After reading a blog post that I found when it was ReTweeted by @windowsphone, I discovered the Odiogo plugin for wordpress. It is a nifty little plugin that you can install onto your wordpress blog which allows your, more lazy readers have each blog post read to them.

What you get is the standard sort of robotic voice (after a little Odiogo jingle for branding ūüėČ ) reading the blog post. The quality is quite good and can be very fluent at times but is nowhere near perfect. It does try and be natural but siome times the tone used is all wrong and in very logn sentences where a pause would be used even where there are no commas, the reader picks up in pace and it becomes very fast!

The main problems comes when you start having abreviations for things or non-english words (which is very often on a technology blog like this). Sometimes it will try and make the abreviations into a word rather than spelling it letter by letter and other times you get the oposite; you may have a word in capitals which it assumes is an abreviation and so reads letter by letter!

Overall the Odigio plugin is a nice feature which I will leave running but it is nowhere near perfect!


This post is designed as a way for me to test moBlog on my mobile. moBlog is a Windows Mobile program that allows you to blog remotely from your mobile. It is quite easy to set up and works with a variety of blogging services and allow you to have multiple profiles and muntiple blogs set up simultaniously!

The interface for writing blogs is in HTML but has a preview option to view the blog before uploading. The writing sceen is very simple and is literally a large text box but you do have limited formatting features which just allow you to insert the appropriate HTML tags for whatever formatting you want!

Examples of the formatting avaiable:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline

Note: Bullet points are not avaiable but I know the HTML for them and using custom HTML tags seems to work even on the preview.

The last feature provided when writing a blog is the ability to insert pictures. If this works you should see a stock photo from my HTC Touch Pro bellow:

As a basic bloging programme, this is acceptable but there are some major flaws which make the program difficult to work with! My main issue is when you try to write a blog or use the software in landscape. Th way the screen reorganises is impractical and require lots of scrolling to navigate. Rather than resizing the input and preview boxes to a 480 x 640 screen, it simply adjusts the width for 640 keeping the height as it is when in portrait mode. This result in the software being appropriate for a 640 x 640 screen and since this does not fit on the screen, a second scroll bar is added so that you can navigate the larger area. So that this makes more sense I will upload some screenshots late ūüôā

Although the formatting options are limited they are much greater than those offered by my alternative which is by using the browser and full sized WP admin panel. The advantage of using the WP admin panel is that although the WYSIWYG does not work in Opera Mobile 10, it is better than the preview in moBlogs as it shows a more precise representation of what the output will actually looks like! For example, in WordPress, I have notice that using line breaks in the HTML view results in a line break in the output however the preview in moBlog does not acount for this.

Another disadvantage of moBlog is that it is not very user friendly. It uses a basic Windows CE design and is not as asthetically pleasing as using the online interface.

Overall I would not recomend moBlog forf the mobile blogger as it just doesn’t provide all the nessasary features required by a blogger today.


A few days ago, @MelissaAmbrose_ suggested that I made a blog post about GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle.com! Now when I first looked at the site, I was not impressed at all and was just going to make a quick blog about it to appease @MelissaAmbrose_ and make her happy ūüôā¬†However, what first looked like a simple site set up with 4 frames that just simply load Google up in each, was a bit more complex than I anticipated. After a short while of playing with the site I found that it actually had a lot more thought gone into it than just 4 iFrames.

The homepage of GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle

The homepage of GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle

Semi-Dynamic Sizing

I am starting this review on the negatives. My first assumption was that the site was either designed to fit nicely on a 1280×800 display (which would have been awfully designed) or that the frames would dynamically resizes as the size of the window changed (which would have been the best thing). Unfortunately, I soon discovered when resizing the window I discovered that the size of the content stayed the same. This then made me question if it was statically set to look good at a size of 1280×800 or whether there was actually some cleaver JS running in the background. To my¬†relief¬†there was some JS running that would detect the size of the window on the page load and then resize. My main question to the makers of the site would be “Why can you not make an event listener that resizes the iFrames dynamically?”

GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle loaded when the browser window was smaller.

GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle loaded when the browser window was smaller.

The above page maximised to fullscreen without refreshing. Note how the frames stay the same size as they were when loaded!

The above page maximised to fullscreen without refreshing. Note how the frames stay the same size as they were when loaded!

Loading Sites in Frames

The controls for each frame.

The controls for each frame.

The site is adaptive, it isn’t just limited to having Google. At the top of each¬†frame¬†there are some special controls which you can see in the¬†screen shot¬†on the right.

The purpose of the first 2 icons should be fairly recognisable and obvious as the favicon of Google and Wikipedia. By clicking on these icons it will wither load the Google homepage or the Wikipedia homepage within the frame bellow. The last icon shown is the green arrow! By clicking this icon it will make a dialogue box pop-up requesting a URL to navigate to and this will allow you to go to any site of your choice!

Make a frame go to any site using the green ?

Make a frame go to any site using the green arrow

Here is an example of the site with Google, Wikipedia, this blog, and a Google Search for my name loaded in the 4 frames.

GoogleWikipediaBlogGoogle

GoogleWikipediaBlogGoogle

Customisability

Another way that the site adapts in though the customisability of the layout! The main control of this is through the Cross that is shown on the screen shot of the frame controls. Clicking this will get rid of that frame and stretch an adjacent frame to fill the space. To see what this might look like and the look of a customised workspace, look at the images below:

GoogleGoogleGoogle (3 Frames)

GoogleGoogleGoogle (3 Frames)

GoogleGoogle (2 Frames Stacked)

GoogleGoogle (2 Frames Stacked)

Pretty Design

Last but obvious not least is design. Although it is not amazing the coloured border¬†around¬†each iFrame is a nice touch and goes well with the Google them of the website ūüėõ

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say that this is a cleaver idea and I can see some uses for it but I will stick to the normal Google site and multiple tabs ūüėõ

By the way there are a few more features and if you want to find them, go and have a play at GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle.com