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Blog posts from December 2011

Week 341

We have moved office. Joe, Alex, James, Timo, and Nick are on holiday this week. Kari, Denise, Andy, Jones and I are taking holiday for some of the week.

Our new office is so big that all-hands now requires people to move to the same space, acting under an unspoken consensus about where that should be. In our old space I could participate in a conversation with anyone without having to move at all.

As I started taking notes for weeknotes, the tiny human that Kari is currently carrying started kicking her in the ribs. Maybe he wanted to be included in weeknotes too.

There is a list of snags for the new space on the whiteboard. It includes things like "EXTRA COAT OF PAINT ON FOOD AREA PROJECTION WALL" and "LIGHT SW. MEETING ROOM SWITCH DOWN TO TURN ON (REVERSE STATE)". Simon is managing the snags list this week, along with his usual schtick of chivvying projects and people. Andy is putting up lights and hanging shelves, as well as tidying up the old space and returning keys. He has also taken to bringing bacon sandwiches from the Shepherdess for people who want them, which we're all very pleased about.

Matt Jones is finishing some work for Uinta. Kari is showing Berg 9 to people who might want to make it their own. She is also training Helen, pushing various bits of accounting admin, and doing something that I have written down only as 'printers'. This could mean anything, really, do I mean SVK printers? Little Printers? the office printers? I should have taken better notes.

Jack is working on the industrial design for Little Printer this week. He has a seemingly bottomless collection of tops in subdued colours with zips, and today he has brought out a grey knit one that I have not seen before.

Matt Webb is fighting off a sickness that he caught from an Australian and taking Jack out for cake.

Week 341 then, Merry Christmas.

Monday links: photon bullets, licky lizards and dark futures

Monday is the new Friday. We were moving studio last week, so it was a quiet week for links. Here we go:

Trillion frame per second video is pretty astonishing. “Nothing in the universe looks fast to this camera” according to MIT researcher Andreas Velten:

Here’s a Bearded Dragon playing Ant Crusher. This is the first time I’ve seen a reptile using a tablet device – I hope it’s not the last.

Timo was intrigued by looking behind the scenes of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.

Week 340

These weeknotes are coming live from somewhere between Gatwick Airport and Haywards Heath, travelling at about 37mph. Joe and I are on our way to see Future Platforms who are doing some development work with us, and our fortnightly review and planning meetings are quite animated.

340 is the number of words that Betsy the Border Collie from Austria can understand. James Darling has hitch-hiked along the A340 near Aldermaston in Berkshire.

At the end of this week we are migrating to our new studio space. Co-ordinating the move of thirteen people from two locations in short time has been a bit of a challenge, and has involved much hard work from people with larger muscles than I. Here’s a little teaser of how our new space looks and how it’s changed over the last two weeks.

In the midst of packing up, we are still very busy on all projects. Timo, Alex and Matt Jones have been moving around Shoreditch by night filming for Uinta, stopping occasionally to watch footage and talk excitedly about what to shoot next over pizza and cola.

Work on Little Printer and BERG Cloud continues on many fronts. James D, Andy, Denise, Alice and Nick are variously looking at IA, infrastructure, manufacture plans, communications, whilst keeping up with the queries and comments we’ve been receiving via bergcloud.com, which have been super. They’ve have been keeping me, Matt W, increasingly-pregnant Kari and Denise busy in particular. If we haven’t quite got to your email yet we apologise, we’re doing our very best!

In January, Matt W (who you can hear on yesterday’s Radio Roundabout) will be clocking up at least 13,090 miles in the air en-route to a Uinta workshop, before dropping in on CES and meeting people to talk about Little Printer across the US. His itinerary is here if you’d like to catch him. Matt J and Joe will be attending at least the first part of this adventure.

This is a mere fly-by of what we’re up to, as usual, but I must now disappear to pack more things into crates.

