Sunday, May 18, 2008

Selling Out?

It's possibly been well documented in the past that I am not the world's biggest fan of Microsoft. I've not followed the extreme trends of some (I didn't write this webpage using vi, for example) but even so, I'm definitely more Firefox than Internet Explorer and more Gmail than Hotmail. I've always been pro Open Source and I do really like Linux. If there was a quick and painless way of running Linux on a Tablet PC I'd be tempted, but needs must and I'm happy with XP for now.

However, I've just discovered Microsoft's Windows Live Writer, and against my principles I'm giving it a go. You may have noticed that I've been quite quiet in recent months, and one (just one) reason for that is simply that I've become a bit disenfranchised with the Blogger user interface. For a start, I've found the site to be painfully slow recently, to the extent that writing new posts and adding comments to old ones has become quite a chore. Besides, if I'm using a computer without an Internet Connection, penning my thoughts for later is always a bit of a faff.

Last week I bought a computer magazine which talked about Live Writer, and I have succumbed to the temptation to try it. It promises a better user interface than the web-based Blogger one, and it promises to allow me to work offline. Of course, I did Google for alternatives before I went ahead and installed it, but to no avail. So, here I am using Live Writer. It's already got a big black mark for not allowing me to zoom in on the text as I write; for want of a better word, I do have a visual impairment and it's not comfortable for me to type with text this small. In this day and age the lack of zoom is pretty poor to say the least, especially given that Microsoft clearly know how to use the technology; if and when I use Word I can zoom to my heart's content.

So, maybe I've just proven to myself why I don't like Microsoft. But even so, I'm going to continue this experiment for a short while. If you can read this, it's been moderately successful, though I shall be on the hunt for alternatives until Microsoft get their A in to G and provide me with some zoom.


alasdair said...

Hi James,

I don't know what version of word you run, but 2007 lets you publish to blogger. That would solve the zooming problem. I've experimented with posting to wordpress before, and it worked pretty well.

If you're running an older copy of Word, you could try the blogger for word plugin

alasdair said...

Ignore the last part of that comment. I don't think blogger for word works anymore.

alasdair said...

One other suggestion: write your posts in outlook/thunderbird/etc, then email it to blogger