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ggreig: (Default)

This evening I’ve become a reluctant mover to Dreamwidth. I’ve been with LiveJournal since 2004, have had a permanent account for most of that time, and have not previously set up an account with Dreamwidth; but the effect of the recent LiveJournal licence changes on LGBT users is not something I can support. I’m still in the process of configuring stuff, and my LJ entries haven’t even been imported into DW yet, so I’m not sure precisely how things are going to work out and whether my LiveJournal will stay and be cross-posted to. The logic of “taking a stand” suggests that it should go, but I’ll have to wait and see what the practicalities are before making a final decision. This post itself is a bit of a test to see how things work.

I don’t seem to be alone in taking this decision now.

My new account is at http://ggreig.dreamwidth.org/. In the short term I intend that content will be cross-posted to LiveJournal, but that may end at some point.

ggreig: (Dark Wizard)

Download Open Live WriterWhen I first started blogging, I used LiveJournal’s own facilities to edit my posts, but for many years now, I’ve used Windows Live Writer instead – a program created by Microsoft as part of their Live Essentials suite that just makes editing blog posts much easier, and allows me to save drafts offline before posting, as I tend to be a slow, careful writer. The single most useful thing it does is make posting pictures easy, but there are quite a number of things it just makes easier in greater or lesser ways.

However, it hasn’t been updated since 2012, when Microsoft indicated they weren’t going to develop it any further. That’s kind of OK – as a free app, it wasn’t directly making Microsoft any money so it’s difficult to complain if they decide it’s no longer worth it.

It was really disappointing, though, to think that some day I might not be able to use such a useful program because it just got left behind.

I wasn’t alone in thinking that, and people both inside and outside Microsoft campaigned to have it open-sourced, so that its development and maintenance could be picked up by enthusiasts.

Today Scott Hanselman announced that Live Writer has been open sourced, and you can download Open Live Writer immediately. It’s currently a little less capable than the old version, mainly because of third-party licensing reasons, but I expect replacement functionality will be on its way (some is definitely already planned), and that in time Open Live Writer will be an even better solution than Windows Live Writer has already been.

If you’re a blogger on Windows and don’t use it already, I’d recommend checking it out. If you’re already a Windows Live Writer user, it’s good to know there’s a new future for the application.

If you’re a developer and want to contribute, you can subscribe to the mailing list and explore it on GitHub. Scott Hanselman’s article is a good introduction.

Postscript: of course, having said that the single most useful thing it does is make posting pictures easy, Open Live Writer failed to do so for this post. Still, the original Windows Live Writer still works, I’ve filed a bug, and I’m sure it’ll get sorted out in due course.


Post-postscript: as a result of my bug report, it's already been found and fixed in development in a little over an hour, so shouldn't be too long before it's fixed in an actual release.

Decade

Feb. 14th, 2014 11:52 pm
ggreig: (Western gentleman)

Mugshots a decade apartToday marks my (first?) decade on LiveJournal. Quite a few of the people who may read this will have been here a bit longer than that, but I thought it was worth marking anyway. It’s over two decades now since I set up my first web presence – a links site for Doctor Who, also called the Temporal Nexus. (There was a gap of several years in between.) The web’s been around so long now that people have grown up with it, and kids who weren’t around when I started this blog are now learning to code!

I originally set this blog up with the intention of writing more about software development, as we were starting on a significant project at the time. As it turned out, there wasn’t as much to write about on that front as I’d hoped, so I’ve touched on a variety of other things over the years. Hopefully they’ve mostly been of some interest!

LiveJournal’s popularity has dropped over the years, but I’m still here for two main reasons. I like to read blog entries of a decent size; and my friends are here. I don’t do Twitter much (though I am there @ggreig) because how much can you really say that’s worth saying in 140 characters? And I don’t do Facebook at all because I disapprove of their utter lack of concern for personal privacy; not so much for my own sake as for the way I feel they’re exploiting people’s ignorance. I’m sure my personal boycott’ll be bringing them to their knees any day now! LiveJournal has its limitations, but it’s good enough for me.

So if you’ve read me for all ten years, or for nearly as long – as I think most of you have – thank you. And if we’ve not been friends for quite that long, thanks to you too, for making me think I might have the occasional thing to say worth hearing!

Look forward to hearing you all from time to time, and hope you still enjoy hearing from me.

Cheers,
Gavin.

ggreig: (Default)
I've replaced my default icon with a new mugshot, as I realised that the old one, which was fairly recent when I joined LiveJournal in 2004, is now six years old.

This one was taken in January this year.

Five Years

Feb. 15th, 2009 08:13 pm
ggreig: (Blockhead)

As of yesterday, I’ve been blogging on LiveJournal for five years.

