From Old Caledonia to New Caledonia

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Carn Software travels further than ever before!

A customer from New Caledonia in the South Pacific recently contacted us to purchase ParishRegister for his parishioners in the Diocese of Nouméa on the island.  From our offices in Coatbridge (Scotland) I had several emails back and forth with him. We chatted about the lovely weather and the different time zones we were both in.  I looked up New Caledonia, having not really known much about this Pacific Paradise.  This was the first picture I found!

Blue Water of New Caledonia

Araucaria columnaris, New Caledonia.  By my LifeShow from Paris, France – NC21, CC BY 2.0,

Some facts

New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France, located in the southwest Pacific and east of Australia.  As French is one of the main languages there, the customer had requested the reports, which output from our software be translated into French.  Many aspects of our software titles can be customised and we always work closely with the client to deliver what they want.

New Caledonia was named so by Captain James Cook, during his second voyage in 1774.  Cook first sighted the islands on 4th September 1774 and he thought the north east of the island reminded him of Scotland!  One may presume the photograph above is NOT from the north east!

I have put myself forward for some onsite training….I enjoyed finding out about this part of the world….







Celebrating 70 years of programming in April


On April 12th 1947, the world’s first general-purpose programmable computer ran the first code, giving birth to the programming profession.  This machine was called the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer or ENIAC for short.  It was developed and built at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering and pieces of it are still exhibited there today.

Pieces of the ENIAC today

Two pieces of ENIAC currently on display in the Moore School of Engineering and Applied Science, in room 100 of the Moore building. Photo courtesy of the curator, released under GNU license. Copyright 2005 Paul W Shaffer, University of Pennsylvania.

ENIAC could be programmed to execute many operations that are now taken for granted in today’s programming languages, including loops, branches, and subroutines.  Hence, ENIAC was a rather big collection of arithmetic machines.  These machines had the required programs hard coded onto them with function tables each containing 1200 ten way switches.  The machine could easily fill a whole room and played an important role in the development of the Hydrogen bomb.

The complex task of taking a problem and using the computer to solve it was an extremely skilled job, which in 1947 fell to six American women.  The program would first be mapped out on paper and then mapped onto the ENIAC by manipulating switches and tubes. Consequently, if there was a problem or ‘bug’, then the ‘operator’ had to literally crawl inside part of the machine to find the loose joints or bad tubes.  The whole process of solving one problem could take weeks to reach a conclusion.


The ‘Original’ Computers

ENIAC main control panel image

Programmers Betty Jean Jennings (left) and Fran Bilas (right) operate ENIAC’s main control panel at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library)

The six women, who have sadly now all passed away, were: Frances Bilas Spence (1922 – 2013), Jean Jennings Bartik (1924 – 2011), Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer (1922 – 2008), Kathleen “Kay” McNulty Mauchly Antonelli (1921 – 2006), Frances Elizabeth “Betty” Holberton (1917 – 2001) and Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum (1924 – 1986).

These operators were pioneers in manipulating the the machine and developing foundations for the programming languages we know today using only logical diagrams.

“They had no books or anything to teach us how to program it”  Jean Jennings Bartik, ENIAC Programmer.

However, when the ENIAC had been unveiled to the public in 1946 the women were never even introduced; they were kept behind the scenes.

None of us girls were ever introduced…we were just programmers.” Kathleen “Kay” McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, ENIAC Programmer.

It is only recently through the work of the ENIAC Programmers Project (founded by historian and author Kathy Kleiman) that the true extent of their work has been brought to light and quite rightly honoured.

Over our comparatively short history of 23 years, Carn Software has used various programming languages to deliver its products to keep up with a constantly evolving industry.

Without the ENIAC and the work of these six ladies, none of that would have been possible.

For more information about the project please visit


Say ‘I Do…’ with LotteryMaster Wedding Favours.

LotteryMaster Wedding Favours

LotteryMaster Wedding Favours are a novel way of increasing your revenue and raising awareness of the lottery to attract new regular players.Spotlight Feature: LotteryMaster Wedding Favours

Creating wedding favours in LotteryMaster is an intuitive and straightforward process:

  • Choose the draw you wish to add the favours to
  • Enter the event name
  • Enter the customisable text you wish to appear on the favour
  • Add the number of favours required.

At the set-up stage you can also add payments (or payments can be added later).

Many of our users have found that wedding parties like to use the wedding favour as a place setting for the guests and we have upgraded LotteryMaster to make this process easy.

