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Mobile Office Reviews: The Front Gallery and Cafe

By Barcham 10 April 2013 38

mobile office

Mobile Office Reviews are a thing now!

We now live in the future. Johnboy bought himself a pretty little Chromebook and I’ve got a Macbook Air so slim and sharp I once cut a chunk out of my nose with it (true story).

What this means is that the RiotACT office is now fully mobile and we can go wherever the news is…

…or we can just go hang out at the Front for the day.

Welcome to RiotACT Mobile Office Reviews!

Today we’re at the Front Gallery and Café. I used to practically live here when I called Lyneham home. It’s a wonderful place to hangout with friends for the afternoon, and a great venue for a gig, but is it a good place to spend the day working?

Let’s find out.

We decided to split this review up into sections that we deemed important.

Productivity:

During the day the Front seems to be a fairly popular workplace. I can see many laptops open, lots of fingers tapping across keyboards, several people bent over a notebook in deep discussion with their work mates.

The Front lends itself well to creative endeavors. The music is soft and sits in the background, but remains interesting. The walls and shelves are covered with bizarre odds and ends; it feels like a lovely share house, only cleaner.

However like a share house, there are always distractions. There is a constant flow of interesting and strange people, quite a bit of road traffic, and more than a couple of dogs hanging about.

None of these are awful things, but if you do need a completely distraction free environment the Front is not the place for you.

There’s also usually some lovely art in the Gallery, which is a welcome distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

Coffee and/or Tea:

I don’t like coffee, or tea. Yes I’m a weirdo. I hate chocolate and onions too, just in case you need more reasons to think I’m all wrong inside.

I’ll let Johnboy handle this:

Coffee at The Front varies wildly with the baristas but with Paul in charge my coffee was entirely decent for a middle of the road $3.50 flat white.

Not exceptional, but there’s a lot worse going for a lot more out there.

Comfort:

Well worn in couches and chairs with all the wonderful quirks and bumps that comes with old furniture. Friendly people, chilled atmosphere, a decent amount of shade, I am very comfortable here. Perhaps even too comfortable, it’s very easy to have a nap here.

Internet Access:

Buy a drink and ask for the password. Simple. The free wifi served our purposes just fine, however as lunch approached and the placed filled up the speeds did noticeably drop. Never so low as to be unusable, but enough to be a little irritating.

Worth noting is that a lot of our work involves downloading and uploading images of various sizes to various places. Most of which are quite large. If your work involves nothing more than sending emails full of text you may not notice the difference in speeds at all.

Service:

The staff are casual and friendly. Our drinks came quickly and with a smile. You have to order from the bar, but I actually prefer that. I dislike having a waiter however over my shoulder, particularly when working.

Other People:

Very interesting people go to the Front, many more hang out about the Lyneham shops. There is a never ending flow of people wearing beautiful and interesting things to distract you, being so close to April’s Caravan probably being responsible for quite a few of the outfits walking past.

One guy came up and tried to sell Johnboy and I several jars of honey, we didn’t want any.

I saw a lot of people I know walking past, and enjoyed a happy wave every half and hour or so. Your mileage of bumping into friends will probably depend on how much of your social group is made up of Inner North boho types. Once again, pleasant, but not always the most helpful thing when getting work done.

A backpacker was having a rather loud and public discussion over Skype about how her eyes don’t look red anymore when she’s high. Her English friend on her laptop claims nobody can tell when he’s high.

They both sound pretty high.

You meet a lot of dogs here. So I guess if you’re some kind of monster who hates dogs that might be a downside, but you’re a monster so who cares what you think?

Johnboy and I were spotted by Poetix while working here, but then again we’re super famous, your mileage may vary.

Conclusion:

Yes. We had a very nice morning and work got done.

So well done Front.

Now it’s your turn Rioters!

We need to know where you want us to go, or where you find is a nice place to work.

Hit the comments with suggestions gang.

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Mobile Office Reviews: The Front Gallery and Cafe
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HiddenDragon 10:44 am 11 Apr 13

poetix said :

HiddenDragon said :

….

On matters of (almost) equal moment, reviews should probably include stats on the 30-something female clerical worker quotient at each venue:

http://the-riotact.com/the-average-canberra-an-34-year-old-woman-doing-clerical-work/100210

Not that that would be tacky or anything.

Not that that was a joke, or anything.

poetix 10:38 am 11 Apr 13

HiddenDragon said :

….

On matters of (almost) equal moment, reviews should probably include stats on the 30-something female clerical worker quotient at each venue:

http://the-riotact.com/the-average-canberra-an-34-year-old-woman-doing-clerical-work/100210

Not that that would be tacky or anything.

