Automattic in 2016

Automattic

This is (most of) Automattic. We’re in the town of Whistler, Canada for the annual Grand Meetup. The company is growing every year, from tiny origins when a small group of us hacked away on a couple of servers to almost 500 now!

In the old days the company portrait was easy. The first one was us seated around a large table. I remember well the one in Breckinridge, Colorado. The whole company fit on the stairs leading up to one of the houses we had rented.

In recent years it’s been a challenge. This year Rose Goldman Simon and I scouted the town of Whistler for suitable locations. Rose had already been around and picked out several so I helped to narrow it down. We’d need:

  • Somewhere high up for the photographer to stand so as many people as possible could be seen.
  • Tuesday, the day this was made, was a lovely bright day, but that would play havoc with the photo. We needed a large shaded area.
  • It needed to be close to where we’re staying. The further away we had to walk the more complicated it would become.

We narrowed it down to two locations. One in front of a local store where there’s a nice courtyard and this location above. This won out despite the fact that sunlight would be shining on the camera lens but a large whiteboard helped keep the sun off. Ironically as people dispersed after the shoot, the shadows crept up past where the camera was which would have simplified things!

Final development of the photo was in Lightroom and Affinity Photo.

You’ll also find the photo on Matt’s blog, and shared by many of my colleagues elsewhere. I’ve also uploaded the full resolution image on Cloudup.com for your viewing pleasure.

Off travelling again, 2016 edition

The Automattic Grand Meetup starts tomorrow so I’m in Cork Airport waiting for my flight to London.

The weird thing about timezones means I leave here in the morning and get to Vancouver in the morning. And it’s still the same day. That also means I need to stay awake so much longer. 

“Today” is going to be a long day. Zzzz.

When is Android Pay coming to Ireland?

I’ll admit I haven’t been too excited about the whole “paying for things with my phone” hype. I think I may have used a contactless terminal in Mc Donalds once. But there was a system update for my Galaxy S7 Edge yesterday and early this morning I noticed a new application, Android Pay. Despite the early hour I quickly went through the setup process but adding the credit card from my Google account brought me to this screen:

Android Pay

Various searches on Google haven’t thrown up anything useful or hopeful. It’s anyone’s guess when Android Pay will go live here. Anyone know?

This is odd… dot blog

dotblog-social

I’ve had some sort of online presence for twenty years, and that presence has been this blog for most of that time. When I started posting stuff online, PHP was still a toddler and I used a simple Perl script to merge html files with a content file before it was squirted up to an FTP server for publication. I’ve always put the newest news at the top, pushing older entries down, just like it is now. Ah, the glorious days of editing the file in Vim, copying and pasting posts from the “main” page to my “archive” page. I don’t miss it, WordPress makes that much easier now!

In those early days this site would have been called an “online diary” or journal. Apparently the term “weblog” was coined at the end of 1997 but I didn’t hear about that until a few years later. Blogs have been so very important to me in my personal and professional life so I’m really excited that this blog now lives on a .blog domain at odd.blog!

Automattic is rolling out the .blog domain, and as Matt says,

The namespace is wide open, and if you’re interested in reserving or bidding on your favorite name you can go to get.blog.

Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the outside lane

If you drive on the correct side of the road like people in Ireland and a few other enlightened countries do, the outside lane is the right hand lane. The rest of the world bizarrely drives on the other side so they should avoid the left lane. 😉

As the AA says, there’s no such thing as the “fast lane”.

There’s no such thing as a ‘fast lane’ on a motorway. Traffic should always cruise in the left hand lane. The right hand lane is for overtaking other vehicles; it’s also used when approaching a slip road in order to let traffic join the motorway from the left. On a three-lane or multi-lane motorway the same rules apply. Keep to the left as much as possible. Traffic should never be in the right-hand lane on motorways if the left hand lane is clear.

For the love of Vim

A contributor to the Hackaday blog has a good old rant about how Vim is superior to Emacs. 

Of course it is (a silly argument), but he manages to give a quick overview of Vim and describes a few neat tricks beginners will find useful!

And after writing the text above I realised that there are going to be people reading this who have absolutely no idea what either Vim or Emacs are! They’re text editors, and they have passionate users. Yeah, that includes me too. 🙂