Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for the ‘Windows Live’ Category

I installed Windows Live Mesh a while back when it was originally called Live Mesh. Then the Windows Live team decided to add it to their application suite and called it Windows Live Sync. Then they changed its name yet again to Windows Live Mesh. I liked the name Sync more, but I digress.

So now that I had it running on multiple computers at home and at work, I can say that I do recommend the product. It installs fast, lightweight, allows remote access to any added computer, syncs multiple folders seamlessly across multiple computers and it has a nice logo.

I would like to mention that I used to rely on Dropbox before I adopted Windows Live Mesh and I did enjoy it much the same as Mesh, but it lacked a client application control panel and remote PC access that Mesh has built-in out of the box. Also, and more importantly, Mesh gives you 5GB of SkyDrive storage dedicated to Mesh (think of it as your cloud storage space for all your Mesh synced folders) as oppose to 2.25GB that Dropbox offers.

A couple of more features that Mesh offers is the ability to sync your Internet Explorer bookmarks/favorites and Microsoft Office customizations (styles, templates, custom dictionary, email signatures) across multiple computers. I already turned on the IE favorites sync as I use IE on both home and work and getting my latest bookmarks on all my PCs is a huge advantage.

Overall, Windows Live Mesh made file syncing and remote access between my computers a breeze through its intuitive user interface. I definitely recommend it.

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So it’s official. No more Windows Live Spaces. They’re shutting down and moving the service to WordPress. I am actually very delighted to hear that because the Windows Live team did a bad job in keeping the platform up to date and applying the millions of requests their users were submitting. Why a million of requests? Because the blogging module sucked. As a matter of fact, it sucked so bad that I stopped blogging.

I am not going to mention the thousands of issues and annoyances I had with Windows Live Spaces, I am just glad my blog has been moved to WordPress. So, thank you Windows Live for moving my content. It was a fast and easy process which took less than a minute of my time.

It’s always great to read and see all the new changes done to Windows Live services recently but I have to admit that whatever was done on the Windows Live Spaces side isn’t what I hoped for. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly grateful for all the polishing and silver plating that was done on Spaces, but that’s not what it lacked or needed the most (at least in my opinion).

What about more functionality? More features? More options for bloggers? More options under commenting? We still don’t have tagging for blog posts yet on the site? More ‘good looking’ themes? And I am sure other users can come up with many other requests in a heart beat.

I love using my Windows Live Spaces account and I love to blog often on it. But I am missing a lot of blogging options that has been available on other popular and free blogging platforms for a long time now.

When will Windows Live Spaces add extra useful features and, more specifically, update their dated blog module?

Windows Live Tags: live, spaces, update, blog, tagging
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I’ve been trying to access my private picture albums (available only to me) that I created a few days ago on SkyDrive but every time I click on an album it gives me the following error on a totally blank white page:

Error

Windows Live SkyDrive

I wonder if this is a known problem that is related to the last update or is it something only happening to me (which I really doubt). I am not in a rush to access those albums, but I am sure many users out there would be disappointed if they couldn’t access their private albums.

Update: Well, I tried again a few moments later and it seems to be working fine and showing no errors. It could have something to do with IE8 Beta that I am using.

Windows Live Tags: live, skydrive, error, update

 

Technorati Tags: ,,,
I actually thought I would be waiting longer for this MASSIVE update. This is definitely huge. I already took some time and played around with the updated Live Spaces to see what changed and what was added. Just like the screenshots we’ve seen recently on several blogs, the Windows Live Home has been totally revamped. Now, I can certainly make it my homepage since it’s displaying recent updates from my friend’s (plus there is more to it than just that). Windows Live Home can now be my portal to the internet when I first launch Internet Explorer.
It will take some time to get used to the new interfaces and find my way around them but so far I am happy with the experience and I think I noticed an increase in performance as well.
Windows Live Tags: Clubhouse, Windows Live, Update, Story

After several days of thinking out loud with the family we decided to go overseas to visit our relatives in Syria. Being that we are the only ‘Eltawil’ family in Canada, we had no option but to spend an arm and a leg to be with our relatives during the holidays. God, oh please god make it worth every penny!

So, after it’s been confirmed, approved and given the green light, I sparked up my Windows Live Calendar and added in the necessary entries that represents my flight’s itinerary. It would’ve been awesome if my BlackBerry Bold gets the latest changes done to my Windows Live Calendar and syncs it with my BlackBerry’s calendar. But until that dream comes true, I have to enter the dates into my BlackBerry’s calendar manually…again.

Usually whenever I travel anywhere out of town, I will eventually be forced (either by a friend, relative or most likely a family member running after me with a stick) to take a couple of pictures. Those pictures will eventually find their way on my Windows Live Spaces account either by sending them directly from my BlackBerry Bold using the built in camera or by uploading them from my digital camera directly into Spaces using the quick-n-easy upload tool.

Since I like to blog often, I will be updating my Windows Live Spaces blog using (as always) my BlackBerry Bold. Like when I am on the way to the airport, checking in my luggage, waiting for my plane, entering the plane, sitting in the plane and getting yelled at by the flight attendant to shut off my BlackBerry while the plane is taking off. Yeah, somewhere along those lines, I will be definitely blogging about them. Compose email, type it and send it to my blog’s email. Voila! A new blog entry has been created and is almost instantly displayed on my blog. You wouldn’t even know it was written thousands of miles away from home (hopefully when I land safely)!

Keeping track of my email using only PCs is something of the past. My phone will be with me and it will push any new email that arrives in my Windows Live Hotmail account to my BlackBerry Bold (or at least I hope it still does that overseas, if not, back to PCs I guess). Open email, read it, hit reply, type away and send. All from the comfort of a third world country café.

Windows Live Contacts will definitely come in handy when I get introduced for the first time ever to the many (many many many) relatives I will meet in Syria. Adding their contact information into Windows Live Contacts will definitely provide a guarantee to me that I’ll be able to get back in touch with them and see what they’re up to on Windows Live Messenger. Let the video chatting begin!

In the end, no matter how far or close your travels are during the holidays, Windows Live will always be right by your side. I mean, why else would I not use all the great and (I have to add) free services available that Windows Live provides? Plus, all services are well integrated together which makes passing data between services a breeze. And with all the exciting updates we’ve seen (and more coming soon), it makes more sense to continue using and fully experience Windows Live.

 

 

So what do I do when I am away from my computer and want to blog? I pull out my BlackBerry Bold, start typing an email and send it to my blog. Moments later, the email is transformed into a blog entry on my Windows Live Spaces. 

It’s simple and straight forward. Set up an email for your blog using the ‘Blog Options’ page on your Spaces account and that will be the primary email you use to send to whenever you need to create a new post on your blog. That’s what I have been doing for a long time now when I am not near a computer and it certainly came in handy many times.

Think of that email as a direct link to your blog and it’s available only to you wherever you are. It’s certainly one of the many convenient options available free of charge right under your fingertips from Windows Live Spaces.


@AhmedEltawil

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