James Mead by James Mead

Week 322

On Monday we moved into our new office on Scrutton Street within Shoreditch Works. Yay!

Although it’s quite a bit smaller than our office on Worship Street, it’s really good to have a space of our own again. Seizing the day on Monday, we hired a Zipcar van and spent the afternoon moving a bunch of stuff from our Urban Locker into the new space.

In next to no time we’d set up four desks, our big sofa and a big bookcase. The next day we got our laptop monitors, printer and stereo setup and the place really started to feel like home. So if you happen to be in Shoreditch, feel free to pop in and check it out!

Admin

I spent quite a bit of time updating the company address held by various organisations, including three (!) places on the HMRC website. Dull, dull, dull…

On a similar note, we’re gradually plodding our way through the procurement process for a large organisation that shall remain nameless.

Annual Accounts

Chris spent quite a bit of the week continuing his valiant fight through our annual accounts and corporation tax return. A big part of what he’s been doing is to try to reconcile the data in our FreeAgent book-keeping software with the annual accounts generated by our accountant.

We’ve been paying even more attention to this than usual, because we’re planning to go it alone on the accountancy front from now on.

Director Loans

One of the most annoying complications is around loans to directors. Over the lifetime of our company we’ve had a number of share issues and transfers as people have joined and left. Some of these events have inadvertently led to small director loans appearing in the annual accounts, presumably because the company should have received some money from the individual shareholders at various points.

Since these loans were all for small amounts, we didn’t pay them much attention and some of them were not paid off for a couple of years. However more recently we’ve become aware that they complicate our annual accounts considerably, because of the requirement to pay interest on loans and because longer-lived loans attract corporation tax at 25%.

The frustrating aspect of all this is that if we’d been fully aware of the existence of these loans and the consequences for the annual accounts, I’m sure we would’ve paid them off immediately, thus making our accounts that much simpler.

Projects

Money Tracker

Later in the week, Chris did some more work on his Money Tracker project. Most notably he upgraded from twitter-bootstrap-rails to bootstrap-sass which means the project no longer needs a LESS pre-processor or a CoffeeScript converter.

AIS on SDR

I tried to get back into my AIS on SDR project, but it was a bit of a struggle to work out where I’d got to.

In the end I decided to start again installing stuff from scratch on my shiny new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B using the first half of this GNU Radio tutorial. And I did at least manage to get as far as receiving BBC Radio 4 using the rtl_fm command line tool like I had on my Mac laptop back in week 319.

I did also manage to install and configure GQRX, the GUI app which I’d installed on my Mac, on the Raspberry Pi but I found that reception of Radio 4 was very “choppy” - I assume this is due to the fact that it’s maxing out all four of the CPU cores!

Social

On Thursday, we had a post-work pint (🍺) with our new ground-floor neighbours, Tom T and Tom S, at the Old Kings Head. Tom T told us a bit about what he’s been up to at Offset, Moo’s new digital studio, and the launch of their first product, Stacks.

My back was playing up on Friday so I had to retire hurt at lunchtime. Unfortunately that meant that I missed our first Shoreditch Works “Mixer”. However, Chris stayed for a few drinks and met some of our new office mates, including a couple of people from Weaveworks (doing Docker-related stuff) and Lee Bofkin from Global Street Art.

That’s all for this week. Until next time!

– James

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