Week #666 & #667

Friday, November 24th, 02023 at 13:31 UTC

Week #666

Ooooh, 666! No hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia here. I refer you back to week #616. TL;DR: 666 is a mistranslation. The earliest known ‘official’ mark of the beast is 616. This week also shares its name with 666 Desdemona, a main-belt S-type asteroid.

On Tuesday, we recorded a Podcast session with an old friend. He needs to now edit it all down, mix it with his thoughts and potential other interviewees. It should be available in the new year some time and we’ll certainly link to it when it is.

We met with some of the Australian team who were in town this week on holiday. We had a great lunch and chatted about project proposals and financing ideas, along with a pending volcanic eruption here in Iceland! By the end of week #667, they should be back in Melbourne, very jet lagged.

We are getting back on track with our fortnightly PETALS sync-ups. We have a quick 30-45 minute chat about what we’ve done, what we should work on next and any upcoming deadlines/presentations/thoughts etc. It is good to have a rhythm both feel some progress, but also give us a point in the future that we need to have something done to talk about with others. It holds a bit of a flame to us to make sure we spend time on this project too, otherwise it gets de-prioritied.

Week #667

This week shares its name with an interesting debut album by a Norwegian glam metal band Wig Wag: 667.. The Neighbour of the Beast.

Monday the office was mostly empty. We managed to give 100% focus on PETALS and knocked out all the small tasks we had planned for our two week sprint! We went to the backlog and pulled a few more things off to try and work on while we were in the zone.

On Tuesday, the flu, then COVID has hit part of the team. All the productivity we had going into the week quickly evaporated. Hopefully, next week we can get back on track.

On Thursday, was Thanksgiving in the US. That means this week is off for our US projects. Pretty much between now and new years, people will be in the office, but no new projects will be starting as deadlines and responsibilities slow down as more and more people are out of office. This gives us a bit more free time to work on internal projects.

We also had a strange meeting with week. There were 7 people on the invite, 3 on our side and 4 on theirs. Sadly, one team member on our side got sick the night before and the other had another commitment. We made the decision to continue with the meeting rather than cancel it. Our thinking was that this was a small update/presentation from our side and trying to find a time that fit all 7 people’s busy schedules in the upcoming holidays would be difficult. We went early and found the meeting room and the TV didn’t work, so we moved rooms and still 5 minutes until the time, there was only 1 of us there… after a few more minutes 1 member from their team appeared. When we said it was going to be just 1 of us, we got told off like a school kid: everyone’s time’s valuable, you need to be committed to this project, etc., etc. We totally agreed and politely bit our tongue. It took a lot of effort to not look around that empty room and say “look, where is your team?” They only saw the situation from their point of view. They were they to review and give feedback, but had we known the feedback would be half-hearted at best from their side, maybe we wouldn’t have asked for it in the first place! It was strange, it was the 3rd meeting. There is one more to go in the new year, we’ll see what happens.


Back in 02016, we managed to get our hands on a set of these amazing cubes: Allemaal artis. Each side has some basic colored shapes, but when placed together they can form larger animal designs.

10 years ago, back in 02013, we wrote about Survey Archives. At the time, we realized that if, for some reason, we needed to revisit older data we would not only need the data dump, but the survey syntax, the customer info and even the code base to know how things were calculated. Luckily, we haven’t really needed to go back more than a year or two since we wrote that. The code is version controlled and we’ve done well to migrate to boring, flat, csv files (and SPSS) as the plain-text, long-term storage format.