Category Archives: Products

Pimpin’ my Firefox

by Tine

Due to a nasty Chinese Virus my computer at work died. As I just got a new Laptop (as shown in the post before) I’ll pimp my Firefox at work in the same way my laptop is pimped. The question here is not which browser to use, cause I’m in love with Firefox even though this might change someday, the time has not come yet.

Here’s what I’m using. If you have suggestions and ideas fell free to comment. I don’t think there’s such a thing as overpimping or too much comfort.

  • All-in-one-sidebar: Is there for you when you need it, to control downloads, extensions, site information, chronic, bookmarks and so on. And disappears if you don’t need it.
  • Better Gmail 2: I’ve totally forgotten what it changed because it’s not a big difference it just makes Gmail feel better.
  • BlogRovR: I’m not sure about this one, but it doesn’t bug you so it doesn’t hurt installing it. 1. I don’t use it properly 2. I expected it to reduce the noise. It doesn’t but it structures it by suggesting the matching blog posts for the site you are on atm.
  • Bookmark Duplicate Detector: I need it, actually I’d need more than that. I still haven’t found the perfect way to store and organize my bookmarks. Any suggestions?
  • British English Dictionary: This helps a not native speaker like me a lot, but I could use some grammar advice too.
  • Clipmarks: You can just select the parts of the site you need to blog, send, print. Unfortunately it ruined the blog design.
  • German Dictionary: It doesn’t hurt to make sure your German blog posts have the right spelling
  • Evernote Web Clipper: If you are using evernote its the right choice. A smart notebook you can share or just store the stuff you find till you need it for a post.
  • Read it later: A button to bookmark pages in a “read it later” folder. Very useful.
  • Shareaholic: Share stuff easier, faster.
  • Time Tracker: I was curious (I was surfing 178h last month, this means the browser is open and active about 6 hours a day. Wah! Do I have a life? I need a Firefox application to find that out)
  • Yoono: Intended to socialize your browser I basically use it to follow twitter, flickr and facebook updates in little boxes which appear in the corner of my browser. The sidebar could get a bit smaller for my taste and limited use.
  • Foxsaver: Turns Firefox into a Screensaver showing for example you flickr photos, I don’t use it any more because it made Firefox crash a couple or times and I don’t really need this feature.

Bottom line: Addons have to be subtle, easy to use and they need to disappear if you use them. Toolbars make me crazy. If I want a toolbar I’ll search for one. If I want Stumble upon I want the features not a toolbar. If an Addon wants me to read the manual it will never ever be used.

Lord of the Rings Online Expansion: Mines of Moria

by Tine
Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

It’s not my typical topic for the blog, but as I happened to attend the press presentation of “Lord of the Rings Online Expansion: Mines of Moria” I want to tell about it. Well actually I want to concentrate on the fact that the expansion was presented at Soup City in the Hafencity in Hamburg. The nice part was that Soup City didn’t look like the name would make you think (whatever that makes you think) but was decorated with medieval stuff and 3 warriors guided the door. They were wearing swords, real chain mail, helmets and stuff. At the end of the presentations Jeffrey Steefel had a sword fight (watch it on youtube) with one of the warriors, which was pretty cool. I had a chat with him about character customization in general and a pink glow for my sword in particular.

Oh maybe I should say something about the game now right? The mines are one big world – not dungeon after dungeon after dungeon – and “real”, which means that every place you can see, really exists. That’s cool, especially as I tend to fall down everywhere. I’ll be in a lot of trouble – as I now can fall for a long time… anyway I think they are really proud of that themselfes too. There are two new classes the runekeeper and the warden, the level cap got increased from 50 to 60 and they’ve improved the weapon system. Now you can level your weapon, name it and add additional features. If you don’t use it anymore you don’t have to sell it or throw it away you can get back the pieces of which it was created and reuse them in other weapons. Well if you want to know details look it up on the MMORPG related blogs.

