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Tool tips with Scott Moe

Tool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is Director of Digital Marketing, Scott Moe.

Scott Moe's tool tipsWorking tools
The tool I rely on most at work is probably Evernote. I’m a list guy. Always have been, always will be. The nice thing about Evernote is that it works well both for list making and general note taking. You can even share notes with others and collaborate on to-do’s. It took me a while to get used to keeping everything in a digital format and saying goodbye to paper but once I did I was sold. Also, my handwriting is atrocious so it makes reading my lists much easier.

I’ve also been enjoying a little thing called (shameless plug) Hightail Spaces. I work with the very talented illustrator, Luke Bott, to create the custom images for our marketing emails and Hightail Spaces has streamlined that process. It’s nice to see how Luke has started using more of the functionality as he gets more comfortable with it as well. A real life study on using our newest product.

Playtime
WTF with Marc Maron podcastI recently discovered the wonderful world of Podcasts. I commute so I spend lots of time in my car or on buses or trains. Podcasts are a great way to kill the time while also learning about things you may not have otherwise. Some of my favorites are WTF with Marc Maron, All Songs Considered and This American Life.

The other thing I tend to do with my commute time is drink coffee. It’s delicious and it wakes you up – what’s not to love? I installed the Starbucks app on my phone and now it’s pretty much the only place I go for coffee – nice job Starbucks loyalty team. You just enter your credit card info into the app and scan the QR code in any store. No need to fumble with cash early in the morning. Plus it tracks your coffee purchases and you get a free drink with every 12 purchases (let’s just say I get a lot of free coffees).

General resources
When I’m looking to catch up on the day’s events I usually turn to Twitter. I’m not much of a tweeter myself but I use it to follow several news sources. A quick scan and I can get up to speed with what’s been going on in the world and it’s great to dive in deeper on articles of interest when I can.

If I’m just looking to be entertained I usually check the Reddit app and see what’s on the front page – it’s amazing the things that turn up there and I always get a couple of laughs each time I check.

If you like this, find more tool tips here.

Friday’s favorite things: July 24th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography. This week, we’ve enjoyed some fun illustrations.

Dracuta
Quite possibly the cutest picture of the blood-sucking Count we’ve ever seen. It looks like illustrator Kevin Moran is working on a horror-series as he’s also got drawings of Bigfoot and The Mummy on his site – check them out here.

Dracula illustration by Kevin Moran

Parka space
UK-based illustrator Scott Garrett likes to draw the other dads he sees when doing the school run. He does it from memory so insists that they’re “character studies not portraits”, but he definitely captures some characters.

School run dad illustration by Scott Garrett

 

Spoiler alert!
Polish designer Dawid Fratczak created a series of movie posters that give away the ending (much like most modern movie trailers). They’re beautifully illustrated and very funny, but beware if you haven’t already seen movies like Star Wars, American History X and (as seen below) 127 Hours.

127 Hours movie poster illustration by Dawid Fratczak

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

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Create better presentations with Hightail Spaces

Following on from last week’s major update, we’ve just added the ability to preview Keynote and PowerPoint files on Hightail Spaces. This means that you and your team can now add contextual comments to your latest deck and work together on new versions until you’re ready to present.

Hightail Spaces has PowerPoint and Keynote previews

We’re currently working on a fix to an issue that affects previews of very large Keynote files. Apologies if you encounter this and please let us know what happened. Your feedback – good and bad – remains an essential part of the development of Hightail Spaces, so tell us what you think here.

To start working on your Keynote or PowerPoint presentations, check out www.hightailspaces.com today.

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Customer spotlight: Flashframe Digital

Flashframe Digital logoFlashframe Digital is a Toronto-based video communications agency, specializing in brand stories for companies like LG, Tim Hortons and Microsoft Canada. Partner Mike Welker talks to us about bringing something new to corporate video and why great storytelling makes all the difference.

I used to be a sound editor for movies and TV
My partner Lee De Lang and I both worked in audio post-production as sound editors developing soundtracks for TV shows and feature films. Lee’s specialty was sound FX and I was a dialogue and ADR editor. In the early 2000s, the film industry in Toronto went through a slow period, which prompted our migration into PR and marketing video production. Lee started Flashframe Digital in 2006 and what was originally just the two of us doing the odd project, slowly grew into a small business of a dozen people.

When we started, corporate videos were all the same
There were a lot of video production companies that had been around for 10/15 years and they all seemed to do things in the same way. We came in with a different kind of mindset and eye, based on our background in film and TV. That was exciting for our clients because we were doing something special when compared to our competition.

 

There was a bit of a learning curve
Lee had been to film school and had a good grasp on camera settings and composition techniques, whereas I didn’t know much about the visual side of the business. But once I learned the different settings on a camera and understood things like exposure and shutter speed, I was able to get my head around it. We had the opportunity to learn a lot about visual post-production from working closely with those teams in our previous roles. Ultimately editing is editing, whether it’s sound or picture. The end goal is the same – piece together a good story.

The story has to be the differentiator
There used to be much more emphasis on the technical merits of video, which required expensive equipment. Today’s technology has enabled creators to shoot beautiful footage on DSLR cameras and even mobile devices. The result is a glut of good-looking content, so the story needs to shine through. It’s the difference between making something great versus something that gets lost with all the rest of the videos out there.

We do a lot of strategic thinking
About 40% of our business comes via PR, marketing and advertising agencies, but the remainder is direct to corporate. This is the kind of relationship we like because it allows us to get more involved. With some clients we develop an annual content strategy, which involves long-term planning based on their goals for the year. Our Halloween videos for Tim Hortons’ Instagram channel are a perfect example of the benefits of a direct, long-term relationship with a client.

 

The more we plan, the better the video
We usually send clients a pre-shoot questionnaire, asking about the video’s key goals, the story they want to tell, how they would describe the tone of the video and the number one takeaway for the viewer. We’ll brainstorm two or three high level concepts and have a meeting or a conference call to talk about them. This is where you learn a lot about a company’s goals and what’s important to their brand. By understanding a brand, you can recommend what kind of content is going to work for them and their audience.

Hightail has been working well for us
During the editing phase, we primarily rely on MP4 video files and use Hightail to send versions to our clients. They’ll review, provide feedback and fine tune from there. It can take anywhere between two and ten revisions to get to the final version. What we really like about Hightail is that clients can download files without having to take the extra step of creating an account. It’s important to us that we make things as easy as possible for our customers, so it’s great that Hightail helps with that.

 

There’s a great creative scene in Toronto
Television and film production has been big business in Toronto for a long time. The city offers some of the best equipment, facilities and crew that the industry has to offer, plus the province of Ontario provides tax credits for producing here. Toronto also has an amazing live music scene with countless festivals throughout the spring and summer, like NXNE that just wrapped up recently.

To learn more about Flashframe Digital, visit their website, check out their YouTube channel and follow them on Twitter.

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Five alternatives to meetings

Meeting alternatives - war room

 

When I co-founded my startup PunchTab, one of the first things I did was institute a meetings rule. If you added an internal meeting to anyone’s calendar, it cost $1 per minute scheduled. That’s right – at PunchTab you had to pay to hold a meeting, with the fees going to a company fun fund

It’s a somewhat extreme measure, but I know that many people will understand the problem I was hoping to solve. Meetings are too often unproductive, tedious and a waste of time. Aside from that, I was building a team of self-starters so I didn’t want a culture of justification and delegation to permeate the company. If you had an idea, you went and did it, gathering feedback and other input through informal channels, not official meetings.

Eventually, I ended up being the first one to call a meeting, which I ensured didn’t run long so I wasn’t out of pocket too much (it set me back $20). In our first year at PunchTab, we had a total of three internal meetings – not counting customer engagements and any casual hangouts outside of meeting rooms when people would get together to quickly discuss moving projects forward.

Of course, this was easy for us because we were a small startup of a dozen people working together in one space where ideas and conversations flowed naturally. But exploring alternatives to scheduling meetings can also help larger companies be more effective and productive. The following five alternatives to meetings could help you cut the amount of time wasted by irrelevant and unfocused meetings and create more effective ways of communicating for everyone at your business.

1) 1:1 > 10:1
If you gather 10 people in a room to present a new project or get feedback on a piece of work, you may be making good use of your time but you’re not making the most of theirs. The likelihood that everything you have to say is 100% relevant to each person and actually sinks in, is small. Not only are you wasting their time, you’re probably not getting their full attention either.

Instead make time to share your ideas early in one-on-one situations, whether that’s an informal face-to-face conversation, a phone call or instant messaging chat. It may take you longer than your one-hour meeting to speak with everyone, but you’ll have communicated your needs more effectively and given everyone else more time to get on with whatever it is you want from them. Doing it early also helps you get buy-in, as people are there when the baby is born.

