Testing, testing, windows live writer blog post no.1. I’ve just connected my blog to Windows Live Writer, a desktop application which allows you to write & posts from the comfort of your PC’s desktop. I’ve experienced problems writing and editing posts at times when my Internet connection is unreliable so I hope this little app will solve some of those problems and make it easier to work on drafts and stuff like that.
The cool thing about this little app is it plug into your blog software’s API and allows you to create posts while viewing your post styles. You can upload pictures and add them to your post. It’s got a nice spell checker for spelling baddies like myself and makes writing a post extremely quick and easy.
Just adding the above image into the post was an awesome experience, I mean I selected insert, styled it, sized it all in a few seconds and usually this takes a while in WordPress while you’re online especially if, like myself, you’re dealing with South African Internet speeds. I’m hoping when I publish this is runs smoothly and uploads the image effortlessly. It’s also much easier to see exactly how your posts are shaping up without having to click view or switch between code preview mode inside of WordPress.
This nifty little tool also allows you to add post specific styling, inserting videos, tables, maps and even allows for adding plugins. I think that’ll be my next test of it’s power. One thing I notice is that it does not include an extended editor which I have become used to for adding text colour and for editing & including some extra elements.
The spell checker rocks, it clearly displays misspelled words(which litter my post drafts) in a way you just can’t ignore and makes fixing them up so quick & easy. I’m loving the speed of it all. For someone like myself who’s always writing my blog posts at 100 miles per hour it’s a real breathe of fresh air.
Next Comes Xampp
Xampp makes setting up a local copy of your WordPress or other database powered website very simple. I’m no hardcore developer so setting up of databases and installing MySQL & Apache are things I don’t want to be wasting my time with. I’m working towards developing a few of my very own WordPress themes in the near future and needed to way to play around with a few things without needing to upload & test every 5 seconds. Bandwidth is expensive this far South in Africa.
So now I have my very own WordPress running locally and I’m itching for a moment to get stuck into it. One thing which really helps with running a local copy of WordPress through Xampp is that you can just throw a ton of plugins & themes into their respective directories for testing purposes which saves a huge amount of time & bandwidth, 2 things I’m very much lacking of late.
Xampp also makes it possible to load an installation of WordPress onto a flash stick if you like, I haven’t tried it out seeing that my laptop only has 2 USB ports which are usually occupied by my mouse & my USB modem so it wouldn’t be practical for me right now. It would be nice to be able to install an entire operating system onto a flash drive complete with software etc so that one could just plug in to any PC and get going without needing to install fonts, software or change any settings.
Just found a Free version of Camtasia Studio 3.1.3
Camtasia allows you to create screencasts (a video of your desktop activities) which are used widely to develop online video tutorials. I downloaded a video. Darren Straight’s Blog has the little step by step instructions needed to get hold of a free copy of the app.
I always wanted to create a simple video of my design process, maybe something I could even give to my clients to show to work in progress or who the journey from start to finish. Something kind of like the Dove real beauty video but on the desktop of course.
one-nomad now on Skype
Ok ok, I know I might be a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to certain technologies but be kind. I’ve mainly used MSN to chat and do the odd video calling. I’m so happy to have finally made the transition to Skype though. The chatting facility is no better than MSN but with the cost of calls nowadays I can definitely do with something like Skype for calls. My Web Guru Spotlights are in need of the ever popular podcast edge, and I hope the next one I do will be available in this format for your listening pleasure. I’m not so sure how well my Capetonian accent will fair with the foreigners out there but we’ll see how that goes. My Skype id is one-nomad.
There’s a ton of tools out there to make what we do as bloggers & knowledge workers much easier, more fun, more efficient and a whole lot cooler. If you have come across any cool tools you’d like to share with me post a comment and tell me all about it. I’m a sucker for all kinds of online gadgetry.