A friend of mine sent me this link to the UK area of the Apple
Computer Inc website. It’s the Mac and PC ads for Britain. There’s six of them there, and four of them were pretty familiar, but “Office at Home” and “Tentacle” were new to me and made me chuckle. Plus “Pie Chart” got all Queen’s English-ed up and it’s way better in her English than in ours. Check them out, and if you haven’t seen the new wave of US ads you should definitely check out “Surgery”, “Tech Support”, and “Security”, the newest wave that take shots at Vista.
Which one’s your favorite foreign ad? (Mine is “Office At Home”, but I think they all sound better with British accents.)
It’s a dilemma that everyone faces in the digital age. That box sitting under your desk, or laying across your lap has a half life. As software becomes more powerful, and contains more of the features that you need, inevitably, the next version of your software can outgrow the power of your computer.
One of the next big software releases affecting creative users will be the release of Adobe CS3. At Macworld Expo this year, we surveyed participants in our booth to find out how the new release would be affecting their technology purchasing decisions.
Is your company postponing technology purchases based on the availability of CS3?
The results are about what I would expect, if not a bit low. Knowing how central Adobe applications can be to a professional creative workflow, any workflow slowdown caused by sluggish software performance can be more than just annoying. Heck, it could even be a good argument for a shiny new Mac Pro…
Are you postponing the purchase of a new computer while you wait for the inevitable release of CS3?
January 29th, 2007 by Jim Kidwell
This is the second of two panel discussions that we recently presented on the show floor at Macworld Expo. The first focused on the art of type, and this second one focuses on working with type in design applications.
This lively discussion included Adobe product manager Thomas Phinney, design expert and author Andrew Shalat and our very own Extensis VP of Corporate Solutions, Martin Stein. The junction of good design, applications used to create good design and type is a critical. Check out what our experts thought about the issues:
What makes a design application good when it comes to typography?
What does OpenType mean to the design world?
What are the differences between design applications and those that are made for layout?
What is type design? It’s functional and aesthetic.
Is OpenType the “now” for designers, or is it the future?
Fonts, software and creativity
Foundries and the cost of OpenType fonts
OpenType, font management and font corruption
Fonts, clients, font ownership and the risks of passing on fonts to others
Are most foundries creating OpenType fonts?
What the panel experts most want you to know
The following is the complete audio recording of the entire session. Note that it hasn’t been equalilzed or edited in any way for content, so some parts may be harder to hear than other parts.
Are you a Mac-o-phile, zealot, or just nuts enough to forsake your firstborn for the latestest-and-greatest Apple release? Well, not that last one exactly, but if you’re a Mac programmer who is interested in joining an intelligent and agile engineering team, be sure to check out our most recent job posting.
Extensis is a fun environment in which your creative talents can be nourished.
Heck there’s not even a uniform required – unless you call t-shirts and jeans a uniform.
I had to put this up after getting it forwarded to me by about a squillion people via email and IM. I have one minor nitpick with it-there was no “isn’t that cool?” or “how great is that?” sort of interjections like the actual ‘note had.
Steve Jobs on Weekend Update.
I really liked the bit near the end about your best friend calling you. Enjoy!
I think, after all this time, I’m finally down off of my Stevenote high. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about what he announced, since other sites and newspapers and even the Today Show this morning have pretty thoroughly covered those announcements. I’m going to talk about a little different piece of what went down in Moscone West yesterday morning.
From a technical standpoint it was a really impressive presentation. As a person VERY new to the whole demo situation (giving my first big demo/presentations to a group of more than two for the first time in years), it is weird to type the following sentence: My favorite part was when the demo went completely south. He mentioned people backstage scrambling (the remote wasn’t working) and then talked about how Back In The Day he and Woz would hang out at Berkeley (where Woz was going to school) and they made these little gadgets that screw up television and they’d see the trek nerds watching Star Trek in the lounge and they’d goof up the signal just long enough for someone to stand up, then when they sat down block the signal again, and repeat it as necessary until someone was finally contorted into a position that was completely unnatural-and as an added bonus-completely hilarious. It was fascinating to me that listening to him tell that story seemed to be just as smooth as giving the rest of the presentation.
I was in line for a long long time, and got to be friendly with a lovely Canadian and two Texans who were all at least as excited as I was to be there, and at least as tired as I was too. We were talking about the demo part, and watching the heads of other companies give presentations and how sometimes they either didn’t seem to “get” what it was they were demoing, or just weren’t that excited about it. When Steve is up there (and the jeans and turtleneck help this illusion), it’s like your older brother’s coolest friend (or your older brother if he was JUST that cool, and I don’t know because I’ve never met your older brother-wait, where was I? Oh yeah) it’s like your older brother’s coolest friend coming to you and saying “I have the most fantastic record for you to listen to” or if you are someone who knows a geek, having that geek show you the new thing they just got and how their eyes light up as they tell you about it and show you their favorite parts. “Isn’t that cool?” “How awesome is that!?” “Seriously, wait till you see this!” Even if you don’t understand a single thing they’re telling you, if they are THAT excited then you can sometimes catch that excitement yourself, even if you don’t have any idea why that might be.
