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Richard

  1. What’s your job title?
    European Business Manager
  2. How long have you been with Extensis?
    My 7 year anniversary is in January.
  3. Where is your cog in the Extensis machine?
    As part of the European team I look after customers, dealers and distributors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  4. What is your favorite Extensis product?
    I was a Portfolio user before I worked for Extensis so it has to be Portfolio.
  5. If you were a font, which font would you be?
    Fruitiger – I’d once been delayed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and got on to wonder what the typeface was that had been used on the airport signage (as you do). One HotSpot and a Google moment later the answer I discovered was Fruitiger. It’s such a classic, inoffensive, tidy and easy on the eye!
  6. What’s at the top of your iPod playlist?
    The White Stripes, Muse & Bob Dylan
  7. When were you most happy?
    The birth of my daughter.
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Becoming a father.
  9. What is your biggest regret?
    Not buying more shares in Apple back in 1996 when they were trading at $13
  10. What is your biggest passion?
    Neat technology.
  11. What do you like to read?
    Fictional crime novels, historical stuff, comics & Lauren Child’s ‘Charlie & Lola’ kids books..
  12. What is your most treasured possession?
    My Olympus E1 & E400 digital cameras.
  13. What food can you not live without?
    Marmite on Toast, Mashed Potatoes, Lincolnshire Sausages & English Mustard
  14. How are you a weekend warrior?
    Weekends are dedicated to being a dad and doing things that dad’s do.
  15. Coffee or tea?
    I’m English so it has to be tea but definitely none of that ‘Iced Tea’ nonsense. I like mine hot, with milk and served in a mug.
  16. Trigonometric functions or the decorative arts?
    Decorative Arts but then I’d like to go off at a tangent.
  17. Which website do you visit daily?
    The Register
  18. In another life you were…?
    A hobbit
  19. What’s your ultimate destination?
    New Zealand
  20. What do you want your dying words to be?
    I want to go Carbon zero.

20 questions with Kim Cole

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  1. What’s your job title?
    Quality Assurance Engineer
  2. How long have you been with Extensis?
    3 ½ years.
  3. To how many Extensis products have you been a contributor?
    Pretty much all of them at one point or another.
  4. What is your favorite Extensis project?
    Fusion, fonts are fun!
  5. If you were a font, which font would you be?
    Something quirky, lately I like Abbess.
  6. What are your top five desert island CDs?
    Hrm, can I take everything on my ipod?
  7. When were you most happy?
    When studying abroad – ok actually traveling around europe.
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Thus far I’d have to say that I mastered French – well at least I felt confident I could understand virtually 100% and be understood – and lived in another country.
  9. What is your biggest regret?
    To have regrets.
  10. What is your biggest passion?
    Carpe Diem.
  11. What do you like to read?
    Time/newsweek articles, tidbits related to france, travel, cooking, news – not all the time, and an occasion nonfiction or fiction book…
  12. What is your most treasured possession?
    My experiences.
  13. What food can you not live without?
    Local fruit! We have the absolute best berries here in the summer.
  14. How are you a weekend warrior?
    Oh, house projects galore.
  15. Coffee or tea?
    Tea, unless I’m in need of a perk, then coffee
  16. Function or fashion?
    Half and half – have to have a little of each.
  17. Which website do you visit daily?
    Google.
  18. In another life you were…?
    How about… a butterfly?
  19. What’s your ultimate destination?
    Cinque Terre, Italy
  20. What do you want your dying words to be?
    Ship it!

20 questions with Elden Wood

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Elden

  1. What’s your job title?
    Engineering Lead – aka font janitor
  2. How long have you been with Extensis?
    Six years.
  3. To how many Extensis products have you been a contributor?
    Suitcase, Portfolio and a few plug-ins
  4. What is your favorite Extensis project?
    The next one!
  5. If you were a font, which font would you be?
    On the printed page… Adobe Garamond.
  6. What are your top five desert island CDs?
    I’d leave the CDs with the 8-tracks and just take my iPod. I’m happiest around the 80s. But in the playlist you’d find Sting, Boingo, The Fixx, Def Leppard, and Josh Groban.
  7. When were you most happy?
    Now
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    I’m sure it’s still coming up but it’s likely to involve family and taking over the world.
  9. What is your biggest regret?
    Not taking the time to savor the present.
  10. What is your biggest passion?
    Thinking. Which usually involves science and math and sometimes manifests itself in code and virtual systems.
  11. What do you like to read?
    Most recent book was Freakonomics. Little of everything with concentrations of tech, science fiction and science.
  12. What is your most treasured possession?
    I don’t have one. There’s less stuff to lug around that way.
  13. What food can you not live without?
    Thai
  14. How are you a weekend warrior?
    After moving into my house I’ve painted every wall and some of the ceilings.
  15. Coffee or tea?
    Tea
  16. Function or fashion?
    Function
  17. Which website do you visit daily?
    My Yahoo!
  18. In another life you were…?
    Sorry I don’t recall…
  19. What’s your ultimate destination?
    A happy family and good friends.
  20. What do you want your dying words to be?
    42

