As you may remember I spoke at an event here in Portland in February. (There is no link to the nearly fatally embarrassing footage of this talk here, and for good reason.) Next to speak after me was Peat Bakke so I was seated next to him for quite awhile. We got to talking, and as Portland would have it, kept running into each other at all kinds of other geeky events. So in Internet time, we go way way back.
Peat’s favorite thing to say to people is “How are you changing the world today?” He’s asked lots of different people this question, and now he wants to ask you:
I’m looking for a broad spectrum of artists, entertainers, bloggers, politicians, pundits, geeks, freaks, entrepreneurs and everyday people — anyone who wants to share what they’re doing to change the world.
So answer the question: How are you changing the world? Are you designing something that will make life easier for someone? Biking to work instead of driving? Writing your Congressman? Volunteering time? It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale, and I bet if you think about it you are doing all kinds of things to change the world. So go tell Peat about it! I’m going to. What will you say?
There’s a community white board near the main kitchen at Extensis that always has something new and intersting on it. It’s fun because many different people will add to what it says, and try to out-funny each other. We thought that you might like it’s current contents, this little chart of Fun and Awesomeness. Enjoy.
Click the image for a full-size version.
In January I had the opportunity to go to Macworld 2008 in San Francisco, and part of my duty while I was there was to man the Universal Type Server station where we were doing demos of the product and showing folks a sort of “sneak peek” as far as look and feel.
This was the week that really got me excited about Universal Type Server. It had been something we’d seen internally and by the time Macworld rolled around it wasn’t really a big deal internally-old news, as it were. So getting to show it off to people, to put on that headset and walk people through the new admin screens was when it became real for me. It’s like taking kids to Disneyland-you get to see it through their eyes so it’s a lot more fun. This was very similar since I’d been and done all this, but now I’m showing it to people who are seeing it for the first time and they are really impressed. Really it was Macworld where I too caught Type Server Fever.
Let’s look a bit at why the admin screens are so awesome. First I need to point out that the administration all happens through web pages. We made them web apps to help everybody out; if you can hit the server from your workstation, you can admin the server from your workstation. So going to someone’s desk who’s having trouble and helping them out means now you don’t need to go back to the server room or your desk to adjust permissions or add them to a group. Here’s what I call the “IT Admin” screen:
What you see in this screen is the “status” page of Universal Type Server and down the left the options for logging, backups, and ports among other things. This is the stuff the people in IT are usually concerned with: Is the service running on the machine successfully, where does the backup go, what ports are we using, that sort of thing. In general this is the piece the people using Universal Type Server are not interested in, they just want to log in and have it work. So for IT folks, the box admin part of Universal Type Server is brilliant! Just what they need to see, real quick like, end of story.
This isn’t all there is to Universal Type Server of course. Let’s look at the other admin panel below:
This is very handy because most of the people who are using Universal Type Server are the ones who know what users need to be added and what groups they should be part of, and instead of having to go to someone in IT to have that done, whoever is the person in charge of all those people can set it up themselves. Adding people is very easy and getting them access to what they need is not only a piece of cake but easy when you don’t have to go to the server room and find someone with access and have them make a couple of small changes for you.
Being able to show this to people and have the IT folks say the User/Group panel was really nice and having the Creative folks say that the IT panel was really nice was when I got excited about finally being able to get Universal Type Server into the hands of our customers. You can find out more about it at Typeserver.com and see screenshots of these panels in action. What do you think of how we split up the administration?
One of the great things about modern software is that it’s fairly configurable. Purchase something and if you want to you can make it look and function to best fit your needs. And, now it seems that people want to change the application icon used to launch our applications, including Suitcase Fusion.
While I happen to like the current incarnation of the Suitcase Fusion icon, some people think that it’s a bit busy when displayed at smaller sizes. Check out these two examples just released over at the Complex Labs blog.
They’re a bit more simplified than the current icon, shown below with the Extensis Portfolio and Universal Type Server application icons for comparison.
What do you think?
NOTE: I still haven’t been able to download samples of the replacement icons from the Complex Labs site. For some reason it always wants to give me replacement icons for Nero
About a year and a half ago, we started this blog as a different method to share what’s happening at Extensis. Shortly prior to that, we also relaunched the Extensis forums as a place where you can discuss Extensis products and how to implement and use them with other customers.
Well, now we’re up and running with the newest method of communication, Twitter (our username is what else, “extensis”). This “tweet” stream will contain interesting items, yet things that might not be worthy of a full post on the blog, as well as links to all of our blog posts (via Twitterfeed).
