Chris Roos by Chris Roos

Week 170

It’s been another fairly quiet week at GFRHQ, with James A out of the office on Monday and Tuesday and Tom jetting off to Krakow on Wednesday for Railsberry.

In week-169 James A touched on us losing sight of some of the larger goals we have as GFR. I agree and wonder if we’re being a bit extreme in our approach: previously, it was all about the client work, then it was all about discussing our future and just recently it’s been all about going solo(ish) and working on whatever might interest us. Although I’ve definitely enjoyed working on my toy bookmarking project and joining in with James A’s excellent work on Printer we need to make sure we do this while keeping the bigger picture in mind. We should all be in the office next week so we’ll pick up on it then.


A few different things have happened in Printer land this week. Not least of which is having 57 people say they’d be interested in buying a pre-configured kit of parts to build their own printer! In order to meet demand, James A has spent quite some time investigating how we might buy these components in bulk.

James A and Printer have also made two fairly high profile appearances this week. The first was at the Internet of Things meetup 7 and the second was in the Wired magazine article, “Your Twitter Feed as Newspaper: A Look at the Tiny Printer Trend” by Tim Maly. James has put an awful lot of work into this project so it’s great that we’re (yeah, that’s right, we’re :-)) getting this sort of coverage.


I finally gave in to James M’s constant pressure and pushed the source of roosmarks to github. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time getting the functionality and style to a point where it doesn’t cause me too much pain in my day to day use. You can see my copy of roosmarks on heroku or follow the instructions in the README to get your own copy up and running. NOTE I’m not paying for roosmarks to be hosted on Heroku so every now and then a request will take some time to respond as it waits for the server process to boot.

I managed to lose about a day getting roosmarks running on my FreeBSD VPS so that I can play around with remotely developing from my Chromebook.


These are a massive pain in the arse. Fact. Even though I’m almost 100% certain that us filling out P11Ds wouldn’t change the amount of Tax or NICs we (as a company, or individually) pay, we’re still supposed to complete them. We’d originally planned to submit nil returns but then I spent a couple of hours reading the A-Z list of Expenses and Benefits and started to get a little worried that we were intentionally mis-informing HMRC. In the end we’ve asked our accountant (Stuart Jones at 3CA) to complete them for us. We’ve also spoken to Stuart about the possibility of working together to create a simple tool that might make P11D generation easier for Free Agent users. I have no idea whether there’s any mileage in this but we’ll see how it goes.


James M took delivery of his Rasberry Pi on Wednesday and promptly got it set-up in the office. He initially installed a Debian distro but I don’t think that comes with Ruby so he’s in the process of moving over to Fedora.

Tom had a momentary bout of whachoo-doin-you-crazy-fool and got stuck into some Java, albeit with JRuby, at the beginning of the week.

James M took his HSBC dongle breaking as the sign he needed to go and buy a 70 piece toolkit from Maplins in order to poke around inside it.

James A might not be around but pointed out that the bootstrapd conference might be something of interest.

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