Pitman Tozer director on managing the practice’s online portfolio and software updates.
Me & my IT: Luke Tozer
We founded Pitman Tozer in 2002 and originally had a drawing board but it collected dust as the computer became dominant, although we still do quite a lot of hand sketches. Both of us were brought up using pens rather than cad so there can be a bit of a technology gap between us and the junior members of the office.
We had a new website designed for us by Hyperkit about two years ago. When we were building our Gap House, I wrote a blog of the build and quite a few people found us through that. It’s been very useful to have an online portfolio. We manage the content of it ourselves so it’s slightly dependent on finding the time to put new things up.
We have four members of staff, working on Mac computers which we upgraded to run on Snow Leopard, and we’ve upgraded to Vectorworks 2010.
We have one member of the office who is a whizz on Rhino and Maxwell, which we use for 3D modelling and rendering. Maxwell and Rhino currently run on Windows so we have to have one computer that is schizophrenic, running Windows 7 on Boot Camp, a piece of software that allows you to run compatible versions of Windows on the Mac.
IT seems iterative rather than linear, like design. You start out with the brief that we give our IT person and he does that and then a whole new set of problems arise that have to be dealt with. It’s not quite a constant process, but having to regularly update your software you discover holes that people hadn’t thought of. My impression is that software companies rush things to bring them to market when perhaps they should concentrate on minimising bugs in the first place.
A lot of our accounting and time management is done with Excel and Filemaker, but most of my daily frustration is with Microsoft Office. As far as I’m concerned Microsoft has made something very straightforward very complicated, which doesn’t help at all.
We recently started experimenting with Twitter. Still not sure if it’s helpful or just more electronic noise..
Luke Tozer is director at Pitman Tozer