Tag Archives: project

Tony’s Memorial (day 2? or 4?)

It was good to give myself a break over the weekend even if it means I’m thinking about trivial things like day numbering…


Having chosen this topic, it was easier for me to tidy up the most immediate stuff around my desk, making a “Tony” box and putting everything else away. But that did also remind me of the sheer amount of stuff that I’m giving myself to work through.

That’s good, it’s a stage in the project, it’s working out the actual scope of something doable in the next four weeks rather than trying to fool myself into thinking I can do the most perfect, most complete job and never have to ever think about any of this again.

One way to come at this is to ask “What would be a good end product, something that you’d feel good about sharing, that was beyond the most basic, but still had room for extension in other projects? What would that end product look like? What elements would it have?” That reminds me that there are roughly three high-level processes to go through, which I will call “Cataloguing”, “Digitizing” and “Presenting Online” – ie a first product would be a complete catalogue of all the things I have, some description or whatever metadata is appropriate and where it is. This is a first round of organisation, going from vaguely-known chaos to some initial structure and some boundary around what’s in and what’s out. It also gives some pointers to where to start with digitisation and how much effort there may be involved. Going through the digitisation not only give us something that looks more like the end product, it helps to refine the catalogue or index and to improve the metadata. Then thinking about how to present it online, how to talk about the stuff, how to link it together into a collection of stories and actually writing those stories.

Having written all of that down, I’m now better informed about the size of the whole thing and the likelihood of completing all that in 28 days is pretty low. So I’ll have more of a think about what I’d be satisfied with before starting to make some lists.

The picture is from a family trip to Oxford in the mid seventies. My brother’s age is probably the best indicator – he was born at the end of 1970 and he could easily be five or six here but probably not seven, so I’d say summer of ’77 (because you know what the British Summer of ’76 was like and it wasn’t wet like this!)

Family History Project Day 1 of 28

Today was a thinking day. Starting a new project. Well, choosing a new project first of all.

Last weekend I went through the cards I’ve been using for the last 28 days and wrote down what project idea I had for each of them. Just the first thing off the top of my head. Today I looked back over it with a view to choosing something. As I read them I realised that a couple of them had the added benefit of helping me to clear up my physical working environment and that that is quite important to me.

So I chose the Family History one, which I’d written down as “a memorial of some kind to Tony, using the stuff I’ve got of his and about him to make a something, not clear exactly what yet.”

Tony in Minehead 1973

So today I turned this into: cataloguing, digitising and writing about the materials I have from my father (he died six months ago, suddenly and unexpectedly). I have personal documents, letters, notebooks and diaries, but I also have lots of photographs of him playing music, some recordings and then press and publicity materials. And then there are other bits that are from his work as a computer programmer, again marketing materials, but also descriptions of the work that he did for ACT/Apricot in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

So that’s it. He’s not notable enough (I don’t think) for a Wikipedia page, but it would be nice to have some sort of organised memorial to him on the web, working from all the physical evidence I have and helping his descendants know who he was.

That’s it, that’s as clear a project brief and product description as I can muster right now. I think the next thing is to have a think about what might be a realistic product in 28 days, working around existing commitments and the day job, so that I can make a better plan.

Writing this reminds me that not all blog posts have titles. I mean it’s annoying to have to come up with something. Next blog software needs to not have it as a requirement, just let me write man.