Category Archives: Software

Windows Live Writer Plugin #1 – YouTube Video.

**ANOTHER EDIT** Version 1.0 out now.

**EDIT** version 0.2 now includes support for Google Video

Version 0.1 still available (in case the new mods give you trouble).

Here’s my first ever Plugin for Windows Live Writer.

It requests the ID for a video clip in YouTube (for example, the url of the default video is so the id from that url is GtdJFtdXYps ).  For Google video, you need to docid number (19 digits) for example : would give the docid of 3573852431733156394.

From that scant information, the plugin adds the embedded player for the video into your post.  Simple.

Download the file, and then extract the DLL into the Plugins folder of your WLW installation.  It will then appear in the “Insert” menu on the next restart of WLW.

I know it’s not much, but I thought I’d write it as a quick practice.

Demo :



Windows Live Writer

I’ve been pointed in the direction of this tool by a co-worker, so I thought I’d have a look.  It’s always tough to review these blogging tools because you’re working out what you’re doing as you type.

Picking categories for a post is a simple drop down list in the interface, and typing / adding pictures, etc is all WYSIWYG.  No quibbles there.

Th only thing that doesn’t seem to be working as it should is the style detection.  If I understand correctly, it is supposed to be able to pull down your stylesheets, etc, so the WYSIWYG is just that.  Not in my WP install it doesn’t.

Other than that, it seems like a good enough tool.  I’ll explore more later.

**EDIT** Apparently, there is an SDK that you can use to write plugins . Also check out the forum , where you will see the issues others are having.

**EDIT 2** On my other machine, the download of the style information seems to work.  However, there’s an issue with this theme and the editor, so I have to type all the text in a box about an inch wide. :)

Google do spreadsheets.

Google Spreadsheets (yep, another Google Beta ;) ) looks great.

I’m not entirely sure how much use it will be to me, but for those without spreadsheet software, who may have a need to use it once in a while, I think this will be a great tool.

It’s not an original idea, though*. This kind of functionality appears in Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server 2007 Beta, but of course, that’s the kind of software you have to pay for – and far too complex / costly for the average user.

Whatever the level of user who is going to use this tool, I’m all for it. As long time readers will know, I’m a big fan of Google, and this is not doing anything to change my mind about that.

* Of course, Google could have come up with the idea first – I just don’t know.

Buffalo LinkStation as a SlimServer

This post should prove useful for anyone thinking about using a Buffalo LinkStation to run their SlimServer instance. The advantages of doing this are:

  1. The LinkStation is a small and quiet device, so it can sit just about anywhere without being obtrusive.
  2. The SlimServer software runs quite happily on this unit, saving the requirement for a full-blown PC or server to serve media.

There are several ways to do this installation, but I found the following to be quite painless.

The first thing to do is the read the warnings and information on Please take these warnings seriously. They DO matter.

Once you are happy that you know what you’re doing, you can move on to and start the actual installation. If you follow the instructions carefully, you should be fine.

To install SlimServer, follow the instructions from the heading “Getting SlimServer on the LinkStation.” at

Having installed the software, I had issues with several Perl modules not being in the new firmware. To remedy this, download MIPSelSlimServerModules, and copy them to the root (/) of the LinkStation. From there, unpack the package (tar –zxf mipsel-slimserver-modules-0.5b.tgz) and run (./ This should resolve dependencies for SlimServer version 6.2.2 and older.

That, all being well, should be enough to get you going.

Outlook 2007 Beta 2 RSS Feeds

I’ve been playing with Office 2007 Beta 2, as have many other people, and I like it. In fact, this post was composed in Word, and published straight here.

One thing I don’t seem to be able to get to the bottom of, though, is the RSS reader built into Outlook. I can set up all my feeds and get the headers at least once. The problem is that it will often just bug out on a certain feed, and no amount of fiddling will bring it back. It fires back into life if I delete the feed and recreate it, but what’s the point in that? I’ll be Googling like crazy today trying to find the problem.

I’ll get back to you later.

Determine if an assembly is a debug or release build

*This code originally came from another blog, although it was written in VB over there. It has lost some elegance in the translation, but I needed a very quick solution this afternoon, and I needed it in C#, so here you go. *

I needed to determine whether several assemblies were built as “Debug” or “Release” code this afternoon. They didn’t have any debug symbols with them, so that was no help. A bit of searching led me to the code below.

private void testfile(string file)
		MessageBox.Show(String.Format("{0} seems to be a debug build",file));
		MessageBox.Show(String.Format("{0} seems to be a release build",file));

private bool isAssemblyDebugBuild(string filename)
	return isAssemblyDebugBuild(System.Reflection.Assembly.LoadFile(filename));

private bool isAssemblyDebugBuild(System.Reflection.Assembly assemb)
	bool retVal = false;
	foreach(object att in assemb.GetCustomAttributes(false))
		if(att.GetType() == System.Type.GetType("System.Diagnostics.DebuggableAttribute"))
			retVal = ((System.Diagnostics.DebuggableAttribute)att).IsJITTrackingEnabled;
	return retVal;

The overloaded “isAssemblyDebugBuild” method will accept either a string containing the fiull filename, or a System.Reflection.Assembly object. It will return its best guess as to whether the the assembly is a debug build, as a boolean.

To call the methods as they are (to get a MessageBox), just use something like


or access the underlying methods directly :

bool isDebug = isAssemblyDebugBuild(@"C:\myUnkownAssembly.dll");

I hope someone can use this to save themselves some time.

Excuse of the Day in the sidebar

You may have spotted the “Excuse of the Day” at the top of the left sidebar. This isn't a WordPress plugin as such, but a small bit of PHP in one of the theme files. If you want to use the same code, there are a couple of things you need to do.

1) In my case, I am concious of not wanting to abuse Eric's bandwidth, so I have set up a shell script via cron to wget the feed file once per day. I'd recommend this for another reason – if, due to unforseen circumstances, meyerweb is down, your code will still work on your local copy.
2) Edit your theme file in the appropriate place to include this block.