Thursday, July 27, 2017

Remembering Old Software

I recently saw a post on Twitter about a blogging / journalism platform called Ghost. I had never heard of it before, so I looked into it and was impressed. I’ve played around with various blog platforms over the years from Blogger to Wordpress to Tumblr. I’ve even set up my own Wordpress sites in the past and wondered if I should run my website off of Ghost, but I didn’t really feel like getting into all the code stuff again. Using a blogging service does simplify things greatly. Ghost offers a paid version to run it off of their servers, but it is a bit above my price range, so I will stick with what I have these days.

I did notice that Ghost offers something that caught my attention and provided a bit of nostalgia. They have  a desktop app for writing blog posts, which is nice if you don’t want to have to use your browser to draft and post articles, and it reminded me of a piece of software I used years ago called Live Writer. Live Writer was a part of the Windows Live Essentials package that came out when Windows 7 was Microsoft’s current operating system. It was a package suite of free programs and tools you could use on Windows that connected in with various Windows Live services. I remember using quite a few of the programs like the picture gallery, Live Writer, and a few others.

Live Writer gave you a program to write blog posts and publish them without ever having to go to your blogging website. You could do it all from the comfort of your desktop. It was a simple way to draft and publish stuff, and I used it for a couple of years before I moved onto doing other things. Seeing the Ghost desktop app made me think of the program again, and I wondered if any had made anything similar to it over the years. I knew that the Windows Live Essentials package had been discontinued a few years back, so imagine my surprise when a quick Google search revealed that a developer had forked the code into a new project called Open Live Writer to help keep it alive. I was fascinated, so I downloaded it.

I’m now in the process of writing this post you are reading by using the Open Live Writer. It’s as simple as I remember it, which is a good thing. I don’t like complicated stuff, and it doesn’t look like a whole lot has changed over the years. I’m sure improvements have been made to the code, and it seems to run rather well. I may just have to give the software another go for the fun of it. It might encourage me to publish things a bit more frequently, which brings up a fun point I may try. As I was looking into this old software, I started remembering other types of software I’ve used over the years, and I just may share my stories of them in the next few posts just for the fun of it.