Chris Roos by Chris Roos

Week 291

Afternoon folks.

Week 291 was a short one for GFR. James was away hiking in Scotland and I took a couple of days off at the beginning of the week for a mate’s stag.

Clean windows!

The big news of the week is that we’ve had our windows cleaned. It’s the first time in the almost 3 years that we’ve been here. I did suggest to the cleaner that we might want them done every couple of months from now on but he quite politely told me that we clearly wouldn’t; given how long we’d lived with them as they were. Which is fair enough.

In general it’s a definite improvement. The only downside we’ve found is that our projector image isn’t quite as bright now that our anti-sun dirt has been removed from the windows.


James and I have been making a concerted effort to be more explicit about some of the tasks that we do on a regular basis. To that end, I added about another four tasks to Harmonia. It can certainly feel as though this is adding to our admin overhead but we hope that being explicit will help us understand where our time goes, and ultimately improve our process.

Business wiki

I spent some time building out our business wiki. It’s still our plan to make at least some of this information public, but we realise this is going to be harder as we add more and more sensitive information.

While adding some historical information about how much we’ve paid ourselves and how much we’ve charged, it struck me that we could’ve done a better job of recording this information at the time. I think we’re generally good at iteratively improving the software we build, but I’m not sure we’ve been so good at iteratively improving the company itself. We hope to get better at this by documenting the business as we go along.

Credit union

I spoke to someone at ABCUL on Thursday. They were incredibly helpful, and I really appreciated that they’d taken time to read some of the information we’ve been collecting on our blog and on the wiki. It’s becoming clearer that a credit union might not be the right mechanism for us to test some of the ideas that we’ve been thinking about. This conversation did make me rethink the idea of approaching an existing credit union to see if there’s anything we can do to help with the online banking software.

Chrome bookmarks and Nokogiri

I spent way too long on Friday trying to use Nokogiri to parse some bookmarks I’d exported from Chrome. I figured it’d be easy but something in the Bookmark HTML (I’m almost 100% it’s the unclosed <dt> elements) causes Nokogiri to silently stop part way through parsing. I got quite a way down a rabbit hole of investigation before managing to pull myself back out and leave the problem for another day.

3D printer

We’ve managed to get our hands on a 3D printer! Our friends at Makie have very kindly lent us a printer that they’re not using at the moment. We haven’t unpacked it yet but I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to have a play with it soon. What should we print?

An office phone number

I spent some time investigating Skype Manager to see whether it would let us have a single office number that could be picked up by multiple Skype accounts. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be possible. Can anyone recommend an alternative? We’re really after a single office number that would probably go to voicemail by default, but that can also be picked up if/when we’re expecting a call.

Office furniture

Having got our unwanted furniture listed on Gumtree a week or so ago, I was pretty happy when we got responses for pretty much everything. Unfortunately, these responses are yet to turn into people coming to pick anything up so we might still have to consider some alternatives.

Until next time.

– Chris

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