December 29, 2010

Technology contemplations

A short note – Sometimes I can be I am a huge tech nerd.  I love the internet.  I love computers.  I think my productivity levels would be through the roof if the internet didn’t exist, but for some reason I gladly sacrifice sleep and aforementioned productivity to try out new technologies. 

So this entry below is a total nerd-fest.  Be warned!  It is teaching-related though – there are so many cool things happening with IT and education right now and I want to get more into it. 

Microsoft blog client
I’m testing out a some new blogging software from Microsoft.  It’s called Windows Live Writer and it lets you write/edit/post blog entries from your desktop, instead of using’s web-based service.  It’s part of the free Windows Live Essentials 2011 pack. 

I never used to think Microsoft were that great.  Windows Vista was terrible.  The Windows 6.5 phone wasn’t particularly user-friendly.  I deliberately uninstalled Internet Explorer because I loved Mozilla so much.  But I think the company is doing really well now...  Windows 7 is an great operating system, the 7 phones look so beautiful and Stephen Fry endorses them.  Plus if you didn’t know already (and why would you because you’re probably a normal person who doesn’t stay up until 3.30AM blogging about blogging platforms), there’s a free 25GB of storage available with SkyDrive so you can store and back up all your documents and photos with drag and drop. 

Anyway.  Onto the blog client Windows Live Writer:

As you can see from this screenshot, it looks exactly like I’m typing into the blog post itself, rather than using’s textbox and preview.  Definitely a thumbs up for Microsoft.  I’ve used other blogging clients but none have been this user friendly.

Why is Windows Live Writer so great?

  • It’s super easy to use.  If you’re familiar with Office ‘07 and beyond, the layout is exactly the same, with the toolbars on the top with one click access to different formatting selections.
  • There’s no lag as it doesn’t depend on your internet connection, and you can see exactly how the blog post will look like as you’re typing it.  Huge plus if you’re using a lot of different formats like quotes, bolding, photos…
  • You can install different plug-ins for Windows Live Writer to make it even easier.  There’s one called the “Polaroid Picture” which makes inserting photos super easy which I used to show the screenshot above.   It used to be a chore having to manually resize the photo, then write up the HTML script.  The Polaroid Plugin automatically resizes to however you want, you can choose the angle you want to tilt it and add borders.  Could be even better with option to choose several photos to post in a batch, and add a watermark for photos you want to copyright.
  • One-click publishing.  Support for multiple blogs.


Now that I’m a student, I have too much time on my hands to procrastinate and need to go to bed.  This comic sums up what I have just spent the past few hours doing:


- Q

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