Windows Live Writer

Ok I know that I said I was going to ditch Windows in one of my very first articles on the new look Total Reach, but the truth is no matter how hard I try I just can’t get away from the giant operating system.

Why I hear you ask well if you want the honest answer its my hardware it doesn’t seem to play ball to well with the latest crop of any operating system, Windows included however that being said Windows seems to have the most success overall. 

Now come to terms with the loss of Linux and back on the Windows Platform I started looking around for free software, that could make my life easier and maybe more interesting I stumbled across Windows Live Writer.

Windows Live Writer is just a version of Microsoft Word from what I can see that is aimed specifically for blogging, which in truth seems pretty good to me.  While considering this application I was sat there thinking its Microsoft they are bound to make it so you can only use a specific platform of their choice and to my amazement I was wrong.  It supports WordPress and Blogger just to name the two main ones along with ways of using it with other platforms.

I really like it as it gives you a place where you can put your blogs together locally and then publish them as and when you want, which is a great feature especially when you get inspiration and don’t have an internet connect.  However I am not going to lie although it has a great range of features, and gives you the ability to add pictures with effects little things like that it doesn’t do anything that your blogging platform could achieve.

I will say that I will be using it from now on because I like to be able to work on my articles and re read them before I publish them to try an reduce the risk of spelling mistakes.  Unlike this one because it is one just to test out the program.  However the only other advantages of using it other something like WordPress on its on is the way it handles media.

Internet Explorer 9 Released: Will you be using it?

Microsoft tend to take slightly longer to release browsers than others in the market. So when they release a new version of its offering for the web browsing market it is always looked upon as a huge event, not only because of its slightly longer time to release it but also because it tends to come with its flagship product Windows.

Internet Explorer has unfortunately for Microsoft has had the reputation for being one of the slowest and insecure browser in the browser wars.  Has it warranted this reputation back in Internet Explorer 6 days the answer would be yes but the latest versions have both made significant improvements in this  and could even be better then the other browsers with their newest offering.  They have added privacy protection that is disabled by default but when enabled it blocks anything on the its list that is considered to be tracking what you are doing and where you are going on the internet.

The biggest selling point for Internet Explorer 9 is the fact that it is quicker than others on the market at the moment and gives you the ability to use HTML 5 along with hardware acceleration.

What does this all mean though?

Web Developers – Will not need to worry about whether their creations will be able to work on all browsers as all of them will be supporting HTML 5 soon and means that you will not get the problem that you’ve had before where you viewed the page in one browser and it didn’t display right but it did in another.  Also hardware acceleration as part of the browser means that they can make more graphic intense content without worrying about how jolty it will be because the browser will be using the graphics card in the machine directly.

Web Users – For web users it doesn’t necessarily mean anything will change for them, to a certain degree because it all depends on the content is produced that they want to see.  That being said if the latest crop of web browsers all work to HTML 5 then they won’t have to worry about what browser they are using because the sites will all display and work correctly for them.

After playing around with Internet Explorer 9 briefly in Windows 7 I didn’t really see a speed increase on Opera or Chrome on general surfing.  The only feature I did like was the privacy blocker as no other browser does seem to offer such a feature, without manually accepting cookies.  So on reflection I won’t be moving back to Internet Explorer just because I am now more comfortable in other browsers however I do feel that it is really a step in the right direction for the browser.

There is one point I would like to stress although some browsers are missing features or have extra features, in my opinion it is all down to personal preference rather then which one is actually better as they have all got really competitive to have a piece of the pie

WicketPixie Theme Review

WicketPixie theme for WordPress is developed by Chris Pirillo.  I don’t normally review themes as they don’t really hold much to review being the fact they are normally just the design.  This theme however is so much more with plug-ins integrated into it and allows you to start making your blog more then a blog out of the box.

The major factor for me was the way I was able to easily integrate my twitter stream into the top of the home page, then to give it its own page so that my possible readers can spy on me and know exactly what I actually do with my day,  giving it that bit of extra personal connection with the audience.  The second big thing for me was the use of Google Ads already preconfigured was great all you need to do is go into your ad-sense and make the ads to the relevant size and type and paste the code for the areas of the template you want to have ads.

The other features that the template also holds is to embed a Ustream Account so that you can have a live video feed going and it will be displayed on your blog.  The other major features are the ability to configure the blog to display your Youtube videos and Flickr Photos, it will display them below posts and on the page displaying random ones every time it is loaded.

Although I really like this theme, some of the plug-ins need to be activated in the plug-ins manager for WicketPixie and need to be installed in the plug-ins section, this is a minor hassle but one that can be rectified really quite easily.  The only real problem I had was configuring the Google Custom Search for my ads and I have opted not to bother with it.

Overall I am very happy and will continue to use and donate towards the development of this template.