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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.

Week 420

We’ve all been so busy that Week 419 has been lost to history. No one knows what happened then or if it even existed, much like the money in those similarly numbered scams.

It’s now week 420.

Mark is getting addicted to the Cryptic Crossword as well as doing some more wrangling for Sinawava, which Joe and Laurence are doing a lot of drawing and other work for.

Kari has been tackling ZenDesk enquiries, sending paper off to hungry LPs and a multitude of other things.

Matt Webb is as always having meetings and also in Cambridge today for an IoT meetup.

Jack is also in Cambridge as well as doing some fun looking R&D with Joe and Luckybite crew.

Phil is cranking out more publications including one for Eventbrite and making it easy for others to make charts on LP.

Helen has been busy with fulfilment for the 2nd run of LPs and dealing with end of year.

Neil is hard at work assembling the remaining #FLOCKs as pictured here:

birds and stepper assemblies for #FLOCK

Andy has been in Italy at Fabrica for the first Sandbox workshop and learning to make Limoncello which I hope makes it back here.

I’ve been getting the supporting web side of the BERG Cloud developer tools to a point where they can be used in the Sandbox.

Nick has been testing the tools out by building a small project as well as spending some time on some iOS app work.

Alice is continuing to improve on Remote and LP deliveries both visibly and in many hidden but important details.

Fraser is blogging and talking and communicating in various mediums.

And finally Alex and Denise have decided to become developers as well as designers and are doing some work with Processing, Alex has also found time to make a couple of very fun publications for children.

Friday links



Social Satan from Sculpture on Vimeo.







Cosmography of the Local Universe (FullHD version) from Daniel Pomarède on Vimeo.


Friday Links

I can’t remember how this came up over lunch, but it turns out there’s a horror movie about QR codes that re-program your mind to not see them. Or something. Here’s the trailer.

It’s time for you to see the fnords.

The big news of the week – apart from the fact our governments are spying on everything – was the reveal of iOS 7, with lots of pretty pastels replacing the photorealistic textures that used to dominate the user interface. Even the BBC ran an article called What is skeuomorphism (with a few quotes from yours truly).

For me, the highlight of the Apple keynote was Anki:

Remote control toy cars, all driven by Bluetooth from the phone, all independently steering themselves with artificial intelligence? What’s not to like.

Some stuff to read:

The Internet of Actual Things, by Giles Turnbull at The Morning News.

“Your light bulbs will narrate their agonizing deaths.”

The New Aesthetic: James Bridle’s Drones and Our Invisible, Networked World, at Vanity Fair. Awesome to see multiple friends-of-BERG (including our own Matt Jones) in a brilliant and well-deserved profile of James. Says Bridle: “It’s the thing we’re living inside, and I’m keeping an eye on it.”


Hey, so Little Printer exists in the Marvel universe.

And finally, the science fiction corridor archive.


Week 418

Week 418 is muggy. This new office doesn’t have working air con, and so everyone looks a bit shiny like they could do with patting down with some kitchen towel or one of those talcum-laced anti-shine papers that they sell in Boots. Everyone, that is, except Andy Huntington whose complexion is mysteriously matte. Maybe he has a secret stash somewhere in the crowded shelves of his workshop.

This week Denise has gone to Sweden to speak at Creative Summit. I hope she’s having a good time and has figured out how to pronounce Å and Ä.

Helen is on a holiday, she’s in Tunisia. The studio hasn’t quite fallen to pieces in her absence, but I did just have to read a HMRC PDF about VAT so let’s just say I’m excited for her to return next week.

This week, along with his usual responsibilities of making up creative new nicknames for people in the studio and trying to cuddle-monster Mark Cridge and Tom Taylor, Jack is in meetings and doing a lot of R&D.

Adam is back from France, and this week is working on the dev board site for BERGCloud. The first prototype dev boards arrived last week. They have this brilliant map of Old St on the back of them.

