £15,000 of lease finance to new businesses, which can include both hardware and software.

Here we explain our simple application process for new start businesses:

  1. The first step is to establish whether you are a homeowner.
  2. If you are a homeowner, we will ask you for bank statements (either business or personal) in order to assess your ability to meet the lease repayments. If you are not a homeowner, we will ask you to provide a guarantor, such as a director, shareholder, or relative.
    • Unfortunately, if you’re unable to provide a guarantor we won’t be able to proceed with your lease application.
  3. Once you have provided your bank statements, we will review them to prove you can cover payments.
    • A Limited Director’s Indemnity may be requested if you have set up a new Limited Company.
    • If we cannot be satisfied that you would be able to make the repayments on your lease we will not be able to proceed with your application.
  4. If you are looking for an amount in excess of £10k we will request to see your business plan or proof that you have external investment in your business.
    • Once we have seen either your business plan or proof of external investment we will complete your application and proceed with any credit searches.
  5. If you are requesting less that £10k we will complete your application and proceed with any credit searches.

The first payment will be equivalent to one month’s payment, which can be paid by debit or credit card. Occasionally we may require the lease to be over 24 months (rather than 36) and a deposit of three months maybe requested should the ability to repay be difficult to assess. read more