This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

RSS aggregators

So, I was looking around for a decent news aggregator for my PC's because NewsApp from Server.com wasn't making me completely happy. I found AmphetaDesk for my work machine, but the current version is missing a few things, like remembering which entries I've read and having some kind of tree structure. (The author, Morbus Iff, tells me those features are coming soon.) The nice thing about AmphetaDesk is that it operates totally within your browser.

At home this weekend, I looked around again, this time with some specific features in mind: "folders" to drop feeds into; remember which articles I've read; show me quickly how many are available; read in the tool or the browser (some tools operate in the browser); view just the feed or jump to the website. There are many tools that meet these requirements, and I found an excellent, categorized list at iTopic and a seemingly-endless one at dmoz.

I picked NewsDesk from Wildgrape. Thus far it seems to be working okay and it has most of what I want it to do. It runs in its own window (not in the browser), but it is heavily integrated via .Net, so it can slurp in entire website, or just the RSS feed. And I can right-click and use the "MT It!" feature for my moveable type tool.

The issue with any of these is that deciding to change from one to another can be a big pain. The newer ones have ability to import/export an XML file that includes all your feeds, but NewsApp doesn't have this feature. I had to add each of my ~50 feeds by hand.

However
The one negative is that it requires the .Net environment to be installed, and I am pretty sure I will be unable to do so on my work machine. The default install of the .Net Framework from Microsoft sets up an additional account on my one-user machine at home and forces me to select the user at login. It also changes my screen saver to display the welcome screen when returning from saver mode. Both things I did NOT ask it to do.

The screen saver setting is simple in Windows XP, just head to the screen saver setup and uncheck the "On resume, display Welcome screen" option.

The login option is slightly more complicated, but I was able to find help from Mark Salloway's Windows XP Resource Center on skipping the welcome screen. Essentially, run "control userpasswords2" and tell it that users do not have to enter their name and password.

Social network paper

Knowledge Monsters