Category Archives: Uncategorized



Recently I was in a pop-up store in Belgium. A pop-up store is a temporary store, which offers one-time opportunities. Often, these opportunities are a possibility to buy something at a very low price. More often it is an opportunity to buy something at normal price while you think it is cheap. Sometimes it is an opportunity to eat something unique or to have another special experience.

It is 9 AM, time to start work. While I’m working on a software project, Viber displays a small but annoying pop-up window on my screen. It says it is updating. The pop-up is exactly in the middle of the screen, preventing me from reading the programming code I’m working on.

So, I decide to have a quick look at a website on my other screen while Viber takes a minute or so to update itself. Meanwhile, my partner sends me a link to a website, which Skype displays in a little pop-up window in the bottom-right of my screen. When I see this, I somehow remember I wanted to reduce the audio output level of my computer, but when I move the mouse to Window’s system tray, a pop-up tells me that some Asus bloat ware has been updated and keeps me from clicking on the sound icon.

Three minutes later, I change the sound level, uninstall the Acer bloatware permanently, click on the link in Skype to start Firefox, and start Viber. Unfortunately, this takes me about 10 minutes, including a quick check for additional bloatware, which fortunately doesn’t seem to exist on my computer for now.

At 9:15 I start Viber, which opens with a pop-up. Now we have oversized emoticons! Send gifs! Wtf –who cares about bouncing pies and frames of Mr. Bean?! The Viber screen was displayed on my secondary screen at a large size. The pop-up covering the Viber window deactivated that Viber window and immobilized it. Hence I was forced to move the window containing this text to my smaller primary window. Close, close, close! I pressed the close button and was surprised by a bunch of gifs for which I have no need. Clicking somewhere suddenly removed the gifs.

Good that we have got a little zen-garden near the river side.

So, when I started Firefox, I noticed that a script didn’t work correctly. Perhaps it got disabled due to security issues, I thought. So, I decide to update Firefox to the latest version, after which I restarted the browser again. The result was a huge pop-up courtesy of the annoying SendGrid. Why?! Anyway, I’m 15 minutes later into my day and still haven’t done anything productive.

Alright, perhaps it is time to relax with an article from the Daily Telegraph. No, not that one about a page 3 girl who got tempted to travel to the Near East. I’d rather read the article about Mother Theresa… Pop-up! Pay now or… Wait a sec, can’t I just block that pop-up with AdBlock? Yes, I can. What about that annoying cookie bar? Yep, that too. Again, five minutes of my time.

Oops! Now I remember I should have paid an important invoice before doing all those other things. Let me do this quickly. I log in on my bank’s website and after half a minute I am still waiting for the website to load. Wait a sec… what is that little pop-up on top of the website? Can’t load Flash?! On a bank’s website?! Yes, it is unbelievable, but my bank uses Flash.

I need to update Flash. Because I don’t like online updates, I go to Adobe’s website and download the Flash installer for admins. I make sure not to install McAfee (no pop-up this time, but a very tiny easy-to-miss checkbox that is set to ‘on’ by default) and almost 10 minutes later I am good to go. Invoice paid.

Anyway, I don’t know if it was because of the updates, but the script worked again. It is almost 10 AM. Time to take a break, away from all the unique opportunities on the ‘net. They took almost an hour of my day. I don’t need pop-ups.

European Union VAT Rules for Small and Medium Enterprises

Starting 1st January 2015, new VAT rules applied to all businesses in the European Union. This caused quite a stirr among small companies, notably small software companies and many companies in niche markets.

The idea was that it would be more transparent to consumers if they would always pay the sales tax rate applicable in their own country. Also, it seems to be justifiable to have VAT flow back to the country of origin by charging companies separately in each country where they generate revenues. Hence, European enterpreneurs would have to pay sales tax in every European country where they do business. Many owners of small European enterprises considered registering for and paying VAT in 28 different countries unrealistic. So did Economy-x-Talk and many small software companies. A few of our colleagues even decided to quit business.

Unfortunately, the rules were not widely published in every country –although available in official law publications– and caused quite some uncertainty during the first few months of 2015. All panic appeared to be unnecessary however. If, like Economy-x-Talk, you get your revenues from almost every country in Europe as well as many countries outside Europe, chances are that you will never have to worry about the admnistrative mess caused by the new EU sales tax rules.

As a software developer, I deliver
– electronic products such as apps and on-line services
– services such as consulting and software development
– other products such as books

What are the relevant rules?

1) If you do business in your own country only, you don´t need to worry about the new EU rules.

2) If you deliver electronic products such as apps and on-line services (e.g. streaming services) and telecom services, you can register for MOSS, which allows you to pay VAT in your own country and charge your customers the VAT rate of your own country, but this only applies to aforementioned services and not to other products and services that you may offer.