Dev Boards for Fabrica

Dev Boards for Fabrica

This week Neil is soldering components onto these using our brand new soldering oven.

Phil G is working on new publications, earlier today he and Alex finished off a new one for kids, you can check it out here. Alex has also been putting the final touches to the new design for the BERGCloud remote site, which we launched yesterday.

Joe is working on Sinawava with Laurence.

Kari is calendar wrangling and doing admin.

Fraser revealed to us at all hands that the spoonerism for his name is almost “Lazer Fury” and I was laughing too much at that to write down what he said his tasks were for this week. I can only imagine that they are writing the newsletter and responding to suport requests as usual.

Nick is helping Phil W, Adam and Joe on their respective pieces of work.

Mark is responding to emails.

Matt Webb is listening to me complain about VAT, writing emails and having meetings.

Andy is keeping an eye on the Little Printer second run assembly, helping Neil to assemble the dev boards, planning for the BERGCloud sandbox at fabrica and getting #Flocks up and running.

I am writing weeknotes, shipping the new remote design and fixing any bugs, boggling about Android Chrome’s weirdness around -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch and grumbling about VAT.


Friday Links

It’s been a while since the last Friday Links. But I fear the Wrath of Alice, and as it’s my turn this week I’m posting them now before we get caught up in Friday Demos – and the Oculus Rift that Nick has bought in to the studio.

It’s been week of showing physical things here, really. Jack’s been rushing about like a man possessed with bits of paper, bits of plastic and things with wires hanging out the back. More #Flocks are being released into the world, and Alex and Andy have received new bits of the dev kit which are looking very nice indeed. Alice has also shared some awesome work on front end design and development for Remote (Little Printer) and so we’ve been looking at that too.

All of which is lovely of course, but it wont fill anyone’s need for productive procrastination. Things that are kind of work related but not so much they’re like doing *actual work* on a Friday afternoon.

Well, connected objects are the future as are wired/wireless homes, so here’s something that will help your research, shared by Alex:

The WiSee: WiSee uses WiFi signals to detect gestures from anywhere in your house
“Since WiFi signals are capable of passing through walls, WiSee can detect gestures made from neighboring rooms, breaking free from the line-of-sight method relied on by devices like Kinect and Leap Motion.” Insane.

And another, an augmented object, shared by Joe:

smarter objects – radio from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

Joe also shared a link to this piece on the Five Best Time Machines. We’ve made a time machine actually but we don’t really like to talk about it.

Joe also shared this:

And Adam responded with Lockitron (he sent this response last week – he’s been away on holiday this week. The time machine works, but just backwards and forwards a week or two at the moment.)

Alex also shared a link to a connected sign post, and in response, Joe linked to a piece by the London agency Greyworld.

And finally, a non-work link (for the office dweller). What on earth is this person doing? Whatever it is, it made me feel slightly sick.

Have a good weekend, and don’t try that at home. We’ve seen how it all ends.

Week 417

It is week 417. Matt has calls and meetings before he goes to Cambridge for the Springboard demo on Friday. Fraser is duelling with Zendesk in the absence of Kari. Alice and Alex are continuing to refresh the remote for Little Printer and BERG Cloud. Mark is grinding out emails and exploring new retail opportunities for us, later he is doing a talk. Gyfo is finishing some stuff on GitHub and designing some new Little Printer publications to hang off Google and Eventbrite. Helen is working on box build stuff for LP and wrapping the studio in cotton wool so she can go on holiday next week. Joe has invented a new design technique called reflexive wire framing (?). He’s working with a guest animator Laurence on Sinawava which kicks off this week. He’s also got some speculative r&d pots on the boil with me too. I’m working a lot with Lucky Bite on new products and Andy is as usual knee deep in hardware, Dev boards, flock and LP. All coming home to roost in a single lump of time. Neil is on the same train, assembling hardware and wrangling some packaging issues. Nick is debugging and sneezing, he has the fever.

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