Saturday, August 19, 2006

Free forever

LiveWriter OnScreen is free. Free as in free beer, not as in freedom.

Its free today, free tomorrow and free forever.

You need to install LiveWriter before you install LiveWriter OnScreen.

see the help for details.


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Seamless snip and blog

 The default user experience for LiveWriter-OnScreen is  "Snip and Blog"(a phrase from my design notes). 

I insist on using a free photo-sharing site to save my screen snips so Snip and Blog would only make sense if I could upload my screen snips somewhere free. That's why we do the flickr upload. You can also insert the screen snip without uploading to flickr, but then you'll need to have an FTP server set up to upload images.

I am especially happy with the "Blog item from my feeds" feature which was never in the initial design, but just made sense.

Having an onscreen mode lets me blog like I do email, all the time. (saves a few clicks too)

The two features that I really wanted were "Snip and Blog" and "Blog my feeds". All the other features were either easy or side-effects.


Visit the help for more information


The LiveWriter team is working on an "Insert Screen snip" plugin (mentioned in LiveSide with J.J. Allaire)

LiveWriter-OnScreen Help

Use any of the links below to view a specific help topic:

  • Download and Installation
  • Blog image from file or web
  • Screen snips on flickr
  • Screen Snip editor: How-to
  • Snip and blog: How-to
  • Yes you need a flickr account
  • Built-in Feeds viewer


    The main screen. LiveWriter-OnScreen runs in normal mode (as shown below) and tray mode (minimized to the system tray). image


     Click on the little camera icon to snip your screen.



    After you clip your screen the Screen snip editor is displayed as below.

    view large size

    You can then :

    • upload to flickr, and then insert the screen snip in a writer post
    • insert the screen snip in a writer post (the snip is saved locally)
    • save the screen snip
    • print the screen snip
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  • Download and Installation


    The requirements for LiveWriter Onscreen are:

    Download location

    You can download the installer from here



    1. download the installer from here .
    2.  save the installer file on your computer. The installer file name is  SetupLiveWriterOnscreen.msi
    3. double-click on the installer file and follow the instructions.
    4. You get to choose where you want to install LiveWriter OnScreen.
    5. After the install a shortcut will be added to your desktop and your programs menu.

    You can also install by clicking on SetupLiveWriterOnscreen.msi , and running the installer without saving it to your computer.

    If you do not have IE7 installed, the installer will tell you that it cannot register 2 DLLs, ieframe.dll and msfeeds.dll. Click continue and complete the install. Everything should work ok. The only functionality that might not be available is the "blog item from my feeds".

    LiveWriter OnScreen wiki

     check out the LiveWriter OnScreen wiki for detailed download and installation instructions.

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    Blog image from file or web

     You can use LiveWriter Onscreen to blog an image from the web or from a file.

    Select "Blog image from local file" or  "Blog image from web".

    A dialog window like the one shown below is displayed. Enter the title for the image and comments and click ok. LiveWriter will be launched with the title, comments and selected image inserted into the editor. Now you can blog away.

    These images will be uploaded to your pre-configured FTP server.


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    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Screen snips on flickr

     After you upload your screen snips, you can manage them on flickr.


    *remember that your blog post points to the image at flickr, so don't delete the snips unless you want to delete your post altogether.

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    Screen Snip editor: How-to

     After you clip your screen the Screen snip editor is displayed as below.

    view large size

    You can then :

    • upload to flickr, and then insert the screen snip in a writer post
    • insert the screen snip in a writer post (the snip is saved locally)
    • save the screen snip
    • print the screen snip

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    Snip and blog: How-to

     Click on the little camera icon to snip your screen.



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    Yes you need a flickr account

    You need a flickr account to upload images to flickr.

    Live Writer Onscreen takes your screen snips and uploads them to your flickr account.

    Live Writer Onscreen then uses the web address of your flickr image in your blog post. See below for all the details about images/photos and flickr.

     When you authorize LiveWriter OnScreen, an authorization token is set inside LiveWriter OnScreen. This token is how flickr authenticates your access to your flickr account. You only need to authorize LiveWriter OnScreen once after installation. Because of this interesting authentication scheme used by the flickr API, LiveWriter OnScreen does not require your flickr username and password to upload screen snips to flickr. Very cool.



    How many photos can I upload for free?

    When you have a free Flickr account, you can upload 20MB worth of photos each calendar month. This is a bandwidth limit, and not an amount of space that you have to play with on Flickr servers.

    Your bandwidth allowance is reset to zero at midnight in Pacific Time Zone (Flickr HQ time) on the first of each calendar month.

    Deleting photos will never recover any of your monthly upload limit. To find out what your limit is at for the current month, go to your upload page.

    If you find yourself hitting your limit, you might like to get a Pro account. If that's not for you, you can shoot your photos at a lower resolution or resize them to be more "web-friendly" (like 300KB instead of 5MB).

    see full details at flickr



    Is there a limit on the number of photos I can have?

    No. There is only a limit to how many will display at any one time (the most recent 200 photos in your photostream), and this is only a limit if you have a Free Account.

    If you have Free Account, your upload bandwidth is limited to 20 MB per month. You can see how much bandwidth you've used by going to the upload page.

    If you upgrade to a Pro Account, all the photos you add to Flickr will be permanently available for your friends and family to see.


