The web design conference, An Event Apart is in full swing in Boston. We kicked off the event by hosting a cocktail party for attendees and Extensis customers at the Westin. Food, beer, wine, and great conversation was in hefty supply, and from all accounts, everyone had a great time.
We also introduced WebINK to the web design community in full force. Product Manager Thomas Phinney spent the eventing showing off the Technology Preview of Suitcase Fusion enabled with WebINK. This new technology allows you to manage your web font subscriptions directly from a convenient desktop application. You’ll also be able to manage your WebINK fonts online, so you’ll have two easy ways to access your web font collections. Interested in checking it out for yourself? We hope so! www.webink.com
A few more pictures from the Extensis cocktail party:
May 24th, 2010 by Amanda Paull
As some of you know, we recently went into a Technology Preview for our web fonts service: WebINK. Slowly, we are unveiling the service as the pieces fall into place.
What is it?
In short: it is a service that enables you to add custom fonts (not just the tired “web safe” ones) into your Web designs. We handle the licensing issues and browser file formats. You simply add short line of code to your website CSS, and our font servers “in the sky” deliver your fonts- instantly- to any browser viewing your site. The service is driven by our Universal Type Server technology (’cause we know how to manage fonts, eh?) At last, your online brand can have as much personality as your offline brand. Say what? Creative freedom AND Brand consistency? That’s crazy talk!
We just posted some overview info to give you a flavor of what the service will include. (If you are a Suitcase Fusion user, you’ll have even more to be happy about- but we’ll save that for a later post).
Very soon, we’ll open up the font “Playground” (as we affectionately call it) it’s an interactive space where you can sample and play with every typeface from our partner foundries, before committing in any way. (you have to try the shoes on first, right?)
How many fonts? Well, thousands so far, and climbing. There are more in the hopper, but our type geeks (um, I mean “type aficionados”) put them to the test first. (If they don’t render beautifully on screen, then what’s the point?) To see our current partners in the preview- you can take a look here.
Next up: We’ll be attending An Event Apart in Boston this week to hobnob with other Webophiles. And fairly soon after, updates will start flowing from the “guys behind the curtain”- the developers and product managers who are bringing this to life. Keep your eye on this space.
Do you have a website? Blog? Online Portfolio? Join the preview at www.webink.com. We’re looking for testers with opinions– and we’re listening.
And for all our current users, thank you!
Are you a foundry? Interested in getting your creations on the Web? Contact us!
PS- if you’re the curious type (ha- get it?), the Manage This blog and the Extensis site are serving up WebINK fonts already. (check the source.)
The Extensis blog is serving up: URW Grotesk Light
May 22nd, 2010 by Edward Smith
This past week Extensis attended WebVisions 2010, a conference that explores the future of web design and related technology. Conference workshops and sessions covered variety of topics including HTML5, iPhone development, and user interface design.
An especially interesting session was Mark Wyner’s presentation about “The Past, Present and Future of Web Typography” that examined the challenges of using fonts on the web as well as technologies that help free designers from the traditional (and boring) selection of ‘web safe’ fonts.
At the Extensis booth, we previewed our upcoming WebINK font rental service. The service allows web designers to use a variety of high quality fonts on their sites without worrying about licensing, compatibility, conversion, or font format issues. To see WebINK in action…just look at this page. Both our blog and website use fonts served by WebINK. You can learn more about the service by visiting www.webink.com.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and to Web Visions for hosting us.
Today’s tip is on simple navigation around the mac’s hard disk. Most problems in life can be reduced down to “a simple matter of semantics”; a synonym falls from the heavens and eureka, surprise, voila, hallelujah! We understand each other!
In Tech Support, we often help mac customers consolidate their fonts into a central location or delete a bad preference file. But a semantic gap can block even the simplest task if I’m talkin apples and you’re talkin oranges:
Tech Support: Double click on your hard disk to open up the “Finder” and go to your “Home” folder.
Customer: Uh, what’s the “Finder”?
Tech Support: The application that launches when you double click on your hard disk to help you “find” things.
Customer: Eureka !
Tech Support: So then go to your “Home” folder.
Customer: Uh, what’s my “Home” folder?
Tech Support: The folder with the little house icon that probably has your name on it, where you keep all your personal files.
Customer: You mean in applications?
Tech Support: No.
Customer: Is that in the System folder?
Tech Support: No. It’s in the Users folder.
