David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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Tech stuff ...

Three tech things make a post :

1. I upgraded my phone in September last year. I've finally reached one which does what I want from a mini-pocket-computer phone. The previous two phones were a Nokia N82, and HTC Desire - both had roughly similar sets of features, but both had significant and different flaws. The N82 could definitely connect to the Internet - but the interface for it was fiddly and slow, so I mostly gave up on using it unless desperate. The Desire had a great interface, but the fatal flaw was internal memory - it just didn't have enough, in the end I was fighting daily to free up some memory to be able to run stuff, and couldn't really install new apps.

Now I've got the HTC Velocity 4G - slightly buzzwordy, but I have a pocketable device that got about 20Mbps download and upload from speedtest.net (in a 4G zone), and has more than enough memory and storage to cope with what I need. Just as an example - I have Firefox on it, and earlier today, it briefly went over 30 tabs open before I bookmarked and closed a bunch. It's a computer in my pocket, and I'm very happy with it. ... it makes phone calls too, apparently.

(Ok, there is a flaw, one common to these devices - yes, it needs charging every day. Roll on the 10x improvement in energy density for batteries that was linked on Twitter recently ... )

2. RSS feed reader.
Unlike Everyone Else[tm], I wasn't upset at the closing of Google Reader, because I didn't use it (or any similar product that depended on it).
Until now, I've mostly been adding feeds on LJ or DW and subscribing there. This works ok, but I started to find that frequently-updating blogs were swamping the feed, and I was having to go to back more than 50 entries to view one day of feeds.
Since people were posting huge lists of Google Reader alternatives, I thought it was time to try a few of them out. First go was Feedly, and ... I disliked it. It seems to require a browser plugin, and then puts an intrusive feed symbol all over the place (including images). So I got rid of that, and poked at a couple of others. Most readers seem to give a reverse-chronological list of feed headlines (or entries) with all the feeds mingled together, which wasn't quite what I wanted (since DW gives me that anyway).
Finally tried Netvibes.com - it puts each feed in its own little box, and shows what's new since you last checked. Also lets you easily mark feeds as read (or everything, for a big catch-up), but makes it really obvious when the less-frequently-updated feeds have something new.

3. Mobile phone Twitter client
I thought my requirement was fairly simple and an obvious sort of thing for such a client - let me view my entire timeline, without gaps, and remembering where I last stopped reading.
Unfortunately, all the previous clients I tried (official Twitter, Twidroyd, Tweetcaster, Seesmic) had one flaw or other in meeting my needs - most of them left gaps in the timeline at some point, even if I set them to automatically loading more at regular intervals.

Seesmic was the best of those at not leaving gaps, but it would literally scroll the timeline from under me (even while I was looking at it!) when it updated (that is, if it loaded 30 minutes of new tweets, some older tweet I was looking at got shoved 30 minutes down !).

Finally tried Janetter, and it seems to do exactly what I want - if I leave it at 10:30PM pointing at a particular tweet, I can pick it up at 7AM and it'll still be showing the same one - and it will have loaded all the tweets since the previous one. It really saves an amazing amount of time in catching up ...

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

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