Tonight, we are having a traditional Christmas dinner and a thimble of sherry to celebrate a year of good work (which I’ve been lucky enough to be part of for the past 7 months or so). I’ve been informed Matt Jones is bringing party games and Joe Malia may do a dance. I’m bracing myself.

USA trip in January

A couple of our favourite clients are in the US, but the time I spend in the country is always filled with workshops. (BERG is based in London, UK, and we travel for product invention workshops.) So I don’t get to spend enough time meeting new folks. It’s time to sort that out!

I’m spending a few weeks travelling next month to meet new BERG clients, and new partners and opportunities for Little Printer.

My itinerary, all in the first weeks of January 2012:

  • Portland, OR: Wednesday 4th – Monday 9th. The daytimes of Wed-Fri are full already.
  • CES: Afternoon Tuesday 10th – afternoon Wednesday 11th. I’ve never been to CES before and we don’t have a stand, so if you’d like to meet then please suggest how we do it!
  • The Bay Area (based in San Francisco): Thursday 12th – Monday 16th. Tuesday will be a travel day.
  • NYC: Wednesday 17th – late Saturday 21st.

My flights are flexible but that’s basically it.

If you’d like to meet to talk about work or Little Printer or whatever, do drop a line to info@berglondon.com and we’ll get something sorted! Please add a note about what you’d like to chat about and where your office is.

(And, friends in various cities, I can’t wait to see you — let’s make plans!)

Week Links

Start.

1. Ice Cube on the Eameses:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRWatw_ZEQI

2. A comprehensive list of cute robots
http://io9.com/5865655/

3. Animals talking in caps
http://animalstalkinginallcaps.tumblr.com/day/2011/12/06

4. Good Gifs
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665547/8-mind-bending-animated-gifs-by-mica-l-reynaud

5. A Tube app / Alarm clock
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2011/12/underground-delay-alarm-clock-android.html


(image) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CMS_Higgs-event.jpg

6. ‘Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time’
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/09/01/ten-things-everyone-should-know-about-time/

7. ‘Thatcherism As Tragedy Then Farce’
http://potlatch.typepad.com/weblog/2011/12/thatcherism-as-tragedy-then-farce.html

8. ‘The Tao of Zookeeper’
http://wiki.apache.org/hadoop/ZooKeeper/Tao

9. Light-dancing
https://groups.google.com/a/berglondon.com/group/studio/browse_thread/thread/bac0a9f85bccce2e#

10. Soft-Maps
http://www.hapticlab.com/

11. And more soft maps
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665548/wanted-blankets-and-napkins-printed-with-personalized-maps

12. Two-screen gaming
http://distractionware.com/atadistance/download.html

13. Drawing composed of 3.2million ink dots
http://vimeo.com/33091687

14. James Bridle ‘Waving at machines’
http://www.webdirections.org/resources/james-bridle-waving-at-the-machines/

15. Kickstarter from IBM chief scientist celebrates history of computing
http://gigaom.com/2011/12/05/kickstarter-from-ibm-chief-scientist-celebrates-history-of-computing/

16. World’s tallest man saves dolphin
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6178659.stm

17. Triggertrap is an open-source, Arduino-based universal camera trigger.
http://triggertrap.com/

18. Sony projection mapping
http://www.rubbishcorp.com/19137/

19. Follow up to “Android graphics true facts”, or The Reason Android is Laggy
https://plus.google.com/100838276097451809262/posts/VDkV9XaJRGS

20. George Clooney’s private satellites
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2101425,00.html

21. The Draganflyer X4
http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x4/gallery/videos/video-2.php

22. Founder of Mint closes project on alternative urban transport
http://gigaom.com/cleantech/founder-of-mint-closes-project-on-alternative-urban-transport/

End.

Week 339

After weeks of breathless hyperfunction, the studio has finally decompressed into a state of relative quiescence. This momentary intermission has witnessed a dispersal of people like dandelion seeds riding a collective sigh of relief. Did I really just write that? Jack can be found scaling the spectacular mountains of South Africa while Alice is shrouded in the shadows of York’s historic architecture. Denise spent the early week relaxing amongst the vineyards of Southern France and Nick chose to recuperate in Balham. In front of Battlefield 3 no doubt.

