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Practically all subjects were covered at Ignite Portland 3 last night, from how to build a nuclear reactor to the most successful techniques to teach your robot slaves to do your bidding.

We were proud to sponsor this great event for the third time. It’s a really fun way to quickly learn a bit about a wide range of subjects – some of which you may never have though to seek out!

I’ve uploaded a whole slew of videos of many of the speeches from last night. So if you weren’t able to make it, check out a few of them. If you watch only one or two, I’d recommend Sharon Greenfield’s presentation on “Fracking Robots, Dude!”

And, the crazy antics of Philip Kerman with his “Don’t Get Mad, Make a Video” were definitely up my alley:

You can browse all of my videos from the event at either Viddler (better quality) or YouTube (the VHS in the VHS vs. Betamax battle of online video).


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Here’s a nice little bit of viral marketing for Intel. You can create your own movie trailer by just entering a tiny bit of text.

This is the one that I whipped up for Universal Type Server in a few seconds. It makes Universal Type Server look like a futuristic space station that will save you from an impending meteor strike. In reality, it’ll help protect your workflow from rogue fonts and ensure that you’re always using the right typeface in that important document. Though, I think that I’ll request that we add a raygun feature to the next release, just in case.

Since the movie automatically plays, check it out after the jump.

[Tip of the hat to Marisela for the link to MySoftwareFilm.]

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Ignite Portland 3

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If you’ve been following this blog for long, you’ve probably seen that we’re happy to reach out into our local communities when possible. One of the ways that we’ve been doing that in Portland is by sponsoring a great event that’s attended by creative and techy types alike, and that’s Ignite Portland.

Ignite Portland 3 - speaking engagement

If you haven’t heard about it before, Ignite Portland is an event where people are invited to speak for five minutes on any topic that they desire. This has spanned the gamut from our very own Technical Support Lead Kelly Guimont’s talk about Pepper to interesting presentations on robots, starting a company, urban “wilding” and even an interesting overview of New York’s undercover police prostitute sting training.

The next event is this Wednesday at the Bagdad Theater in Portland. Presale tickets are all gone, yet there’s still space, so if you want to get into one of the hottest events in Portland, show up early on Wednesday. Hope to see you there!


TypeCon 2008

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TypeCon 2008 Punkt

The annual conference of all things type is rapidly approaching. If you want to be on the cutting edge of typeface development, this is the place to be.

Presented by the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) and held from July 15th to the 20th in upstate Buffalo, New York, it’s surely to be a great event.

If you have a items that you’d like to submit to the Type Gallery, the deadline for submissions is July 9th.

I have to say that this is typically one of my favorite events each year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be attending this year’s event. Make sure to pick up a couple of type sample books and spend a few minutes browsing the silent auction of typographic treasures for me.

Check out the TypeCon site for registration and hotel info.


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seen.by international fine art websiteSo, say you’re a fashion designer or illustrator and perhaps you’d like to take advantage of this new Web 2.0 thingy to get more exposure and perhaps drum up some business. There are many places to start off, but a decent place to start would be the newly launched seen.by site.

Supported by the German publishing powerhouse Spiegel, seen.by has garnered interest and participation from a wide variety of artists including Wim Wenders. Primarily, this is a good site for displaying and sharing your work, as well as for surfing portfolios looking for contract artists, photographers and designers.

There other sites out there that serve this market, such as Deviantart, Photosig, etc. but who knows which one will end up on top. When marketing, it’s typically best to cast a wide net, and I’m willing to bet that you’ll catch a few fish here.


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Photo by: Aaron HockleyYesterday at the Vidoop offices in NW Portland, the latest Lunch 2.0 was held, complete with bacon and hardhats! More on that in a minute. Here’s my best description of it: Lunch 2.0 was a Silicon Valley thing where people would informally invite their friends/fellow geeks/etc to their campus to check out their cafeteria and such. Since the ideas of a) free lunch, and b) geeks gathered were both good ones, Lunch 2.0 became an unofficially official thing. Since then the idea has spread all over the world, but taken a special hold in Portland where we have loads of tech companies. Our first Portland Lunch 2.0 was held in the offices of AboutUs, and you have to admit getting to have lunch with the original wiki developer himself (Ward Cunningham) is awesome. Plus we got to see the AboutUs offices and learn how they accomplish things, it was really nice.

