Posts tagged: firefox

Is gmail.google.com kaput?

Posted 13 March 2009 in applications, user experience | 2 comments

Following on from this morning’s curious gmail access problems, I tried to access gmail.google.com from home and found that the page’s text is now appearing in German.

I’m sure I’m in Australia. And I’m sure I don’t have any settings on my work and home Macs and PC that refer to Germany or German.

Does this mean the URL gmail.google.com can no longer be used from anywhere globally?

Or did someone just mess up with the IP address detection script?

As per my previous post, why, when people have used the gmail.google.com URL for so long, would this page not be translated to multiple languages?  If I landed on this page without having seen the English version this morning I would have been very baffled.

The mail.google.com site still contains Gmail branding so I’m leaning towards this being caused by a bug rather than a global initiative/re-branding.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find that page talking at me in Finnish.

[Edit: Just to clarify, I don't mind if gmail/Google Mail needs to be accessed via another URL from now on, I'm just picking on the execution of the change - it is not user friendly]

gmail auf deutsch

meine deutsch ist nicht gut

Ich weiss nicht

Posted 13 March 2009 in applications, user experience | 1 comment

Sitting at work in over-cast Sydney with my morning coffee in hand, I went to gmail.google.com to be told I was in fact in Germany and that Gmail doesn’t exist there but Google Mail does.

But I'm in Australia...!

But I'm in Australia...!

Silly google.. I’m in Australia.

I like the fun wording of the message however seeing as it’s targeted at travellers I would expect it to be translated and displayed in a few other languages.

I hoped the page was intelligent and was picking up my computer’s language setting but I switched my Mac to Italian and then German but in both instances the web site still spoke English.

I then set the language preference in Firefox to German and while www.google.com displayed itself in German, gmail.google.com continued to show the message in English. Poor confused non-english speaking gmail-using travellers to Germany will be email-less.

Defining language preferences in Firefox

Defining language preferences in Firefox

I <3 Skitch

Posted 5 March 2009 in applications, project management | No comments yet

Going back in history to the 90s when I wanted to review long HTML pages during a web development project, I used to take screenshots, carefully sew them together in Photoshop, and then write notes and draw scribbles on the graphics to illustrate changes and fixes.

One day I found SnagIt – you could point at a browser window and it would automatically scroll capturing the entire page in a single graphic. Over the years SnagIt developed in to a great tool for providing feedback to team members and for demonstrating processes in user documentation. It had been a staple in my project tools for many years.

Until I started at an agency that handed me a MacBook Pro.. SnagIt is not available for Mac.

Since buying my own MacBook a few years ago I had occasionally searched for a SnagIt alternative, failed to find one, and the easy option was to hop on to my PC and go to the old favourite. After a few half-hearted shift-cmd-4 screenshots with emailed notes over the last few weeks at my new job, today I set about finding an alternative to SnagIt.  There had to be one!

And I happily found some sites pointing towards the Mac-only application, Skitch. The heart logo seemed a bit softandgooeyandpink for me but I decided to give it a try anyway and after just a little bit of playing with the application I understand the appropriateness of the logo.

Skitch looks quite simple at first glance, but start poking around and you find all manner of tools packed in to the free beta application:

  • capture fullscreen, frame or select an area of your choice
  • capture from the camera on your laptop/computer
  • view a history of the screenshots you’ve captured
  • draw, write, scribble (with nice vectorised smooth lines)
  • crop, rotate, resize
  • access images stored on your computer and add notes to them
  • save images to your desktop or copy and paste in to documents and emails
  • send images via bluetooth
  • send images to skitch.com for sharing online

I’ve found Skitch very easy to use (but a novice computer user might squeak in fear.. it took me a quick look at Help to figure out how to save an image as a jpg: drag and drop to the desktop/folder), however the one thing it doesn’t seem to do is scrolling captures from web browsers. Sigh.

All up a brilliant application that I have no doubt I’ll be using daily at work. The ability to load in other images means I can use it in partnership with a Firefox plug-in such as Screengrab that provides scrolling capture to PNG or JPG.

Skitch – I’m glad we’ve met.

skitch notation

Examples of skitch scribbles

yay for skitch

Yay! for skitch