Week #194-195

Friday, November 7th, 02014 at 20:02 UTC

Week #194 shares its name with a large main belt asteroid called 194 Prokne. It is around 151 km in diameter and is made of primitive carbon compounds. In this week, we also saw the Rosetta Satellite creep closer and closer to its intended comet landing site.

As for our workload, we finished-up prepping two different surveys to start in week 195. This is for one local client and one international customer in Germany. Not having the collection portion of the survey internationalised for all aspects of the design caused problems, but with deadlines you do what you have too.

We also had some phone meetings with the US West Coast to work on some potentially interesting utility projects. Right now, our task is to draw-up some wireframes to make sure everyone is discussing and understanding the system in the same way. If all goes well, we’ll find some funding to proceed to actually build it. At which time, we can talk a lot more of the ins-and-outs of how this utility can save on paperwork.

We also put in an order for some Tyvek samples. Our dream of working more with paper isn’t dead, just been on hold. With the winter downtime we’re looking at getting back into projects using paper and Tyvek is a really interesting alternative for our ideas. Once those are in and we’ve put the samples through their paces, we can talk more about the results and the idea! Week 194 also saw the end to our 2-month tax filing. So we’ve been collecting all our receipts to let the accountant know how much we owe or get back in Value Added Tax. That’s the glory of running your own business.

Week #195 also shares its name with 195 Eurykleia, another carbonous main belt asteroid. For us, week 195 was mostly spent in Berlin for the Beyond Tellerrand conference. We didn’t get as much sight-seeing as we’d liked, but overall the event and the town was magnificent. A nice afternoon flight out of Iceland, rather than the usual 4am start, meant it was more relaxing, but didn’t get into the hotel until late Sunday. Monday we had a few meetings with some members of the Berlin-based team for one of our projects. The face-to-face time worked really well to get this project kicked-off. Tuesday and Wednesday were the Beyond Tellerrand conference days. We gave a talk Wednesday afternoon on the topic of going from Digital to Analog. More talking about paper, it was nice. Thursday was a travel day back to Iceland, and Friday was spent pushing out emails and last-minute changes to surveys.

That is all the travel plans we had for 02014 – although we could have said that in mid-September too.


November is the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. It is an interesting test to try and write a novel in one month. Even if it isn’t a good one, you have the time constraint.

Related to that is NaNoGenMo. This is very similar, but the goal is not for you to write a novel, but for you to write software which writes a novel. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. Given more time, we would have taken part. With all our Natural Language Parsing experience and n-gram tests we did at a previous company, it would be fun to re-use some of that knowledge and see where it goes.

As a small gift to the speakers at Beyond Tellerrand we were given a beautiful leather Joli Originals MacBook Air case. They were so amazing, we went and also bought their wallet. If you are in the market for some new cases for your laptops, phones, money, notebooks or passports, be sure to check them out.