3) If you deliver to customers who have their own VAT number, you can shift VAT to those customers and they will pay the VAT in their own country, taking away the need to register for VAT in their country.

4) If you (also) deliver to customers without VAT number, whether or not you need to register for VAT in their countries depends on the amount of your revenues in those countries. If your revenues are less than the threshold value for VAT registration, then you don´t need to register and you can charge your foreign customers your domestic VAT rate and pay to the domestic TAX authority.

5) If your company doesn’t exceed the threshold values, you may have an obligation to pay to the national tax authority! You may still be able to ignore the threshold values and always charge foreign tax rates, but you may need to ask permission from your tax office before you can do so.
The threshold values follow below.

All small companies that consider registering for VAT in multiple countries as too complicated, are probably too small to exceed the threshold values. Larger companies can afford to hire an accountant who takes care of these matters.

If you have a small company, don’t worry about international VAT schemes. Just charge your customers the local VAT rate and pay to your own national VAT authority only.
By the end of the year 2015, the threshold values for the countries of the EU are the following.

Country         Currency   Threshold Value
Belgium         EUR        35 000
Bulgaria        BGN        70 000
Cypre           EUR        35 000
Danmark         DKK        280 000
Germany         EUR        100 000
Estonia         EUR        35 151
Finland         EUR        35 000
France          EUR        100 000
Greece          EUR        35 000
Hungary         HUF        8 800 000
Ireland         EUR        35 000
Italy           EUR        35 000
Croatia         HRK        263 000
Latvia          EUR        35 000
Lithuania       EUR        35 000
Luxembourg      EUR        100 000
Malta           EUR        35 000
Austria         EUR        35 000
Poland          PLN        160 000
Portugal        EUR        35 000
Romania         RON        118 000
Slovenia        EUR        35 000
Slowakia        EUR        35 000
Spain           EUR        35 000
Czech           CZK        1 140 000
United Kingdom  GBP        70 000
Sweden          SEK        320 000

No rights can be derived from the information on this page.

LiveCode Meeting October 2015 in the Netherlands

Scroll down for the English version of this post
Op vrijdag 9 oktober 2015 wordt er een LiveCode-bijeenkomst georganiseerd. Op deze bijeenkomst zullen deelnemers hun projecten of producten laten zien, van amateur tot professional, van beginner tot gevorderd. We zullen daar waarschijnlijk morgen meer informatie over kunnen geven.

Deelnemers krijgen de mogelijkheid met Arduino te experimenteren. Wie niet zo technische is kan een aan “workshop” over het maken van capacitieve buttons meedoen (een prima project voor beginners). Als je wat meer ervaring met electronica hebt, hebben we wat materiaal beschikbaar om mee te experimenteren (weerstanden, kabels, LED’s, motoren, enz.) Als je zelf een Arduino hebt, neem hem dan a.u.b. mee.

Op de bijeenkomst zal ik een exemplaar van “Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” en een licentie voor Roger Wagners HyperStudio verloten. Go naar voor meer informatie over het boek en voor meer informatie over HyperStudio. Wellicht wil je ook de website bekijken.

Toegang gratis. Alle consumpties zijn voor eigen rekening. Na de bijeenkomst zullen we, met eenieder die dat ook wil, ergens gaan eten.

Hieronder staat het voorlopige programma voor morgen. Dit programma is geheel vrijblijvend en ook de volgorde staat niet vast. Als je morgen iets wilt meedelen, vragen of bespreken, of als je iets wilt laten zien, dan kan dat.

– componeersoftware van Beat
– HyperDuino en HyperStudio
– Experimenteren met LiveCode en Arduino
– verloting van een HyperStudio-licentie en een exemplaar van het boek Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner
– als er iemand aanwezig is die hier al iets mee gedaan heeft, dan: widgets en andere features in LC 8
– videospeler van Beat
– diner
– tussendoor zal natuurlijk ruim gelegenheid zijn om over andere onderwerpen te praten

Tijd: 9 oktober 2015, van 12:00 tot 16:00
Plaats: Apollo Hotel, Stationsplein 14, 4811 BB Breda


On Friday 9th October 2015, a LiveCode meeting is organised. At this meeting, participants will introduce their own projects and products, from amateur to professional, from beginner to advanced. We’ll probably make more announcements, about talks or presentations, tomorrow.

Participants will get an opportunity to experiment with Arduino. For those who aren’t too technical, we’ll a “workshop” about creating capacitive buttons for Arduino (a perfect beginners’ project). If you’re more experienced with electronics, we’ll have some materials available to experiment with (resistors, cables, LEDs, motors, etc.) If you have an Arduino, please bring it with you.

During the meeting, I’ll raffle off a copy of “Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” and a license for Roger Wagner’s HyperStudio. Go to for more information about the book and to for more information about HyperStudio. You also might want to visit

Entrance is free. All consumptions are on your own account. After the meeting, we’ll go somewhere for dinner and you can join if you like.

