James Adam by James Adam

Week 138

It’s so easy to get completely caught up in work that you lose sight of why you’re working.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to make an effort to take that step back and talk about what’s going on inside Castle GFR. We believe in transparency, so it’s an obvious way to demonstrate that.

This week it’s my turn. I’m already two days late, and we’ve got a lot to catch up on.

O2 Labs

After handing #blue to O2 Labs at the start of August, we’ve done a bit more work for them exploring how they can help developers to engage with other parts of their infrastructure.

I wish we could say more, but sometimes clients are a bit sheepish. Fair enough. Perhaps we’ll give the project a codename.

The Office

For the past few weeks we’ve taken a break from that work to make progress with our new office.

After walking across most of London - twice - we found a good space just around the corner on Worship Street. Chris and I met with our solicitors to go over the lease and generally learn more about what we’re getting ourselves into. We’re hoping to move in within the next few weeks.

Harmonia, the Chaos Administrator

One of the fundamental ideas behind our company is that everyone involved should be a maker, but that doesn’t mean that administrative chores can be ignored. We’ve tried a few different approaches for handling this, but have settled on a simple system that adds a sprinkling of entropy into our operation.

It started as a simple script called chaos.rb, but we’re pushing more and more into it as we find tasks that fit. For the curious, it’s called harmonia.


Tom has been exploring a simple set of deployment recipes that leverage git, and we’ve been trying them out. There are a few rough edges, but it looks very promising so far, and it’s very fast.

We’ve been using Highrise to give everyone visibility of what’s going on in the company, but when someone forgets to BCC or forward an email, it causes a hiccup. This wastes time, so we’ve spent a bit of time thinking about other solutions, from a single shared mail account to some custom software. I have been spiking some scripts to automatically produce a single, searchable view of every email in and out of Free Range. There’s nothing worth looking at yet, and we’re still exploring what flow will really work for our company.

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