I haven’t gotten an opportunity to go to the last couple, but then #3 was yesterday at Vidoop and it was great! They had hardhats to give away and the bacon level was exceptional, especially for a lunchtime. As all Lunch 2.0s do, they started with a bit about the company and what they are up to, and then we were set loose on the sandwiches and bacon wrapped dates. My turkey sandwich even had bacon in it!

Nobody else in our office was able to get away who had wanted to go, so just Paul and I went over and I got to ride on the back of the Scooter (hence the safety orange). It is usually fun in Portland when a group of geeky types get together, whether it’s for lunch or five minute talks or having a beer and working on your blog, and yesterday was no different. If it sound like something you want to do there are details on the site about how to start a Lunch 2.0 craze in your city. And if you do it yourself or you’ve attended one, let me know in the comments.

(Photo courtesy of Aaron Hockley)


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Today we announced that three highly-acclaimed and well respected professional photographers all trust their image collections to Extensis Portfolio.

Steve McCurry is best known for his award-winning color photography who shoots in an intense documentary style that captures both the joy and heartbreak of the human condition. Steve has covered world events including the Iran-Iraq war, disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, the Gulf War and many others.

Steve McCurry’s evocative imagery from Pakistan

Mary Ellen Mark was voted the most influential woman photographer by American Photo Magazine. She is known for her images that fall between social photojournalism and portraiture.

“I often get requests from clients for my images,” says photographer Mary Ellen Mark. “Portfolio’s extensive archiving and retrieval capabilities enable my staff to find the right image in a timely and efficient manner and track its usage.”

Mary Ellen Mark’s evocative twin photo series

Scott Markewitz has been recognized as one of the world’s greatest adventure photographers. His work has appeared on over 350 US and international magazine covers. He is best known for his amazing ability to capture the impossible as it happens on skis.

Scott Markewitz has captured the most amazing feats on skis


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macforce.jpgI have blogged before about the different trips I have taken and places I’ve gone and given presentations, whether they were font talks or asset talks. It usually involves a hotel room, two airports, and a totally different time zone. Well Tuesday night I was able to give the font talk without any concern for airport security. I was invited to MacForce which is directly across the river from our offices and presented for the Creative Users Group Meeting. So I got to give the font talk (which is my favorite one to give), I got to drive home afterwards (which totally rules), and I got to truly engage with a smaller group in a smaller room than I’m usually in. And the best part for me was that they had a jillion questions (give or take) for me to answer, and I was able to answer all of them reasonably well so everyone left with all kinds of knowledge they didn’t have before. I even saw some people taking notes which thrills me to pieces. They laughed in the right places, were impressed with my demo skills, and every single person at the meeting thanked me for coming to talk to them. I got to give away a copy of Suitcase Fusion and a couple of Extensis tshirts, plus I got compliments on my Battlestar Helvetica shirt. I declare the evening a success!

We’re mostly known for our Mac software and I am a little bit of a Mac geek* so getting a chance to “be amongst my people” at an event held in a place where I spend a decent amount of time (and money) anyway is always cool. Plus the opportunity to help build some Extensis cred in the local Mac community is always something I jump at. Chris Gear (who is their training coordinator) has started to do the same thing for MacForce with User Group meetings and such so when he invited me I was happy to accept.

If you’re local, check out the Creative User Group meeting next month when I will give the Digital Asset Management Best Practices talk and give away a copy of Portfolio at the end. Maybe I’ll have some cool other stuff to give away but you’ll have to show up to find out!Thanks to all who showed up and thanks to Chris for inviting me to speak to the Creative User Group.*Much the way Michael Jordan is a little bit of a basketball player.


Font Battle!

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Suitcase Fusion street fight advertisement - End Font ConflictsI’m sure there’s some sort of West Side Story reference to be made but I can’t seem to find it. Anyway, it’s a font smackdown and you are invited. Over on Typophile (you know about Typophile, right? Of course you do.) they are having a battle royale and you can get in on the action. They have announced in their forums that Type Battle 21 is apparently on like Donkey Kong! From the announcement:

Utilizing the free, online font-building tool, FontStruct, complete at a minimum, a lower case typeface that will look great in a paragraph of text. Post your results in the form of a PNG, and include a link to your FontStruction.

