Our office is starting to look a little bit more business-like and comfortable. The other day we actually had a water-cooler conversation. The reception desk is courtesy of Erez at MIT Consulting, who didn’t need it any more. Moving it required a bit of “sweat equity”.
[Sorry – due to a server move, the photo gallery is temporarily broken]
A few people have asked me for photos. Below are a couple from the old office, and then snapshots of what the move looked like, and what the office looks like with everything set up. I’ve obscured people’s faces to protect the identity of the innocent…
I think there’s a potential business plan in all this.
We moved a few days ago into our new offices, which we are sharing with CO4 Computing. Last week we had an (unnamed) internet DSL company put in a connection. We tested it on Sunday, and it was working perfectly.
By the time we actually moved in, it had stopped working. It turns out that the unnamed internet service provider above actually uses phone lines (in this case something called a dry loop, which is basically a phone line without a phone number attached to it) that they lease from [insert big phone company name here]. Some technician at the [big phone company] had decided that there was something wrong with the dry loop, and had randomly disconnected it (without – I might add – letting the DSL company know).
At the point in writing, we’ve been trying to get the DSL company to fix our internet connection for three days. The problem, of course, is that they are totally reliant on the phone company’s technicians in order to do this. The phone company won’t tell them what they are doing to resolve the problem, and furthermore won’t let them know a timeframe either.
In the meantime, I’m being stonewalled by the DSL company as well.
We also looked into going directly to the phone company (unfortunately they’re the only ones who have lines going into this building) in order to get internet service from them. Apparently there’s a two week delay before they can install it. That’s minimum two weeks, not an absolute timeline.
For home internet, I can get a technician at my door within two to three hours. For business though, getting a new internet connection takes two weeks, and fixing a broken connection can take days. I’m puzzled as to why anybody puts up with this.
We have a customer who has a radio show, which we’ve been recording and posting up to her website for a while. We were using a Windows box with an ancient version of Replay Radio to do the recording daily, and then every few days we used an audio program to compress the files down in size, and then ftp’ed them up, after which we had to manually go into the database to add them into a list. As you can imagine, a bit time consuming.
I finally got around to automating the process using Linux.
Here’s how it works:
Create a shell script that records the show using mplayer
Create a shell script to stop the recording
Create yet another shell script to upload the file using ftp
Create a php script to check the remote upload folder, and add new files into the database
Create a shell script to run the remote batch checker using curl
Set everything up in cron
Took me a bit of time to get it all right, but that’s going to save a whole bunch of time later on.
I’ll give details in another post if anyone is interested.
If you were going to start a business today, what kind of business model would you use?
My personal answer: currently leaning towards some form of software as a service, utilizing some type freemium model. But then so is everybody else, right? I have more to say on this, but want to hear what you think!