First Sail of 2018

At last I got out in my RS Vareo again today, the first sail of 2018. ūüôā Relatively light wind, good surfing conditions, good fun beating upwind through the waves and I got the kite up a good few times.


I was glad to have got out early before the wind started dropping. It’s really striking just how much strength and endurance I’ve lost in the two months I haven’t been out, time to get going again.

Coming in as the others were going out.

I’ve been getting my sailing kicks with very small boats the last weeks which is also fun.


How to do VoIP Internet Telephony at Home

When we moved to the UK from Germany in 2013 we quickly discovered BT’s¬†high and fiddly telephone call pricing structure which soon got me thinking about how to bypass as much of their service as I could. Cheap calls and simpler pricing was a must.

Setting up a SIP phone to do VoIP (voice over IP) seemed like a good solution to reduce call costs and also make adding further landline numbers cheap and easy, SIP being part of the VoIP family of technologies. Read more about SIP vs VoIP here.

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A Year at VIP – 2017

In June 2016 I joined the VIP team at Automattic the company behind, Jetpack, Woocommerce and other products.

Automattic is a fully distributed company where we all work from wherever we choose, and apart from the Grand Meetup where the whole company meets, we also gather at smaller meetups throughout the year.

Meetups are an important part of Automattic culture and they are a mix of work and social gatherings, getting to know each other is a key part of making distributed working work.

In addition to the team meetups, this year I flew to Brazil to visit a client, took part in a conference in Napa and did a training course in Amsterdam. The world feels a lot smaller now as I look back over the year and in 2017 I’ve met many great people from all over the world.


A VIP meetup in Barcelona. This was an excellent kickoff for the year, we had some great workshops with a highlight being a session with our systems chief Barry.

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Posturite DeskRite 300 Review

In June 2016 I joined Automattic¬†the company behind¬†which is fully¬†distributed¬†meaning we all work from home, co-working spaces or wherever we happen to¬†find ourselves. New starters all get a budget to kit out their home offices which also covers buying a desk,… a really nice desk.

I’d wanted a sit / stand desk for ages and thanks to the company was at last able to get one and for me in the UK, options seemed to come down to the¬†Ikea Bekant or the¬†Posturite DeskRite¬†series.

Now, we have loads of Ikea stuff at home but quality is a mixed bag and from my research, the Bekant has problems with its mechanised legs which are prone to failure and when that happens the desk needs dissembling and the legs returning to Ikea. Pretty sub-optimal.

So I went for the DeskRite 300 because of its more solid and modular design and construction, plus easy repairability in the event of component failure. If for example the motor unit failed, it could be easily removed and replaced.

A year of use later it has turned out very well, I switch from sitting to standing three or four times a day, the desk works like a charm and as solid as ever. Recommended!