We’ve recently performed a server upgrade to increase our ability to serve our growing userbase. We continue to monitor and update the Protopage service to meet the needs of new web browser versions and new mobile phones, including updates for the latest batch of Android mobile phones. Thank you for continuing to use Protopage, where you can rely on us for decades to come!
We’ve just released some new tweaks to support the new Firefox 3.5 browser, and to allow the full range of rich text editing when using Google Chrome. For those of you in the northern hemisphere, hope you’re enjoying your Summer!
It has recently been announced that a competitor of ours, YourMinis, has shut down its start page, and we’ve had a number of emails asking nervously whether Protopage is safe.
We’re extremely lucky at Protopage to have very low costs and to not rely on venture capital or any external investors in order to provide our start page service. As far as we know, we’re unique in that we’re the only major start page that has not taken external capital.
Believe it or not, Protopage has now been live for over three years! We launched in August 2005, when we spent our first weekend as the #1 most bookmarked site on the “del.icio.us” bookmarks site. We’re cash flow positive, and we’d like to reassure you all that although we don’t always blog as often as we’d like, we’re here for the long run and we see no reason that Protopage will not still be around ten years from now. After all, we heavily rely on Protopage ourselves and that’s why we nurture it!
We’ve just launched a major update to Protopage, which includes brand new mobile features. Protopage Mobile has been specially optimized for dozens of mobile phones including the Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Windows Mobile 5/6, HTC and Palm.
To access it, simply visit protopage.com/mobile on your phone.
News feeds are automatically optimized for download speed and for your phone’s screen dimensions. Protopage Mobile works great on both 3G and older 2G phones. You can speed up access to news feeds even further by disabling images from the ‘Edit settings’ link at the bottom of the Protopage Mobile page.
You can use Protopage Mobile to read your news feeds, listen to your podcasts (requires a phone with a compatible media player), search the web, access your bookmarks, view your sticky notes, keep your to-do lists, view your photos and even check your calendar.
We’ve also been busy working on the web version of Protopage.
By popular demand, we now support column layouts that let you choose between 2,3,4 or 5 columns on your page. Uniquely, you can resize widgets to span multiple columns, which is useful for larger widgets and cartoon strips.
We’ve made a number of aesthetic and usability improvements, including an option for larger font sizes and simplifying the tab and toolbar system.
We’ve tested Protopage on a very broad set of phones, but please let us know if your particular model has any issues and we’ll see what we can do!
Please also let us know if you’ve spotted any bugs by using our feedback form. Thanks!
We’re currently working on our most requested feature - mobile access. You’ll be able to access all of your news feeds, search engines, bookmarks, notes, to-dos, calendar entries, photos and email inboxes from most mobile phones that have an integrated web browser.
We’ve also been releasing a number of bug fixes over the last few days, including tweaks to the auto-arrange functionality, and full international character set support for the tabs at the top of your page.
We’ve given the default color theme a spring clean - click ‘Load defaults’ from the ‘Colors / Settings’ button on your toolbar to preview the new blue sky look (but remember - only click the ‘Save’ button if you want to keep it as your new color theme)
Happy New Year from all at Protopage!
We’re introducing two experimental features today - we have not enabled them by default for existing users but you can try them by following the instructions below:
Our news indexing system has been upgraded to provide thumbnail previews for your news feeds, in order to give your page a more exciting look. See below for before and after screenshots:
This new feature automatically aligns your widgets into columns, and automatically resizes the widths of the widgets to fit the width of your browser. This feature will be particularly useful for those of you that use your Protopage on multiple machines, each with different monitor sizes.
Instead of imposing a ‘one widget per column’ approach, the Auto Arrange feature will allow widgets to span two or more columns if required, giving you maximum flexibility with your page layout.
Auto Arrange can be switched on or off for each individual tab inside your Protopage - so that you can enjoy both layout systems according to the type of widgets on your page (pages with lots of RSS News Feeds tend work well in columns, and sticky notes tend to look best when freely positioned).
If you have just registered a new Protopage, these features are already enabled for you.
If you are an existing user and would like to try these new features, click the ‘Colors / Settings’ button on the toolbar at the bottom of your page, and un-tick the following two settings:
Hope you’ve all had a fantastic Easter! We’ve been conducting a number of focus groups over the last few weeks, and have made some final tweaks to the tab system. In particular, we have simplified the look of the tab bar, and created a new button to provide access to the tab sharing features.
We’ve just completed the online manual and frequently asked questions page, which explains with visual aids all of the functions that Protopage provides.
Also included in this update are a number of assorted bug fixes and performance optimizations. You may notice that we’ve tightened the appearance of the widget shadows, so that the shadows look more pleasing when in combination with lighter background color choices.
And finally, we’ve introduced a new setting (accessible from the ‘Colors/Settings’ button on the toolbar). If you tick the ‘Hide read headlines’ checkbox, your news widgets will hide read items instead of displaying them with the default ‘grayed out’ look.
Happy new year from all at Protopage! We’ve been releasing incremental performance improvements over the last two weeks - hopefully you’ve noticed the difference. We’ll continue to optimize the platform for maximum speed.
We’re currently working on a number of things including a Frequently Asked Questions page. Look out for more new features in 2007!
A few of you have written in about Firefox using some extra CPU time. We’ve just released a set of tweaks that will increase performance and lower CPU usage to zero when the page is idle. We’re also working on further improvements including a new caching layer which will decrease page load times.
We also just released a new feature for those with blogs. Protopage will replace the default CNN news feed with the news feed from your own blog. It will do this automatically when you link to us (it detects the page from which new users arrive, and sets their new Protopage up by autodetecting the news feed from your blog). Consider it as us returning the favor by automatically linking back to you.
We’ve had a few bugs related to data migration, tabs and sharing/importing of tabs. All of these issues should now be resolved. We have now made it impossible to lose widgets by preventing tab deletions unless they are empty. We have run a script so that any widgets from any accidentally deleted tabs should now be restored. Please let us know if you are still experiencing any issues via our contact form here.
By the way, you can drag widgets to different tabs. An arrow will appear above any tab that you drag a widget to, as illustrated in the screenshot.
Also note that the default tab which will be selected when you load your Protopage will be the first tab in the first category in your Protopage. You can reorder tabs and categories simply by dragging and dropping them.