Windows Live Writer (Beta) – Testing 123

I downloaded and have been trying out the beta for Windows Live Writer.  I have to say it’s pretty neat and I think I will continue to use it for a while.  In fact since I have switched my blog platform to WordPress, I really have not been enjoying the editing experience.  Maybe that is why I haven’t been posting…sorry lame excuse. 

I have also been testing out the blogging capabilities of Word and have to say I like that as well.  Eventually I will pick a favorite and roll with it I guess.  Anyone else have suggestions on good client tools for blogging?  It would probably make sense for me to use an Office app since that is what I have open 90% of the time.

All this beta software…

I have been struggling with maintaining a reasonably stable working environment over the past month and have officially resigned to a dual boot system running WinXP, Office2003, IE6, with absolutely no beta software and Vista, Office 2007, IE7 (obviously) and fun applications like this that I download on a whim. 

I enjoy working in the Beta environment more from a UI and functionality perspective.  But it does have it’s performance set backs when something decides to crash and I have no idea which beta app is causing it.  Originally the non-beta environment was for work and the beta was for home.  However ironically now-a-days we seem to be doing more SharePoint and InfoPath 2007 related work so I find myself switching around a lot.  Good complaint really as I am so uber pumped on the new platform and all its goodness.

OK final comment that I have to share…I just used spellcheck and it works nicely except “SharePoint” was detected as spelled incorrectly and “harpoon” was offered as a suggestion.  InfoPath triggered “Infonaut” as an alternative.  Very interesting!!

The Promise

When you are in a relationship with someone for a long time (like 8 or 9 years), then sometimes you have to make promises to the other person to ensure you hold up your part of the bargain related to a certain task.

So as a result I found myself making a promise to Shane tonight that I am hoping I can keep up.  I have to make 1 post a day on my blog for the next 3 weeks.  Yep that’s it.  Geek relationships are funny aren’t they.  But I’ve slacked off on blogging lately and since I guilted him into starting a couple of years back – it’s only right that he give me a kick in the butt when I slack off. 

Usually when I stop posting for a while it is hard for me to get back into the swing of things but once I start up again I can’t stop.  Given that there is so much stuff in this little head of mine these days related to SharePoint, InfoPath and all other beta goodness – it’s about time I start to share.

So starting tomorrow (I guess this counts tho too eh?) I will pick back up on my posting and I have promised not to stop for another 3 weeks.  Wish me luck!  :-)

Happy Birthday Arnold x 2

February 1st is a very special day for our family since it is the birth date of my older brother, Arnold as well as his son, Arnold. We got together on Saturday for a most awesome birthday party and it was a blast. So Happy Birthday to both of them.

January was a slow month for blogging due to an incredibly hectic travel and work schedule – hopefully February will be much better. Isn’t it ironic that the more cool stuff you have on the go…the less able to write about it you are. Hopefully the drought will end soon. :-)

Welcome Back Comments

Well after several months of having a broken / hi-jacked weblog with respect to comments…I finally am able to reenable them again. I am in Toronto this week for a consulting gig so I figured my evenings would be best spent catching up on the many technical maintenace items on my to-do list. Last night I did a complete reinstall of movabletype on my server and successfully eliminated the thousands of spam comments that had infected my weblog in the first place.

So I have reenabled comments for now. This new release of Movabletype is supposed to deal with comment spam better so we will have to wait and see.

Now that I am blogging again maybe I will be able to keep up with Shane who has turned out to be the prolific blogger that I always knew he would be. He has been posting quite a bit lately which is something I am happy to see. It helps improve our household blogging rate for the times when I tend to be a little slack on the job. :-)

RSS Aggregators

Wow thanks guys for all of you who took a moment to let me know what you think regarding the best aggregators on the market right now. Some suggestions I have received so far include:

FeedDemon
Bloglines
RSSBandit
Omea Pro
Attensa
Pluck

So I guess I have a bit of testing to do. Both FeedDemon and Bloglines come highly recommended as they were the most popular suggestions by far that I received from those who emailed in past 24 hours. But I want to work my way down the list and try them all.

Once I get through the list I will report back on how my experience went. It might take some mind shifting for me to get used to a web based aggregator although part of me feels that might be exactly what I need.

Also I have to give credit to Newsgator for following up with me within 24 hours on the trouble I reported that I was having with their product on my blog. Nice to see they are keeping that close a watch on the pulse of the community. I respect that. I also didn’t realize they had purchased FeedDemon until some others told me about it. Perhaps I need to pay closer attention to what is going on. :)

Thanks again everyone! With my comments disabled I was after forgetting about how great a conversation can be through a weblog.

RSS Aggregators

So what is everyone using as their RSS Aggregator of choice these days? I have am officially fed up with Newsgator due to some performance issues that seem to be bugging me more and more everyday. I was a major fan of the application for the past couple of years but it is just too much of a hog for me lately. I loved the Outlook integration due to the fact I was able to forward posts easily and utilize the Search Folder functionality in Outlook to track my favorite topics. But it’s time for a change so I am looking for some suggestions from the experts. Let me know! My comments are disabled due to spam so just drop me a line please.

Summertime…

And the blogging is boooooring! From my blog anyhow. Between a couple of exciting projects at work, lots of community related stuff with INETA & SharePoint and what appears to be the first signs of summer here in Paradise (only by name) – I am having a very hard time keeping up with regular posts. Forgive me.

Luckily others are on the ball such as Bil Simser with his initative for collecting site and list templates as well as allowing people to view the templates released by Microsoft a couple of weeks ago. Bil always impresses me with his attitude towards community involvement.

Tariq has started blogging more too. Tariq is the ultimate SharePoint contact aggregator. His weekly msn chats where he invites all of us to meet and greet have become a favorite of mine – even when I’m too busy to talk, the lurking is fun. Yesterday Tariq brought along Andrew Connell and Heather Solomon to meet everyone. I have been following their blogs for a while but it was nice to finally connect “in person” (So to speak).

Shane has even revived from his hiatus and is punching away on another segment of his SharePoint design tutorial on creating SharePoint templates. The start of a lot of great things to come from him. If you need templates, themes and site definition advice, I assure you he is the man. He did the design and construction of our SharePoint Nation site for the virtual user group. Maybe if I am nice he will let me post some screencaps.

Jan Tielens appears from a brief disappearance in an Officezealot podcast on SharePoint. I haven’t actually checked this out yet but I am looking forward to it.

Also remember if you are looking for a good list of SharePoint bloggers, be sure to check out Mark’s list here. It rules! He even has an opml that you can download and import directly to your aggregator.