19 Jan 2008

Random links

filed under: journal  :: blogging  :: entertainment  :: interweb  :: mac  :: modern life

Happysad makes me happy

My favorite web comic right now is Happysad at It is funny yet wistful. The theme is one man's eternal quest for love, if you will. It may appeal more to girls, but I think it would appeal to many boys too, the ones who are romantics or think girls are mysterious creatures. It's adorable in any case, drawn in a very minimalist way.

How Dilbert gets created

Also on the subject of comics, a little old but here is Scott Adams' typical day creating a Dilbert strip.

Interview with my favorite manga author

Even less current, a fantastic interview (in English) of Moto Hagio, my favorite manga author of all time and one of my top authors, period. I should write about Moto-san more. If I ever met her I'd melt into a dribbling mass of awed.

NetNewsWire, and the best reason to have a feed reader

If you use a Mac you probably know already that NetNewsWire is now free. I have been NNW for a while now, paid for it and all, and it's indispensable to me. Now there are people who wonder why have a standalone feed reader when there are web based feed readers that are free. Nick Bradbury lists a number of good reasons (and incidentally they made FeedDemon free too, for Windows users). My no. 1 reason for using a feed reader is that feeds are awfully distracting. And most of them are not really directly related to my work or my writing, for blogs or otherwise. So when I don't want the distraction I can close it off and forget it. There are multitude of other good reasons for using NNW too, but that is up to the individual user to discover.

Comments on this post:

Google apps

Well I do use the branded Gmail already, though I use it with POP so I get the mail into Mail; so I get the great Gmail spam filters coupled with local storage. What can I say, I like local storage of mail. The deal killer for any web based feed reader for me is that so far, I haven't found anything that will block me from reading it. I know that may sound weak willed but 1) I have to have a browser open when I'm working, and 2) the temptation to go and 'check on that feed' is just there. You might think there isn't much difference between having it in a standalone newsreader....but psychologically there is. (And it's not in my Dock either. Of course I can invoke it quite quickly with Quicksilver but still. It's a mind-game thing.) Another thing which I don't know if Google Reader or other web based browsers do, which NetNewsWire does, is to download podcasts automatically. For some that are listen-once and throw away (e.g. the NY Times Digest) I prefer that to downloading them in iTunes, which has a highly annoying 'feature' which stops updating if I haven't listened to a podcast in a while. I have been using NNW for years now...never tried Newsfire so I can't compare, but I can highly recommend NNW, especially now that it's free! (I've tried Shrook, Vienna and another one whose name I can't recall right has a fruity theme.)

Have you tried Google Reader lately?

Most of Nick's reasons seem to revolve around reading protected feeds, which I don't read (and actually didn't know existed). But it that's important to you, yes, it does restrict your choices. I was forced to "temporarily" use Google Reader after my Leopard update, since it broke NewsFire. Anyone who's had a problem with a David Watanabe application and tried to get technical support will understand, but suffice it to say that I was soon in the market for a new newsreader. I had used Google Reader before and off and on every few months out of curiosity, but, whoa momma!, it has really come a long way. If you haven't used Google Reader recently (say, in the last three months), and if you haven't used it enough that you've had time to find and figure out all the features, you may not be giving it a fair evaluation. On a side note, I'm using Google's Google Apps e-mail service for the e-mail from all my domains, which essentially gives you your own branded Gmail for your domains. For my Christmas vacation I set this to also grab my other e-mail accounts via POP. I haven't gone back to yet, and I may not. It's really nice.

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