Archive for April, 2016

Ericsson MC218 Mobile Companion and i888 World Phone

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Ericsson MC218 Mobile Companion and i888 World Phone


The other day I wrote a German blog post providing some tips on how to optimize mobile marketing activities. This excercise brought back some fond memories of the early days of mobile marketing. Back in the summer of 1999 I was working on mobile applications over at CompuServe’s German office. Back then, mobile marketing was still a blurred concept in the minds of the mobile industry, and we were jointly sweating over demos to bring across mobile concepts and ideas.

I had been working on a location based service that could show a map on a mobile device (long before Google Maps saw the light of the day), and I visited several conferences and trade shows to present it to curious marketers. Early location based advertising services were part of the story: “In the future, you’ll be walking by a restaurant and receive an offer promoting an instant discount if you’d walk in right away.” My cross-channel-marketing concepts and predictions were correct, but the timing was, well, a bit off.

The reason: Neither the mobile networks nor the devices were ready for such applications in 1999 (or the next five years or so). Back then, “Mobile Internet” was a slow dial-up data connection, showing content on the tiny screens of the few Internet-enabled phones. The user experience was mediocre. However, if you were lucky you’d get your hands on an Ericsson MC218 Mobile Companion with its large greyscale display. It couldn’t connect to the Internet on its own and always required a phone, for example the i888 World Phone. One Sunday afternoon in August I wanted to capture this state-of-the-art mobile setup in a photo. I placed both devices on the stock quotes pages of the local newspaper. After all, we were still targeting suits with our services they were still far too expensive for average people.

So, if you ever wondered how the mobile revolution started, this photo might be a good indicator for your story.

Clara 8 Days Old

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Clara Zanzig - 8 days old


In this series – “A Picture A Day” – I will also publish personal posts and memories, including pictures from the Zanzig family archive. This image shows our daughter Clara resting on the arm of Petra. Clara was incredible eight days old then, and of course I think she’s beautiful. (Yep, every father would say this.)

What I find interesting is that when I see her today I see the close resemblance to this very early image. No doubt, that’s Clara on the picture, and she’s so similar to her appearance today. This is something I couldn’t imagine when I took the shot – I had really no idea how she would develop. Yeah, you’re always smarter with hindsight.

Also it’s noteworthy that I’ve moved from classical DSLR photos to point-and-shoot and (mostly) smartphone photos, at least when it comes to taking pictures of Clara. Often she’s so quick, and interesting situations usually come too fast to let you pick up a decent camera, even if it’s a fast camera. My phone is always with me, it takes good enough shots for our family album, and it’s not as intrusive as a big camera. Key learning: The best camera is the camera that gets you the shot that you’re looking for.

Flight Across Clayoqout Sound, Vancouver Island

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Flight with Tofino Air across Clayocout Sound


Two weeks ago I had my 90-minute flight in a Boeing 747 flight simulator in Munich, and it’s been a fantastic experience. It has inspired me to take up my FSX activities, and I look forward to maybe even take some real flight lessons (in a Cessna) this summer, just for fun.

While working on my skills to safely land a Cessna 172 on a small paved strip I couldn’t help but think back to our truly fantastic flight with Tofino Air across Clayoqout Sound. We took several breathtaking shots, all on slide, and I still think this flight on the west coast of Vancouver Island is among my top-3 travel activities, ever. You can read all about the flight and more about the trip.

I like this specific shot because you can see the Tofino Air brand name. Normally, I’d rather avoid that kind of branding, but in this case it’s part of the story. You see the blue sky, a beautiful coastline featuring endless greens and untouched beaches. A small boat speeds across deep blue water. Mountains dominate the back. Awesome. Still, you have no clue where this shot might have been taken. However, the Tofino Air logo adds the information on where this might be: Somewhere in West Canada, probably close to Tofino, and you get a sense what an incredible place this must be.

A Picture A Day…

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

…keeps the worries away.

For a while (like, three years) I had left the website and blog alone, mostly due to lack of time and motivation to come up with enough original content to keep it alive.

Now I have a couple of ideas on how to turn it into something useful for you, the readers and followers of my site: I’m going to post each day of the year a  photo. Most of these shots will come from my photo archive, either shots that have been published already, or previously unpublished shots. And I’m going to tell the story behind the picture (if there is any story behind it, that it). I’m going to post it in a fairly high resolution, so that it can be viewed on displays with higher resolutions as well.

By the way, as part of my new social initiative, I’ve now activated my long time dormant Twitter account, @Mark_Zanzig – Please feel free to follow me.

Hope you like the photos.