Pointless Corp.

Call an Audible this Weekend with Omaha That

Sometimes things aren’t going according to plan and you need to call an audible.

With the help of famous signal caller Peyton Manning, you can make that call using Omaha That.

Accessible nearly anywhere (sorry IE8 fans), this simple site was designed and built by THE Peyton (&) Manning.

So use Omaha That this Super Bowl weekend — or anytime when things need to go in a different direction.

Omaha!

Trick or Treat: How about both?!

Viget Zombies Nate Hunzaker, Billy French, and Ben Eckerson — with the help of some down time this past week — put together a fun Halloween experience using some of our favorite new technologies: Web RTC and Parallax.JS.

Introducing Haunted Hills!

Haunted Hills transforms you and your friends into various spooky objects and characters within a moving and alive Halloween scene. Make sure you are on the latest versions of either Chrome or Firefox for the full experience, or just appreciate the scenery on other modern browsers or devices.

Happy Halloween from your friends at Pointless Corp.!

Lunnnch Time Is Over ... Here's Shorter Order!

Lunnnch was created back in 2011 with a lon-n-ng name and a dream: to make group ordering less of a pain. It succeeded and made our (and many others’) group orders easier by providing a central place and system to manage the needs of a hungry crew. The more we used the application, the more we wanted to iterate upon it. So with every Free Lunch Friday meal of 2013, we’ve been working like crazy on making Lunnnch better.

Many feature additions and iterations later, it’s so much better — we don’t even recognize it!

So lose (your) Lunnnch and try out Shorter Order.

Group orders are even easier thanks to some new bells and whistles. You can:

Search for a menu

With integration from the slick menu api Locu, you no longer have to upload PDFs or urls when providing a menu to your meal participants. Menus are embedded directly into the form!

Save guest lists

You asked for it, now here it is. The much awaited “save” feature makes recurring meals (with recurring participants) a snap!

See what others are eating

Can’t decide on what to order? Check out what others in your group are choosing with the new public group view — accessible to all meal participants.

Happy Shorter Ordering,

Pointless Corp.’s Shorter Order Team

A Holiday Treat for You: Jinglebots!

Jealous of our parent corporation’s tradition of handmade holiday gifts, Pointless Corp. set out to create a tradition of our own this holiday season: Jinglebots. Handcrafted with cardboard and love, these bots give your holiday tweets a voice — think Speak & Spell with a heavy dose of eggnog.

For a few cheerful weeks in December, every tweet with the hashtag #jinglebots will be read aloud by Klaus 5000, Ru 2 Dee 2 and Cornelius for all to see and hear via Dropcam video. In addition to hearing each robot say your tweet, you can observe their endearing facial expressions chatting while a special holiday GIF(t) with your name on it is displayed nearby. But that’s not all — with the help of Arduino technology, each Jinglebot triggers a relay that brings their holiday scene to life right before your eyes.

Members of the holiday cheer committee at three Viget locations pointlessly constructed these festive scenes. The cardboard creation and decoration of these beautiful creatures was led by Jason Toth, while their intelligence, eloquence, and knack for controlling electronics can be credited to Eli Fatsi. The site itself is the hard work of Nate Hunzaker, who brought the designs of Mark Steinruck to life. Other holiday cheer committee members that deserve props include Lance Gutin, Becky Tornes, Joseph Le, Anjali McKenzie, and Khanh Stenberg for their various holiday miracles along the way.

Our Jinglebots leverage a host of technologies, including Redis, Twitter, EventMachine, Arduino, Dino, Node.js (Express), Canvas, Amazon S3, Dropcam — and a partridge in a pear tree. Play with everyone’s favorite new holiday toys at jinglebots.com or if you’re feeling ambitious, set up your own Jinglebot using our open source holiday coding magic.

Happy holidays from all of us at Pointless Corp.!

New Project: Tincan'd

When you were a kid, did you ever make a telephone out of two tin cans and a string? I did. It never worked very well, but it sure was simple. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an equally simple way to do video chats? Now there is.

