Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tegan's Tech Talk - Various Stuff

The Oscars must have started, as the TiVo has started recording something, and I'm pretty sure the only thing we set up for tonight was Oscars. I've spent much of the day helping hubby-Eric learn how to use our new domain names and server. It's been an interesting day.

First up: Google Reader.

Yes, I like it a lot more than Bloglines. The interface is much better, I prefer the method of "starring" entries that I want to go back to, and having them all in the same place to look at. The sharing function has so much possibilities, as you can subscribe to other people's shares as feeds and suddenly get a whole new world's worth of blog reading. Lots of potential there.

But the problems! Ay!

  • I really need the ability to blogroll from my reader. It is so much easier to keep a blogroll updated if it's wrapped up in the way I read my feeds. The lack of a blogroll function is one big strike against it.
  • There is currently no way to tell if an entry has been updated. This is a VERY annoying problem, and may be the biggest strike against Google Reader.
  • Related to the updated problem, there is currently no way to tell when an entry was first posted. The dates in Google Reader seem to be when the app reads the feed. Not good. No "first posted" date, and no "last updated" date makes a cranky Laura.
  • Lastly, more speed, a way to see how many users are subscribed to a feed, and a way to mark entries as read from the list view. Minor problems, but still problems.
If anyone from Google is reading this, pass this along to the Reader team. So, sooo close to being a perfect app for me. But those first two strikes mean I have to still use Bloglines, and I hate having to use two apps when one should do.

Next Item: Dreamhost.

As you all know, hubby-Eric and I sprung for a domain name and new server space. We got space at Dreamhost in part because of recommendations from various folks, and in part because it's a big operation and I hoped that would mean better service/uptime/etc. So far, with some minor flubs, it's been more than worth the price we paid for it. But hubby-Eric has been so busy, it took until today for me to get him up-and-running on all the fiddly bits and such. So I've been immersed in Dreamhost today... and today Dreamhost has had one of the worst outages they've had in a long time. Ah, the excellent timing I have! Now, that's not to say we weren't able to make progress. In fact, the worst effect it's had on us is that we haven't been able to send out e-mail like we want from our domain. But it still strikes me as funny that the one time I get to sit down with hubby-Eric and really spend some time helping him learn the new system, it flakes out on us.

Last Item: Mac Computers.

They are weird. Installing programs is either incredibly easy compared to a PC, or outrageously odd. For instance, we attempted to install Thunderbird, but somehow managed to run it from the file that we downloaded. I really have no idea how that worked. Eventually we figured out how to put the program into the right folder/directory/whatever and get rid of the downloaded file, but it seemed like it defaulted to the wrong way. I thought Macs were supposed to be easier! I guess if I understood Macs like I understand PCs it would be simpler, but man, jumping into OSX from an XP machine is strange going. Hubby-Eric says, "They're quirky. But I like quirky."

Well, back to the fun. Dinner to make... then I suppose we'll start watching the Oscars with lots of fast-forwarding. And lots more to do on our websites. Probably no Ripples Through Time tonight, as I'm too teched up at the moment. Who knows, maybe I'll recover.