Tag Archives: windows live

Rewind: A look back at GEEK! so far

Well, GEEK! is just over three years old now; and during that time I’ve written over 400 posts. So, while I don’t really want to add anything too new to GEEK! while I get my backup system finalised, I thought now would be a good time to run over some of the posts have brought the most traffic to GEEK!.

By far and away, the most popular post on GEEK! is the “Get the old Windows Live Essentials back“. So many of you were fed up with the poor functionality of Essentials 2011 (including me), so I linked you up with a download and instructions to get the old 2009 version back.

Next up, it’s the tool I found that allowed you to find the biggest files on your hard drive. The tiny tool quickly locates the files that are occupying the most space on your drive, allowing you to delete anything you see as unnecessary.

My review of the Samsung N145P netbook brought the next largest amount of attention to GEEK!. A fully comprehensive review that details everything you needed to know.

Not too far behind, my finding of TVCatchup back in mid 2009 provided Freeview TV access over the internet (in the UK). I still use the site regularly when I’m on the go, as it provides live TV without a bombardment of adverts.

Last in the top five, it’s my iPod touch 4G review. Simple and sweet – it explains all the new features that were (and still are) great additions to the iPod range.

And that’s it – a round-up of the top five biggest posts on GEEK!. Normal service on GEEK! will resume soon, but I’m just optimising the backup process on my new VPS!

Using Windows Live Writer to manage your blog

Over the last couple of posts I’ve written (including this one), I have been using Windows Live Writer. This is a free piece of software that is created by Microsoft. It can manage and sort your blog for you with ease, and means you don’t have to use any online dashboard.

For GEEK!, I use WordPress and Windows Live Writer takes WordPress in its stride. I simply tell WLW my login details, and it automatically works out what my blog looks like, what theme I use, and what my posts would look like.

It does this all very quickly, and within a minute or so it is ready to go.

It is really quick, efficient and professional and I really like its simplicity. It is a great concept that works very well. I really like using it because it is so much easier than logging into the WordPress dashboard, then getting distracted by plugins, WP upgrades – the lot. With this, I just write my post without any distractions at all.

Perfect! Another recommendation for GEEK! Recommends.

Review: Windows Live Essentials 2009

It’s finally arrived – the finished edition of Windows Live Essentials from Microsoft Live, including the well known Windows Live Messenger, as well as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery plus the Windows Live Family Safety and toolbar.

We’ve waited not far off a year for the newest version of Windows Live Messenger to appear on our screens, so I’ll kick off with that. The new interface of Windows Live Messenger is fantasic and is also much more customizable than the last version. It looks especially good if you have a version of Windows Vista (or Windows 7 Beta – it works on that too) with the Aero glass. It doesn’t look quite as good in XP. Nevertheless, looks aren’t everything, the new features are good. There’s a new groups feature – where you can create groups of your favourite mates and they all share the group with everyone in it, as well as a new favourites group for you personally. Fans of the Sharing Folders will be disappointed, as it would appear they have been scrapped. I personally never used the Sharing Folders as I would just send a file manually.

Windows Live Mail is also very good. New improvements include a much cleaner interface which is much more user friendly. Under the hood, there aren’t many really noticeable changes, but it is still definitely worth downloading and using – especially if you use Windows Live Hotmail a lot.

Windows Live Writer is a good blog editing program, but I don’t personally use it myself as I’m quite happy to simply use the WordPress admin interface to add whatever I need to. However, it does include some neat features including picture editing, and it does have some cool plugin support. However, nothing will beat the ease of use in the WordPress dashboard, and since they are both free, I’d go for WordPress.

The Windows Live Photo Gallery has always been something I’ve used when I’ve been viewing photos from my digital camera. It’s neat and tidy, and resembles the Windows Media Player interface vaguely. It’s also a simple way of transporting photos from your camera or memory card to your computer.

If you need a good package for writing blogs, talking to friends, emailing and viewing your photos, go ahead and download this. Computer manufacturers are already dispatching this with their systems (Dell has agreed to do this recently) so you may already have these programs with a new PC. If you don’t, head over to download.live.com to get it for free.

Windows Live Essentials 2009 Beta 2

Well Windows Live Essentials Beta 2 was released yesterday, at last. They’ve done a hell of a lot of work and so far it seems to have paid off.

Windows Live Messenger

They’ve changed the interface quite a lot. It’s a bit more user friendly now, and a few new visual effects make life easier. The pop-up alerts (eg for someone signing in) are now somewhat transparrent and look that little bit more classy. They’ve also made warnings such as “[contact] is Busy and may not reply” removable and the warnings only appear for a few seconds. That’s good thinking. On top of that it is generally a lot faster and it isn’t stamped with Beta everywhere anymore.

Windows Live Mail

Very much the same – upgraded, cleaner interface which is much easier to use. Few bug fixes and other niggly bits. They have replace ‘Send and Receive’ with ‘Sync’.


The rest of the software suite has changed slightly. Overall, its cleaner and quicker making it much more user friendly and usable. 

If you’re using Beta 1 at the moment you should have already been alerted that beta 2 is out, but if not, grab it here: http://download.live.com/

Give it a go and post what you think in the now online comments section below.