This last Thursday-Saturday (25th-27th October) Richard Bamford and I were in attendance at MacLive Expo in London. As a partner on the Computers Unlimited stand, our UK distributor, there was plenty of opportunity to show off the MacUser award nominated Portfolio Server 8.5, along with our two Font Server products Font Reserve Server and Suitcase Server. Shame we didn’t win the award but when you’re up against Adobe InDesign CS3 and Quark Publishing System then you know you’re in good company! You can see who won at www.macuser.co.uk/awards2007/.
Each day involves talking with both existing customers, partners, dealers, but also new prospective customers. Whilst we had many questions about FontSense, Suitcase Fusion and the new Portfolio 8.5 features, the most common question we faced this year was about our new Type Server development. The previous posts on this very blog proved quite useful to help explain about what’s happening!
There was also a great deal of interest in the fact that our ICS team has expanded to provide Professional Services in the UK also. Which all means one thing…busy times ahead for a Sales Engineer like me!
If you’re wondering what’s included in the newest release of Mac OS X, there are a number of handy reviews and feature guides out there. Apple made a pretty informative video about many of the new UI features. This will get you familiar with what is included.
Since much of the talk around the Mac OS can verge on fanaticism, I tend to seek out reviews that I view as a a bit more unbiased. ARS Technica has provided just that. John Siracusa goes through all of the new features of Leopard, and pulls no punches in his review. From user interface elements and branding to under-the-hood performance features, he covers it all. If you’ve got a bit of time, I’d highly recommend reading it before you purchase an upgrade.
Here are a few more reviews worth checking out:
Oh, and please take a moment to respond to our Leopard upgrade poll in the blog sidebar.
Portfolio is used by all sorts of customers within a growing number of different vertical markets. One of its principal strengths, as a flexible application, is it’s ability to cope with different workflow environments and manage mixed graphics, video and image collections.
In Europe there are a large number of educational establishments using the software and so earlier this week we held ‘Images in Higher Education’. The October half-term week seemed like a logical time to hold the event and looking for a location we were delighted when the University of Derby, one University using the software agreed to act as host and made us all feel very welcome.
In total we had 40 customers attend the event, with delegates making journeys from as far away as Glasgow, Newcastle, Hull, Sheffield, Aberystwyth. Whilst this was the first in what we hope to be an annual event, it also had an international flavour as we were joined by a couple of delegates who had made the journey from Cork in Ireland.
The event presented those using the software the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals, with common backgrounds, experiences, issues and concerns from other academic institutions. It presented an opportunity to share experience and best practice and also, presented the opportunity for Extensis to get a better understanding of needs and requirements.
Those attending were treated to a number of presentations, including a presentation by Grant Young of TASI, (Technical Advisory Service for Images). TASI is a JISC funded service. TASI provides advice and guidance to the UK’s Further and Higher Education community on the issues of:
- Creating digital images (including raster, vector and animated formats)
- Delivering digital images to users
- Using digital images to support teaching, learning and research
- Managing both small and large scale digitisation projects
There was also a presentation by Simon Birkett and Sally Forest of the University of Derby who talked about their own transition from analogue to digital, the challenges and issues they tackled along the way. They then presented their searchable NetPublish collections in their VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).
Among the subjects that were discussed in the Q&A sessions were the complicated issues of Copyright and licences within education issued from the The Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd. (CLA) and the The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). The CLA is a non profit-making company that licenses organisations for photocopying and scanning from magazines, books and journals specifically for educational purposes.
The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) protects and administers the copyright of visual artists’ and photographers. It issues an annual license granting blanket permission for educational institutions to reproduce images of artistic works on to slide for the use of staff and students.
At the end of the event our very own Chris Stevens presented new features and functionality from Portfolio Server 8.5 showing both the integration to Adobe Version Cue Server CS3 and fittingly, considering the concerns over copyright earlier in the day, the visual watermarking of assets within NetPublish Server 8.5 to protect content from un-authorized usage.
Looking for a location for next year’s event we had offers from Loughborough University, The London School of Economics and Glasgow University, interested in hosting the event next year. If you are interested in attending Images in higher Education 2008 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were proud to be one of the sponsors of the Ignite Portland event last week. The basic format is that people give a 5 minute presentation with an accompanying slide show where the slides change every 15 seconds. There were 18 presentations, all of which were incredibly fun and informative. Covering topics from Re-wilding and raising chickens to obtaining venture capital and living like a Japanese person, all of the presentations had something interesting to offer.
While I won’t likely be running around the woods in a loin cloth anytime soon, I through that you might like to see a presentation that I recorded about the history of the Numa Numa song, dance and resulting worldwide phenomenon.