    Are the limits on file sizes or file types for uploads?

    If you have a free account, each photo you upload must be less than 5MB in size. If you have a pro account, each file must be less than 10MB.

    Flickr officially supports JPEGs, non-animated GIFs and PNGs. You may also upload TIFFs and some other file types, but they will automatically be converted to and stored in JPEG format.

    As you publish photos they are compressed and re-sized by Flickr (if necessary) in the following sizes:

    • 75x75 pixels
    • 100 pixels (on the longest side)
    • 240 pixels
    • 500 pixels
    • Large
    • And the original size (if you hold a pro account)

    You can access all of these sizes for a photo via a link under the photo title labelled 'All Sizes' on its individual page. There's also a link labelled "See different sizes" under the Additional Information heading.

    We also store your high-resolution originals for you if you have a Pro Account, which you (and your friends with Pro Accounts) can download again at anytime. All Pro Account holders can access public photos and download the high-resolution (original) size, unless you specify who has access to the downloadable image.


    Can I access my original images?

    We do resize your photos to more web-friendly dimensions. Each image has a 75x75 pixel thumbnail, a 120 px, a 240 px, a 500 px and a 1024 px version (that's the length of the longest side), as well as your original file.

    When you are viewing an individual photo's page, you will see a link under the photo title labelled 'All Sizes' that links to a page where you can view each of these sizes, and download them if you wish.

    If you have a free account, no-one (including you) can access your original file. If you choose to upgrade to Pro they will become available.

    If you have a pro account, your original files are available for download. There is a global setting in your account where you can specify who you will allow to download originals: Only You, Your Friends and/or Family, Your Contacts, Any Flickr User (Recommended), or Anyone.

    Also, if you have attached any sort of Creative Commons license to your photo, this assumes that you're OK with sharing the photo, and therefore, makes the original available to anyone who wants it.

    Live Writer Onscreen -now live


    Live Writer Onscreen -now live


    This is another test.

    Beta 1 is available, we have a feed too.


    I have been using LW-Onscreen since Tuesday when all the features that I had initially envisioned were ready. Like everyone else I learnt about Live Writer on Sunday from techcrunching Michael Arrington. I am pretty impressed with Live Writer as a blogging tool but even more impressed with the SDK. Its very well done. Simple and easy to use. So far it has exceeded my expectations.

    I am going to run the beta all weekend to test the quality of the default user experiences and then see where we go from there. Feel free to post comments, ask questions or request features in my comments area.


    The Live Writer SDK in a nutshell

    It has 23 types, 5 enumerations and 2 delegates.

    They also provide "a number of helper classes for assistance with common plugin development tasks"

    The SDK is broken down into 2 sub frameworks. One for working with the application (Live Writer) and another for extending the application, the plugin framework.

    • Application API for launching Writer to create new posts or "Blog This" for Links, Snippets, Images, and Feed Items.

    • Content Source Plugins for extending the capabilities of Writer to insert, edit, and publish new types of content.

    Built-in Feeds viewer


    The "Blog an item from My Feeds" feature opens up the built-in Feeds viewer that lets you blog an item from your feeds.

    The Feeds viewer is really a feed reader, optimized for browsing and selection.

    This feature requires IE7.


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    Download and Requirements

    The requirements for LiveWriter Onscreen are:


    download the installer from here.



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    Authorize before use

    Before you can use Live Writer OnScreen, you need to authorize the application to communicate with Flickr's web services. You can do that at any time. Select "Live Writer Onscreen Settings." in the main menu.

    In the settings screen (see below ), click "Authorize" . You should be online when you do this because Live Writer OnScreen opens the Flickr authorization screen. Follow the instructions and then return to the settings screen below and click "Continue". If everything went ok the "Flickr Auth Token" will be set.



    The "Flickr Auth Token" is an authorization code that Flickr uses.


    On successful authorization at Flickr, you will see something like below.

    You have successfully authorized the application LW Onscreen. You should now close this window and return to the application because it needs to perform some additional work to complete the process.

    If you should ever wish to revoke the permissions you have granted to LW Onscreen, simply click the Authentication list link on your account page, which is linked to from the top of every page on

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    Second post

    This post was done from a different computer than the development computer.

    Some features do not work here. To use the "Blog item from My Feeds" feature requires the recently introduced Windows RSS platform. A pre-release of the Windows Feeds API is available in the IE7 beta. So if you do not have IE7, that feature is not available. Everything else should work fine.


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    The main screen



    Live Writer Onscreen main screen.

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    First post with Live Writer OnScreen.

     This is a first post with Live Writer OnScreen.

    seems to work great.

    The brave can download the installer from here.

    There are bugs, I just haven't caught them yet and it runs great on my development box. Now am off to try it on a different box. :)

    About LiveWriter Onscreen

    LiveWriter Onscreen is a Live Writer add-on. Its not a plugin. It's more like a Live Writer powertoy. Thats what this blog is about.

    Feature set:
    -Snip screens and upload to Flickr (and then use them in your blog post)
    -Creates new posts, opens existing posts, Blog local or web images
    -blog your feeds (built in feed viewer lets you blog from your subscriptions)

    The above feature list is not comprehensive. I just finished the first beta and am doing the help as i set up this blog.