Hold That Box

About us. Who we are and what do we do.

Who we are?

We started Hold That Box because we wanted to do things a little differently from the way we commonly see them done. We want to pride ourselves on our diligence and our commitment, not on our bottom line.

We're highly skilled across many technical areas and we know how to talk to human beings as well as technology.

We believe in social justice. We want our staff and our customers to be enabled to improve their world and The World.

We like to dress up, appropriately and inappropriately. We like to contest convention to find a better way. We like to examine possible opportunities with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of an adult. We don't agree that there is only one way to do something.

We started as trainee electronic engineers and we went to university and we played around in the electronic music scene while being fans of just about every genre of music out there. We were DJs, we were geeks, we were political, and we were apathetic. Somewhere along the way we discovered that tools are just tools and each reincarnation of digital watches is cooler than the last.

We've met amazing people and we know that people like us helped them be who they are. We also know that a lot of people don't know they're amazing until people like us help them discover their potential. We try to help amazing people be all they can be.

We've worked with small and large businesses alike. It's nice to have the personal relationship with small businesses and it's nice to have the resources of a large enterprise.

We're not trying to sell you anything other than tangible benefits. We like to talk through your business with your stakeholders and find out the real problems they need to solve. If we think you just need some advice then that's all you'll get; if we think you need a complete overhaul of your systems and practices then we'll let you know that from day one too.

We have no affiliation with any hardware or software provider and we have no bias towards any software or platform. We recommend tools based on their merits for the job at hand while taking a holistic view of our clients' companies.

If we seem like the kind of people you'd like to talk to about your technical problems then head on over to our contact page and choose your preferred means of contact.

We're looking forward to hearing from you.

What do we do?

We know that people have problems. The strength of our customers is that they don't fall at the first hurdle and we don't either. Our favourite clients and vendors are persistent and pragmatic people and we like to think we are too.

Every problem is unique.

It's not easy to come up with a comprehensive list of the ways we can help but we can give some examples of the problems and solutions we've explored over the years.

We've made various SMS-based tools to let IT staff control servers without having to leave their friends on a night out and others to allow anyone with a mobile phone to search for and arrange to buy a car, to ask a celebrity their opinion on a subject, record a program they forget to set the VHS or DVR for, reply to text messages via their TV and its remote without having to get up off their couch and find their phone, and even one to start cooking their dinner.

We've planned reuse of algorithms designed for 3D animated beetles to create the walking mechanism of a robot designed to win a battle against other robots.

We've used open source tools to work around problems in video encoding in Microsoft's enterprise video conferencing tools.

We've written many custom line of business systems for clients from T-shirt designers who supply shirts you regularly see being worn in the summer to Fortune 500 companies that collect your recycling.

We've designed, commissioned, built, configured, written the software for, and installed turn key servers in national networks of academic institutions.

We've investigated aging technology controlling amazingly engineered jacquard looms and reverse engineered the hardware and software to design a modern solution to a centuries-old problem.

We've managed and configured servers and the software installed on them for more years than we can remember. We've avoided virus plagues, had almost perfect uptime records, advised on and performed upgrades with minimal disruption, and custom automated many parts of these tasks.

We know about phone systems from PSTN and TAPI to VOIP and SIP. We've setup hardware and software diallers whether they be pulse, tone, or packet switched.

We've configured secure systems and encouraged secure behaviour.

We've looked at more than a few packets flying across a network and used them to log and decode the behaviour of software and systems on the information contained within.

We've explored data and the relationships therein, analysed the contents, and produced meaningful reports to answer questions that sometimes you didn't even know you could ask.

We could witter on for a long while but this is why we know your problem is likely unique. Talk to us and we'll let you know if we know of a solution or know of someone who knows of a solution.

We mostly provide a service but we can also provide a product. We write software; we can help design and implement hardware. A challenge is always embraced as an opportunity to connect dots from our past, engage our intellect, and research to improve our abilities and knowledge.

Like most things in life, it's all bit magical until you know how the tricks are performed.

We're pretty good at teaching others the tricks we've learned or even learning new tricks quickly and passing on the required skills. We can produce clear and readable documentation in plain language or with step-by-step picture-based instructions for all but the most complicated of tasks.