Easy Name Entry

There are multiple ways to enter guest names:

  • LotteryMaster can produce a printable list for the Bride/Groom to complete and this can be entered manually
  • LotteryMaster will also produce a CSV file for the Bride/Groom to complete and this can be imported
  • Names can be changed at any point

Over the years, and in conjunction with our users, we have designed various wedding favours suitable for the occasion. Birds, bells and banners feature prominently and it’s also possible to incorporate a user logo onto the favour. As with all aspects of LotteryMaster, if you have a wedding favour design in mind, we can recreate it in LotteryMaster

LotteryMaster Wedding Favours Large Image

The wedding favours are easily enhanced by printing on marbled effect or pearlescent or other custom craft paper.

Our most recent change for wedding favours is the addition of an “In Memoriam” customisable text space which allows the wedding favour to be dedicated to a special someone.

LotteryMaster will ease the laborious burden of creating and numbering favours externally.

Gift Aid AGM of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

I recently attended the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Gift Aid AGM, which took place in Burgess Hill, and introduced to the delegates the new online version of GiftWise, which is due for release later this year.  About 70 delegates from the various parishes in the diocese attended the AGM, and were interested in getting a glimpse of the future of GiftWise.  I enjoyed meeting in person some of the people I speak to regularly by telephone. It is always good to put a face to the voice!

Valued Customer

The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton is a longstanding customer of Carn Software, and has been using our services to reclaim Gift Aid and Covenants for more than 25 years.  In that period, we have gone through about 5 different versions of GiftWise, as governmental legislation changes and technology advances.

We have long had a symbiotic relationship with A&B.  The team advises us on how they would like the software to develop, which in turn improves the software for all of our clients.  We are working closely with A&B in the development of the new GiftWise programme, to ensure that it fulfils exactly the requirements for the parishes and the diocese.

Attendees of the Arundel & Brighton Gift Aid AGM

From left to right. Ian Dallas, David Goodge, Sarah Kilmartin (Financial Secretary), Lara Smith, James McKelvie, Sue Rickard, Dan Meehan.

A&B diocese is lucky in having a small team of Gift Aid organisers to oversee the development of GiftWise in the parishes and to help parish administrators in their use of the software.  Ian Dallas, Dan Meehan and David Goodge provide invaluable support to the parishes, and are constantly coming up with new ideas for GiftWise, to make organisers’ lives easier and to maximise the diocese’s return from Gift Aid.  Sue Rickard, with her assistant Lara Smith, oversees the day-to-day administration of Gift Aid in the diocesan offices. This ensures good practice in the parishes and the processing of claims to the HMRC.

I look forward to continuing our relationship with Arundel and Brighton well into the future, and look forward to the next 25 years of GiftWise!

Next week Neil Kelly will be showcasing our fabulous wedding favour feature of our LotteryMaster software. Thanks for reading!


Meet Deborah!

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Deborah Lee - Header Image

Meet Deborah Lee

Hi I’m Deborah Lee and I started working again with Carn Software in May last year after being away for almost a decade.  In that time away I spent a few years working and travelling the southern hemisphere. I also worked as a software developer for a large payroll / HR company in the UK.

When I’m not working I like to travel and experience different cultures and I have a basic understanding of French, Spanish and a little Italian.  As well as travelling extensively in Australia and New Zealand, I was lucky enough to tour South America for a couple of months.  Camping in the outback, trekking to Machu Picchu and skydiving from 15,000 ft were just a few of the highlights.

I also enjoy cycling and last year I did a sponsored cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh (47 miles) for St Andrew’s Hospice and raised over £300.  In addition, like snowboarding although I’ve still not managed to graduate past beginner level.  Furthermore, I enjoy going to the cinema so much that I have invested in an unlimited card.  Finally, I also like to relax by reading a good book or making jewellery.

Online Gift Aid Software

I am primarily working on developing an online version of our popular product GiftWise for Parishes. Parishes will use this initially as a portal to connect to the Diocese, that use our full GiftWise package.

This online solution will provide a number of benefits for both parishes and the diocese. A few of the key benefits are:

  • Can be accessed from any location or device
  • Will be optimised for tablets and mobile
  • Remove the need for backing up and restoring data
  • Diocese will have instant access to all data entered by a parish
  • No installation required on individual computers and any updates when available will be applied automatically
  • Parish will not need to connect via a VPN

Meet Kirsty!

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Kirsty Lee Walker Header Image

Meet Kirsty Lee Walker

Hi, I’m Kirsty Lee Walker and I began working for Carn Software in June 2005.  I was brought in to redesign the company’s website at that time.

