This week's Seren is someone I always think of as one of the great unsung heroes of the SaySomethingin project...
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:
Seren yr Wythnos #6
Jeff is one of the most unassumingly kind people I know.
In fact, I'd quite like to be like Jeff when I grow up...
I can't actually remember what his first offer of help was - he has done so, so many things for SaySomethingin - so you'll have to accept them in no particular order, and when you've read them you'll understand what an enormous debt we all owe him.
Jeff is a sound engineer. He pointed out (was this, perhaps, his first offer?) that our sound files clearly weren't done professionally. He, er, wasn't the first person to point that out! But he was the first to offer to help fix it.
That mean, initially, advice about microphones - which was how we ended up with our faithful and much beloved Snowball! - but quickly turned into a never-ending mountain of mastering work, which has made both our Welsh and Spanish courses dramatically better in terms of their all-important sound quality.
Most people would have felt they'd given enough at that point.
But no, Jeff had more to offer.
He did a complete overhaul of our Spanish course - and helped find and organise and record Rosa, the only female Spanish voice who actually finished all her recordings! - and got it to the point where it was good enough to be published on Audible. Sadly, Audible hasn't mean enough sales for us even to begin to cover Jeff's efforts there - but maybe one day...
Oh, then he started coding for us.
Which was first, Jeff - the app or the Jennyware?
The app was a real rescue project - we had an iOS app that had been very kindly developed as a gift - but the developer hadn't stayed part of the SSi community, and clearly didn't have time for upgrades, and each new version of iOS that came out saw the app developing a few extra problems. It was becoming a nightmare for us - and Jeff built a new app and has kept fine-tuning it and helping people with it - a huge, huge contribution.
But even that may be not quite as huge as his pièce de résistance - turning the Spennyware into what became known as the Jennyware - which first of all made the work of the importing team a huge amount easier, and then actually automated the importing work - a gigantic step forwards in getting us to a situation where we can really think in terms of providing courses for hundreds of different languages.
It's been a privilege getting to know Jeff over the years - not least because he has one of the driest senses of humour I've ever encountered - by now, I can spot most of his jokes...
And I really can't think him enough for the time, money, love and friendship he has invested so generously in this project.
It's going to be a day of huge joy at SSi Towers when we finally sell enough Spanish courses to start trying to persuade Jeff to come on-board as a staff member...
So, even if Jeff's unassuming nature means you haven't really noticed what a massive difference he's made, if you've ever listened to an SSi lesson and actually been able to hear the voices, now would be a great time to thank him...
Seren yr Wythnos #1
Iestyn ap Dafydd
Seren yr Wythnos #2
Catrin Lliar Jones
Seren yr Wythnos #3
Seren yr Wythnos #4
Seren yr Wythnos #5
Seren yr Wythnos #6
Seren yr Wythnos #7