Back in the studio, the Little Printer announcement triggered a wave of public attention that quickly grew to a towering tsunami of electronic enquiries. Zendesk is fast becoming Application Of The Week and customer service is faster becoming a widely held expertise.

Simon has continued to display superhuman project management prowess until today when he conceded the fragility of a mortal shell and bowed out early with an unpleasant sounding cold. He has been involved heavily in pretty much all studio work and continues to be an organisational epicentre from home.

Kari spent the afternoon concurrently introducing Helen to the studio systems and pushing LP emails under the appropriate eyeballs.

Matt Jones is working hard to steer multiple projects for Uinta with one hand while orchestrating proposals and ‘sales’ with the other. It’s like watching Fantasia but with robots and rockets where enchanted brooms once stood.

Alex shifted his attention from creating nicely thought through visual design for Little Printer to nicely thought through visual design for Uinta. He continues to stick rigidly to ‘New Health Century’ when most have failed. Namely, myself.

Denise lends an assured lilt to customer service and continues to carefully broaden Little Printer’s personality.

When not wrapped up in paper suppliers, Andy is working closely with Uri on manufacture and with Durrell and Tom on “the Bridge”. He also attached some LEDs to a pair of gloves which looks well glam and most people thought was proper ace.

Timo has been joined by Alex in Berg 9 this week. It is said that is you listen carefully, at quiet moments in Shoreditch, you can hear the sound of Drum ‘n’ Bass emanating from their lofty tower. I think I saw Alex drag a sub-woofer up there the other day. I hope they’re ok. Timo is working on a proposal for Silverton while editing footage for Uinta and guiding UI thinking.

Matt W is working tirelessly to transform short emails into long phone calls and casting telescopic thoughts into the future to create the roadmap for Little Printer. He is also working on accounts.

James can be found scouting for ways to improve the LP IA. He returns with answers to questions we didn’t know we had. He briefly wore a snood like a sweatband and still looked cool.

Nick has returned from Balham and is now working closely with Tim Bacon to draw a vector between video, data and 3D software to mind bending effect. I just had a glance some work in progress. It’s difficult to comprehend what it all means but it looks incredible.

Lots will change next week. The mounting anticipation is hotter than a … you get the idea.

Week 338

It’s been quite a week.

BERG Cloud & its first product, Little Printer were announced. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response – it’s been amazing.

As a result, our weeknotes are very, very late.

Schulze was on duty, and before he departed for Africa, he left me these scribblings from our weekly ‘all-hands’ meeting on Tuesday morning (2hrs before we pushed the button on BERG Cloud!):

AJ: final designs on Uinta, working on some Little Printer stuff too

DW: Little Printer! Little Printer! Little Printer!

JM: Uinta, working with Tim Bacon on 3D and also a little on other Uinta brief w Alex and timo. Very husky. Design wookie.

MJ: Working on Uinta projects, teaching at the RCA.

NL: working on Berg Cloud – on radio telemetry and reception testing.

JD: Berg Cloud timezones and being a fashion maverick

AB: finishing the Berg Cloud website, also dev on some final-stage BBC Dimensions work

TA: Finishing the Little Printer film. Uinta material exploration and video prototyping.

MW: Internet provocateur Anne Galloway is sleeping on his couch. He is in Athens for TEDxAthens and working with Schulze to tie down the wild stallion that is Little Printer.

Simon is busy, coordinating all our projects, the BERG Cloud launch, and our impending studio move. Kari is off on holiday and Schulze is on wings to Africa. Before he flies he is stretching versions of the world in his mind to line up a working process that causes molecules and radiation to synchronise into thousands of little printers.

Normal (whatever that is) service maybe resumed in week 339…

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