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Blog posts from July 2013

Week 425

‘Tis the season for summer holiday, and we are operating with a skeleton crew this week.

Mark, Denise, Joe, Andy and Neil are all enjoying some well-deserved holiday. Matt is sorting a house move. Jack isn’t on holiday, but he isn’t here either due to the fact that he is Stateside for Chaco purposes. We’re wishing him “Happy birthday!” from afar today.

Which leaves the other seven of us plus the delightful contractors (namely Charlie, Saar and our long-term buddies Fraser and Phil W) who are gracing us with their presence these days.

Nick, Charlie, Saar and Alex all have a hand in Sinawava this week. At the moment, it seems to be a lot of iPhone and Bluetooth and getting graphics to work right. We had a lovely message of appreciation from the client on that project at the end of last week, and the recognition of the incredible work that our crew has been doing was gratifying, to say the least.

Alice, Alex, Adam, Phil G, Phil W and Nick are doing their regular superb work on various bits of BERG Cloud and Little Printer. Phil W is revising screens on the dev board in order to provide physical things with their own BERG Cloud address. Alice is working on messaging and developer relations and doing some general needed maintenance on the site. Adam is keeping an eye on everything as more Little Printers come online to make sure that nothing falls over. Nick is implementing updates to make it possible for Little Printer to upload as much data as it downloads. Alex is doing some design around messaging and is helping with a bit of ad hoc packaging design. He’s also been playing a bit with a brand new A1 printer that was just randomly given to us. (Right place at the right time, that.)

More Little Printers arriving in people’s homes means lots more questions about what Little Printer can and can’t do and why it’s not doing what its owner expected it to do. Sometimes that’s because of misplaced expectations. Sometimes it’s a matter of wishful thinking and we agree that yes, it would be great if Little Printer could do that and it may well be able to do that someday, but in the meantime, look at the awesome things it does RIGHT NOW! And every now and then it’s because there’s actually a technical glitch (often to do with connecting to the owner’s internet router) and we do the best we can remotely to troubleshoot and try to get the Little Printer and his/her owner humming along together as quickly as possible. That’s what Fraser and I have mostly been doing. Fraser is also busily keeping the BERG Cloud blog updated with fresh content. (That’s me practicing lingo for my next career as a social media consultant. Seriously, though, it’s good. You should read that blog too.)

Last but most definitely not least, Helen is heroically defending us from suppliers whose customer service – to put it mildly – leaves something to be desired. At least we’re learning a good lesson in what not to do when you’re providing customer service. She’s also doing her usual bang-up job of making sure that all the pounds and pence are accounted for and slotted in exactly where they should go.

We’re having the first proper grey, rainy day that we’ve had in weeks, but in lieu of sunshine, we all had free cake. Which was nice.

I think that’s it from our little corner of Shoreditch. Have a good week wherever you are!





Week 424

This week you find us in a hot and humid London. Rumours of thunder and lightening abound, and as ever with the weather around the city, there’s disagreement as to whether we really had a storm last night or some people just have an overactive imagination. Last time I checked it was raining frogs – it’s not my fault people were too busy with ‘computers’ to see it for themselves.

There’s a lot of people in the studio this week, all hands on deck on the following projects:

Sinawava: Charlie / Mark / Joe / Laurence / Nick / Saar / Alex

Chaco: Daniel / Neil / Jack

Customer Service: Fraser / Kari / Helen

Little Printer: Phil G / Alice / Adam / Denise / Nick

Finance: Helen / Matt

Fulfilment: Helen / Andy / Matt

Birthday: Andy

Keen eyed readers will spot a few people working on multiple projects, dashing from one to the other like the kids that used to appear in both sides of those long, long school photos. I’d better go before one whizzes past and all the papers on my desk swirl off into the middle distance.

Week 424, we are in you.

Week 423

Area Code 423 is a US area code in Tennessee that covers two separate areas of East Tennessee.

Principal cities in the northern part of the area code region are Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport (more commonly known as the Tri-Cities). The principal cities in the south are Chattanooga and Cleveland.

I was fortunate enough to see Sweet Bird of Youth, by Tennessee Williams at the Old Vic on Friday night starring Kim Cattrall (of Sex and the City fame). The play was really quite wonderful and I highly recommend you go to see it. However the theatre was uncomfortably cool so I’d suggest you take along a jumper or cardigan.

It’s also quite cool inside our office – as London swelters outside, we have aircon providing comfort and Adam, when not tinkering with picture messaging on Little Printer, made some cold brew coffee for us all yesterday which was quite refreshing.

You can find out how to make cold brew coffee yourself here.

Going through the studio this week we remain busy on the two nice projects from Chaco, and Sinawava continues to draw in more help with Charlie, Laurence and Saar all joining us for the next few weeks.

Alex is also joining team Sinawava to bring in some much sought after top notch graphic design.

The big news this week is that Little Printer batch two will be shipping this Thursday! If you haven’t already done so you can order yours here as they are selling out fast.

Helen, Fraser and others are calmly and efficiently preparing the BERG Cloud for a doubling in numbers which is extremely exciting.

Nick is helping out in small ways in lots of places, ensuring everything BERG Cloud related work as planned.

The learning continues from last week and Denise who continues to wrangle After Effects is finding the experience less painful, she is also doing some very smart thinking around Berg Cloud communications.

Kari is fulfilling her full job description for half of this week. Then off to Amsterdam without her kids. She is excited beyond measure.

Laurence, is working through a frankly huge list of animations. Charlie, is performing the tricky task of making these animations play at exactly the right time on the iPhone – this is harder than you might think.

Phil is keen to join team Sinawava as he has heard that ‘this where the action is at’. Until then he’s tweaking faces on Little Printer.

