The UK is basking in a wonderful summer. The best, apparently, since 1976. Obviously, I’d like to pretend that I’m too young to remember such a distant event, but, unfortunately I remember it well. I was a carefree 17 year old. How do I remember that particular summer? Well trust me, memories of long hot summers are rare if you are British!
So nearly 40 years later, here I am in another long hot summer but life has moved on and, as opposed to being carefree, I have responsibilities. Even though PleaseReview v5.0 is out of the door, I can’t kick back, relax and sit in the garden drinking Pimms (a uniquely British summer drink which conjures up images of croquet on the lawn - for those wondering what Pimms is).
Nope – no rest for the wicked. No sooner than one release is out of the door, our attention turns to the next. That’s the way it is in software development – an endless cycle of develop/test/release. The simple fact is that every software product in the world is a ‘work in progress’ – it’s never complete. There is always something to add, to perfect and to repair. Just keeping up with the release cycles of other vendor’s products (Windows Server 2012, Office 2013, etc.) is work enough, let alone the long list of enhancements we’d like to get done. So now we turn our attention to v5.1.
Over the next month or so we will be inviting our clients to a series of v5.1 webinars in which we will let them know the planned scope of release and request feedback.
The improvement cycle doesn’t stop at our software. Over the last couple of months we have commissioned a new support system to provide a better experience for clients and have even updated our website with a slightly re-modelled home page.
As those who follow us will know, we're great fans of cartoons here at PleaseTech. I believe they help make serious points in a light way, which most people understand. To celebrate the launch of PleaseReview v5.0, we commissioned a couple of cartoons to highlight the new offline tablet review capability:
Talking of cartoons, no one will have missed the fact that there has been a royal birth in the UK. We now have three kings in waiting – lucky us! However, those of you who follow our document review cartoons will have seen a cartoon regarding the royal birth before it all happened. Why do I mention this? Because, I’m pleased to say that the cartoon predicted ‘George’ as the name for a boy at odds of 5-1. I wish I’d put some cash on that outcome!
Thinking about bars…I earned a drink or three over the 4th July weekend when I undertook the WaterAid 6 Peaks challenge. You may recall the 6 Peaks Challenge comprises climbing the tallest peaks in England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and both North and Southern Ireland. The headline statistics were:
50 miles to walk
20,000 feet to climb
1,000 miles to drive (with two sea crossings)
72 hours in which to complete it
For those familiar with the UK’s ‘3 peaks’ challenge ( which involves walking the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours), the 6 peaks is like that but with a warm up (Snaefell on the Isle of Man) followed by extra time i.e. Slieve Donard in Northern Island and Corran Tuathail in Southern Ireland. We walk up Slieve Donard at night with head torches.
So, the good news is that most of us, including me, succeeded. The better news is that the eight team members (six climbers and two drivers) were still talking to each other at the end of it all! For 72 hours we were either in a minivan being driven to the next mountain or walking up (or down) a mountain.
Luckily I had a natural advantage. Years of cattle class transatlantic travel means I can sleep anywhere. Even, it transpires, in the back of a mini bus hurtling between mountains. Others were not so fortunate and found the physical challenge difficult when compounded by the lack of sleep. There is no mistaking it was a tough challenge and I am delighted to have completed it. I’m also delighted that we have raised about £4,500 (circa US$7,000) for the WaterAid charity. Furthermore, I’m proud that afterwards, of the six people left in the bar at 3:00am (of the circa 60 people from nine teams taking part), four were from our team! Many thanks to all who supported us.
Finally, I am delighted to say that we've finally managed to get our new movie released. Watch it here