Customer: I don’t think I have a “Users” folder. I’m the only user on my mac.
Tech Support: You still have a “Users” folder. Double click on your hard drive and the Users folder is right there : Applications, Library, System, Users
Customer: [several minutes later] Voila! I found it!
Tech Support: Hallelujah!
As you can see, your “Home” folder is your “User” folder. Its located at:
[hard disk]/Users/[your name]
Nine times out of ten when you are workin on your mac, you are within your “Home” folder. See the cute little house icon? That’s why its called the “Home” folder and “Home” sounds more user friendly than “User Account”.
If you share your mac with a co worker or a family member then they have their own “Home” folder too. This is how your mac keeps your files separate and secure from prying eyes. Example: Boris and Natasha share a mac. When Boris logs into the mac, he has access to the files in his “Home” folder named “Boris”. When he saves a file named “Top Secret File.txt” to his desktop, it is saved to :
[hard disk]/Users/Boris/Desktop/Top Secret File.txt
When Natasha logs into the mac later that day, she has access to all the files in her “Home” folder named “Natasha”. Even though she is a spy and would love to see what devious plans Boris is up to, she cannot see his files because she cannot get into his “Home” folder without his password. Foiled! Foiled again!
So what’s the “Finder”?
The “Finder” is such a fundamental part of Mac OS X that we forget it’s there, but it’s an application just like Mail or Safari with its own preferences and commands. It’s the equivalent of “Windows Explorer” on Microsoft Windows, and simply helps you navigate around and “find” your files and folders.
The Finder is always running even if you’re not aware of its presence. It doesn’t live in your Applications or Utilities folder as you might think. Its tucked away safely in:
. . . so you don’t accidentally delete it. Lots of essential programs live here as well like Dock (provides quick access to things you use often), Installer (used when you install new applications), Archive Utility (used to “compress” i.e. zip and unzip files) and Software Update (used to update your mac applications automatically). Together all these little programs form the “core” experience of the operating system that we know and love as OS X.
Now, you know where to find the “Finder” and that you are almost always at “Home” on your mac.
Some additional semantic equivalents (Mac OS X to Windows):
- Finder = Windows Explorer
- Mac HD = “C” drive
- Control click = Right click
- Dock = Task bar
- Get Info = Properties
- Apple Menu = Start Menu
- System/Library/Fonts = C:\WINDOWS\Fonts
- System Preferences = Control Panel
- Applications = Programs
- Terminal = cmd
- Alias = Shortcut
- Sleep = Standby
- Log Out = Log Off
- Quit = Exit
Keyboard Differences (Mac OS X to Windows)
- Control = Control
- Option = Alt
- Command or “Apple” = Option or “Windows”
- Return = Enter
May 11th, 2010 by Jim Kidwell
Guest post from Extensis Customer Service Representative, Jennifer Grebil.
The thought of drinking office coffee here at Extensis used to make some shed a tear, curse, or shrivel in fear.
After years of abuse, we decided that we,ve had enough! Portland is the land of microbreweries and independent coffee roasters so finding a worthy coffee brand to suit our palettes would be no easy task. How could we choose when there are so many options?
Enter the first ever Extensis Coffee Rumble. For one week at Extensis, six worthy contenders (3 local roasters and 3 national chains) competed in a lowdown and dirty smackdown with the goal of bringing down the reigning champion. The last cup standing would be crowned the Extensis Coffee Rumble winner!
Monday through Wednesday six competitors fought in a Loser Leaves Town match all competing for the chance to take on the reigning champion in Thursday’s semi finals. To much delight, the reining champion (who shall remain nameless) failed to advance to the finals, which won thunderous applause from Extensis employees.
Friday’s championship bout featured local roaster Blue Kangaroo Coffee against national chain Torefazzione. It was a long fought epic battle with each contender sustaining several dumps to the spit bucket. Once the votes were tallied Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters came out victorious and were crowned the winners in the first ever Extensis Coffee Rumble.
From now on we’ll eagerly skip to the kitchen and pour another cup. If you’re ever in Portland and are looking for a local coffee roaster (btw, they beat out Stumptown) be sure to check out Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. You won’t be disappointed.
Ahh the magic of a little bit of edge detection and a little scripting. This fun little online tool takes any image, detects the edges in the image, and then places whatever text you want along those edges. Pretty fun little tool to noodle around with, that’s for sure! Check out the Textorizer.