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Paul and his son Nick

  1. What’s your job title?
    Technical Support Manager
  2. How long have you been with Extensis?
    Since April 2003
  3. To how many Extensis products have you been a contributor?
    I have touched, all of the products, either in sales, or technical support. Have provided lots of feedback and input on Portfolio
  4. What is your favorite Extensis project?
    Portfolio Server with SQL Connect
  5. If you were a font, which font would you be?
    Courier, because it always reminds me of my 1940’s Underwood manual typewriter
  6. What are your top five desert island CDs?
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Van Halen – Fair Warning
    Jack Kerouac – On The Road audio book
    Enigma – The Screen Behind The Mirror
    B.B. King – Indianola Mississippi Seeds
  7. When were you most happy?
    Birth of my children
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    My kids
  9. What is your biggest regret?
    That last donut
  10. What is your biggest passion?
    Work: Making sure the customer is taken care of.
    Personal: High score on Call of Duty
  11. What do you like to read?
    Local history books, technical manuals, car / motorcycle repair manuals
  12. What is your most treasured possession?
    My 1977 Super Pong IV console
  13. What food can you not live without?
    Spreadable cheese and Dare whole wheat crackers
  14. How are you a weekend warrior?
    Working at the in-laws farm (300 acres of berries)
  15. Coffee or tea?
    Coffee (or Chai Tea)
  16. Function or fashion?
    Functional fashion
  17. Which website do you visit daily?
    www.comics.com to read Get Fuzzy
  18. In another life you were…?
    AV technician aka ‘Flip Chart Boy’
  19. What’s your ultimate destination?
    Death Valley
  20. What do you want your dying words to be?
    “It didn’t taste expired�?”

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At Extensis, everyone is encouraged to be creative. Of course, depending upon each person’s job responsibilities, this can be expressed in many ways – from an elegent programming solution to a flashy product demo at an event.

Recently, technical support representative Pete Soloway put his artistic talents to use while helping users on the phone. His white board art depicts a happy couple (Suitcase and Portfolio) out on a picnic.
Pete's art

If you look closely, you can also see a happy Font Reserve frolicking in the background.

Well, after only a small amount of research, I located many purveyors of white board (dry-erase) art, including this amazing stop motion animation.

Are you an aficionado?


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Brian BersonRecently, I sat down with Brian Berson, General Manager of Extensis to ask him a few questions about his experience with software development, the future of font managment, and even a bit about his accent.

How long have you been in the font management business?

I’ve been dealing with fonts for over 15 years now, but I’ve been in the actual business of managing fonts for almost 12 years. After being around publishing companies for many years and seeing the level of font problems users were experiencing daily, I felt it was a problem that was solvable, so I founded DiamondSoft with the express intention of solving all the world’s font management problems. Boy was I ever overly optimistic :-). Twelve years later and we are still at it. But kidding aside, we have made tremendous strides in font management. Technologies such as font auto-activation, Font Sense technology, and server-based font management have helped organizations around the world get their work done quicker, more efficiently, and with fewer errors than ever before.

How many companies have you started?

Just one – DiamondSoft. I tend to stick with things. I have been with Extensis now for 3 1/2 years. I ran DiamondSoft for 8 1/2 years.

Prior to that I was with a company called Island Graphics in Marin County in California for about 10 years. I was the 14th person to join Island Graphics initially and we grew to over 200 employees during my time there.

How many products have you overseen development?

Quite a few. Much of my time has been spent in the development of software for publishing and graphic arts areas. I have been involved with the development of some of the original early graphics software like paint systems and early page layout and pagination type systems.

Island Graphics was a real bleeding edge developer with some truly amazing products. It was developing Photoshop and Illustrator type products before these products were ever dreamed up – running on the first generation Sun Microsystems computers off the production line.

That is going back a ways – but I have worked with some great people on some very exciting products over the years.

What brought you into the field of software development?

I think I sort of fell into it. I studied engineering in college without really knowing what direction I wanted to go in. Somewhere along the line I took some programming classes and loved them. I ended up getting a degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and started my career as a programmer at Motorola. I realized pretty early on that I was not happy being a “cog in a wheel”. I wanted to work on smaller, more creative projects that had a direct benefit to someone. After a couple of startup company “false starts”, I ended up at Island Graphics.

I think at the end of the day I find software development to be a wonderful mix of creativity and problem solving. That is what I love most about it.

Where do you see the field of font management going?

