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Derek Mackenzie has been writing software professionally since the late 1960’s, but since 2000 has been concentrating on model engineering, producing live steam model railway locomotives and carriages in Gauge 1 (both 1/32 scale and 10mm:1ft scale).
An extensive (and complex) Access database has been written to manage the design and production of over 390 castings and 500 etched parts required in each locomotive. This database is also used to calculate the milling time for each master and produce a production schedule.
Techniques have been developed to improve the accuracy of the CAD/CAM machining processes used for this, and further software developed in Visual Basic to correct feed rates when milling the parts.
Further Access databases have been developed for a variety of purposes, including the indexing database providing the data for the NG Railways pages on the linked site.
Orion Business Systems has been developing insurance management software since 1980.
This software was designed for the Unix operating system (the second commercial user in the UK) but was developed from the outset on personal computers (pre-IBM PC!).
It supported a pet insurance company, which grew from 5 employees to over 200 during the 21 year period of its’ use. During most of this period, Orion was either the sole or the main provider of software to this company – it was eventually phased out, after a successful Y2K conversion (it was never expected to last this long!) due to a take-over of the insurance company.
Orion has also written an Access database for a small independent tour operator. This software manages all enquiries and bookings, and was still successfully in use over 8 years later.
Orion also created this website.