Below follows the preliminary programme for tomorrow. The subjects on the agenda may change and the order of the items is not fixed. If you want to announce, ask or discuss something or if you want to show something, you can still do so.

– composing software by Beat
– HyperDuino and HyperStudio
– Experimenting with LiveCode and Arduino
– raffling off the HyperStudio license and a copy of the book Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner
– if one of the attendants knows about widgets, we might discuss those as well as other LC 8 features
– Beat’s video player
– dinner
– meanwhile there will be ample opportunity to talk about various other subjects

Time: 9th October 2015, from 12:00h. until 16:00h.
Location: Apollo Hotel, Stationsplein 14, 4811 BB Breda

Answering a few questions about the LiveCode book

A few people have asked me whether my book is still relevant, now that LiveCode 7 handles text differently and LiveCode 8 will provide a number of significant new features. The book is mainly about the scripting language. More than 99% of the LiveCode language has continued to work from Revolution 3.5 till LiveCode 8. Probably, more than 99.9% of the language as discussed in my book, still works in LiveCode 8 (and probably future versions too).

Currently, I have no plans to rewrite the book. If I ever do so, I would probably focus on the new properties inspector and new text features, not so much on widgets and html5. This way, the book will serve its purpose best: an introduction to LiveCode for real beginners.

I have also been asked if I’m going to write more books about LiveCode. Probably I will. One book is making good progress and will be available in a few months; hopefully before the end of summer, but only when I’m satisfied about it.

The question I get most frequently is about publishing an e-book. It has to be said again: Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner will not be published as an e-book. I might decide to publish an e-book some time, but it won’t be this book.

If you have any more questions, please read this blog post It answers almost all questions. You can also send an e-mail to

Cover of Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner

Cover of Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner

Installer Maker 1.8.8 is now available

Economy-x-Talk released Installer Maker 1.8.8 today. This is a maintenance release, which accepts recently issued license keys. We have also removed a spurious error message from the Uninstaller. This update is free for everyone who bought a license after 1 November 2014. This is an update for OSX and Windows. Let me know if you have an urgent need for a Linux version.

You can download the Installer Maker plug-in for LiveCode (commercial version) at

The standalone version of Installer Maker can be found at

Installer Maker Scripts Pane

Installer Maker Scripts Pane

“Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” is available again

The book “Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” is available again. The past few months, Economy-x-Talk could hardly keep up with the orders and we ran out of stock, but we are catching up now.

“Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” introduces you to the LiveCode programming language. The book starts with commands, functions and features that everyone needs to know about. The second half discusses subjects like Unicode, network communications, databases and XML. After reading this book, you’ll know everything you need to make your own applications.

You can buy this book at

More general information is available at

A portal for the book is at

Cover of Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner

Cover of Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner

We know a number of people have bought the book and are still waiting to receive it. We can assure you now, it will arrive soon.

If you have been thinking about ordering the book but haven’t done so yet: this is the time to order, since your book will be delivered shortly too.

Currently, we’re printing more copies. We will have many books in stock soon and for the next few months, we’ll be able to ship book really quickly.

Important Information about LiveCode Meeting 20 Sept. 2014

This blog post provides information about the LiveCode meeting of 20 September 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I’ll write this e-mail in English only, because it is late at night and I need to get the message out. Just ask me, if anything seems unclear.

On Saturday 20 September 2014, eHUG organises a LiveCode meeting. You are invited to join the event. Entrance is free, but drinks are at your own expense.

Although it is going to be a rather informal meeting, I have put a few things on the agenda that we need to deal with, in no particular order.

Utrecht in Summer

Utrecht in Summer


1) Welcome and chat (usually, this happens at the beginning, but we might save it for the end)
2) A quick introduction of all the products we’ll be raffling off
3) The raffle
4) An introduction by Jerry Daniels about LiveCode in the enterprise from a consulting developer’s point of view, followed by a discussion
5) An introduction to Kresten Bjerg’s Phenomenalog by Mark Schonewille, followed by discussion
6) More discussion and chitchat
7) After the meeting, we will decide about food or beveredges or both
8) There is a plan to go to the Apple museum in Orvelte on Sunday. Let me know if you want to join us.
?) If there is anything else you would like to put on the agenda, just tell me by e-mail

There is plenty of time left in our schedule and we invite you to send in proposals for discussion topics and presentations. If you have been struggling with a question for a long time, you can ask the attendants for an answer; if you have a cool trick, you can show us; if you have a product to announce, you can give a demonstration; etc. Obviously, you can also just attend the meeting.

