webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: June 2007

Sites for 30-Jun-2007

Phew, three days in a row that webDotWiz has put up his sites of the day:

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webDotWiz Online 28-Jun-2007 column now online

webDotWiz’s online column for 28-Jun-2007 (published in Rushworth’s Waranga News fortnightly volunteer newspaper) is now available.

Topics this fortnight are The Knowledge Economy and some news about Windows services except Windows Live Folders and Windows Live Photo Gallery which were announced after the column was written.

Among the sites mentioned in this week’s column are:

You’ll find all sites on this week’s sites page.

Sites for 29-Jun-2007

Here are the sites that webDotWiz came across today.

By the way, webDotWiz is subscribed to a number of blogs (some from Microsoft employees, others he’s come across as being recommended by others) so these sites often lead to other sites which lead to other sites, and so on, and provide a good source of interesting reads on the Internet.

Finally, webDotWiz uses the RSS feed reader that’s part of Windows Live Mail (currently in trial mode) to receive updates to the sites he’s subscribed to. He uses the subscribe button (that orange one) on the Internet Explorer 7 menu bar to subscribe to a feed and has set Windows Live Mail to do its thing every four hours (this setting is available under Manage Feeds in Windows Live Mail) and go round to see which sites are updated.

Anyway, today’s sites:

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Windows Live Folders and Windows Live Photo Gallery being trialled

Via Liveside and the Windows Live Folders team blog:

Microsoft have announced that Windows Live Folders (folders.live.com) and Windows Live Photo Gallery have begun limited trialling (i.e., trial users are limited to the U.S. at the moment or have received invitations).

Windows Live Folders will give each Windows Live ID user 500 megabytes of space online in which to store documents, pictures and music, for no charge. See the Live Folders more info page.

Note that down the bottom of this page is a Get started button which will take you to the normal Live ID sign-in page. Although the press release says Live Folders is in a managed beta release, somehow or other webDotWiz managed to sign in and start using Live Folders with another of his Live IDs on a computer connected to a different Internet service provider than his home computer. Anyway, give it a go and see if you get in and you can start uploading documents, photos or your own music you want to backup or share.

Windows Live Photo Gallery is not only a service (e.g., uploading photos to albums on Live Spaces) but also is a program that replaces the Vista Photo Gallery and which will also run on Windows XP (with Service Pack 2).

Here’s a few new features in Live Photo Gallery (as compared to Vista Photo Gallery):

  • Improved image editing features like Panoramic stitch, histogram, and sharpen image.
  • Improved tagging and organization including the ability to quickly sort by name, file type, tag or date.
  • Publish photos directly to your photo galleries on Windows Live Spaces.
  • Auto event grouping and tagging when importing photos (and video) from your camera to PC.
  • Improved Photo Import Tool.

(sourced here).

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read through Brandon LeBlanc’s post on the Windows Experience Blog to check the changes and planned features along with some good screenshots for Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Sites for 28-Jun-2007

Each day webDotWiz gathers a few sites and puts them in his list which is eventually published in his webDotWiz Online column at the same time as the local Rushworth volunteer newspaper, The Waranga News, is published each fortnight.

He just had a bright idea  and should be publishing the sites here every few days so his readers aren’t kept in suspense for a whole fortnight waiting to see what he’s found.

So here’s today’s list:

Outlook users – get access to your Live Hotmail using Outlook Connector

Outlook users (both 2003 and 2007 versions) can now access their Windows Live Hotmail account(s), whether free or paid, from within Outlook using the Outlook Connector.

Outlook Connector (currently in trial form) can be downloaded from here.

Windows Live Hotmail free users get access to email, folders and contacts from within Outlook. Premium Hotmail users also get access to their Windows Live Calendar from within Outlook.

For lots of help, see Use a Windows Live Hotmail account in Outlook at Microsoft Office Online.

Via the Windows Live Hotmail team Space.

Windows Live Messenger add-ons – visit the Live Gallery

Via Bink and The Gallery King:

You now can easily get all the emoticons, display pictures, winks, backgrounds, activities and agents you want from the Live Messenger section of Windows Live Gallery at http://gallery.live.com/messenger.


Agents? Yes, help is at hand. Need a secretary? Get your own personal secretary to help you organise, do some calculations, keep notes, send emails and do translations.

Irfanview – some hints for using the File menu

Irfanview (you can download it from www.irfanview.com for no charge) is a great little graphics program and it’s especially useful for resizing and cropping photos without a lot of fuss.