When not at work I am mummy to a toddler, which keeps me busy!  Pre-toddler years I enjoyed performing on stage in various musicals such as EvitaFiddler on the Roof and La Cage Aux Folles.  I also like to do different courses and completed a degree in my spare time from the Open University, which focused on classics and literature.  In addition I like going to the cinema, theatre, baking cakes (and eating them!), travelling and skiing!  I love the works of Jane Austen and classic children’s literature.

My role

As well as maintaining the company website I worked on the product video tutorials.  I also designed and developed InventoryMaster in my earlier years with the company.

Since then I have moved on to support our other products as well as keeping the company website and other social media outlets up to date with the latest innovations.  Furthermore I also design, implement and administer websites for local parishes.

I am currently working on new technologies for our future online developments with Deborah.

Web and Social Media

I am also in charge of this blog and coordinating our authors contributions.  This will complement our current social media and keep the company in step with the current market as well as an extra link to our customers as a source of assistance.

The company website has gone through various incarnations over the years to keep up to date with industry standards.  I am currently developing this blog to provide a seamless social media identity for the company across:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

In the coming weeks I will be writing about various web related topics as well as covering the social and company news.

Next Week

Deborah (Kirsty’s sister!) will be introducing herself and giving us an insight into what she is working on.  GiftWise is being developed as an online solution for parish and diocese.





Meet David!

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David Rodger - header Image

Meet David Rodger

Hello, my name is David Rodger and my main role within the company is software programmer. In addition, I provide technical support for our FundsMaster, GiftWise and Parish Software. I also assist with graphics, marketing and client websites. Most importantly however, I have been voted ‘best tea maker’ (3 years running) in the office and I have a certificate to prove it!

When not at work I like to spend time with my family and friends. I have loved music from a young age and as such I enjoy singing, song writing and playing guitar.


One of our earliest products; FundsMaster has been through various stages since its introduction in 1996. In essence, FundsMaster enables schools to easily manage their School Funds. It allows the recording of all income and expenditure and maintaining bank reconciliation records. Currently, there are over 400 users of FundsMaster up and down the country.

FundsMaster Key features

  • End of year routine wizard
  • Password protection
  • One click bank reconciliation of payments and receipts
  • A comprehensive suite of management reports and full audit trail.
  • Historical reports. Easily view receipts and payments from previous financial years.

I plan to cover various aspects of the software in my next post. Thanks for reading.

Coming up next

Kirsty Lee Walker introduces herself and gives an introduction to our web services and how she has developed the company’s online and social media presence.

Meet Neil!

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Neil Kelly - Header Image

About Me

Hello, my name is Neil Kelly and I have worked at Carn Software for more than 20 years, in that time progressing from computer programmer to director.  Over the years I have offered front line support to our customers and developed software systems, plus providing onsite support and training.

Recently I have turned most of my attention to our LotteryMaster and DrawMaster systems, continually developing and supporting them.

I present user group meetings each year for our LotteryMaster users and have been exhibiting at HLA meetings annually too, both of which are good opportunities to chat face to face with clients and potential clients. 

I lead a scout group in my spare time and have been doing so for over 20 years.

The scouts like to camp in the snow as they are very active!  In the past we took scouts to Haarlem in Netherlands for a Jamborette.

This comin July 2017, we are going to London, taking in Harry Potter World and Legoland. The pinnacle of the trip being a camp on Brownsea Island (the location of the first scout camp in 1907).

In addition, we have also secured a sleepover on HMS Belfast, a Royal Navy warship from WW1.

I also enjoy spending time with my family, baking, reading and keeping fit.  Furthermore, I enjoy cycling with my brothers and we’re taking part in a 70 mile “Tour of Ayrshire” cycle in April 2017, raising money for Macmillan Nurses.

Most noteworthy (of course!), I married my wife Anne Marie 14 years ago and we now have a daughter, Kaitlyn. Anne Marie is a keen football supporter and Kaitlyn is in the Brownies. 


LotteryMaster is our flagship software system for hospice lotteries.

We developed LotteryMaster in 2010 and our largest hospice lottery customer has almost 35,000 players each week.  All of our users have transferred from previous lottery systems and enjoyed a seamless transition.  LotteryMaster has been designed with the end user in mind, it is an easy to use package, feature rich and fast.

