Week #543 & 544

Friday, July 16th, 02021 at 11:11 UTC

Week #543

Pretty much every odd numbered month we need to turn in all our receipts to the accountant. This is no exception. These are the last months of our old incorporated company, so we continue to use-up and turn-off services that are billed to the old company we still need to collect all those invoices and expenses, pay the bills, salary and taxes. All those go to the accountant. In parallel, we’re moving to a new system for invoicing and accounting that should allow us to handle everything except the final annual report.

Tuesday we had a meeting with a start-up about their analytics. This was a favour to a friend who is an angel investor and is concerned they are lacking in their data wrangling. So we booked an hour, but only used 20 minutes to discuss how we setup data collection on a large scale. They listened, took it on board, then in their chat proposed a (in our opinion) way more complicated solution. Our mantra is to just get something done. They don’t really know what they want or need to track for investors. Rather than build “the perfect” workflow, just get the data into a usable format, then validate your ideas and iterate. We should loop back with them in a few weeks and see their progress.

Thursday was a long meeting day. It started around 16:00 local time and ran until nearly mid-night for us. First, a pre-meeting phone call to get info about the meeting. Then a pre-meeting-meeting with the team to discuss how the meeting will go and everyone’s role. Then the real meeting. They started out by saying these usually run 1.5h. Overall, it was long, but good. We got to see the sausage factory in action. No matter how good your idea or proposal is, it has to go through the politics of a big company. We answered all their questions and concerns, now they take it back to their boss and back to more meetings.

We sent in our estimates and timeline for our next concreter project. Two companies are merging and we’re working on expanding the software we built for the first one to better fit with the new merged entity.

Friday we had another Open Office Hours session with a manager from an old project 12+ years ago. It was great to catch-up, learn what he’s up too and chat about some ideas. Maybe some new project will come out of it, maybe not. The point of the open office hours is both to reach out to people, sniff out new work and to learn more about other people’s and companies’ issues. It has been great so far and we plan to continue.

Week #544

The week started with an email in our inbox with a contract for our concreter’s project. We’ll start this week and should wrap-up by the end of October. It is a continuation to further adapt and build an online tool to manage the locations, subcontractors, workers, and job status all while integrating with their accounting tool xero.

On tuesday we sent out our quarterly newsletter. It is always fun to write and send it out, but unlike other social media, there is not a lot of feedback. Rarely do we get a reply or any call-to-action, but we understand that an inbox is a different kind of place to be seen. With every edition, we also get a few unsubscribes. It is disheartening, but at the same time, it prunes the list down, closer to the true-fans. We’d love to grow the list, so be sure to tell your friends.

In the background, we’re working on updating our PDF creation capabilities. Currently, we are using phantomJS a headless webkit instance to create a PDF file from an HTML file. This has always work well-to-OK, but phantomJS is no longer supported and our needs are getting more complex. This week we swapped out headless WebKit for headless Chrome in a fairly smooth transition. The next step is to completely revamp the PDF making process. It went from click a form and generate, to click a form and save to a database and background process the PDF and send you an email when it is ready. That caused race conditions if you tried to generate another PDF too quickly. So now, we are moving to a queue that the customers can also watch the progress since too many emails were going to spam.

On Thursday, we had a morning meeting about LEGO and cartography. Lots of interesting discussions and we got some sea monsters!

Friday, we have one final meeting about analytics to check in on their progress and make any recommendations, then we going to have a nice break in the north of Iceland. There are always emails to answer and tasks to review, but we should have plenty of downtime. We’ll be back in August.


It is week 28 of the year, what were we were doing during past week 28s?

The Long Now article is now 12 years old. Published in 02009 we attempt to explain our leading zero year dates and talk more about the Long Now organization.

Back in June 02011 we were out in San Francisco for work. With extra time, we were wandering around a shopping mall and on every floor they were flogging sea salt treatments. The Great Sea Salt Saleman article was an overview of psychology of the sales process.

In July, 02014, we were in New York City, NY, USA for Smashing Conference. We wrote about the trip, museums and what we learnt in the Big Apple.

Finally, we’re in weeknotes territory: Week #178 (02014), Week #228-229-230-231 (02015), Week #488-489-490-491 (02020).


Some great video editing here, could watch this on repeat all day.

Vanguard 1 was only the fourth artificial satellite to be successfully launched, following Sputnik 1, Sputnik 2, and Explorer 1. It was a 16.5 cm, 11.5kg metal sphere with protruding antennas. Vanguard 1 was launched on 17 March 1958 and is still in orbit. It is the oldest man-made satellite and is expected to last 02000 years.