Viscape, Social Media and me

by Tine

I can’t remember when and why it started, but one day Viscape was following me on Twitter. I followed back. Every now and then a message popped up and added some more information to the rough idea the Twitter Bio had given me before. Being familiar with the name, Viscape passed my selective attention filter and I saw them on Facebook, Blog articles, their comments here and there. After a while Viscape had my sympathy even though at that moment I’ve spent about 11seconds on their site.

But finally our big day came. I saw on Twitter that there was a “be a travel writer” contest going on. It took a couple of reminders to look at the Blog entry itself and as I realized that I really need to hurry to participate, they got me and I signed up. Which led to my first real encounter with the site itself.

I didn’t find anything. I thought I could set up a destination and write a review but I think I was wrong. Actually I’m still struggling with the site and I really pray for some “Tine usability” improvements BUT I still like them. Normally I would have left after a couple of Clicks but Viscape managed to get my sympathy before knowing them and like you tread a friend with more patience I tread Viscape with more patience.

Here we see how Social Media developed a great relationship even before we knew each other. I think thats a power that the average Marketing person like myself gets tears in their eyes. On the other hand it’s as easy as that.

Dear Viscape I hope our relationship will bloom (winning the contest would not hurt too, here’s my Paris review: My name is Reisesteiss and I don’t have a profile picture – yet)

The picture btw was taken where I used to play as a child. That would have been a nice review I guess.

Update: I left a comment on the blog about my problems with the site and shortly after I recieved a private mail from the community manager Dorothy Carlow (from her Yahoo email address) that they are still in Beta but really appreciate suggestions … Great! Now I’ll become an official fan of Viscape on Facebook.

Update2: I also got a Welcome E-Mail inviting me to add the community manager Dorothy as a friend. AND look at the comments!!! Good luck to you Viscape. Dorothy rocks!

An army of German clones

by Tine
You can get pregnant AND high, with just one dish!

picture by MFinChina

Most people on the Internet speak English. Every English site sooner or later gets it’s German clone. So theres a fight between the English speaking Original being translated into German wanting its piece of the German pie and the “original German” clone. Sometimes the German clone even adds English and tries to enter the territory of the original.Ok obviously that’s not new. TechCrunch for example had an article on that topic about 1 Million years ago.

As German is the 5th mostly used language this totally makes sense to me because the market is there. No.2 to 4 are Chinese, Spanish and Japanese. I’m very sure about China and Japan clones as the situation is very similar to the German speaking area. China and Japan are not only united by their language but they are also one country. Austria, parts of Swiss and Germany have more or less one language but they tend to prefer products adopted to the country. I assume thats similar for Spanish.

That’s the theory so far as we also see it in the facebook vs StudiVZ fight. So get some sort of idea how my cliché fits reality I made a short list comparing some sites to some clones also regarding if they are available in German and/ or English.

in German too
in English too
Digg no
Bookmarks no
Yelp no
Twitter no
Flickr yes
YouTube yes
LibraryThing yes
Trip Advisor yes
LinkedIn no
Classmates yes
Misc MySpace no

Facebook yes


As we see in the chart about half of the sites don’t offer a multilingual choice. I’m aware that this is not really representative and sites like Twitter don’t really need to be translated (even though in this case it wouldn’t be that much work). Still regarding the internationalization, globalisation isn’t that surprising? I have the feeling that most sites which now offer multi languages did that a while after they launched their original product.

Is it still common to build your product just for your local market? Isn’t it some sort of startup mentality to think big and according to that we need to implement multi languages right at the beginning? My feeling is that this is changing right now and to me that’s a good choice. All or nothing right? Or did it start to change long ago and I just missed it?

Also interesting in this context is the GDP by Language 1975-2010 chart and MFinChina’s flickr page.

FontStruct 2nd try

by Tine
Typo Noodle by 72quadrat

“Snot Narrow” is lost but I didn’t want to give up so easily so I started a second try. Now I finally present the saved and available version of “Very Basic“. All my stuff is available with a Creative Commons license. So if you want to try FontStruct, but you don’t want to build a new Font for playing around feel free to modify “Very Basic”.

Very Basic Font

foto by 72quadrat

Addition: 15.08.2008 The Basic Latin Typeset for “Very Basic” is completed.

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