think martinopia!

July 9, 2009

Handkerchiefs vs Toilet Paper

Filed under: Gadgets — Tags: , — martinopia @ 7:54 pm

There are a lot of situations where expanding a brand to new products in even completely new markets makes sense. I have no problems at all with Porsche Design sunglasses (although I prefer my Ray Ban glasses ;-), McLaren polo shirts or even with Snickers ice cream (which is disgusting btw, just for the sake of the brand expanding idea). But there are things which just don’t work together.

To illustrate my argument here a short introduction into human anatomy:


The fact that our nose is the organ for smelling does not mean that we do like all kind of smells. That’s exactly why Tempo chose menthol, camomile and aloe and not the typical toilet flavor for its handkerchiefs. And toilet paper is indeed heavily connected to exactly that kind of flavor. And that’s perhaps the last thing I’d like to have near my nose.

But that’s exactly what Tempo did when they launched a new toilet paper with the same brand as their famous handkerchiefs. A perfect example of how not to do brand expanding. Personally I give them 2 years at the most till the Tempo toilet paper will be history.

May 5, 2009

30% Rabatt auf deutschsprachige Bücher

Filed under: Netzwelt — martinopia @ 7:38 pm

Für alle, die wie ich häufig deutschsprachige Bücher kaufen hier ein Hinweis auf die aktuelle Exlibris Promotion:

Im Mai können sämtliche deutschsprachigen Titel bei Exlibris mit 30% Rabatt – und dies erst noch versandkostenfrei – bestellt werden. Gerade für teure juristische oder IT-Literatur eine gute Gelegenheit, sich günstig einzudecken. Und wer über diesen Link bestellt, unterstützt sogar noch

In diesem Sinne: Möge die Buchpreisbindung da bleiben, wo sie hingehört – in der Versenkung!

April 19, 2009

World’s most beautiful 10 miles: Berne GP

Filed under: Running — Tags: — martinopia @ 4:38 pm

Swiss often aren’t very modest when it comes to describing their country, but still the self-description of the Berne Grand Prix as “wold’s most beautiful 10 miles” seems to be pretty pushy. So I just had no choice but to give it a try and run these 10 miles myself:


So here it is, the official review of the Berne GP:
Organisation: 9/10 points – there is really nothing to complain about. All facilities (even a sport massage service) in one place: garderobe, shower (warm water!), a lot of very kind supporters, perfect public transport connections, a wide variety of food suppliers and even a shopping center next to the starting area.
Running track: 8/10 points – Indeed it’s a very interesting route with a lot of different parts: old town, federal house of parliament, a beautiful trace along the river (Aare), a relaxing little extra trip in a forest (there was even a zoo!) passing by the diplomat and embassy quarter before heading to the final climb before the last km to the finish line. A very nice track with a bit too much downward slopes which are pretty challenging for the knees.
Atmosphere/spirit: Just great – “tout Berne” seemed to be part of the GP, either running or cheering along the route. The majority of the participants are really there to have a good time and not to persistently win the contest. And indeed – I had a very good time running the GP.

Considering all this, maybe the Berne GP route is not “world’s most beautiful 10 miles” track. But still I would agree with the speaker who predicted that most runners will return to the Berne GP next year. At least for me, chances are very high.

PS: for those interested in my performance – considering the climbing parts I am very happy with my 1:38:54 (my goal was 1:40:00).

April 17, 2009

Bringing CHF to Mac OS

Filed under: Software — Tags: — martinopia @ 2:54 pm

There is a very painful limitation in Mac OS X Leopard: the developers forgot to include a customize option for formatting numbers in Leopard. And to make things even worse: instead of the ISO compatible and widely used currency symbol “CHF” for “Swiss Francs” they included the very old fashioned “SFr.” as standard setting – and there is no official way to change it (I even called Apple support and they confirmed that this can’t be changed). And because applications like Billings rely on this setting (and do not offer an option to customize it onlz for the specific app) that’s really a BIG issue for swiss Mac users:


Fortunately after spending some time in Google I found an article about how to change these settings with a terminal command.