NH Hotel in Utrecht

NH Hotel in Utrecht

location and time

The meeting takes place in the foyer of NH Hotel in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The address is:

Jaarbeursplein 24
3521 AR Utrecht
The Netherlands

When you enter the railway station, follow the signs to Jaarbeurs. The hotel is not in the old city centre but on the other (east) side of the railway station. You can find a map at

The meeting starts at 13:00h. exactly and finishes no later than 17:00h.

Map of Utrecht Central Station with the old city on the right (west) and the hotel on the left (east)

Map of Utrecht Central Station with the old city on the right (west) and the hotel on the left (east)

Map of Utrecht Central Station

Map of Utrecht Central Station


RunRev provides a 20% discount on the Indy license for all participants

Roger Wagner allows us to raffle off a free license for HyperStudio

Björnke von Gierke donates a free license for ChartsEngine

Mark Schonewille donates a free copy of the book “Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner” as well as a big discount on licenses for Installer Maker

We also give away an e-book from TidBITS’ Take Control series. You can choose a book about Yosemite or one about iOS 8.

Do you have a product to give away or would you like to demonstrate your own software? I’ll be happy to include you in the schedule!

A little more info

If you would like to be informated about new events or if you simply want to stay in touch, you have a few options.

Ask me to put you on the mailing list! I’ll send you an e-mail every time an event is organised. Just send me an e-mail.

You can also follow me on Twitter. My Twitter name is xtalkprogrammer. You can also find me on LinkedIn and Facebook as marksch.

There is a great Facebook group about LiveCode. Go to and join us.

If you have any questions about Saturday, you can send me a message on Skype. My Skype name is xtalkprogrammer.

The Apple Museum in the Netherlands. Are you curious to see what's inside?

The Apple Museum in the Netherlands. Are you curious to see what’s inside?

Start Menu in Windows 9

A video is now circulating, which shows the Start Menu in Windows 9. While “Start” was completely removed from Windows 8, a Start button was restored in Windows 8.1. It still didn’t provide the complete functionality of the Start Menu of earlier version of windows. Earlier rumours suggested that the Start Menu would reappear in Windows 8.2, but apparently we’ll have to buy a Windows upgrade only to get back what should have been ours all along. Click on the picture to view video in new window.

Other rumours said we’d get a Start Menu on desktop devices and an RTE environment (the brick wall) on mobile devices.

I expect most LiveCode versions to work fine on Windows 9, but you might experience small problems with file paths, user permissions and security-related issues. What these problems, if any, would be exactly, remains unclear for now. Installer Maker is expected to work correctly too.

LiveCode Meeting 20 September 2014 in the Netherlands – Register Now

Here’s some information about the meeting. I will update this blog post later or I will follow up with another post with more details.

As you may know already, another LiveCode meeting will be organised on 20 September 2014. We intend to organise a really international gathering with participants from the Netherlands, Belgium, America, the United Kingdom and Germany. A few domestic as well as foreign participants have registered already.

We hope we may welcome you as a participant too. There will be several short presentations and there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion. Evidently, there is also a possibility to socialise. After the meeting, we may have a drink or go somewhere for dinner.

Like the previous time in Switzerland, we will collect a few special discounted offers for you and we hope to raffle off a few licenses and e-books for free. In any case, I will give away a copy of the book “Programming for the Real Beginner” and a license for Installer Maker. If you have a product that you would like to promote, please send me a message.

We are still looking for people who want to discuss a subject, demonstrate a product or give a presentation. Possible examples are commercial products, a hobby project or just an interesting idea. Even if you don’t know what you may do yet, contact me and we’ll come up with something interesting.

The meeting is expected to start around 12:00h., possibly a little later, and will be finished no later than 17:00h. We try to find a really good location in Utrecht, to make sure that nobody needs to travel very far. If you know about a good location in the city of Utrecht, please let me know.

If you haven’t done so yet, please let me know if you intend to participate.


Mark Schonewille

Take Control Books by TidBITS Publishing

LiveCode Meeting Switzerland 2014


Saturday, 28th June 2014, we had a very interesting LiveCode meeting, organised by Bjoernke with a little help from me. This time, we met in Zürich, Switzerland.


After several short presentations about DataGrid Helper, SuperCard, Installer Maker, Animation Engine, ChartsEngine and LiveCloud, we raffled off a number of licenses and a copy of the book “Programming LiveCode for the Real Beginner”. We had interesting discussions, mostly about RunRev’s responsiveness to inititatives from within the user community. Perhaps, RunRev could endorse community-based initiatives more often and more clearly.


Afterwards, a small group went to a restaurant. We asked ourselves why LiveCode doesn’t spread amongst target groups more quickly. We also talked long about how young people pick up programming as a leisure activity and, later, as a (professional) skill. It was a very interesting day with some very interesting people.

The next meeting is on 20th September 2014 in the Netherlands. If you can, you really should join us!