I had a spectacular day yesterday, because after the Stevenote I was standing outside the room and WOZ passed right in front of me on his Segway. By the time I realized who it was, my camera was out just in time for the battery to die. Ah, technology.
Then I got to see Kevin Smith’s Q&A about moviemaking and Macs and that was deeply inappropriate (come on, it’s Kevin Smith, have you seen Clerks 2?) so the only thing I can probably quote him on that would be G-Rated would be “Hi everybody, thanks for having me here today.”
So if you’re at the show, come by the Extensis booth and catch a demo or two and talk to us about managing fonts or assets. We’re happy to have people come by and say hi. Especially if you waited in line with me and you’re from Texas or Canada. (:
Yesterday on the show floor we discovered that nearly a third or you are holding out on technology purchases for the release of Adobe CS3. Makes perfect sense. No one wants to upgrade hardware or software when a mission critical application is not yet compatible. (note: the Photoshop CS3 beta is live now, so the wait is likely almost over.)
We also discovered that the vast majority of you have no idea if the fonts in your library are properly licensed. I’m not the font police, but perhaps you should look into that? (Best to do it before the font police start knocking)
More interesting tidbits as we close out today’s sessions. Thanks to everyone who participated!
I’m not a Mac geek, even though I’ve witnessed the phenomenon from up close. I am, however, a marketing geek. Tradeshows can be the best and worst of marketing. It’s hard not to freak out from the over-exposure. Here are a few highlights:
First- Swag. Every visitor is looking for a freebie. If it is also cool, that’s good, but in my experience just plain free is good enough! I have no idea what it is about miniture versions of the simplest things, but they have infinite apppeal. This is the tiniest box of matches ever seen. So small, in fact, they will burn your finger in an instant (Yes, I tried. Don’t ask.)While these had nothing to do with anything, people could not get enough of them.
Second- booth design. Only one standout worth mentioning. This one was right behind the Extensis booth. Despite the fact that this retail-looking booth was constructed of cardboard boxes (which suggested it just might topple over in an instant)- Crumpler was totally original from concept to execution. Not perfect, but completely memorable. Plus, the signage was great. Only one problem: I kept overhearing people say things like “cool booth. who are they?” Their logo was everywhere, their name was nowhere. Regardless, they had a cool product and a memorable presentation.
Third- experience marketing. Always my favorite category, as these are so rarely enduring. I’ve seen cheerleaders, bellydancers, and popcorn machines. Here’s the challenge: It has to be clever AND it has to fit with your product and brand, otherwise the visitor forgets the link the moment they walk away.
Here’s my pick for marketing experience disconnect. Ask yourself if visitors will remember this vendor in a month. Oh, they’ll remember the break dancing, I’m certain- they just won’t remember whose booth they were in when they saw it. Will they? Despite this, they got me to write about them which means they may have earned a gold star, after all.
First comment to correctly name the break dancing booth in question gets some Extensis swag.
As a software developer, we have limited ability to witness users actually using our products. Software is not like a cell phone or an iPod. We can’t see you walking down the street with it, watch you interact with it and see how it factors into your life. We have to rely on other means of gathering this information- like tradeshows.
Here’s the thing. I’m so conflicted. I love tradeshows. I hate tradeshows.
While filled with the promise of connecting with users, a larger show like Macworld can miss the mark. That elusive user dialogue can get lost in the noise of tens of thousands. So we’re shaking things up. This time we’re going to ‘dial you in’ to the conversation.
For the first time we’re integrating a wireless technology to get audience feedback during our presentations. It is a hand-held dial that is used for polling questions among other things. (Officially, the technology is called the Perception Analyzer (PA), but friends just call them ‘dials’.)
If you’ll attend the show, this is your chance to tell us your knowledge level so we can tailor the presentation content on the fly. Plus, we’ve incorporated a nifty game show competition to challenge your smarts.
If you won’t be at the show, just stay dialed-in to Manage This. We’ll give you a sampling of the interesting tidbits shared by our users each day.
Let’s see how this plays out. This may just get me to love tradeshows again.
We’re still giving out free passes to the Macworld Expo Exhibit Hall until 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time today.
To get two free passes, leave a comment on either of the following two posts:
Or, shoot me an email via the Contact page.
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