Saturday, January 12, 2008

Google Reader, yay!

I've been using Google Reader as a news aggregator recently. It's great! Not only is the presentation style good, the response time is good and its very well organised, thought out and easy to use. I was previously using Great News (on Windows); it's quite low on resources and hides in the system the tray. Previous to that I was using RSS Bandit (for the amusing name as much as anything), but uses a lot of resources, probably because its written in C# or something. Still shouldn't complain too much about free software, as it is, after all free effort by someone.

One of the other reasons that it's great is by virtual of it being a web application. I'm writing this on a newly installed version of Ubuntu that I'm trying out, so I don't need to worry about cross platform problems. As virtualisation becomes more and more prevalent we'll all be looking for cross platform, portable solutions.

Google are busy providing a whole framework for your online presence on the web. You can get a blog ( like this one), e-mail, news, etc and tag items to tie it all together. Quite impressive and even more impressive that it's all free, well apart from all the adverts.

You can see my shared news items. And also subscribe to a feed of them, in your reader!

I think I've ignored the whole "Google Applications"/Web 2.0 stuff until now as a lot of it is just unusable fluff. But, all of a sudden it's here (not in beta), working and pretty good. Try it out, you'll need a Google account and then you can get access to Google Mail which is equally good for doing your email and subscribing to mailing lists. For the while though I'm sticking with my Yahoo mail account because that is also excellent, free, and I haven't quite gotten over the concept of someone wanting to archive all your personal mail.

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