Font management has a number of unique challenges in that a font is part system resource and part “user” resource. A font is used within documents, but usually only referenced by the document – therefore it is up to the user to ensure that the font is available on the system and made available to the document. Add to this the fact that most users have only a general knowledge about fonts – naming conventions, file makeup, interaction with the various parts of the system – and you have a recipe for problems. I would like to see font management get to the point where it is essentially completely transparent to the user unless the user is choosing a font to use. When I open a document of any kind, any fonts required by that document – and the specific versions of those fonts – should simply be available to the document without any interaction by the user. We have the beginnings of this goal with our auto-activation and Font Sense technologies.

Couple this with server technologies, and enhanced font license management to ensure that we are all being fully compliant with our font license usage, and we will be very close to the ultimate goal.

That’s an interesting accent you have, where did you get that?

My wife usually gives the person asking this question 3 guesses after which they owe her an ice cream 🙂 And more often than not, she ends up with an ice cream.

I was actually born and raised in Johannesburg in South Africa. My family immigrated to the United States in the late seventies because we did not agree with the political system of apartheid. So I have actually been in the United States for almost 30 years now. So I would have to say that while my accent is originally from South Africa, it is really a unique home grown accent at this point.

Do you foresee a convergence of asset management and font management in the future?

Well, there is no doubt that there is a lot of overlap between asset management and font management. Fonts are, after all, digital files. They typically have usage rights associated with them, they are often versioned, one font “asset” is often used in multiple documents, etc etc. But at the same time they each serve some very specific needs, so I would not expect them to completely converge. I do think the relationship between asset management and font management will continue to deepen. For example, many documents stored in asset management systems today reference fonts which are not stored in the asset management system. This means that at some point in the future you may access a document that has been safely stored in your asset management system, but still not be able to reproduce it since you no longer have the correct fonts. If the asset management system was able to talk to the font management system when storing and retrieving documents, this problem could be easily solved.

Which product do you like better, Suitcase or Font Reserve?

Ah – trick question eh? I assume we are discussing server-based products here. I think Font Reserve is the better product for larger environments where strong control over font compliance and usage is an essential requirement, and Suitcase is the better product for smaller more flexible environments. Both products have their strengths, and honestly, both products have their weaknesses, but at the end of the day what is most important is that in environments of 10 or more users, a server-based solution provides tremendous benefits over trying to manage fonts on each and every desktop individually, and both Suitcase Server and Font Reserve Server are great products.


20 questions with Mike Bacus

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  1. What’s your job title?
    VP of Product Development
  2. How long have you been with Extensis?
    3.5 years
  3. To how many Extensis products have you been a contributor?
    Suitcase, FontReserve, Portfolio, Plug-ins, Toolbox
  4. What is your favorite Extensis project?
    They are all my favorites
  5. If you were a font, which font would you be?
    One that crashes the operating system
  6. What are your top five desert island CDs?
    Chess volumes 1 & 2
    Muddy Waters
    Thick as a Brick: Jethro Tull
    Who’s Next; the Who
    Houses of the Holy; Led Zepplin
    greatest hits; Elvis Costello
  7. When were you most happy?
    When my children were born
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Finding a soul mate and having 2 wonderful children
  9. What is your biggest regret?
    That I haven’t won the lottery yet
  10. What is your biggest passion?
    Wine making
  11. What do you like to read?
    Science fiction, fiction, technical books
  12. What is your most treasured possession?
    My mind
  13. What food can you not live without?
    Barbecue grilled steak (on coals) medium rare
  14. How are you a weekend warrior?
    60th level alliance prot spec warrior Moonrunner
  15. Coffee or tea?
    Tea
  16. Function or fashion?
    Function
  17. Which website do you visit daily?
    Google
  18. In another life you were…?
    not alive
  19. What’s your ultimate destination?
    Tahiti
  20. What do you want your dying words to be?
    Thank god that’s over with

Pet calendar fundraiser

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calendar coverEvery year, the employees of Extensis and LizardTech design and publish a calendar of employee pet photographs. The calendars are then sold as a fundraiser for the Oregon and Seattle Humane Societies.

People of the Pacific Northwest have a long tradition of being animal lovers, which is evidenced by The Oregon Humane Society having an extremely successful adoption rate. For example, in 2004, they placed 97% of all dogs and 74% of all cats brought into the shelter.

Calendars are $17, and if you would like to get a copy for 2007, please send an email to Jennifer or David. They’ll hook you up.

calendar page 1 calendar page 2 calendar page 3


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Occasionally, when we hit certain company milestones, such as a successful product launch, we like to celebrate with an all-company outing. Recently, we were able to do a little bit of celebrating at a local amusement park, Bullwinkles.

Though it was a very rainy day (yeah, it’s common here in Oregon) employees raced go-karts, got each other even wetter in the bumper boats, and tested their hand-eye coordination in the arcade.

John Kari & Paul

kickin Paul & Martin


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