Wednesday, June 24

RSS Feeder - problem solved

The only way I can keep regularly keep up with updates from the Blog sites that I visit each day is via an ingenious piece of software known as an RSS Feeder.

This runs around all the sites on my list checking for updates and pulling any content back to a single view point for my attention.

Until recently I've been using RSS Aggregator, a nice & simple FREE package; And one I've recommended in the past.

However the main drawback to RSS feeds is there is no way of knowing when a site's update may have been missed because the package fetching the feed has failed.

A few weeks ago I spotted that Darren's feed stopped working. Most uncharacteristic. In fact virtually unknown festooned as he is with almost every mobile telecommunication gadget known to man. And always plenty to say as well (lol)

I checked my RSS package for the correct feed details; Even tried a few alternatives. All to no avail.

Its there's one thing I can't abide its a bit of software that doesn't do what it says on the tin. As RSS Aggregator doesn't appear to issue updates I exported all my feed info to a file (approaching 100 sites- blimey!) and moved it into Google Reader.

GR is something I've used infrequently; But as a web based offering it meant I can now check it from any pc. Which given I use any of four different pcs these days can be seen as a Good Thing.

Then I noticed over the weekend GR had ignored one of my own site's post update. I waited a day or so, even posted another piece, but still the article was ignored.

Not good. The clang resounded as another package hit the bottom of the virtual dustbin.

At least RSS Aggregator told me there was a problem. GR just ignored the thing! which could lead to a lot of missed items and no real way to know it was happening.

So tonight I've just loaded Great News RSS Feeder. Simple to install & set up, and so far fast and seemingly accurate.

Time will tell.

But it reminded me that there is so much good software available these days to choose from. Much of it free and regularly updated. More importantly - such fare seems to be safe from the disk space & memory bloat that the commercial Big Names packages have got caught up with.

Its a message that I had reinforced whilst looking for teeny tiny packages to run on my Asus EEE PC.
There's plenty of ideas in this article which looks specifically at small package ideas, but gives some excellent examples of items that have established their credentials the hard way. By working well, and sticking with what they are intended to do.

Personally all of my pcs are loaded with these:
MP3 ID EDITOR: - NameItYourWay

FOXIT in particular is a great relief after the ever expanding, and ever slowing, world of the Adobe PDF Reader.

Don't be afraid to try some alternatives to the usual Big Names. Many of the less well known items load quicker, run faster, and don't try to force you into adding functionality that you really don't want. Or need.

Oh - and they're free.

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