Week #465

Friday, January 10th, 02020 at 13:31 UTC

We shutdown for weeks #463 & #464, but we’re back with a great week #465.

This week share’s its name with 465 the triangular number. If you had 465 objects, you could arrange them into a nice equilateral triangle, 1, 2 3, 4, 5, … in each row. If you totalled them, they would equal 465! It is also name to the British Rail Class 465 Networker, a series of electric british trains, 465 Alekto a minor planet and an Indian horror film.

Weaving Patterns

It is post-christmas and all the bookstores would rather give you 20-50% off the price than send them back to the distributors. So we picked-up this amazing book about Loom Weaving called Listin að vefa.

In it there are lots of patterns and instructions on how to setup your loom. There are three main aspects, the vertical threads, the horizontal treadles and the tie-up box which connects the other two. Once you decode the instructions, the patterns fall into place.

These are four patterns from the book showing how you’d setup your loom to weave them. We took those instructions and made a bit of javascript and form elements to allow you to experiment and make your own patterns.

It was a lot of fun making this quick prototype. When we have a bit of time, it would be good to try and clean it all up and make a proper URL for it so anyone can make something for themselves.

Go ahead and click around, type in some new hex color values and see what you can create.

SIP Calls

As part of our survey tools, we offer the ability to make human phone calls to participants to remind them to finish the survey. This week we build a small beta tool which uses Twilio's ability to make automated outbound calls. These are known as Robocalls! Normally, this is a spammy grey-to-illegal areas, but the the participants in our survey have accepted to take part, they (as all of us) need some encouragement and reminders to finish.

Human calling is tiresome, long and expensive. That's why we first try to remind people via email, the SMS, then email, then finally after we've gotten as far with our participation rate as we can, we switch to human calling.

Soon, we'll test one more step before getting humans involved and that's our robocall. It both reminds people to take part in multiple languages, but also allows them to get a link to the survey resent to their email. We'll A/B this on some customers and based on feedback and results, continue or not.

Material Conference

This week we locked down the venue for the event. That way we at least have something for the 20th of March. In the next few weeks we'll make the decision if we move to something larger very nearby.

After finishing all the 02017 synopses, we started in on the 2018 sessions. First-up was Charlotte Dann's Craft on the Web. The plan is to keep posting one a week right up until the 2020 event.


Finally, we managed to do a bunch of work on our Stealth Project, getting more API and push notification tools integrated into the website.

We did a quick analysis on some AI Survey data for O'Reilly which should be available in a few months.

Spent some pair-programming time. It is amazing how you can bang your head against a wall trying to get something to work for 3 hours, then go for a 10 minute walk and it all clicks! At least next week, we can go back to making more progress.

We had a few other meetings regarding our eBike idea, some of our Icelandic design patterns and with another survey client to help plan the year.

On Business

We have 1 outstanding invoice. It usually gets paid by the middle of the month, so we'll start worrying next weeknote if it's still not there.

More than six monhs ago, we were contact by a potential client who wanted some help with data viz work. We pestered off and on and he was apologetic and was going to get back to me. Finally, we learnt he's been so frustrated he's taking 02020 off on a sabbatical. Maybe next year we can start again discussing this project. That's business.