Week #529-#530

Friday, April 9th, 02021 at 22:22 UTC

Week #529 wrapped-up the month of March, so that means a lot of administrial things need to happen. Firstly, salaries and bills, then invoices. In Iceland, every two months, you need to turn in your tax info for the VSK (Value-Added Tax). That gets reconsiled with how much you spent and collected. So we turned all that into the accountants as well. Slowly, we are moving to tools to allow ourselves to handle this, but until then, it is best to have an expert make sure everything runs smoothly.

Surveys! At the end of March, we needed to publish all of the surveys from the month and in April start new ones. March was our general staff survey. Over the years, it has been the biggest headache for reporting. There are various reasons for that, mostly because it is new and influx, but also due to the fact it is a general survey with sometimes and extra specific educational piece. This year we got smart and each week, we took the data we had and exported it into a draft report and worked out the kinks. That way, at the end of the month, we just needed to publish and review. It worked! It was the fastest and smoothest publication yet and will continue to be more and more streamlined over the years.

Week #530 was the start of April, which is the start of more surveys. Luckily, the country has re-evaluated some of the lockdown measures and students are back in schools and around to take the surveys. This month has three surveys; our regular student survey, a high-school survey and our special picture survey for younger children.

Side Projects

We have one idea that we’ve been tinkering with for awhile now, but the hang-up was getting Icelandic text digitized so that it is easier to analyse. We downloaded an OCR app for the phone which does a great job extracting icelandic text from printed pages. That cleared a small bottleneck and we’re now moving forward again.

We sent out a material conference newsletter update in week #530. It has been a year since we had to cancel in 02020. This was meant to update folks on the status and let them know we are still planning another event, but still can’t figure out when it is safe todo so.


Our Australian Concreters project is nearing completion. This is a web-based tool for HQ to assign workloads on a grid of people and locations. In each cell, they can add a message assigning that person to that location on that day. Once everything is finished, it sends SMSes to everyone letting them know their schedule for the next day. At the end of the week, all the data is imported into the accounting and payroll system. Everything is up and running, now we’re finding a few edge-case Javascript bugs and tweaking the SMS messages.

The other project we’re finishing-up is the BBC NESTA Human Values website. We’ve been working on the wordpress templates. They are in good shape, but as we add content, there are always things that need updated styles. Once the wordpress template is done, we can move onto interesting other aspects of the site.


In week #529, the super container ship Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal. There is a website, ‘Ever Given Ever Ywhere‘ that allows you to place the boat next to any landmark on a map. There is an interview with the creator, Garrett Dash Nelson on the glitch blog which goes into more detail of the project.

Ofcourse, we added the ship to the local pond, harbour and shipping docks to see how truely big it is.