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Post #1586

Week 259

It’s been a while since I’ve done a weeknote. It’s been busy!

Mag+ continues. The first iPad app on the platform, Popular Science+, got a cracking write-up on the Apple website: The magazine of tomorrow.

Nick and Lei are working on the next version of the app, and on scaling up. James is working on the authoring tools, aided by Loz and Simon who are making it easier for first-time users and laying the foundations for better InDesign integration. Campbell is our production expert, both helping James and answering queries from a few different magazine production teams. Together with Jack and Matt J, he’s also designing features for the version after next.

Schooloscope moves towards its second feature release! Tom’s working on that, while Matt B works on designs for the planned third release. Kari is replying to queries and feedback. Ben is helping us with data. (Here’s the Guardian’s write-up of Schooloscope.)

Both Mag+ and Schooloscope are now in operations. Ops is pretty new to us, and the continuous involvement it requires doesn’t play well with the clear open space you need for free inventive work. We’re using Tender for a helpdesk, and Codebase to track bugs and allocate features to releases.

The Michel Thomas iPhone app press releases will go out this week (get the behind-the-scenes tour). Matt B and Nick have done great work.

Trumbull is working towards demo: that’s Matt B, Paul and Matt J.

Jack and Matt J were in Amsterdam last week with Layar.

Andy continues working towards end-to-end demo for Weminuche. He’ll rope Tom in this week. Jack continues working with electrical engineers on Availabot. A previously unnoticed requirement about USB power draw led to a small design change, which led to a bigger opportunity to simplify the bill of materials, which had an impact on the industrial design. It’s utterly fascinating how all the different bits link together.

The last few months have been so busy. I completely underestimated the real impact of “Scenario 4.” (In short: it was that everyone’s been too busy to even think.)

But the nice situation now is that, with our capacity slowly coming back over the next month or two, we have the chance to speak with prospective new clients in a considered and practical way. So: lots of having coffee with people. Good good.

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