2) Make personal connections
People are more likely to do good work if they actually know you rather than you just being that person at the end of a meeting table. Getting to know everyone at a small-to-medium sized business takes effort but it’s worth doing. Even at bigger companies, you can cultivate relationships with departments most relevant to you or identify internal influencers whose networks can help extend your own.

The best way to foster personal connections is to create informal environments for people from different groups to meet. At Hightail, we have free lunch on Mondays where everyone sits down to break bread and get to know each other. Recently, we installed a cookie oven and there’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies to bring random people together for a quick chat and a nibble.

Alternatives to meetings - cookies

3) Your leaders should be conduits, not barriers
The leaders at your company, from the executive team to department heads, are in positions of great influence. But too often this means that decisions trickle down while information flows back up, usually via meetings where edicts are outlined and reports dutifully given (just in time to start preparing the next set). I believe this model is upside-down – leaders shouldn’t waste people’s time with meetings just so they can find out what’s going on.

As CEO of Hightail, my role is to use my personal connections to know what everyone is working on and then use my influence to connect individuals and small groups who may be able to help one another. As long as our business has clear goals and we hire people who like to take the initiative, I can trust them to explore and develop projects without constantly scheduling meetings in order to present ideas for approval.

4) Use software to work together better
Some of the earliest successful collaboration apps were those that made having meetings easier, especially for offsite workers, global offices and distant clients. Apps like join.me, WebEx and GoToMeeting certainly improved on the basic conference call, but their ease of use is also responsible for the proliferation of more useless meetings.

Far better to utilize services like Basecamp, Asana and Trello that allow teams to share information, manage projects and stay up to date using shared online tools. Hightail has recently launched a creative collaboration service called Hightail Spaces that makes giving feedback and managing the creative process easier. Collaboration can be done more effectively – you just need to take discussion off the (meeting) table and have it online.

Hightail Spaces - content view

5) Make everyone an internal publisher
Meetings can be a useful way to share information about what different groups are working on. But these are usually the meetings that busy people feel ok about skipping altogether or show up with their face buried in a laptop or mobile phone. You need to find new ways of sharing updates that people can digest in their own time.

An internal blog or wiki can be a great place to post information about projects, departments and other happenings. A shortly weekly email can highlight what’s going on in a subject area, while Instant Messaging groups are a quick, easy and informal way to bring people together to discuss relevant topics.

We could all do with fewer meetings in our lives so these five tips should help cut down your calendar and make everyone at your business more productive. And the best thing about having fewer meetings? When you do finally schedule one, people actually pay attention.

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Friday’s favorite things: July 17th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography. This week, we’re seriously focused on sustainable fashion.

Wood shade
Woodzee is a California-based firm that creates stylish sunglasses from wood. They’ll also plant a tree for each pair sold and you can even return an old pair of Woodzee shades for recycling and a discount on your next pair.

Woodzee women's sunglasses

From the cover of Cosmo
Online store ReInnovations looks at trash as a natural resource and challenges its designers with creating useful and beautiful things from waste. Like these earrings made from covers of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Reinnovations earrings

 

Summer show
London-based fashion brand GWEN&SYD is committed to using organic fabrics and recycled material. This relaxed kaftan is perfect sustainable summer wear.

Gwyn and Syd relaxed kaftan

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

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New release of Hightail Spaces

In May, we launched our new creative collaboration service, Hightail Spaces. We now have thousands of Spaces users actively sharing files, adding comments and updating versions every week. These early adopters have been a great source of feedback and we’ve just released a new version of Hightail Spaces that responds to many of their suggestions.

Putting content front and center
We initially designed Hightail Spaces to ease the transition from our traditional “send”-focused service to a more collaborative experience. On signing in to Spaces, users were faced with a relatively blank screen that prompted you to upload files, as you would have with a traditional file sharing service.

Hightail Spaces original dashboard experience

 

However, many people were quick to suggest that the content they had already uploaded should be the focal point of the experience. This feedback aligned with our post-transitional vision for the product, so we were more than happy to implement it sooner than expected. The latest release of Hightail Spaces introduces a significant change to the user experience and leads with a dashboard of Spaces – the groups of files already uploaded, shared and commented on.

