Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Microsoft gets their own blogging software

I haven’t been paying attention to this one too much, but I have to admit I am a little intrigued. Some of Microsoft’s latest Internet creations have been a little hit and miss and I’m not sure Microsoft really gets the whole blog thing to be honest. Sure, they have jumped on the bandwagon, but that’s because they want to own it, not necessarily understand it.

But anyway, their LiveWriter program seems to be getting some good reviews lately so I thought I would have a look. The screenshots look pretty impressive. It has a nice UI and claims to work with major blogging sites and apps such as WordPress (which of course I use).

First off the install is very slow and very annoying. It had to upgrade me to the latest version of Instant Messenger. I have no idea why, but it did. And the install was terribly slow. Not the download, the install.

After that 20 minute process it installed LiveWriter. That went pretty quickly and then it installed some other adapter piece. I don’t really like the vagueness of what’s being installed or why it took so long.

With the program installed I tried to get it setup for WordPress. It didn’t detect the server correctly and I had to put in the information manually. I had to use Zoundry to get that data to even finish the install. So far, not impressed.

After getting it installed and configured I got to the main UI, which does look pretty good. It looks like Word with some options to publish and insert across the top and tags and image links on the right side. It looks pretty good, but I have to say I like the layout of Zoundry better. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m so used to this or that I really do like it better. Zoundry has better dropdowns and the buttons are right across the top for inserting images and tags.

The formatting does seem better in LiveWriter with Word like features, spell check, font selection and the ability to download the “theme” so you can preview.

One thing I didn’t like at all that I think has to be changed before this hits the streets – there are no servers listed to Ping. No Technorati, no Google, no Ping-o-Matic, nothing. I know what the servers should be, but what the hell? Why is this blank? I mean egad there should at least be one server in there. You can put whatever list you want in there which is great for expansion, but to ship with nothing is just pure crap.

I haven’t used LiveWriter yet, but so far, I AM NOT IMPRESSED. Good thing it’s still in beta, there is no way this thing is ready for prime time. I hit three major flaws and I didn’t even write anything with it yet. Microsoft better get their act together if they want to be a player in the blogging world. Right now, they have no idea what they’re doing.

If you want to give LiveWriter a try on your own you can download it here:

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Have zoo’s seen a resurgence of visitors?

Have zoo’s seen a resurgence of visitors? As I look at the cover of Popphoto for September, there is a nice, full frame shot of a tiger and the photographers clearly state they shot the big game in the zoo.

With so many digital cameras of various types out there with all sorts of zoom factors and lens sizes are people finding it more enjoyable and entertaining to go the zoos these days?

I’ve had a great time taking my camera with a 70-300mm lens and getting all sorts of close up shots that I’ve never been able to take before. As with all photography, when looking for photos you find more things to photograph. You look more careful at the animals to see what they’re doing, how they’re behaving, what interesting things they could do next. You watch for that meaningful stare or even glance from them which captures what they might be thinking or how their feeling. Or you wait for them to do something tricky or silly. Or better yet, you watch your kids as they stare with excitement or awe at the animals.

By being able to get closer without interfering, I’ve had a lot more fun going to the zoo with a more powerful camera in hand.

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Photography discussion forum

I’ve spending a lot of time on the discussion forums lately, the forum specifically and have found it to be very informative. POTN as it’s called is a wealth of different topics and experience levels. They have macro photography, glamour, motorsports, still life, nature, animals and people. They also have forums for discussing camera, lenses, studio lights and about everything else associated with photography. If you want to get the latest information about lenses, get tips on shooting certain subjects, or see examples of dozens of kinds of different photography, this is the place to go. Just viewing their motorsports forum for a short time has given me so tips and ideas!

Plus they have all manner of skills levels, from the very amateur to the professional shooters. And from the posts I’ve seen, the pros are very willing to help and offer constructive advice. I’ve asked questions and gotten a reply with a few hours. The user base is from all over the world, so you will get to see shots from all over and get advice from every corner.

You could easily spend hours just getting inspiration and learning from all the images. I’ve read some great tips for controlling exposure, panning, lens selection, using flash and all sorts of other things.

It’s a great site with plenty of advice and lots of inspiration.

My personal favorite right now is the motosports forum:

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