I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the Giveaway of the Day site, but I subscribe to it in my feed because I’m always looking for a great (free) download. Basically, the site legally offers a download each day that would normally cost you money. There is one catch though, you have to download and install the application that same day! You’re sorely out of luck if you ever have to format your hard drive.
Normally on Giveaway of the Day, the software doesn’t seem to be that great, and I actually haven’t downloaded any of their offerings. After you download one of their programs you have to run their activator before you install the program, and I assume that their activator only works for the day that the download is available for. If you try and activate it anytime after that you’ll probably receive some sort of warning stating that you cannot activate the software yada yada (although I’ve never tried so I’m not sure what the activator would do).
I’m sure that is the only way they can get these companies to offer the software to them for their readers, because this way they get their software on the computers of a variety of people. Then, when a user clears their computer they’ll realize that the software can no longer be installed so they might actually go and buy it if they grew accustomed to it.
Today the software available is Post2Blog which is exactly what the name implies: blogging software. It normally costs $39 but it is available for you to download and install for free during the next 7 hours from Giveaway of the Day. I was a little skeptical about giving the software a trial run because I didn’t want to cozy up with it, and then later on down the road want to buy it since I have become so used to it. However, we write a lot of articles so I was curious what a commercial blogging application had to offer that other free alternatives, like Windows Live Writer, didn’t have. Here are the features that the site boasts…and there was one that really caught my attention in regards to the activation scheme (see if you can find it before I point it out):
- WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor with complete hot-keys support
- Built-in "Live" spell checking
- "Portable Mode" support
- Images are uploaded automatically (supported uploading types: Flickr, file area of your blog, imageshack.us, picturelli.com, custom FTP server)
- Post text and/or images from Firefox or Internet Explorer to your blog with 2 clicks only using plug-ins for Firefox (check example) and Internet Explorer
- Compose new posts in MS Word and post them to your blog using Post2Blog toolbar for MS Word
- Integration with RSS Bandit (rssbandit.org) and Sharp Reader (sharpreader.net) – you can post selected items from these RSS readers using Post2Blog plug-in
- Post files, images, documents from Explorer or any other program using "Send To -> Post2Blog" command
- Add Technorati, Del.icio.us, Buzzwords, 43 Things tags to your posts
- Automatically send trackbacks, ping web-services to notify about updates in your blogs
- Earn money using "Insert Amazon Link" feature
- Use built-in smiles for use in your blog
Did you see it? The third option down mentions a "Portable Mode" that I was intrigued to see how it worked. Very rarely have I seen commercial software offer a portable version, and I was excited to see this. Being able to have a great blogging utility on my USB drive wherever I go was an appetizing thought, so I was excited to give it a shot.
After installing the program there is a new option in the Start Menu entry called "Create Portable version" that you use to put the application on your USB drive. All it does is copy the files for the program and your settings into a single folder (that you specify) so that you can run the app from anywhere. Pretty slick, but that also brings up the big point that I want to make…this portable version has your settings, files, and registration info! If you save this folder you’ll never have to install the program again, and it will always be registered. So if you reformat your computer, there is no risk in having to go and purchase the program.
I was thinking to myself that this might be against the terms of Giveaway of the Day somehow, but I don’t see how it could be since you are just taking advantage of features the program has to offer. The download only has 7 hours left so you have to download and install it before that time expires. Then you can go about creating the portable version whenever you feel like it, as long as you do it before you format your computer!
Hope this helps any bloggers looking for a nice commercial application to use! I really like it, but I’m not sure if it is worth the $39. Oh yeah, and for those of you who like Web standards, this does have an XHTML option to generate XHTML code.
Thanks to Radu for pointing out that this software was available.