However Irfanview doesn’t use the in-built File controls (Open, Save, etc.) that we’ve become accustomed to in Microsoft Office and other applications (such as Paint.NET) so here are some tips, along with screenshots, that will ease any pain you feel when using Irfanview to open and save your valuable photos after some editing tasks.

So we’ve started Irfanview, clicked on File, then Open, and we see something like this:


You can see that Irfanview has opened the last folder that was used, namely a folder named Train Simulator. However, we want to work on a photo that’s in a sub-folder under the My Pictures folder.

If we were using a program such as Paint.NET, that’d be easy because we could use the quick links in the Open dialogue box to open My Documents then click on My Pictures. In Paint.NET (and other programs) we’d see this, with the quick links down the left-hand side of the dialogue box:


Anyway, Irfanview doesn’t have the quick links in its File dialogue boxes so we have to firstly find My Documents and then we’ll be able to get to My Pictures because it’s a sub-folder under My Documents.

So let’s click the arrow on the drop-down list to see what folders we can get to:


And when we click, we see that the My Documents folder is at the top of the list of folders so let’s click that and see where we end up:


Now we can get to our My Pictures folder and the photo we’re looking for will be in one of the sub-folders you’ve organised your photos to be stored in.

When using Save As… on the File menu in Irfanview, you may need to use the same steps to get to the folder in which you want to store a photo after you’ve some some editing.

If you’re getting lost in the folders, remember that My Documents is the over-arching folder which contains sub-folders such as My MusicMy Pictures and My Videos. In each of these, you should have sub-folders created in which you store your photos and videos, e.g., by month and year or by topics. So you could have sub-folders of your photos from your overseas trip in sub-folders named Tahiti, California, Alaska, New Zealand, and so on,  inside My Pictures.

Finally, if you’re being frustrated with Irfanview’s File menu, switch over to Paint.NET to do your resizing, cropping and other photo tasks.

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webDotWiz Online latest column – 14-Jun-2007

The latest webDotWiz column (for 14-Jun-2007) is now online.

The staff (well, ahem, you-know-who) hasn’t put this week’s site links into their respective pages but you can browse through them all on the Recent Sites Added page.

Here are a few selected sites that are in this week’s list:

  • Best ways to buy music online: www.microsoft.com/athome/morefun/onlinemusic.mspx
  • Boosting your line sync ADSL: blogs.technet.com/mkleef/
  • Change This: www.changethis.com
  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: www.ceop.gov.uk
  • Clearing Your Inbox: blogs.msdn.com/jmeier/
  • Cool Cat Teacher Blog: coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
  • Developing the Future: www.microsoft.com/uk/developingthefuture/
  • Developing the Future – The Knowledge Economy: www.sixtysecondview.com
  • Difficulties with Word 2007 mathematics? Solved: blogs.msdn.com/murrays/
  • Eyes on Darfur: www.eyesondarfur.com
  • Fingerjig Typing Game: www.jonmiles.co.uk/fingerjig.php
  • FITT – Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications: www.fitt.org.au
  • Flight Simulator X SP1 – Set AI at 80% Max : blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/
  • Games Programming, 2D, 3D, Visual C#: www.microsoft.com/events/series/msdnvisualcsharp.mspx
  • How To Survive The Worst PC Disasters: tech.msn.com/howto/
  • How to use the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner: www.microsoft.com/protect/
  • Live Search Books – Now with In-Copyright Content: blogs.msdn.com/livesearch/
  • LOLCODE – the latest programming language: blogs.msdn.com/tysond/
  • Microsoft Aerospace & Aviation Team Blog: blogs.msdn.com/aerospace/
  • Microsoft Surface Computing – Implications for the healthcare industry: blogs.msdn.com/healthblog/
  • Microsoft Surface Homepage: www.microsoft.com/surface/
  • Top 5 games to play with your kids: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18947415/
  • Windows Live Hotmail – Fighting Junk E-Mail: postmaster.live.com/FightingJunk.aspx
  • Full the complete list, see here.

    Live Space button on Messenger takes you to your Space homepage

    When you now click the button on Windows Live Messenger to Go to your Space,


    so as to keep in touch with your friends, you’re taken to your Space’s homepage to see when your friends have updated their Space, if you have any messages and check for any comments left by visitors to your Space.