If you’ve been reading the Extensis blog for any length of time, you’ve probably seen quite a few posts from me, Jim Kidwell. I’ve written over 250 posts for Manage This since it’s inception about a year ago. Last I checked, it was about 80% of the content for the year. Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it.
While we’ve always included valuable information from guest authors, recently we’ve boosted the regular participation of people from all around Extensis. So, while you’ll still see my name attached to quite a few posts, there are many talented folks who are now actively researching and writing new articles.
To help you know who’s who, I’ve updated the About page to include information about all of our regular contributors. So the next time you read something interesting, you’ll be able to tell from whence it came, as well as see some goofy photos of our smiling mugs.
Regular contributors now include:
- Amanda Paull – VP of Corporate Marketing
- Paul Krummenaker – Technical Support Manager
- Nicole Andergard – Public Relations Manager
- Kelly Guimont – Technical Support Lead
- Lucien Dupont – Software Engineer
- Megan Banman – Marketing Programs Specialist
- Jim Kidwell – Senior Technical Writer
If you have any content suggestions, comments, praise, complaints, or any dirty secrets to dish about font management and digital asset management please don’t hesitate to contact us through the Contact page of this blog.
Thanks for reading!
Got any evening plans tonight? Well, if you haven’t heard, there’s this new little operating system release from Apple that happens tonight at 6:00. If you’re feeling extra nerd-arific, you might want to checkout some of the Mac OS X Leopard release parties tonight.
If you are interested in upgrading, it’s important to check out whether all of your applications are compatible with the operating system. To help you do so, we’ve created a page that has all of details about the current and future compatibility of Extensis software.
Please check our Leopard compatibility page for the most up-to-date information.
Back in the early days of my employment with Extensis, the first task I was assigned was to review industry publications to look for any mention of Extensis products (for you Extensis-buffs, this was back when we still sold Photoshop plug-ins so this task was more extensive than it would be today).
Through this process, I was exposed to a number of very badly-executed publications, a large number of mediocre ones, and a small handful that I actually enjoyed reading. My personal favorite from the latter category was Communication Arts.
Filled with uniquely-themed design galleries, awards for the best interactive websites and other fun features, I would always find myself putting this publication at the bottom of the pile as a treat for the very end.
If you’re looking for a nice distraction during the day, I highly recommend checking it out. They even seem to have added a typography section which contains interesting editorials and galleries on all things type.
Just a quick post to share an interesting box design that one of our graphic designers, Ren Dolnik just brought back from her trip to Iceland. It’s an interesting candy named Opal Risa. The first thing that I think of when I see the box is a box of Tide detergent.
The mesmerizing circles drew me in, and I dove in for the taste explosion. It’s probably not a candy that would appeal to the typical American palette. The little brown discs are hard, yet slightly chewy. I’d say that they’re akin to a fairly dried-out gummy bear. The flavor is strongly menthol, with a slight hint of licorice. It’s somewhat akin to a cough drop, and I must say that I like them!
They can’t be Moo and not expect people to indulge their inner Dr Seuss.
Anyway, As you have seen here, Moo dot com makes adorable cards and stickers and postcards and such. They are currently having a design contest for their Holiday Store, where you can submit your own designs and maybe yours will be chosen to sell in the Holiday Store. If you’re picked you get $2000 along with your design in the shop. How cool is that?
What I love about Moo printed things is that they are completely your own, and that they make it VERY easy to get your images “just so”. So go enter the contest, and if you do let us know so we can think good thoughts for you!
Like most people, I have a collection of sites that I regularly frequent for information, inspiration and fun. One of my bookmarked pages that I love to return to is Macobserver’s Apple Death Knell Counter, just because it is fun to read.
“The Apple Death Knell Counter (ADKC) is a collection of death pronouncements for Apple throughout the years. Issued by journalists, analysts, pundits, business executives, and the like, there have been innumerable “Apple is dead,” “Apple will soon be dead,” and “Apple is dead if they don’t do this or that” statements issued by all sorts of people who have been proven time and again to be wrong.
The purpose of the Death Knell Counter is to collect these statements for posterity’s sake, so that as Apple continues to thrive and prosper, we can remember them. Below, you will find a list of updates, followed by our original posting, including our rules for inclusion in the Counter, and then the Death Knells themselves.”
Folks are encouraged to submit articles and quotes they have found to the site, drop the ADKC an email if you have one that isn’t already included. I’d have to say my favorite quote comes from USA Today’s Kevin Maney back in 2005:
“Sometime in 2006, Steve Jobs will probably get hosed. That’s not so much a prediction as it is playing the odds. Nobody in America gets such a long ride on the oh-we-sooooo-adore-you bandwagon.”