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StaffPenguin Flight LogThe Perfect and Efficient Blogging Environment

The Perfect and Efficient Blogging Environment

2014 is a perfect storm for efficient blogging thanks to work completed this past year by employees of Automattic, Google, Microsoft, and numerous other companies.

(1) WordPress by Automattic moved to incremental changes handled in the background; (2) apps on Windows 8, Android and iOS are excellent for reading and taking notes (Feedly, Pocket, and Evernote); and (3) storing images for WordPress blog post is easy with Cloudup.

Best of all, it’s now possible to organize all of this on a Windows 8 box using Google Chrome Canary in Windows 8 mode, giving access to Google Docs for writing blog posts, as well as storing drafts.

Google Chrome has 4 channels and Canary is a channel for testing and pushing out the latest and newest features. Google introduced the channel on July 22, 2010. The name refers to “using canaries in coal mines” and things can break.

Installation of Canary is nothing special. You can install Canary alongside other Chrome browser installations. Simply download, install, and switch to Windows 8 mode.

Windows 8 mode

The December build originally downloaded did not work properly on my new installation of Windows 8.1 Pro. It took until today’s update (34.0.1769.2) for the Chrome browser to show up in Windows 8 mode.

How to launch Canary in Windows 8.1 mode

Step 1: Set Canary as the default browser.

Change the default browser setting by a right click on start button -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Default Programs -> Set your default programs -> Google Chrome Canary -> Set this program as default.

Step 2. Click on the triple bar in the upper right hand corner of the Chrome browser. In the middle of the menu listing is Relaunch in Windows 8 mode.

After launching Canary in Windows 8 mode there will be six icons available in the bottom left corner of the screen. This area is known as the shelf.

Setting up the Perfect Blogging Environment

I created an account on Automattic’s Cloudup website before starting this little project and tested a few images. See wptavern.com for a way to get immediate access to Cloudup. An interesting aside is a push of the print screen key on the keyboard snapped and without the touch of another key, the desktop image was uploaded to Cloudup. Here is the uploaded photo


To get an even better blogging environment, the screen was split in half. The chrome browser on the left was for surfing and the one on the right half was for the Google document.

The power was lost on the notebook used In the middle of writing this particular blog post. Luckily power was restored and the desktop loaded exactly as it was just before the power was lost.

Now that Chrome Canary is available in Windows 8 mode, I was able to launch Google apps, switch between desktops (alt-tab), the start page with tiles, and don’t forget it’s possible to launch applications by hovering in the bottom right corner and search for the installed application. Once more, Google launched a web store on February 11, 2011 and I was able to install apps directly into the Canary desktop.

As a test, I installed the application WorkFlowy available in the chrome web store. Next, I installed Evernote from the web store. The later adds an icon that launches the website. My third test was to install Feedly as an extension. Immediately all of the RSS feeds I follow were available. The final part of the setup was installing pocket.

The perfect blogging environment is now complete.


Guzman, W. (2013, September 18). Getting my hands dirty on chrome canary. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://wellingguzman.com/getting-hands-dirty-chrome-canary/

Laforge, A. (2010, July 22). Release early, release often. The Chromium Blog. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://blog.chromium.org/2010/07/release-early-release-often.html

Lu, T. (2013, September 25). Cloudup + Automattic. Cloudup Blog. Retrieved January, 4, 2014, from https://cloudup.com/blog/cloudup-automattic

Further Reading

Warren, T. (2013, October 5). Google is building Chrome OS straight into Windows 8. The Verge. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/5/4806562/google-building-chrome-os-into-windows-8

Layne Heinyhttp://www.layneheiny.com
LPH is a high school physics teacher interested in the Apple iPad and iPhone, Microsoft Surface, Tablet PCs, and other mobile devices. He resides with one large dog who begs for pizza, hamburgers, French fries, and anything else on the dinner table.

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