Monthly Archives: January 2019

Weeknotes 2

Client Work

Not a lot to report, it was mainly dealing with the remaining work in moving lots of websites from one server to another for one group of clients, and doing some straightforward updates to the site of another. Plus, checking some work Laura had done for the group.

My projects

I discovered the upgrade of my Mac to Mojave had broken both Virtual Box and the old version fo Vagrant I’ve been using. This was not good as I had some data in a couple of databases still in the virtual machine in it that I needed to recover, and re-building Vagrant would wipe them out. I had thought I could boot from the Time Machine backup I have of the computer, but either I didn’t set it up correctly to do that when I started taking the backups that way, or it’s just impossible these days.

I’m still working out exactly how I’m going to fix that one. I have bought an extra external disk to use as storage as my current one is getting full, so I’ve taken a full backup of my current set up in case I have to restore the previous version to get the data out.

On the more positive side, I got some work done on Brisk that I could do without the missing data, and on an extra app I want to make an early version of to help me take notes of podcasts. The latter was integrating in code Sky wrote me about 2½ years ago. Things are slow when you’re trying to fit them around higher priority work.

The Farm

We had 19 people along to the Farm this week. Each week I take some notes on what was talked about, which go in to the adverts I post to the BNM list and a general archive. My notes from this week are:

  • Government confidence vote
  • Surviving losing a big client
  • Turning hosting in to a higher value service
  • New Orleans
  • Using Tide for business banking
  • Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb
  • Bitcoin
  • Doubt on Netflix
  • Rust
  • Atlas Obscurer
  • Has Brighton’s homeless problem got worse or just more visible?
  • Judging whether to do pro bono work to break in to a new area of business
  • Big charities are businesses, small charities are often a mess
  • Using breaks in client work to improve your skills
  • Successful band members who still have day jobs
  • Self building your home

Watching: Fast & Furious 8 (AKA The Fate of the Furious) – daft fun

Reading: I finished Metropolitan, it was excellent. Have started Jeeves in the Offing by PG Wodehouse

Writing with: Mainly a Sainsbury’s Hybrid Gel pen, and a bit with a Pilot G-Tec-C4, which gives a good, smooth and very fine line but is a pain to write with a lot due to the ridges on the grip section.

Weeknotes 1

Inspired by Clive, Simon and Graham, I’m trying writing some weeknotes to record what I’ve been doing recently.

Client work

Built a newsletter and set up a drip feed of the monthly news out over a couple of social networks for one client, then most of the week was swamped by an ongoing problem for another two clients, who are in the same group. Their websites have been failing briefly for a week or so and all log hunting and optimisation measures came to naught.

As part of ongoing changes to try to improve things, I decided we should get on and move the sites up to PHP 7.2 as they were still on 5.6, which has just gone out of support. This also meant moving (virtual) server and while the host has a ‘clone’ tool which would copy the sites between servers… except it wouldn’t if I’d used their “one click install” to put WordPress or a framework in place. Queue the manual move of a six sites, some of medium complexity.

Added to this: a few meetings, two days at the coworking space I use, and lots of communication with Laura, who does a lot of work for some of my clients with me.


My freelancers networking group started meeting again on Wednesday, as we will every Wednesday through to Christmas. About 20 people came along, with three newbies, which is good for January as a lot of people doing “dry January” don’t come to the pub for fear of lapsing. I wasn’t drinking, but that was because I was driving.

My own project work

I wanted to spend a day of work on my own projects this week, which is mainly building a Google Ads tool, but also moving a bunch of sites from a friend’s hosting to elsewhere as he’s shutting down the last of his servers. No decent work was done on these as I was juggling server problems or life.

I’ve also been failing at writing up a blog post about being Skiff ‘Captain’, hopefully I’ll finish that next week.

Home life

Katie started a new job just before Christmas, and juggling caring for our son has become a lot more complicated now she’s also busy with work. School term restarting has helped, but I’m not putting enough time in to this at the moment and I seem to be constantly behind.

Watching: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – in chunks.

Reading: Metropolitan by Walter Jon Williams. ¾ of the way through, second read but it’s been 20 years so a lot of the detail had disappeared. It’s very, very good, which is the bit I did remember.

Writing with: mainly a Zebra Z Grip Max (older v1 solid black version) – I’m trying to use up a lot of the pens I already own this year, hence mentioning it at all. The Z Grip Max is variable, some of the ones I’ve had have been great, this one is a bit scratchy unless the paper is very smooth, then it’s great.

Writing in: a Lemome A5 notebook with dot grid. It’s got a hardback cover of cork, and is being very nice so far. That’ll be with me at least a couple of months.