My original motivation for signing up was to comment with a name on real world friends’ blogs, like [livejournal.com profile] qidane's and [livejournal.com profile] tobyaw's. I can still do that, but it turns out I've acquired some friends I've never met too, and it's just as nice to hear how they're doing.

I figured I might as well try to make something of it by writing the odd entry too. Five years on, despite a few quiet spells, I've written 275 journal entries (including this one) and while I'm far from being the most prolific of my friends, I'm quite pleased to have reached that many. I intended to write more about software development than I have in practice, but it's probably a relief to most that I haven't!

Although I haven’t checked to be sure, I think I also figured at the time that I bought permanent membership that the five year mark was when it would have paid for itself; so from here on out my blogging on LiveJournal is effectively free. At the time I wasn't sure that I'd keep it up for that long, but it looks like I have.

I look forward to continuing to read you all in future, and thanks for putting up with reading me. I hope you'll continue to do so.

Cheers,
Gavin.

ggreig: (Robot Maria)
I'd like to know what this analysis is based on:

Automated personality analysis of this blog )

So what does the writer of the analyser think makes a blog "interesting"? And why do I get an ego boost from something so patently meaningless? :-)
ggreig: (Blockhead)
I've just discovered that the boss of the company I work for has been keeping a blog for a couple of months. I've syndicated it on LiveJournal as [livejournal.com profile] andylothian for anyone who uses their friends page as their feed aggregator and wants to follow it.

As a software developer, I'm not always as engaged in what Insights actually does as the people at the pointy end of the company are, but I am impressed with Andy's blog, which seems well-targetted and readable, and is a good step towards building a genuine public community for Insights online.

If you like reading the odd motivational story or snippet, these are short, well-written and thoughtful ones, and not too frequent. If you don't, you now know what to avoid! It's not the sort of thing I usually subscribe to, but I have an obvious interest in this one.
ggreig: (Robot Maria)

I've restructured my preceding journal entry, an account of a visit to the Bell Pettigrew Museum, as an . hReview is a  that is appropriate for reviews, and (with very slight modifications) I was able to use an online tool to make the changes: the hReview creator.

More about microformats... )
ggreig: (Blockhead)

It's far too early to say whether a Tayside Technology Forum will be a success, but here's wishing it luck. Have a look if you're involved in computing in the Tayside region.

This post written using Windows Live Writer (first brought to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] scottymcleod, though it's now generating comment all over the place).

Windows Live Writer seems like quite a nice client, although of course it doesn't support any Livejournal-specific functionality - yet. There's a plugin architecture and an SDK, so those features will probably appear in time.

ggreig: (Blockhead)
Billie Piper is to play Sally Lockhart, in a BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart books, which I reviewed last year.
ggreig: (Blockhead)
Sometimes this blog goes quiet for a bit, but the last couple of months have been more quiet than most, as I've been a bit busy; not with anything big and important, it's just that generally there's been a lot to do and I haven't had the time to spare for blogging.

More... )

Interests

Sep. 21st, 2005 10:03 pm
ggreig: (Saint George)
I'm not usually a propagator of memes, but this one, found by [livejournal.com profile] sharikkamur, is a bit different. It gave me an excuse to say a little about a selection of my interests and I thought the ones it picked included some that could do with an airing. I hope some of these are also of interest to you:

Interested? )

Tags

Jun. 17th, 2005 11:18 pm
ggreig: (Rune)
I've just gone through all my old entries and added tags to them. Although tags don't appear to be really useful yet - for example, there doesn't seem to be a way to list another user's tags that I have access to, and there's no RSS feed associated with tags - I'm hopeful that the promised improvements will make them well worthwhile. The previous lack of some categorisation feature of this sort is something that has bugged me about LiveJournal, so it's nice to see a step in the right direction.

Having categorised all 111 posts (not counting this one), the breakdown was as follows:
Table o' Tags )
ggreig: (Technical Support)
I passed one of those less pleasant milestones this morning, when I got my first comment spam; posted to an entry from just over a year ago. Maybe I've been lucky in not receiving any before now?

With LiveJournal's screening, I was able to delete it before it ever went live, and was pleased to note that there's a check box to mark the deletion as being spam. I presume this will help with IP blocking to prevent more.

1

Feb. 14th, 2005 09:44 pm
ggreig: (Moustache)
This blog is one year old, as I created my second entry (both of them) on 14th February 2004. Since then, I have posted 81 times, which is more than I would have expected, and acquired two readers I've never met. Thanks everyone for reading, but special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] huskyteer and [livejournal.com profile] ffutures for the ego-boost! Honourable mention goes to [livejournal.com profile] vilebody, whom I have met but only briefly.

I haven't been opinionated much this year yet, but if all goes according to plan I'll let you know what I think of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart books - tales of Victorian villainy - in the not-too-distant future. I've read two-and-a-half of them over the last week, and the fourth awaits.

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