We needed a simple way to jump on quick video chats with our co-workers at Viget — one without logins or annoying, unprofessional ads — so we built Tincan’d on top of the OpenTok API. We’ve been using it internally for some time with good success, and now we’re ready to share it with a friends. Feel free to add your name on the email form if you’re interested in trying out the beta. If that goes well, we’ll open it up to a wider audience soon.

New Pointless Project: OfficeGames

We’re a competitive company, so for this year’s Pointless Weekend, the team in Viget’s Durham office thought it’d be cool to put together a simple app for keeping track of competitions around the office. 48 hours later (give or take), we launched OfficeGames. We’re proud of this product, and plan to continue improving it in the coming weeks. Some of the highlights for me:

Everyone Doing Everything

We’re a highly collaborative company, but by and large, when it comes to client work, everyone on the team has a fairly narrow role. Zachary writes Ruby code. Todd does UX. Jeremy focuses on the front end. Not so for Pointless weekend – UX, design, and development duties were spread out across the entire team. Everyone had the repo checked out and was committing code.

Responsive Design with Bootstrap

We used Twitter’s Bootstrap framework to build our app. The result is a responsive design that shines on the iPhone but holds up well on larger screens. I was impressed with how quickly we were able to get a decent-looking site together, and how well the framework held up once Jeremy and Doug started implementing some of Mark’s design ideas.

Rails as a Mature Framework

I was impressed with the way everything came together on the backend. It seems to me that we’re finally realizing the promise of the Rails framework: common libraries that handle the application plumbing, while still being fully customizable, so developers can quickly knock out the boilerplate and then focus on the unique aspects of their applications. We used SimplestAuth, InheritedResources, and SimpleForm to great effect.

Sign your office up for OfficeGames and then add your coworkers to start tracking scores. Let us know what you think!

Launching Soon: BabyBookie.com

We’re only about 5 hours away from our launch target, and the Pointless Weekend team at Viget HQ (near DC) is making great progress. We’ve gone from wireframes to draft comps and paper sketches to digital sketches to … a logo? Keep an eye on BabyBookie.com and @babybookieapp on Twitter to see what we manage to launch by the deadline.

Update: we’re going to polish this one for another couple days — check back for updates!

2012 Pointless Weekend Kicks Off

Pointless Corp.

We’ve been pretty quiet over here at Pointless Corp. headquarters lately. It’s been a busy year at Viget, frankly, and paying clients have been the priority. That’s about to change, at least for a bit. From 6 pm today (Thursday) through 6 pm Saturday, a batch of Vigets in both Falls Church, VA and Durham, NC have banded together for 48 hours of building something.

Pointless Weekend Kicks Off!

We’ll post photos in this Flickr set and we’ll try to tweet a bit now and then as well. Check back here to see what we come up with.

Weekend Recap on Viget

As promised, we’ve shared a bit more info about last weekend in this recap on Viget.com. Some of the notes include:

(1) the core of any software project team is a software developer. Without a developer, you won’t get much software development done.

(2) Having an awesome designer on hand is great for results and team morale.

(3) Having a disproportionate number of people who can neither design nor code will result in a lot of time spent on product naming.

We also linked to our set of photos our set of photos. Enjoy!

New Pointless Project: I Dig Durham

There’s a lot of love at Viget South for our adopted hometown of Durham, NC. A few of us decided to use the first Pointless Weekend to build a tiny application to highlight some of Durham’s finer points and, 48 hours later, launched I Dig Durham. Simply tweet to @idigdurham (or include the hashtag #idigdurham) or post a photo to Flickr tagged idigdurham and we’ll pull it into the site. What’s more, you can order a t-shirt with the logo on it, with all proceeds going to Urban Ministries of Durham.

As Rails Rumble (and Node Knockout) veterans, we knew that there’s basically no such thing as too simple a product for these competitions — no matter how little you think you have to do, you’re always sweating bullets with half an hour left to go. With that in mind, we kept I Dig Durham as simple as possible, leaving us plenty of time to really polish the site.

Though basically feature complete, we’ve got a few tweaks we plan to make to the site, and we’d like to expand the underlying app to support I Dig sites for more of our favorite cities.