Hello World!

I am Tom Fichtner from Leipzig with a connection to Taipei, Taiwan. Welcome to my personal website!

(Picture date: 2021)

I work for Schenker Technologies GmbH, a computer and laptop manufacturer from Leipzig, Germany. We specialize in customized, high-performance systems and we have a strong commitment on quality control, reliable support and community engagement.

Our main brands are bestware, XMG and SCHENKER. Another affiliated brand is TUXEDO, a sister company that specializes on providing full Linux to similar high-end and portable systems.

The website covers examples of my professional work (further down on frontpage), my own articles regarding accumulation and organisation of knowledge, and a few examples of photography.

Work-related responsibilities

With over 10 years of experience in this particular field, I share a number of responsibilities:

  • Community Management, being the primary public-facing speaker before, during and after all product launches on traditional bulletin-boards and especially on Reddit with a solid degree of transparency and a rapid turnover of public perception into internal solutions and action
  • Product Development, being the main contact window to our ODM system partners for high-end laptop products, managing the flow of information in both directions
  • Product Testing, often being the first one to test engineering samples and leading the team that manages the day-to-day validation and deployment activities in Germany
  • Quality Assurance / ODM Escalation Management, being the first and last line of defence when products do not act as intended, providing efficient solutions and rapid damage control
  • Product Marketing and PR, feeding product definitions and unique selling points to product managers, PR contacts and various related teams
  • Product Customization, managing most of the big and little things that make our products stand out against similar LOEM boutique brands, including software and firmware (BIOS) customization
  • Documentation and FAQ, writing the bulk of non-legal and non-marketing driven public copy for this company in both English and German, including internal product- and support-related documentation
  • Innovation Ambassador, driving suppliers and internal departments towards excellence and innovation while representing our brand to corporate-level contacts in semiconductor global leaders

Our websites:

Our social media and communities

If you would like to learn more about our products and see our community engagement in action, feel free to join any of our social media channels and forum communities. I sign all my comments and replies with my name, so you can go ahead and track my daily activities if you have nothing better to do. ;-)

  • /r/XMG_gg – Our own subreddit is our main English-language forum for support and product discussion
  • XMG & Friends – Our Discord server with various spaces for tech discussion, support and offtopic in English, German and French
  • XMG/SCHENKER on Computerbase – Similar to Notebookcheck, but with a much larger community overall
  • XMG on Youtube – Most of our Youtube activity actually happens in other channels, when people review our product. Whenever someone posts a high-profile review, I’m ususally pinned in the comments with an “Ask me anything” thread where I reply to community questions in real-time. For some recent best-of reviews, check the list below.
  • XMG on Instragram – Original content around eSports and classical marketing activities – usually handled by other team members
  • XMG on Twitter – Follow us on Twitter, but also follow my own private account
  • XMG on Facebook – Yes, we are on Facebook. It’s like IG and Twitter but with even more ads!

Examples of my work

Most of my work is pointing inward, keeping our partnership with ODM partners running smoothly and helping our own test lab and support teams. However, I’m also involved in a lot of work that is meant for public consumption. A lot of those videos and articles define how we as a company are seen by our customers. Here are a few significant favourites:

Product Reviews & Trailers

For these product reviews, I was either the main contact window to the reviewer or I had a pretty heavy hand in developing or pushing forward the particular product, or both.

In-house video production

For flagship products, we have been creating our own hands-on videos for a while. I am usually involved in helping to edit the script and provide animations and diagrams. On special occasions, I may also co-host the video as the “tech guy from the lab” character:

Watch out for the Intel-insider gag at timecode 5:19.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

To date, all of the over one hundred FAQ articles on the XMG website are authored by me. They are all available in English and German. I usually write them in English first, then translate to German with DeepL, then adjust the language of the German translation manually. Improving the German translation sometimes also causes me to go back and clarify the wording of the original English.

Recently, I have been using GPT-4 to sketch out the initial rough drafts of some of the newer FAQ articles. It helps me to stay motivated when covering rather mundane or generic topics (example), or sometimes provides ideas for examples and edge-cases that are worth exploring.

The FAQ articles are divided into 5 categories:

  1. General FAQ
  2. Portfolio & Technical Specifications
  3. Tips & Tricks
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. Maintenance & Upgrades

The first two categories are aimed at new buyers of XMG and SCHENKER laptops. The latter three categories apply to pretty much any PC or laptop, not only to the XMG portfolio.

The German version is located here. This links to the “General” category, you can find links to the other 4 categories at the top and bottom of the page.

Deep Dive articles

I would describe my writing style as comprehensive, transparent and fact-driven. I drew a lot of inspiration from having read the c’t magazine on subscription for many years. Here are a few significant threads and documents I have written recently for SCHENKER/XMG:

Text above licensed under CC BY.

Follow me!

Find me on Mastodon

Mastodon is the open-source and decentralized alternative to Twitter and Facebook. In recent years, it has grown to a self-sustaining user-base. You can find me microblogging current thoughts and share interesting links. It’s pretty much like in the early days of Web 2.0 when feeds were still sorted chronologically, but without the micro-targeting, feature creep and monetisation. My own motivation behind promoting Mastodon, Signal and other open-source networks can be found here:

Find me on Mastodon here:

If you want to join, pick a server from this list:

Servers connect to each other, creating a large “fediverse” where users can follow each other, no matter on which server they reside. I personally use the “mastodon.online” server, run by a non-profit company in Berlin, Germany.

Using this link will also make you follow my account after sign-up. Later, you can also install the corresponding app for Android or iOS.

You could also join to the Patreon of the “mastodon.online” server to support their operation with a small, voluntary monthly donation.

Other links

You can also find my profiles in these networks

I can also be found on Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, LINE and WeChat. Or just send me an e-mail.

Do you want to learn more?

Here are a few starters: