| Comments

For about a year now I've been using Amazon S3 services.  Mostly I'm using it for image storage for my blog and web site.  I decided to stop using Flickr for screenshot stuff and keep it to 'photographs' when I can.  I signed up for an S3 account and have been using it for screenshot type stuff since then.  If you don't know, S3 is a service that basically enables 'object' storage in the cloud.  An object can be anything really, but I'm treating it like a remote host for images.

The one thing Amazon doesn't provide themselves is a tool to manage your account...it is really an API only.  There are plenty out there that have implemented user interfaces around S3 services.  My two favorites are the S3 plugin for Firefox and BucketExplorerI use the Firefox one more than anything for uploading just because it was faster for what I needed.

UPDATE: While I still use the Firefox extension and always have it installed, I find myself using CloudBerry Explorer a LOT more.  It is the most full-featured (free) Amazon S3 tool I've seen and I love it.  They keep adding little subtle things to that make my process even easier!  Check it out today!

But the problem is that neither of the tools really incorporated *why* I was using S3 for me, which was primarily with my blog.  So a year ago I grabbed some of the sample code from the S3 developer site and whipped up a quick-and-dirty plugin for Windows Live Writer that I've been using.  I already had my Flickr4Writer plugin that I used for Flickr, but like I mentioned, I was using S3 for other image hosting now.  I was lazy though and only did a read version that inserted an image.  I was still relying on the other tools to upload, change permissions, etc. -- my workflow sucked.

Well as a part of The Code Trip, we set goals to release projects on CodePlex.  I decided to put this project out on CodePlex as far as I had it.  I immediately had a partner in Aaron Lerch.  He jumped in and within a day basically put in the remaining features that were lacking.

The result is the S3 Browser for Windows Live Writer project:

The initial 0.91 beta release is available on the project now.  Please give it a spin if you are a Live Writer and Amazon S3 user!

| Comments

the windows live team released an update to live writer.  get it now.  new insert video feature, upload to picassaweb when publishing to blogger, better image handling (i didn't know there was any bad because i use www.flickr4writer.com :-)).

keep the good stuff coming!

| Comments

beta 2 of windows live writer was released today.  go get it.  improved user interface, improved blog support, some new functions...you know all the good stuff you want in an update.  oh yeah and continued extensibility.

i took a quick second (after doing a little RTFM'ing [thanks charles]) and uploaded a custom manifest to my blog.  why?  because when in writer sometimes i want quick access to things about my blog (stats and such).  so i took a minute to "subtext"-ize a sidebar extension to writer...see:

i've got the nice little transparent subtext icon in the back and two custom buttons taking me to my various stats.  additionally, a link directly to the admin functionality.  i'll be playing around more with this stuff later.

| Comments

well, the flickr4writer project had it's first community contribution (thanks simon).  a new minor release was updated today that incorporates one small bug fix and one feature change (ability to select multiple images).

release: Flickr4Writer v1.2.7.0516

| Comments

so at tech lunch wednesday here in phoenix, after lunch i sat with hamid and scott for a bit and we were brainstorming about a few things.  one of which was storage, then we got on the topic of amazon's s3 solution.  i had started to look at it before, but then never got the time to go back.  essentially amazon provides storage via a web service (there are no tools provided by them, just an api).  i said that i mainly use flickr for the storage and that i'd only use it if i could get a direct url to things, and that i'd have to have a plugin for live writer :-).

well, when i got back i started to mess around a bit and got a working progress for my "s3 browser" live writer plugin.  you can browse your buckets and link to an item as a link or an image.  it is very rough right now, has some issues with UI threads, etc., but it works for me so far.

you can take a look at the screenshot below -- and the link is directly to my s3 stored image!