September 2013 News Archive

Sun Sep 1 00:00:00 2013

This is the shadowcat news archive for September 2013.

Embarking on a Project

Here at Castle Shadowcat we are very keen on education, and we are very keen on providing a consistent service that we improve as we progress.

This year we have started a process of reviewing much of our internal documentation and Project Management practices. Our hope is that we can refresh and improve the systems and evolve them for the next stage of our development as an organisation.

At the same time Ian Norton and Mark Keating have started a post graduate course in Project Management at Lancaster Universities' CETAD centre to refresh and improve their professional knowledge to guide in the creation of this review.

We will be posting news and blogs of their progress and hopefully an assessment of what it has achieved.

This stage of our development has been made possible by a financial award from the White Cross for which we are very grateful.

cetad logo





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Walking With Cats

Since moving into the new Shadowcat Offices, here at Castle Shadowcat, our managing director has been stating that he needs a walking machine (treadmill) desk.

This is a desire bred into management and other admin. types to seem dynamic and progressive. He has said it will be good for the general health of the office and staff if we were all given access to such a device.

Most of us are familiar with his eccentricities.

There was one small stumbling block and that was the almost excessive cost of these devices. The entry level machine and desk combinations seem to be in excess of a thousand pounds with no guarantee of quality.

That cost is small for the health of the staff but high for what may turn into an unused whimsy. Also it struck at our hacker core that a simple hardware issue would cost so much.

With that in mind we decided to build our own attached desk. So we got a much more modest machine, took apart the control unit, fitted a custom table top and built the unit back in.

With the proof firmly being in the eating of the pudding, I am writing this as I walk at two miles per hour on the new machine.

Damn the capricious, yet functional, nature of our hackery and whimsy.

Working out where to drillWorking out where to drill
Mark and Ian with tools - fearMark and Ian with tools - fear
The newly fitted control unitThe newly fitted control unit





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Desk Sharing

As the title says sometimes the child labour laws do not apply, especially if the new worker that you are desk sharing with is both willing, not paid by you (they are probably self-employed) and below the age of consent where they can be charged for employing themselves as child labour.

But of a Catch-22 really.

Last week Castle Shadowcat had a very special guest for a morning, as the CEO's youngest son, Elliott, popped into the office for a couple of hours to look cute and share a desk.

If you want to you can say 'Aw' now.

What?What?
Hard at WorkHard at Work
Just reading a good bookJust reading a good book
Mr Tickle is nextMr Tickle is next





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Mark Keating to join the Lancashire Forum

The Chief Executive Officer (Managing Director in British parlance) of Shadowcat Systems, Mark Keating, recently applied for, and has now been accepted to, the first cohort of the Lancashire Forum. This initiative which is being run by Lancashire University Management School, in association with Boost Lancashire, University of Central Lancashire and Lancashire County Council is aimed at forging links between business, government and academia, it is a peer network and business growth programme.

Looking for like minded businesses to explore your innovation options? Businesses that innovate grow. They sell more and employ more people. The Lancashire Forum supports businesses to stimulate innovation and generate business growth

Mark was delighted to be accepted onto the first group and said:

this is a further chance for the internationally known and liked, in the Perl community, Shadowcat Systems to further grow links with the local community and be a part of an initiative that falls close to our own goals. Shadowcat has always maintained that a strong link between business, government, acadmeia and local communities is essential for strong economic and environmental development.

If you are in the first cohort Mark will be delighted to talk further with you, and if you are a part of a future cohort he would still love to chat.✗

Lancashire Forum Logos

✗ The hind legs of a donkey, and then likely he would persuade it to walk a while with him afterwards.





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