Go, Go, Google Reader!

May 30th, 2007 by Rachel

You might recall a post a while ago about making blog reading easier. Google Reader provides an easy way to keep up-to-date with all the blogs you read, in a fraction of the time it takes to manually visit and read sites. All you need is a google (gmail) account, the addresses of the blogs you want to read, and you’re set!

Here’s how it works:
1) Go to http://www.google.com/reader
2) Log in with your gmail account, or register as a new user
3) Once you are in the reader, click on “add subscription”. Type in or copy the blog address you like to read. If (hint, hint) it is this one, you would type, “http://www.supercinski.net”. That’s it.
4) Do this for all the blogs you want, and you can chose to categorize them (like “friends”, “faith and practice”, “homemaking”, or “culture”, whatever) by clicking on “Settings” in the top left.
5) When you feel like checking all your blogs later, go to the Google Reader page in step one, log in and all new posts will be bolded. If you want to read comments, you’ll have to click on the post to go to it, but if you just want to read the post, you can stay in that window. Just scrolling through the post will mark it as read so it won’t show up in bold (unread) later.

It’s that easy. If you have any questions, you can ask me, and I’ll try to answer. For even speedier reading, learn to use the keyboard shortcuts detailed here.

RSS will make your life easier

November 2nd, 2006 by Thomas

Many of you read some blogs. Some of you read many blogs. You’ve probably heard of or seen RSS, but aren’t quite sure what it is. Let me explain what RSS is and one way you can use RSS to make your life easier.

There are a ton of resources on the ‘net regarding RSS, so I won’t go into lengthy detail. I’ll point you to some basic resources to get you started.

What Is RSS
Wikipedia – RSS

The first resource mentions ‘feed readers’, of which there are many. Some popular web-based readers are Google’s Reader, and Bloglines.

Another option is to get a Google account if you don’t already have one and then customize your Google homepage. You can add a plethora of existing news/entertainment/etc feeds quite easily, arranging them on the page/tabs as you wish. You can also enter the feed address of any feed you want (if Google doesn’t already have it listed) and that feed will show up.

A nice non-web-based reader is Sage, which is an extension to the Firefox browser. Once it is installed, you hit ‘Alt-S’ and a sidebar menu opens that you can then add feeds to, with each feed/post showing up as ‘new’ as appropriate.

Also in Firefox is the ‘Live Bookmarks’ feature. If a site has feeds defined for it, you’ll see a little orange ‘transmitter’ icon in the address bar at the right. You can click on that and bookmark the feed(s), then when you open the bookmarks menu in Firefox, they’ll be updated automatically. I don’t think this method is really that great, but some folks really like it.

My personal favorite is using Sage. I use a customized Google homepage to view some non-feed data along with 3-4 key feeds that I want to keep up to date on. The rest of the blogs/feeds I read are in Sage which I typically only look at a couple of times a week to ‘catch up on’.

If you want to add our feed to any one of a number of feed readers, just go to http://www.supercinski.net/feed/ and you’ll see appropriate buttons.

Happy feed reading!

Google SMS

December 12th, 2005 by Thomas

I had seen Google SMS some time ago, but hadn’t paid much attention to it, but last week I ran across this again and think it is a great service. What is it? Well, let’s say you are out and about and you forgot your map, but you know where you are and where you are going, just not the path in between. Well, send a text message something like this – 55 Anywhere 77845 to 333 someplace 77431 to GOOGL (46645). We got the number for the pizza joint here in CS while out on a walk.

Now, I’m not one for sending text messages, but the kids these days do this a lot apparently, so much so that their thumbs move like lightning and eventually fall off (or at least they wish they would fall off to get rid of the pain), but in a pinch, this could be really helpful. Check it out. Convenient … and free. There are a number of other queries you can submit.

Coding without seeing the screen.

August 2nd, 2005 by Thomas

I ran across this a couple of months ago – I knew all this was possible, but for several reasons, the video almost made me teary. Coding without Seeing the Screen