Hightail Spaces new dashboard experience

 

Hightail Spaces is a place where active projects live and evolve. New features, like guiding feedback by adding goals to a Space, branding a Space with name and background image and the ability to see who created and who follows a Space, build on this idea.

Hightail Spaces - content view

Collaboration not file sharing
This rapid shift in people’s mental models surprised us. Though a content-centric way of working has been our aim, we had assumed it would take longer for people to adjust to an interface that moved away from the files and folders of computing’s traditional desktop metaphor. We had also assumed that initially Hightail’s existing customer base would be more interested in Spaces’ improved file sharing experience than its collaboration features. The comments we received show that this is not the case.

In fact, all of our feedback has been about the service’s collaboration features, like comments and versions. Even sharing features like the ability to share files of any size have drawn little comment. Our users have quickly understood and started to use Spaces as a collaboration tool.

To check out the newest release of Hightail Spaces, simply go to www.hightailspaces.com. As ever, we want you to tell us what our next release should be like so send your comments and suggestions to us here.

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Tool tips with Tracy Wang

Tool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is Sr. Business/Data Analyst, Tracy Wang.

Tracy Wang - tool tipsWorking tool
Communication in the workplace is fundamental to almost everyone’s job and I love any tool that makes communicating with my co-workers easier. I use instant messaging service HipChat daily and although it doesn’t replace email, it does make it super easy to have quick conversations with individuals and groups. One night a while back, one of our enterprise customers was experiencing an issue and we were able to convene a virtual “war room” to get the appropriate folks all talking to each other to resolve this. Doing this in HipChat from my home sure beat driving to the office at 10pm!

Playtime
One of my favorite things to do is to travel and explore the food, culture, history and natural beauty of other countries. A few years back, my main travel buddy introduced me to TripIt, an online and mobile application that helps you organize travel plans. The best part about TripIt is how easy it is to use – I just forward the email I get from the airline, hotel or travel site and TripIt is smart enough to create an itinerary and parse out all the key bits of information (dates, confirmation numbers, flight info, etc..). It even supplements your itinerary with things like maps of the destination(s). You can also add other planners to your trip and use this as the master itinerary for everyone.

General resource
I am an avid snowboarder and in the winter I get really obsessed with weather and snow forecasts. During the snow season, I religiously read The Tahoe Daily Snow section of Open Snow. Bryan Allegreto is an awesome forecaster whose passion for snow is obvious. He uses multiple weather forecasts and his knowledge of the local terrain to forecast snowfall for multiple locations in the Lake Tahoe area. Bryan also includes discussions on long-term forecasts and weather patterns and has fueled my wintertime obsession with weather.

If you like this, find more tool tips here

Friday’s favorite things: July 10th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography. This week, it’s business cards time.

Vinylly, the business cards are here
New Zealand-based sound design and composition studio Radiate Sound had these record-referencing cards designed for them by Bradley Rogerson. See more photos here.

Radiate Sound business card by Bradley Rogerson

 

Roll out the beer card
The brilliantly named brewer of rustic ales, Bitter Old Fecker went to Kentucky creative agency Neltner Small Batch for its branding design, which included these unignorable business cards.

Bitter Old Fecker business cards by Neltner Small Batch

 

Play the plumb card
All plumbers should have business cards as beautiful as these designed for Loggenberg Plumbing by Mark Liptrott of Concrete Studio. Though as Mark says, “Everyone should have beautiful business cards. No excuse for being cliched.”

Loggenberg Plumbing business card design by Mark Liptrott

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

If you like this:
Check out more of our Friday’s favorite things.

Trashing the desktop metaphor

Desktop. Trash can. Folder. Document. For more than 40 years, office-related metaphors have been central to our digital experience. But when you think about the fact that the designs, illustrations and videos you create on your computer are treated as “files”, the system begins to feel very outdated. It’s optimized for storage — you put your files in folders — and doesn’t encourage doing things or working with others. It’s time to shift our mental model.

Xerox Star desktop metaphor

 

The desktop metaphor once served a noble purpose. The Xerox Star was the first computer to popularize the concept in 1981. Tasked with designing the “Office of the Future”, the Star’s development team decided to make the user experience more intuitive for the new home computing market by referencing the offices that people worked in.

Designer Dr. David Smith was influenced by art historian Ernst Gombrich’s theory that artists who successfully introduce new ideas always incorporate or play with existing conventions. He invented the concept of using icons to represent different pieces of digital information and referenced familiar office objects like folders, filing cabinets and trashcans in his designs for the Star.