So hop to it! If you do create something leave a comment with a link so I can check it out. I love seeing how other people interpret these sorts of challenges. I always have an idea how I want things to look but I’m not always very good at executing the idea so I want to know what you all can do. Let’s see it, and may the best font (yours of course) win!

(I would also like to thank Bram Pitoyo for passing on the link to the font battle. Thanks Bram!)


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Destination ImagiNationWe work with a wide variety of organizations at Extensis – from the largest Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietorships. In addition to for-profit companies, we also work with a wide variety of non-profit groups who each pursue causes close to their hearts.

We recently donated our Extensis Portfolio software to a group who works to foster creativity in young people. The group, Destination ImagiNation® organizes competitive events that allow students to work on problem-solving and creative skills.

I asked Wayne Kurtzman who volunteers as the Web Team Lead for Destination ImagiNation to tell us a little about his organization and how they utilize Extensis Portfolio to help them with their events.

“My team of volunteer photographers have the unique job of capturing the world’s largest student creativity tournament, Destination ImagiNation Global Finals. The top student creativity teams from most states and various countries advance through various tournaments to Global Finals.

Destination ImagiNation, or “DI” is a non-profit, school-friendly program where teams of up to seven students solve complex Challenges that incorporate core school subjects with a focus that is based in Technical and Mechanical Design, Structural and Architectural Design, Science, Theatrical/Literary/Fine Arts, Improvisation, Research, or International Studies – or a blend of several disciplines. This is the ultimate “kids hands-on; adults hands-off” program, as all the ideas, planning and execution must be done solely by the students.

No team solution is the same – an insane task for the photographers and videographers (and is part of the fun!). Their pictures must tell the story of Global Finals and DI – and transcend language, as many teams come from non-English speaking countries.

When we arrive at the University of Tennessee, host site for the 8,000+ students at Global Finals, we have a matter of hours to setup and test the infrastructure before the first photos start coming in. This requires us to use Portfolio to help us get everything done. Here’s our basic workflow:

  1. The photographer shoots, then catalogs the images with Portfolio using the Copy/Move/Rename feature to uploads their photos from their camera’s flash drive to a shared drive.
  2. From the large batch of images added to the catalog, the photographer uses Portfolio to create a gallery of images that are worthy to publish on the web.
  3. For the selected images, the photographer adds pertinent metadata: a full description of the images including school, city, state/province and country of children in the photo – no small feat with thousands of children at an event!
  4. When the photographer is satisfied that the gallery of images is ready for publication, the photographer then renames the gallery to start with an underscore. This puts it at the top of the list of galleries, and indicates to the editors that the gallery is ready for the next step.
  5. The editor takes the gallery of original images. as well as the preview images created by Extensis Portfolio, and implements a custom CSS for a web page that is compatible with the Linux web server.
  6. The entire package of images, preview, originals and HTML is then FTP’ed to the site and linked.

In addition to the competition, many other events ranging from speakers to an alumni meeting to sponsor showcases all add to the positive atmosphere where creativity is expected – and needs to be captured, cataloged, captioned and published. Quickly.

The down side of the methodology is tweaking something requires the album be republished and uploaded again. The team, made up of professional, amateur and talented program alumni, has gotten very good at getting their photos right the first time. Now, less than 0.05% of photos ever need adjustments to the text, image or otherwise.

The up side is huge: We have well organized photos with tags that can be easily recalled when making marketing collateral, need a web site image or a photo for a sponsor.

After the evening shoots (around midnight), the day’s photos are reviewed to see if we missed any good ones in our rush to get new content to the web.

During the event itself, GlobalFinals.org has over 10,000 unique visitor sessions an hour from families and classrooms around the US and the world. We compliment the photos with several live video streams, including that of opening and closing ceremonies.

Destination Imagination Global Finals 2008We’re proud to help Destination ImagiNation with this event and wish everyone involved the best of success. If you’re interested in the event, be sure to check out the event site and volunteer opportunities.

  • What: Destination ImagiNation Global Finals
  • Web: www.GlobalFinals.org
  • When: May 21st through May 24th
  • Where: University of Tennessee
  • To Volunteer: click here

For photos of last year’s event check out d2k7.globalfinals.org.

More information about Destination ImagiNation can be found at DestinationImagiNation.org.


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