Week #298-303

Friday, December 2nd, 02016 at 09:09 UTC

Week #298

Most everyone at the office is fighting off yet another nasty flu virus. So this will be a short update since not a whole lot actually got done.

We’re working on a top secret project, which should have a code name, but since it has been awhile when we last needed one, we kinda forgot about it. Things are moving forward, we sent off some initial design ideas to the client who write back with their feedback. We’ll now iterate, funnel down their ideas and focus in on the final product.

We did manage to send off our quarterly newsletter this week (just a month behind schedule). The feedback has been much better than the previous few newsletters. Which really gives you a burst of good feelings. When you write an article you don’t get a lot of direct feedback, but with a newsletter – for some reason – people mention it on social media, follow your links and reply with their thoughts. For all the moments we think we should stop, hitting send and seeing the interaction make it worth while. We’ve already been saving links for the Q4 newsletter and it should be another cracker – this time about cartography.

With all the downtime, we found a few moments this week to continue working on our next iOS app, Triagemail. It is a really simple email utility that only shows you unread emails – one at a time. You are forced to interact with each before you can browse the rest. It has been working on iOS internally for a while, but we keep finding little bugs here and there. This week, we went through and tried to add a bunch of error messages and other things to make the experience better. We’re also really keen to get this working on the Apple Watch, but have run into a few problems with the IMAP library compiling for that processor. We’re working on a solution, because it would be great to “graze” your email on your wrist so that when you sit down to work, what is left is only the important stuff.

We also sent an email off to our contact at the local printing company to get a quote for a digital printing idea. We’d want to customize each book based on the location, name and age of the person who is buying it. Once we get the quote we’ll know more if it is economically feasible. More on that project when we hear back from them.

Week #299

Our to secret project continues to move forward nicely. We’ve been sending over some items to review, getting feedback and making changes. Then repeat. There are two major components to it and the first is winding down as they try to implement many of the suggestions. We had the idea to post some tiny thumbnails of the project, but it seems that there are more and more tools out there to take small thumbnail images and make bigger and enhance them. They have mostly been done with faces which would have a good training set. Text would also fall into that category. Using big text that was shrunk to train the system, it could be possible to get tiny, unreadable text back to something larger. So we opted not to post any thumbnails of our progress.

We also got a quote back from the printers for our potential project idea. It is a little higher than we expected, but not unmanageable. We spent a bit of time this week also putting together an HTML version which we could port to a PDF easily. We’ll get it a bit further along then let everyone test it out themselves.

This week we picked up a very small non-for-profit project. We are donating our time since this shouldn’t take more than about 20h. We are getting data about the health investment status of various counties based on their workers rights, freedom of press and various other factors. This is something we can talk more about, even after the project launches.

Week #300

It has been a heck of a week. Everyone is still in a cloud of haze from the US presidential elections wondering how it will affect local and world politics. We’ve been trying to get some work done on a few projects, but it is hard to focus. We did manage to continue with our top secrete project and get some more work done on that. The first half is finished and sent off to the client. We’ve also been working on a few internal projects and helping some non-profits.

We also spent some time this week making some printed paper mock-ups of our potential yearly calendar idea. This would be digitally printed so that each page for each person could contain different information, but still contain the same calendar structure. Things are going well and we have some PDF making prototype software up and running. It is too specific to our locale right now. Try doing daylight savings time and timezone calculations for an arbitrary lat/lon. Yeah, it isn’t easy, so we’ll need to find a way to manage those settings!

Week #301

This whole weeknote was meant to go out on week #300, but due to a scheduling error, it never did. So it gets even longer.

Week #302

This week went by so quickly, we didn’t manage to even update the week #301 notes!

Week #303

This week has mostly been planning and writing. We’re back on the hunt for projects in 02017, so mostly been sending out emails to leads, contacting folks about old projects and generally getting hungry for work. We’ve also been making some more mockups for one of our projects and sending that off for review.

We’ve been having and planning some meetings with folks recently too. We spent a few hours over at the University meeting-up with folks we’ve known online for years and finally we managed to meet-up for a great chat about maps.

One of the companies we work closely with, Skólapúlsinn is also having a staff turn-over, so we’ll probably be working with them more closely in the next year until replacements are hired.

We’ve sent Triagemail off to apple for approval to be released into the app store. Hopefully week #304 will see a new app available.


We’re big fans of Palindromes. “Go hang a salami I’m a lasagna hog” is one of our more favorites. We recently learnt that “Hotdogs” is a palindrome in morse code: …. — – -.. — –. …

You learn something new every day!