  • Instant Addressing via Royal Mail ensures addresses are uniform and accurate. 
  • Wedding favours, including guest names to double as place settings, are easy to create and print for the weekly draw.
  • Data mapping using Microsoft Mappoint or Caliper Maptitude, shows you where player density is lowest so canvassers can target better.
  • Comprehensive analysis tools, with more added regularly.


DrawMaster runs alongside LotteryMaster, designed as a quick and easy way to administer prize draws. It was developed in 2012, most of our LotteryMaster users use it.  One customer currently returns almost £80,000 from each prize draw to hospice funds.

Like its sister software, DrawMaster has been designed with the end user in mind, providing quick and efficient administration, with comprehensive analysis tools added regularly.

  • DrawMaster can import ticket details from your mailing house, which sets it up with all of the relevant data.
  • It can record additional donations, both Gift Aid and non Gift Aid.
  • Track address changes, deceased donors and cancellation.

Coming next

Our next longest serving team member and product specialist will be David Rodger, who will be introducing our popular FundsMaster software and providing an overview of its features and development.



Meet James!

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James McKelvie Header Image

About James McKelvie

Hello, I am James McKelvie, a director with Carn Software Ltd. I founded the company in October 1994, mainly to serve the church and charity market, producing Covenant (now Gift Aid) software. With more than 30 years’ experience of working in this sector, I have helped most of the dioceses of Roman Catholic Church in the UK in reclaiming their Gift Aid.

In my youth I spent a number of years studying in Spain. My wife, a retired languages teacher, and I enjoy making frequent visits to Spain.  I also enjoy watching football – I have a season ticket for Motherwell – and reading. Furthermore, I also like walking when I have the time! A number of years ago completed a pilgrim walk of 1900km from Geneva, Switzerland to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

I am responsible for the day to day running of the company, and am still involved, too, with programming. I help with the Gift Aid and Hospice programmes, and am in daily touch with our clients, some of whom have been with us since the start of the company.

Gift Aid Software

Carn Software designed and produced GiftWise for Parishes specifically for parishes, to help them administer both old-style Covenants and the new Gift Aid payments.

GiftWise for Parishes is a very powerful, yet easy-to-use package, which streamlines the administration of Gift Aid payments and minimises the amount of time the parish needs to spend on paperwork.

Key features include:

  • Archiving of Data
  • Letter Writing
  • Easy Data Entry
  • Post Code Facility

I will be going through these features and others in more posts in future weeks.

Next Week

Neil Kelly introduces himself and gives us an overview of our LotteryMaster software, which was launched in 2010 and has gone from strength to strength for the fundraising sector.

The Story of Us

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The Story of Us

The Carn Software story begins back in October 1994, when the company was formed by James McKelvie, principally to service the software needs of the church and charity sector.

The line-up

Neil Kelly, James McKelvie, Kirsty Lee Walker, Anne McKenna, David Rodger and Deborah Lee  (Clockwise from back left)

We currently have a staff of 6, most of whom have worked for the company for a substantial period. A supportive group, we all help each other to provide a first-class service to our clients.

James McKelvie (managing director), Neil Kelly (director and programming supervisor) and David Rodger (programmer) have all worked for the company for over 20 years.  Kirsty Lee Walker (programmer) has worked at Carn Software for 12 years.  Deborah Lee (senior programmer) has worked for Carn Software over two different periods, beginning in 2003 and recently returning to the company in May 2016.  Anne McKenna came on board in 2013 as accounts administrator.

What we do

We have developed several software products over our 20 plus years, working closely with our clients to deliver an effective product, directed at their needs and requirements.  Most noteworthy, our core software range presently is:

  • GiftWise
  • LotteryMaster
  • DrawMaster
  • FundsMaster

GiftWise has a long history within the company and over the years has gone from strength to strength.  The GiftWise software enables Dioceses to manage the tax reclaimed from the Inland Revenue via the Gift Aid Scheme.  GiftWise is now industry standard in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church in the UK.  approximately, as a result 75% of all the UK Catholic Gift Aid’s, amounting to the sum of 12 million pounds, are processed using our software. 

In 1996, a local authority approached James to produce a software package for the administration of school funds. The resulting software, FundsMaster proved very successful and is now in use in a large number of primary and secondary schools in the UK.

In the coming weeks each member of the team will feature a product or service we provide.  Furthermore, they will also provide hints, tips and news of future developments.  Stay tuned!

Coming next

Our first team member and product specialist will be James McKelvie (Managing Director) who will be introducing our popular GiftWise software and providing an overview of its features and development.