Smith’s desktop metaphor is so powerful that it’s often hard to remember that these files and folders are not real, but a mere representation of how machines organize information. The file-less internet with just content to be acted on and unique features like hyperlinks should have heralded a move away from this paper paradigm but instead we just use it to store our files online.

Apple — which back in 1982 turned its Lisa machine into an icon-based model after seeing the Xerox Star — is now interested in moving away from this system. In 2005, Steve Jobs said that, “eventually, the file system management is just going to be an app for Pros, and consumers aren’t going to need to use it.”

The company made its first significant attempts to do this with OS X by hiding files within applications, like importing your photographs directly to iPhoto, has so far proved frustrating for users. Most of us are too used to finding files in folders, copying them, moving them and sharing them.

iPhoto content view

 

At my company Hightail, sharing, storing and organizing files is our bread and butter. So what is wrong with this system? Why do we want to change it? And what does the alternative look like?

The problem with the desktop metaphor is that we simply don’t need it anymore. Most of us are fluent in digital and no longer need a translator. Millennials are digital natives and many of the metaphors make no sense to them, like the floppy disk that is still a widely used save icon.

More importantly, the file system distracts us from our real work. We spend a lot of time organizing folders, sharing work as abstract dot filetypes and saving received files to yet more folders. In the pre-digital age, administration was a necessary burden. You had to index, file and store documents, artwork and film otherwise you’d never find them again. The digital age was supposed to free us from such drudgery. Instead of wasting time on admin, we should be focusing on creating — whether that’s illustrations, spreadsheets or architectural drawings.

Maybe we are more ready than we think. Steve Jobs’ vision of a world without file management systems is a reality on iPhones and iPads, where apps and their content is all a user sees. This is what the broader digital future looks like and — recalling Gombrich’s theory of working with convention — the more content-centric experiences of mobile devices make the shift to larger, more work-oriented devices easier.

As for why Hightail wants to help bring about this change? We simply think that there is a better way to do things. When we started providing our service (known as YouSendIt), we wanted it to be for living documents — files that were constantly revised or accessed regularly — not a dumpster for things no longer required.

Hightail Spaces - content view

Files, though useful, are just metaphorical containers for content. What we love at Hightail is the ideas that are exchanged when files are shared. The photograph, not the jpg. The home page design, not the .ai file. The quarterly financial report, not the xls.

That’s why our new service, Hightail Spaces leads with your content and the actions that help you do things with your work — from sharing and collecting feedback, to adding new versions and getting final approval. We’re especially interested in creative collaboration, which is what happens when creative professionals and stakeholders take a project from concept to completion, via multiple rounds of iteration and feedback.

The artists, architects, ad execs, photographers, filmmakers and marketing managers involved in this creative process should be able to focus on the work itself, not the minutiae around it. More creative, less process. By dragging the desktop metaphor to the trashcan, we want to help update people’s mental model, eliminate dreary admin and get everyone working more effectively than ever.

Hightail illustrations: 2015 part 2

Each week we send an email to our regular users with product information and offers, often featuring a custom-created illustration. As we move into the second half of 2015 here’s a roundup of the images our brilliant illustrator Luke Bott has created over the past three months.

Click here for part one of our 2015 illustration roundup.

Hightail illustration - expiration dates

X marks the expiration date. Get a closer look to see Luke’s jokes and sketches.

Hightail illustration - Tax Day discount

The US tax code is bigger than all of these famous long novels.

Hightail illustration - Kentucky Derby discount

Celebrating the Kentucky Derby.

Hightail illustration - National Bike Month discount

Celebrating National Bike Month.

Hightail illustration - Summer discount

Summer-summer-summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.

Keep an eye on your inbox, follow us on Twitter or Like our Facebook page to keep up with our illustrations for the rest of the year. Check out Luke Bott’s website for more great art.

Friday’s favorite things: July 3rd

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography. In honor of July 4th, this week’s edition is USA-themed (and is also the reason, we’re posting it a day early).

