Weeks 183-18625 July 2016
Properly back into the saddle now. There are three main focuses of work for me right now:
We’re nearly wrapping up a big push on Selworthy. In the past few weeks, the dev team have been shipping lots of significant improvements that are really rounding the project out. Meanwhile, I’ve been pushing forward on a few little R&D projects that are making their way into the tool as demonstration features, focusing on some speech-to-text integration and also using PhantomJS to generate 1080p files for compositing. Both experimental features have turned out surprisingly well, and are hinting at future opportunities. It’s becoming a really well-rounded product.
The boards for Staplehill arrived too late to take to Brighton Modular to exhibit, which is a shame – but perhaps it’ll give me more time to focus the product a little. Excitingly, assembly went entirely smoothly; it’s the first stacked-PCB design I’ve made. There were a few minor bugs in the PCB layout – notably, the point where I had the wrong voltage regulator – but nothing that got in the way of functionality. And now I’ve got a hardware ‘harness’ to build around, I can focus on testing and delivering the firmware, before revising the hardware. There were some issues that only emerged once the thing was assembled, and there’s a single huge feature that’s fairly important that is currently entirely absent – but we’ve got a starting point, and the people I’ve demonstrated it to have been very enthusiastic and positive.
And finally, I broke ground on Holmfell – an art project, which will take the rest of the summer alongside other work, working with Erica Scourti on a commission she’s received from the Wellcome Collection. That’s proving to be both interesting and challenging, but I’m already enjoying the collaboration and I think we’ll be able to navigate our way to an interesting outcome. So there’ll be more about that in the future.
I’m a little concerned when weeknotes slip – sometimes, it’s just because I’m busy, and after a long week the idea of writing them out of office hours isn’t always super-appealing. For me, the utility is not just the act of doing them, but looking back on them later. So there’s still value to handing in work late, as it were. I’m going to try to get back into some better patterns in the coming weeks, but balancing reporting/documentation with Doing The Work is important, and the former is taking priority a little at the moment. Busy is good, though, and hopefully that’ll continue.