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250 feeds, neatly organized

In honor of subscribing to my 250th RSS/Atom feed today, I sorted my feeds into groups in NetNewsWire. The flat scrolling list was breaking down pretty badly at this size.

250 feeds, neatly organized

Sorting the feeds was a lot more effort than I expected, so I just finished submitting a bunch of bugs and feature requests (1 2 3 4 5 6, and some for the bug tracker itself: 7 8). Phew. Certainly, I hope 2.1 (or 2.5, or 3.0…) improves the process, but thankfully I won’t be having to sort everything from scratch ever again.

Some interesting tradeoffs in grouping feeds, which I hadn’t thought about before:

Only unread posts are shown for grouped feeds. This is rather nice, because normally you don’t care about the read posts.

There are several feeds (Wired News, RSS Weather, the New York Times, and some Trac feeds of fast-changing apps like Adium) which I hardly ever read; I typically scan the article titles, click something if it looks good, and otherwise hit “k” to mark everything as read and continue on my merry way. I’ve kept the weather feed ungrouped for this reason. You can’t do this when you’re reading an entire group of feeds; “k” will mark the entire group worth of articles as read.

My group titles are shorter than typical feed titles, so I can narrow the subscriptions list, and finally have more room for multiple columns in the news items table (to, among other things, display the selected source). However, with the “+” and gear buttons at the bottom of the list, many of the status messages which live at the bottom right get cut off.

Django is coming…

It’s time for another of those “I’m not dead” weblog posts; I’ve just been really busy writing papers.

However, I should have some time starting next week to get back to my other job, finishing some long-overdue Web work for the College of Medicine. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Django, without a doubt the most exciting software I’ve seen all year. Yes, it’s “just” a Web framework, but it is astonishing in its simplicity, power and elegance. I stumbled upon the site today and it appears they’re shooting for a release this week.

Update: there’s mostly a site there now, and you can check out the BSD-licensed code from a Subversion repository, or of course there’s a Trac site. The code for the website is there, including what looks like a fully functional weblog engine. Must… resist…

My first x86 box

I bought my first x86 box on Thursday—not what you might have expected, but a Soekris net4801 which currently runs m0n0wall off the 8 MB CompactFlash card that came with my Coolpix 950. (Who said those bundled cards are useless?)

My first x86 box

Steve moved out last week and is now in California, so I needed to replace the OpenBSD box he provided as a router/firewall/VPN server. The Soekris box is working wonderfully so far, and m0n0wall is a work of art—imagine Trac’s capability and elegance for Web-managed SOHO router boxes, in a 6 MB on-disk footprint. The only features I miss are non-server-mode OpenVPN (m0n0wall supports PPTP and IPSEC as well) and being able to address the WAN IP directly from inside (though m0n0wall provides some simple DNS-based workarounds).

My parents are visiting for a few days starting Friday. We’ll be doing lots of maintenance on my condo: repairing and painting walls, fixing kitchen stuff, and so forth. I’ll be upgrading my mom‘s PowerBook to Tiger, getting their backup system set up, and sending them back with a m0n0wall CD for hamton.

I’ve been borrowing an original AirPort base station from ACM for a while, after my Zoom AP gave out. The Soekris box has free PCI and MiniPCI slots I could use for a wireless card, but FreeBSD 4.11 (on which m0n0wall is based) doesn’t support 802.11g and my parents have a spare AirPort Express, with which I can finally replace the ugly, lossy, multi-step process I was using for getting audio to my stereo.

And now back to revising my paper…

Off to ISCA; new iBook

While everyone else seems to be going to WWDC, I’m off to ISCA in Madison. Back on Wednesday; responses to email and so forth may be a bit delayed while I’m away.

Since I figure Apple’s not going to be releasing dual-core G4 or higher-resolution 15″ PowerBook LCDs any time soon (may I be proven wrong at WWDC :), I sold my TiBook G4/800 and bought an iBook G4 12″. Aside from some initial fun getting additional memory to work, it’s been great. I ordered a replacement 60 GB 7200 RPM drive for it, but everywhere has it backordered, and I am not looking forward to taking the whole thing apart to swap drives.

Things I miss so far: extra screen space, more evenly backlit LCD, the PC card slot for getting photos from my camera, and a decent space between the bottom of the keyboard and the top of the trackpad (couldn’t Apple have shrunk the button a bit and moved everything down?). Things I really like: small size and weight, durability, scrolling trackpad, ports on the side, better and faster AirPort reception, and continued realistic 5-hour battery life.

ICeCoffEE 1.4.2 released

ICeCoffEE 1.4.2 functions almost completely on Tiger—you don’t see service keyboard equivalents in the Select Services sheet, since I can no longer extract them from the menu. (There’s a SPI that can get me what I want, though not in a convenient format, and I don’t want to have to use it, but probably will do so eventually.)

Full change list:

  • Updated to Application Enhancer (APE) 1.5: “APE Manager” System Preferences pane is now “Application Enhancer”, among other changes
  • Updated to fancy new Unsanity Installer 3.5
  • Improved URL parsing (for example, now require the first character of a URL to be alphanumeric)
  • Revised documentation to reflect supported Mac OS X versions and bug fixes
  • Restored selectable contextual menu and menu bar Services in Mac OS X 10.4
  • Resolved incompatibility with Cocoa text discontiguous selection in Mac OS X 10.4: URL launching is slightly delayed to ensure your ⌘-click is not followed by another click
  • Removed keyboard equivalents from contextual Services menu (that they’re present in Terminal is a violation of Apple Human Interface Guidelines)
  • Eliminated unsightly “*** Assertion failure in ICCF_LaunchURL()” console message when no item is chosen from the ⌥⌘-click menu
  • Fixed missing URL highlight while the ⌥⌘-click menu is displayed in Safari
  • Restored French localization (missing in 1.4.1)
  • Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

Enjoy! Next up (barring any serious bugs the beta testers didn’t catch) is a F-Script Anywhere update.

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