HiddenDragon 10:28 am 11 Apr 13

Al fresco venues such as The Front would also allow you to keep an eye on the sky – very handy for when Commissioner Gordon shines the Bat-signal into the heavens to call for help from the Dynamic Duo.

On matters of (almost) equal moment, reviews should probably include stats on the 30-something female clerical worker quotient at each venue:

http://the-riotact.com/the-average-canberra-an-34-year-old-woman-doing-clerical-work/100210

rosscoact 9:50 am 11 Apr 13

johnboy said :

Not at all, an outlook invite comes up as a calendar entry for addition to your own calendar.

Same as for anyone not using outlook.

I’m told, but have not tested, that it works fine with MS cloud based offerings too.

If using outlook is important to you then I truly pity you.

Obviously worthy of pity and derision from nerdy types but 95% of business and 100% of government (made up statistic) does use it and I receive outlook meeting invites daily but have only once received an invite from a different form of calendar.

Accepting an Outlook invite puts it into Outlook but not in Mac calendar. I’ve been told by the “Genius” personell that this is an insurmountable problem that Apple is unable to fix.

I’m happy to chuck the iphone and will at the earliest opportunity but I like the Air so wanted to see if it’s a universal issue.

    johnboy 9:55 am 11 Apr 13

    Outlook invites are one click away from my google calendar. Works on Macs too (for google calendar when using web based gmail)

zorro29 9:36 am 11 Apr 13

caf said :

How about Lonsdale Street Roasters, A Bite To Eat and to keep zorro29 happy, Dickson McCafe.

i don’t go to dickson….but i do enjoy serious reviews of take away places

and ok noted barcham….arse groove it is 🙂

Jivrashia 9:35 am 11 Apr 13

Barcham said :

bundah said :

If you don’t drink tea,coffee or hot chocolate what the hell is your morning drink?

Irish Whiskey.

Barcham, don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Irish coffee…?

Masquara 9:25 am 11 Apr 13

smiling politely said :

“We’ll consider south of the lake, but if it’s further than an easy cycle from the center of town it’s going to be a hard sell.”

So put the bikes on a 300 series bus and get off at Albert Hall (for a short ride to Kingston/Manuka) or Woden – A Bite to Eat would be a 10 minute ride max from the interchange.

Um I think the reply may have been masking a little Inner North tribalism rather than being entirely about transport convenience!

smiling politely 8:50 am 11 Apr 13

“We’ll consider south of the lake, but if it’s further than an easy cycle from the center of town it’s going to be a hard sell.”

So put the bikes on a 300 series bus and get off at Albert Hall (for a short ride to Kingston/Manuka) or Woden – A Bite to Eat would be a 10 minute ride max from the interchange.

Sandman 10:19 pm 10 Apr 13

Disappointed that there was no mention in the review of the local parking facilities. The creative use of the loading zone in the alley could half fill a Monday parking thread. There sure are some funny looking commercial vehicles disguised as Barina’s and Camry’s getting around that area.

screaming banshee 9:55 pm 10 Apr 13

johnboy said :

A reasonably modern phone will act as a wireless modem for your computer if you ask it nicely.

You do need to be aware of your data plan though.

Reasonably modern, I’ve been doing it since ’04, although you had to do more than ask nicely you had to beg and plead and install drivers and software and change settings and pray to a deity. Once you had done all these things you could work at an excruciatingly slow pace (even for back then) at an exorbitant rate but dammit it was possible.

Madam Cholet 9:25 pm 10 Apr 13

My top of the list choices for a really good coffee are Harvest and Two Before Ten. You could go to harvest and find out for me how on earth those cold drip contraptions are, how they work and how credible when ordering and using one. Or how about the new laneway café – the laneway near The Blue Olive – apparently near some bins.

bigred 9:18 pm 10 Apr 13

can you add light/glare into the review in future. Wifi accessibility is not much good if you cannot see the screen.

Aeek 9:17 pm 10 Apr 13

Does anyone drink hot chocolate and onions ?

Masquara 8:11 pm 10 Apr 13

Barcham said :

bundah said :

If you don’t drink tea,coffee or hot chocolate what the hell is your morning drink?

Irish Whiskey.

I met an amazing 94-year-old woman at the Dickson Shops the other day – she barely looks 80. I asked her what her secret is and expected, you know, “moderation, fresh air, exercise, no stress”. Nuh. “A little tipple of whiskey at the end of the night, dear, and another one first thing in the morning” was the answer. So Barcham I hope you are tippling twice a day!

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