So here it is: the magic command to bring CHF to the Mac OS X Leopard:

defaults write -g AppleICUNumberSymbols -dict 8 ‘CHF’

March 26, 2009

Google Docs gets drawing feature

Filed under: Netzwelt,Software — Tags: — martinopia @ 3:59 pm

Google Docs becomes more and more a powerful companion for everyday office software needs – and best of all: it runs completely in the cloud.

The latest feature which Google added to its Google Docs suite is a very nice drawing tool as one knows from OpenOffice:


The drawing is inserted as SVG vector graphic which allows it to be scaled without loss in quality.

Obviously the software doesn’t improve the artist’s skills substantially – but the new drawing feature is a very handy tool for quick & dirty visualizations of ideas.

March 25, 2009

Macheist 3 breaks MySQL

Filed under: Software — Tags: , — martinopia @ 12:48 pm

After weeks with fantastic puzzles and a lot of free apps Macheist 3 is ready for prime time now and went online yesterday with an amazing bundle. I’m especially impressed by the inclusion of the brand new Espresso editor/IDE as well as BoinxTV. For 39USD this alone would be a steal.

Obviously I am not the only Mac enthusiast thinking so: Macheist’s MySQL server seems to need some holiday vacation after all that is over:


But never mind – with some patience we all will get our Macheist 3 bundle – it’s definitivly worth it!

March 17, 2009

MMS, copy/paste, landscape Mail and Notes syncing comes to the iPhone

Filed under: Gadgets — Tags: , , , — martinopia @ 8:46 pm

Great news for iPhone fans – Apple today announced its new iPhone 3 OS with a lot of new features a lot of iPhone enthusiasts have been waiting for:

– MMS support
– copy/paste
– landscape mode for Mail/SMS editing
– Google calendar sync
– Notes sync
– Push notifications
– Multitasking
– and soooo much more

Very nice news: the upgrade will be freely available to existing iPhone 3G users – and 9.99USD for iPod Touch owners. That’s great news – can’t wait to install the upgrade on my iPhone!

Source: Live coverage from MacRumors

March 10, 2009

When customers become suckhole jerks…

Filed under: Software — Tags: , , — martinopia @ 2:48 am

Recently I bought “Delicious Library”, a nice Mac shareware tool from a company called Delicious Monster which helps cataloging books, movies, software, toys, tools, etc. – REALLY great stuff (it scans the barcode from a book/DVD and gets the corresponding data direclty from

Well, sometimes nomen est omen, so I wasn’t too surprised when I got my license code, which started with my name follwed with some nice words:

martin-müller-suckhole-jerk- [r e m o v e d, just buy your own license, it’s really worth it!]

Hmm.. what nice attributes for new customers 😉 Well – after a short email to the support they sent me a very kind response:

Hello Martin,

I’m so sorry for that license code! The words are pulled automatically from a huge dictionary, and we eliminated the ones we thought were offensive, but it appears to be getting creative with insulting words! Apparently I’ll need to go through and further weed out some offensive words.

Here’s a new license code for you.

Delicious Library License Code: [r e m o v e d, just buy your own license, it’s really worth it!]

Again, I’m so sorry!

Terry Phillips
Delicious Support

So everything fine and I guess both of us had some fun 😉


March 1, 2009

Carnival in Zurich

Filed under: Weltenlauf — Tags: — martinopia @ 10:01 pm

Sometimes a picture tells more than words. Here a carnival impression of the main station in Zurich:


We are strong in a lot of things here – but let’s admit it: we just don’t know anything about Carnival here in Zurich. Go to Basel or Lucerne – but forget about the Zurich “carnival”.

February 23, 2009

Apple Store Zürich, Bahnhofstrasse

Filed under: Gadgets — Tags: — martinopia @ 3:39 pm

For all Zurich based Apple enthusiasts I posted s snapshot I did this Saturday from the construction work of the Apple Store in the Manor building on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich:

Apple Store Zürich Bahnhofstrasse

Let’s hope that they push working on the store even further – I’d love to buy my next Apple stuff in a “real” Apple store instead of Dataquest 😉

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