We also want to know what’s going on in the world of our customers and friends, so if you’re following me, I’ll definitely want to follow you. I promise that we’ll keep it interesting and informative. So you won’t be hearing every time we have leftover pizza in the main kitchen, but you will get intersting news about fonts, font management, graphic design, digital archives and digital asset management.
To sign up for a twitter account and follow us, hop on over to Twitter.
The purpose of font embedding is to allow readers to see the font that the author/designer has intended to use. When dealing with fonts on the web, however, the topic heats up. Web designers would like to have more freedom in their choice of fonts, and type designers and foundries want, rightly so, to get paid for the fonts used. Fonts are intellectual property, and the end user license agreement (EULA) stipulates what you can and cannot do with the fonts you purchase.
Font embedding on the web is not an easy problem to solve and it affects everyone involved in the world of typography. A few weeks ago, my colleague Jim Kidwell covered this topic extensively in this previous post. The impetus for this posting was a conference called “The Business of Type” held at Microsoft’s offices that both Jim and I attended. There were various interesting presentations and panel discussions, and one especially on the topic of fonts and the web.
At that event, I also met Bill Davis, Vice President at Ascender Corporation. Bill is the main contributor to the newly announced site dedicated to the this controversial topic, fontembedding.com. The site is a comprehensive resource for the typography community on issues dealing with font licensing and usage over the web.
The site advocates the use of Embedded Open Type Fonts (EOT) that have a number of benefits. For web designers, the files can be much smaller to download because they can contain a smaller subset of glyphs and can be compressed. For type designers, EOT file can be bound to a specific website so that it can in effect prevent the misuse of a font.
You can create some of your own EOT files on the site, like this one, Mufferaw.
For some of you, EOT may not be a viable solution, since there are some limitations to this new technology. But you can share your opinion on the Font Embedding blog — many thoughtful discussions on the subject.
Happy Friday to you all!
As mentioned in our last post, we had a fun party yesterday in celebration of 15 years on business as well as the recent launch of our flagship server-based font manager, Universal Type Server.
The Executive staff of Extensis, including Brian Berson, Mike Bacus, Amanda Paull, Renee Schlachter, Martin Stein, Nahhe Nomie, and Osamu Ikeda all participated in the “dunk tank” event for charity. The dunk tank and all of the other events, and the raffle raised over $1500 for the Oregon Food Bank.
Thanks to everyone who was dunked (and those who did the dunking!).
Here’s a sort video of Brian and Amanda sitting in the “wet seat.”
And a few more non-dunking photos of the event.
[Thanks to Matt Reinker, Kelly Guimont, Alphonese Goettler and Jim for pictures and video of the event.]
We closed entry into the Campus Technology 2008 contest this morning at 8:00 a.m. PST. Through a process of random selection, the following winners were chosen from the list. NOTE: winners were not chosen on their selection of mascot, so don’t come down to our offices dressed as your mascot and yell at us.
If you are one of the lucky winners, look for an email in your inbox today. I will need your full contact info to either register you for the conference or send you your prize.
Without further ado, here are the winners:
Full conference pass to Campus Technology 2008
The winner is: Kevin Murphy and his Tufts University dead elephant in a jar.
One copy of Portfolio 8.5 single-user
The winner is: Eugenia and her choice of Carnegie Mellon’s Mascot Scottie Dog.
The winner is: Jeannie and her choice of Shadow [the Hawk].
Set of Extensis posters & Extensis t-shirt
The winner is Clarence Mitchell and his Daviess County Panthers.
$10 Starbucks gift card & Extensis t-shirt
The winner is Bill Pageau and his choice of Baldwin the Eagle from Boston University.
I will contact all winners in an email within the next 24 hours. If you have not heard from me, check to see if my email was accidentally caught by your email filter. If you still haven’t heard from me, please use the contact form on the Contact tab of this blog.
So, Extensis has been in the business of creating quality computer software for 15 years! To celebrate this fact, and to celebrate the release of Universal Type Server, we had to get together for a fun little party in the courtyard of our office building.
The party included good food, carnival games and a fund raising raffle to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. As one of the carnival games, the executive staff sat in a virtual dunk tank with a balloon suspended over their heads. Some of the pictures of that game alone will keep us chuckling for a long time in the office.
More to come later, so stay tuned to Manage This!
Fresh on the heels of of the annual convention of everything type, TypeCon, viral site College Humor has release a fun little video that postulates what it would be like if actual fonts had a convention. I’m always a sucker for these little font & typography related videos.