Week #628 & #629

Friday, March 3rd, 02023 at 21:12 UTC

Week #628

The WiFi coverage over the entire office is spotty in a few places. We set out to fix that this week. Between the two wired routers, an AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme, they can handle 10 and 50 connected devices. The Extreme was always connected to the fibre optics box and had our Time Machine backup hard drives, while the Express was at the other end of the office via a wired connection from the Extreme. The Express only has two antennas compared to the Express’ six, so coverage varied and at the far end of the office, sometime that WiFi wasn’t strong enough for voice/video calls. This week we swapped their positions and that has helped massively. We started to look for other routes to replace the Express, and man the bar is VERY low. All we want is a ‘decent’ router that isn’t fugly – how hard could that be? They all look like undersea crustacean with massive carapace antenna build-up. After exploring the forums for decent suggestions that aren’t massively over-priced in the secondary market (UniFi, we’re looking at you), someone suggested getting a second old AirPort Extreme off eBay? Why didn’t we just think of that!🤦🏻‍♂️ ($26 later we found our solution!)

This was an interesting week. We have a big deadline on the Hyperion project and we can feel the difference in the team. Part of the older, more experienced team is of the opinion of cut our losses, and stop adding stuff now so we’re sure things work for Friday. Another part of the team is more youthful and exuberant and is sure they can get as much polish in right-up to the deadline. Both are very valid points, but somehow with age and experience, we’re falling more into the first camp.

The parent surveys for compulsory and kindergartens are officially finishing week. On Wednesday we sent our last email directly to parents. Now we turn over a very short list of people that each school needs to contact to ask to take the survey to get their response rate to an acceptable level. The survey will “officially” close March 1st, but we’ll give any stragglers a few extra days, but not many. Since we have comparisons to an anonymous National Average, we need everyone to be finished before we can create any reports.

We use Twilio both for sending SMSes and our Programatic Voice Robocalls. They offer away for us to delete old data from their system, but try as we might, something is broken. After several back-and-forths with their support team, trying things and reporting the results, we’re actually planning a call with them to figure out what’s wrong. That’s the first time we’ve managed to get a support-session with any of our vendors, but it’s also the first time we’ve managed to stump a vendor too!

Week #629

This week was mostly putting out fires. 🔥🔥🔥🧯🚒

We had several issues with the time tracking software we’ve created for the Australian Concreters. Some of it is our fault, but a big chunk of the responsibility is from how they use the system without telling us! We track hours on jobs and when they invoice and archive we do the same in the accounting service Xero. If a job has no hours, we can delete it when archiving… except sometimes the were tracking hours on jobs on the side and not recording them to a specific job. That means we saw now hours when archiving and deleted the job. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Same with Timesheets. We track hours on jobs, but recently employees have been moving from day-labour to full-time which means we need to take 0.4 hours off a day. There seems to have been some hiccup because none of the Timesheets are broken down by job – only “Ordinary Hours” – we suspect this is not a bug on our end, but something they did. 🤷🏻‍♂️ There is a company between us an the Concreters, so communications are limited and the time-different means it takes a whole extra day to hear about issues.

We’re gearing-up for our Staff Surveys to start. It was going to start Wednesday March 1st, but has been delay slightly to Friday. Lots of little things at the last minute: mistakes with lists, changes to organization statuses and general corrections. But Friday came and we sent out our emails and the balls is now rolling!

Hyperion meetings are increasing in intensity and gravitas as we can see the finish line. Still LOTS to do, but we’re going to make it. So far all the stakeholders are very happy. This Friday is another milestone deliverable. Things are in good shape, just waiting for a few log-jams to clear with the stake-holders and legal teams, then it all flows again.

We met with our accountants this week. It wasn’t the news we wanted to hear and we got a bill for the meeting. 🤦🏻‍♂️ We use a nice web-based accounting software which works in Iceland and is in English. They can’t (or are not willing) to use that, so they just re-enter all our receipts and charge us for the hours. We decided to pull the plug and not let them do the 02022 accounts. We’re just going to find another company that will use the web-based software directly. If things go well, we’ll just adapt for 02023.

Since this week was the beginning of the month, we sent out February invoices and did the bi-monthly VSK (VAT) reports. We printed out all the receipts and invoices, logged them and archived them in the binder for the accountant at the end of the year.

Finally, the local weather has shifted and it feels like 🌼 spring is coming… until next week, when we have a -12C forecast ❄️!