American Literature
When most people think of a bookshelf’s shape, a rectangle probably comes to mind. When London-based artist and architect Ron Arad created his own bookshelf, however, he decided to use a different shape, the United States of America. The bookshelf, which he calls “Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends,” features the 48 continuous states, each of which is its own shelf. Unfortunately this patriotic bookshelf is not for sale, as it is solely an art piece; however, you can find it and more of Arad’s work on his website.

us bookshelf

 

American Humor
Although Saturday Night Live won’t be around to mock the presidential candidates until the fall, we can turn to this comic from The Oatmeal to poke fun at our country. The comic satirically describes how one should explain America to non-Americans by pointing out the ironic location of the Statue of Liberty and other illogical USA facts.

theoatmeal

 

American Art
Justin Tran was born in Washington, DC, which is what inspired the illustration below. Featuring key elements of the city’s culture, the picture includes a motorcade, the Capitol Building, the Potomac River, all rendered in glorious red, white, and blue. You can find more of Tran’s work on his website and, if you’d like, you can buy this illustration here.

dcillustration

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

If you like this:
Check out our previous Friday’s favorite things.

Friday’s favorite things: June 26th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Illustration vacation
Owen Gatley’s travel-themed illustrations will inspire your next vacation. The English artist has a plethora of work, but those featuring beaches or maps make you want to escape your everyday life. Check out Twitter and Instagram for more of his illustrations.

owengatley2owengatley1

 

Childish photography
Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada’s favorite subjects to photograph are his sons, Haru and Mina. He captures the two young boys doing their everyday activities, from climbing trees to playing in the snow to walking to school. The whimsical nature of the photographs perfectly captures the spontaneity and innocence that comes with childhood. Check out more photos of Haru and Mina here, and take a look at more of Hamada’s work on flickr and Instagram.

photographerkids

 

Alphabetical animals
English artist Alice Pattullo uses a unique pastel color palette in many of her illustrations, including those of animals around the world. She illustrated twenty-six animals – one for each letter of the alphabet. From the armadillo to the moth to the zebra, Pattullo’s illustrations include the animals’ common names as well as their scientific names. Check out all of the animals here and follow her blog for more fabulous illustrations.

abcanimal abcanimal1

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

If you like this:
Check out our previous Friday’s favorite things.

Tool tips with John Heyer

Tool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is Network Engineer, John Heyer.

tooltipsphotoWorking tool
I’m always a fan of visual tools, and one of my favorites is Cacti. Many people may be familiar with using MRTG for graphing network traffic but with Cacti, that’s just the beginning. I’ve used it to break down wireless clients in our office by frequency and compare trends over time, which is extremely useful when upgrade planning. Last year, I wrote a Cacti template that graphs temperature on our switches. It felt a bit geeky, but when our landlord changed the cooling schedule, I could see exactly what was happening, thus avoiding having to bring a thermometer to the office at 3AM.

Playtime
You could say music runs in my family as both my dad and brother have PhDs in music. Being a former employee of both Rhapsody and Pandora, I still regularly use both, however, SoundCloud has dominated my attention in the last year. It’s very plugged in to the social media aspect and is sort of like a Pinterest for music lovers.

General resource
I’m an avid listener of several TWiT shows, and they’re a wonderful resource for anyone working in technology. Whether it’s just to keep abreast of news or deep-dive in to a subject, they have fun netcasts with great hosts and knowledgeable guests. My personal favorite is the weekly security show with Steve Gibson, who is most famous for writing the SpinRite and ShieldsUp utilities back in the 90s.

If you like this, find more tool tips here

Friday’s favorite things: June 19th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Bridge to the future
Dutch startup MX3D recently announced plans to create the world’s first 3D-printed bridge in Amsterdam. Dutch designer Joris Laarman is set to design the bridge, which will be fully functional and open to pedestrians. MX3D plans to begin printing this fall and hopes to have the bridge completed sometime in 2017. This project marks the first time 3D printing will be used on this large of a scale. Check out the full story here.

3D bridge

 

Light-up logs
Furniture designer Duncan Meerding integrates light and nature into his work, creating unique and stunning lamps. What makes this artist more impressive than he already is? Meerding is legally blind. Retaining only 5% of his peripheral vision, Meerding has a fascination with light and its dispersion. He combines this fascination with creativity to make a truly beautiful and functional work of art. Check out more of his work and read his full story.

loglamp2

 

iPhone Photography
This year’s iPhone Photography Awards were announced this past Monday and the winning photos are truly breathtaking. Polish street photographer Michal Koralewski won the over-arching Photographer of the Year category with the photo below. Take a look at more of Koralewski’s work on Instagram and check out the other winning photographs here.

iphonephotoaward

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

If you like this:
Check out our previous Friday’s favorite things.