Monday, December 4
The change of weather at the moment seems remarkable. On Saturday we had thick snow and everywhere looked like a winter wonderland. Yesterday we had enough rain to wash the snow away completely. Today feels like Spring.
Irma had a meeting in the centre that left her no time to go to her office first, and so she planned to get up thirty minutes later. I therefore got up very quietly and crept out into a Spring day. I walked down to Alepa, saw that the next bus would arrive in eight minutes, and decided to walk to Puotila.
I spent the morning in a variety of activities, all of them speedy. I answered mail, posted the final assignment for the Digital Mediascape course on Its Learning, made another attempt to find a student who would undertake a project for two nursing students, and then went downstairs to the sound studio.
I spent forty minutes recording my voice-over for the students’ Egalgala video inserts. Actually, I spent thirty minutes waiting for the studeio engineers to agree that microphone worked properly and then ten minutes recording my script. Luckily the students who had written the script saw it as functional and had no objections at all when I talked around it rather than read it word for word. They wanted me to channel David Attenborough and I think I managed this fairly well. The process rather depended, though, on talking without a script, or sounding as though I had no script; which in turn depended on me working from the script they had given me instead of actually reading it.
I did two takes and they said they didn’t need any more, because the second one captured just what they wanted, so I went back upstairs again to have a sandwich.
In the afternoon I helped a couple of students in an impromptu clinic session and then, at 14:40, I left to catch a tram.
The weather seems very odd. The sky has turned dark, but the sun shines very brightly through gaps in the clouds. This has resulted in some odd contrasting colours in the landscape. A tram leaves before I have time to run for it, so I stop to look around, and photograph the fiery bushes illuminating the dark grass.
I will walk from Sörnäinen down to Pixelache to meet Oliver and we will spend six hours discussing what we have done in 2017 and what we intend to do in 2018. We will talk about Slack and the ways in which it has worked, and not worked, for Pixelache. I will tell Oliver that I have begun to think that it has attempted to “disrupt” something that had no need of disruption. I show him the new Scrivener forums, running on bbPress, and ask how Slack has improved on a modern forum.
He agrees and points me towards something called Discourse; an open source “modern forum” that looks and feels like something designed yesterday but does not throw away all the advantages of a forum. I will open a new Linode, for which I will bill Pixelache, and we will spend four hours installing a LAMP stack, then Docker, and then Discourse. By the time I go home we will have Discourse up and running.
The next step will involve testing it by setting it up to replace Slack. We will set up the same channels, and port some of the more important information over. We will have to switch from Slack soon anyway, because we have begun to approach the limits of the free account. We will therefore have to decide whether to move to Mattermost or to something like Discourse.
At the moment Discourse seems like a more interesting move.