Sunday, August 31, 2008

Free Online Storage

20px|Windows Live Logo Windows Live SkyDriveImage via Wikipedia I received an email this week inviting me to check out the new Windows Live site and see how my Windows Live ID can make my life easier. I already use their Messenger and Windows Live Writer, and even have my own Windows Live Space - not that I use it much. So, I was interested to see what else they had to offer.

I was really excited to learn about Windows Live Skydrive. It's a virtual hard drive you can use to store up to 5GB of files, documents, etc. - for FREE. You can use it to backup your files, to make those files accessible from any internet connected computer, and to share files with other people. Everything is password protected, and you decide what is shared and what is private. 5GB sounds like quite a bit of storage, but what if you need more?

Tonight I found this hint:
If the 5GB storage limit on SkyDrive isn't enough for you simply sign-up for multiple Windows Live IDs and set your primary Windows Live ID up as an Editor to those other SkyDrives. Voila. Effectively infinite storage, just make sure that all your accounts stay active.
Source: 10 hidden secrets of Windows Live

You can apparently have multiple Windows Live IDs, and you can even link all your IDs and switch between them easily, so that ought to work, if I ever need more room.

I uploaded some files, but having to browse to each file and select them individually, and only being able to upload 5 files at a time is a little bit of a pain. I checked the help menu and read that there is supposed to be an upload tool I can download and use, and hopefully that will be better. However, I could not find a link to download the tool, no matter how hard I looked - until I opened the page in an IE tab (I do not, will not, use IE) just to see, and there the link was. How exactly and why exactly they hide a link if you do not use their browser is beyond me, but if you want to get the upload tool, you have to use IE, or the IE tab in Firefox. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I do hope it will make uploading files easier. I have quite a few files on my computer that I'd like to upload and store online. That way I can get to them whenever I want, no matter where I am, and share if I want.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

How'd They Do That?

I haven't checked out this entire list of 50 Amazing Blogger Tricks and Hacks, but it looks like there are some very useful links here. If you've ever seen something on a blog and wondered, "How'd they do that?" you just might find the answer somewhere on this list. I love it when people know how to do something, and they share with the rest of us.

So far I started with #51 (on a list of 50, I know) - make your blog dofollow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Blogger Templates

Once again I am talking about free blog templates. I can't help myself - when I see a blog layout I like, I want to know who designed it, where they found that layout. So, I click. This time I found Our Blogger Templates. They have over 100 free templates available and the instructions for installing them on your blog and adding your own header image. There is even a tutorial for designing your own template. With all these great, easy to customize templates available, I don't know that I will ever need to design my own, but I would love to learn how.

I installed one of the free templates from Our Blogger Templates, created and added my own header image, and customized all my colors. I actually found another template I thought would go with my new header better than the one I originally installed, but I was having some troubles getting Blogger to cooperate with me, so I just changed the colors of the one I had already installed. I wasn't sure I was going to like the 'New' Blogger, but it does make changing colors easy. Most of these free templates say that 99% of the colors can easily be changed, and I have to believe them, because I changed an awful lot of the colors.

I grabbed my header image from Pixdaus. I hadn't heard of it before, but Our Blogger Templates used some images from there for their blog headers, so I clicked and found all kinds of interesting images. I liked the frogs, 1) because I like frogs, and 2) because they look like they're so excited about something that they just can't keep their mouths shut and they 'just gotta share this' - or am I stretching things a bit? Anyway, lots of images on Pixdaus.

When you click template installation guides and instructions on the Our Blogger Templates site, there's a link to more sources for header images. I figure, with enough sources, you're bound to find the right image or template, right?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Free Blog Designs

Finding that perfect design for your blog is important. After all, you want your blog to represent you, and you don't want it to look like anyone else's blog. That's why I'm always on the lookout for blog designs and layouts, and especially FREE designs.

Smitten Blog Designs has an entire gallery of free blog designs, easy to understand instructions for downloading and installing them, and a very helpful tutorial on saving your sidebar elements when changing your template. I really need that, because I just switched to the 'New' Blogger, and I thought the point was that you could easily switch things up without losing everything. Not true. I changed my template, and it wanted to delete my widgets. Huh? Then I had to rebuild them and add them back. If I don't have to do that next time, I'll be very happy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Photo Browser

I was dropping Entrecards and reading blogs this morning when I noticed this great photo browser in a post. Instead of a bunch of pictures you have to scroll down the page to read, the pictures were all contained in one spot, and I could just click through them. Of course I had to figure out how to get one of my own, so I clicked and found PictoBrowser. It's a fast and easy way to display your Flickr photos on your site. Like this one using my Clouds set:

You can create your own from any PictoBrowser - just click the logo, enter your Flickr user name, select the photos you want to share by choosing Set, Keyword, or Group, and paste the html code into your blog or website. It couldn't be easier! Need specific photos for a post? Either create a new set, or if you're like me and can only have three sets, give them a unique tag just for that post.

There are also some options to customize the appearance of your PictoBrowser. You can customize height and width, image size to use, turn titles on or off, change background colors, and more. I'm loving this. Why haven't I seen it before?