Fraser as well as tweeting and blogging about the Little Printer shipment, will be shipping a whole bunch of Little Printers to Australia, with new plugs and everything.

I’m busy shepherding some of our projects through the studio.

Alice will be diligently sticking to deadlines.

Neil, has finished assembling all of the Flocks which just need to be greased up, flight tested and packed up for shipping.

Andy will be receiving samples from China and thinking about future printers.

Joe is learning more than he could have imagined about Bluetooth LE.

Matt is undertaking some logistical work behind the scenes, and when not playing with Dev Boards and Arduinos will be consulting his calendar trying to avoid odd meetings.

Jack is busy on Chaco & Chaco, and is further developing partnerships for Sandbox.

In other news we have run out of storage.

Fridays Links

That’s right. Two Fridays. Double the links. So kick back, put on and settle in for some bits of the studio list for the last couple of weeks.








Slarcle and







Week 422

It’s week 422.

The year 422 BC was known as the “Year of the Tribunate of Capitolinus, Mugillanus and Merenda”, a year in which the Spartans routed the Athenians in the Battle of Amphipolis. Back in London, in 2013 (known as the “Year After the Year of the London Olympics”), bus 422 transports travellers between North Greenwich and Bexleyheath, a journey you can experience for yourself, somewhat rapidly, in this phantom ride video:

Obviously, the bus itself is invisible but, for your education and entertainment, here are plenty of photos of various bus 422s.

Meanwhile, back in the air-conditioned BERG studio, there is a lot of building, testing, reinstalling, organising and learning going on.

Mr Cridge is juggling two “incredibly interesting” Chaco projects and celebrating the approval of the third part of the third phase of Sinawava. He will also be reformatting his Samsung Android telephone in an effort to regain some virtual space. We wish him well.

Mr Ludlam is doing some BERG Cloud bridge socket work, continuing the development of dev board firmware, and writing a blog post about last weekend’s Maker Faire, which excited and impressed all who attended.

Mr Lewry is, as ever, elbow-deep in Zendesk, calmly fielding excited queries about the increasingly-imminent deliveries of the next batch of Little Printers. He is also doing his ongoing, and excellent, “bloggy, tweety stuff”.

Ms Rogers is preparing administrative details for the next Little Printer production run, testing a “dashboard thing”, and battling the ever-present demons of accounting. Godspeed, Ms Rogers!

Ms Bartlett is working on exciting things to do with Little Printer messaging, and anticipating some secret work that will arrive any day now. She is also eating biscuits, even, it has been noted, before elevenses. The author was warned from divulging this revelation, so let us keep it between ourselves.

Mr Usher is filling more #FLOCK clock houses with the magical “bits” which imbue the mechanical birds with avian life, and also doing remarkably clever things with dev boards.

Mr Jarvis is, like Ms Bartlett, working on new Little Printer messaging tools, plus continuing to learn the many secrets of Processing, and also bringing home the Little Printer that was working so hard at the Designs of the Year exhibition.

Mr Huntington is continuing his intricate work with the dev board, and folding up things he learned while at Fabrica into “useful stuff”. He will also be reinstalling Mac OS X in an effort to conjure new life into his computer.

Mr Johnson has his ever-typing hands full with web sockets, “exciting new features” for Little Printer, and behind-the-scenes #FLOCK work, all before, in a well-deserved break, seeing ‘Tristan & Yseult’.

Mr Webb is “going to meetings and parties this week”, plus a panel discussion at Creative Bytes, and an internet of things event with the BBC. He will be having some respite from this socialising by getting to grips with the mysterious workings of an Arduino.

Ms Wilton is, among her always-admired graphical and linguistic duties, attempting to conquer another of Adobe’s fearsome beasts, After Effects, because “apparently animated GIFs don’t cut it anymore”. We await her cursing with covered ears.

Your author, Mr Gyford, is currently immersing himself gently in Ruby on Rails in order to enable the creation of more, almost mythical, “exciting new features” for Little Printer.

Outside of the studio – indeed, outside of this kingdom – Messrs Malia and Schulze, along with the nimble-fingered fellows of Luckybite, are orchestrating further workshops at Fabrica, photos of which are appearing at an impressive rate in the Instagram feed of said institution’s Mr Hill.

And that is all the news we have for you. We thank you for reading this bulletin for week 422, the HTTP Status Code representing “Unprocessable Entity”. May your entities, dear reader, remain fully processed.

Week 421


Joe, Jack, a long lost Timo, and a very special guest are working on a top secret Chaco project.

Sinawava is now ‘Awesome and happening’.

Matt has a bazillion meetings to attend, is helping at Bethnal Green ventures and is speaking at an IOT gig in Greenwich.

Alice is reworking some BERG Cloud functionality and meeting up with a friend of BERG about a very cool use for Little Printer,

Alex is continuing to get to grips with the basics of processing and wangling some bits for the next run of Little Printers.

Denise is doing some copy bits and bobs as well as working on some very exciting new BERG Cloud features with Alex and Alice.

Andy is finishing off hardware for Fabrica, reviewing his learning from last week’s trip to Italy and speaking at a hardware startup in Brighton.

Neil’s finishing off #flock, making some dev boards and helping with Chaco when needed.

Mark is working on Sinawava, chatting with Chaco and selling Little Printers.

I am finishing off the year end accounts, finalising details for fulfilment and organising the next production run.

Phil is doing his own thing.

Kari is shipping out paper and ensuring all the pre-orders are up to date and as they should be.

Fraser is blogging, tweeting, packing, chasing, emailing, selling and Zendesking.

And last but not least, Nick is working with Andy and Adam on the dev boards, doing some bridge server business, performing dev board investigations and going to the Mini Maker Faire with Matt, Alice and Adam on Saturday. They’d love to see you there.

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