• Week 222

    29 March 2017

    Another busy week, so time for more codename confetti:

    • Over on Gisborough I cranked out some HTML prototypes ready to be tested, as well as taking a quick second check at the language in the second prototype. Later in the week, I went over those tests with the team and we began to plan what would be coming next and taking stock a bit.
    • On Selworthy, I spent some time remembering how useful integration tests are for testing complex workflow; Capybara really does make life a lot easier. This helped test some of the new code I’d been writing around sending alerts to our Slack channel when specific criteria are met. I also spent some time working with our new tech lead who’ll be taking over from me in due course.
    • Components started arriving for Longcrag, some with attendant customs bills – I’ve learned a few lessons about shipping companies this week. I laser-cut some panels for a new prototype, and ordered the first production PCBs for one of the products.
    • Finally, I tightened a few screws on Walbury all ready for a second round of tests.

    And we’re out!

  • Week 125

    10 March 2015

    I wrapped recording interviews on Periton this week, with a studio session on Thursday and an on-location set of interviews on Saturday. All that remains is a script and one final studio session for voiceover. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s turned out shortly.

    On Thursday, Richard was invited into BBC R&D to chat about Rubato, so I went over with him to see their reactions and hear him chat. It’s always nice to see other people’s responses to which inevitably vary with their expertise, and so to hear from people with experience of all manner of broadcast platforms and approaches was interesting.

    At the beginning of the week I spent a day sketching and thinking on Walbury, planning out some simple interactions and working out how they map to a third-party vendor’s API.

    Midweek was a conversation about future work with a gang convened by George at Good Form & Spectacle, which were as always super-interesting. And I spent a while in the week tinkering with a small Elasticsearch project, porting an application previously reliant on a relational database to use a big-bucket-of-documents. By the end of the week, I had a really solid port that was remarkably snappy.

    Code, design, talking; a little of everything, then.

  • Week 124

    28 February 2015

    Tuesday saw the second performance of Rubato, at the Apple Store on Regent Street. Not quite the same acoustic as St John on Bethnal Green, but it was still a cracking performance. This time around, the animated words were also projected onto a pair of large screens in the front of the audience; though this occasionally removed some of the intimacy, it meant it was possible to take in the live performers whilst also seeing the words – something that the audience earlier in the month mentioned they’d have liked. So it was more useful information about how the project worked, and we had some lovely feedback from the audience members.

    Otherwise, though, I’ve been running around the country for Periton: to Newcastle and Cambridge, to several locations throughout London and, on Saturday, up to Cardiff. I’m writing these weeknotes on the train back; it’s been a tiring week of travel and lots of talking. We’ve got lots of strong material from a variety of different voices and I’m looking forward to how everything will come together over the coming weeks. More in due course, but probably worth explaining: Periton is a radio programme.

    And as ever: the usual sprinkling of meetings and phone calls to fill out the week. One phone call in particular helped me understand a lot of the parameters for Walbury which I’ll be starting work on next week – a short piece of specification and exploration.