Daily Archives: Friday, 26th Jun 2009

NetNewsWire – iPhone Version

Quite some time ago, I mentioned that I was quite impressed with NetNewsWire, a particularly nice, and particularly free RSS reader for Mac OS X. Well, since then, it’s become a bigger and bigger part of my computing life, and thanks to its habit of synchronising with Newsgator, I can have it on the MacBook and the iMac, or use the Newsgator web thingy if I’m not using my own kit, and keep nicely up to date with all the things I want to keep up to date with.

Now that I have an iPhone, with its “unlimited”[1] data allowance and eagerness to attach to free wireless networks, it seemed natural enough to look for an RSS reader for the little thing, and would you believe it? Yes, there’s a version of NetNewsWire for the iPhone, and like the Mac OS X version, it’s free[2]. Also like the full-sized version, it synchronises via Newsgator, so it keeps in step with my Macs.

It’s been nicely designed to work easily on a small device. The main page lists all your feeds that have unread items, with an unread count for each. Tapping on one of these shows you a list of items in the feed in question, and tapping on one of those shows the item. If the feed offers full content, you’ll see it all – a bit of scrolling or zooming may be needed if there are pictures involved. If all you’re getting is an excerpt, tapping the title flicks to a new screen which renders the web page with the full article. There’s an option to open the page in Safari, which would be useful if you want to explore the site, or add a bookmark.

Overall, it works nicely, and I’d describe it as just as essential as the big version. Available from an App Store near you now.

[1] Subject to such notions as “fair use”, “if we say so”, and so on
[2] Which is nice. I’d have no trouble paying a small amount for it

Weight Report – 26 June 2009

Meep! :uhoh: Now that’s not good. Probably more random oddness, but it’s still not very good.

On the other hand, I did manage a good long walk today[1], which reminded me how out of practice I am at that sort of thing. Must do more of it, etc.

[1] Uphill all the way, mutter

Going Mobile

Now that I have a mobile device that displays web pages in a remarkably useful manner[1], I thought it would be a good idea to make Losing it[1] as mobile friendly as possible. To do this, I’ve installed the WordPress Mobile Edition plugin. This is slightly more complicated to install than the usual run of plugins – you have to manually copy the folder for the mobile theme into the WordPress themes directory, and keep that up to date when the plugin changes. A wee bit more work than many users will be used to in these days of automagic installations and upgrades, but not all that hard[2]

Anyway, the idea is that rather than loading the whole home page when someone goes to the site while using a mobile device[3], it generates a simple front-end which lists the titles of recent posts, and offers a link towards the bottom to display the full site.  It’s all based on the same Carrington theme that I use anyway, so the mobile version doesn’t look too bad at all. And if anyone visiting on an iPhone, Android Phone, or other smaller device of their choice doesn’t like the basic version, the full site is just a tap away.

[1] So far I’m quite impressed with the way the iPhone renders pages completely, and allows easy zooming in and out to read text and see images properly.
[2] Either via FTP or command line, depending on how you like to do things.
[3] It knows about a lot of devices and recognises them by their user agent strings. You can add more if you need to.

A Slight Change of Plan

Mutter. I took a day off[1] today. I had an appointment in the morning, but as I was expecting to be home by 10:30 or so, I planned a day out with the 30D. Quite specifically, I planned to go to Berwick-upon-Tweed – a place I’ve passed through on the way to Edinburgh a few times, but never actually visited. It’s got lots of walls and bridges and more of the kind of thing I like to point cameras at, so a visit is well overdue.

But, would you believe it, after days of clear blue sky, bright sunshine and general warmness, today turned out to be dull, grey and wet. Now if it had been a bit of patchy cloud, I’d have carried on with my plan, but total dull greyness, not to mention intermittent moderately heavy rain made me decide that Berwick would have to wait for another day.

So, I decided to go to the MetroCentre for the first time since, err, quite a while ago. I didn’t actually buy anything, but I did have a good lunch at the new Pizza Express that’s opened as part of the first phase of the revitalised Yellow Quadrant. It was quite nice – they’ve got tables outside the restaurant so you can sit and watch the world go by. Many of the passing people were interested in the new shiny pointy things in the middle of the open area:

Shiny Pointy Thing

Shiny Pointy Thing

I was quite interested in the free wifi connection that my iPhone picked up, which made a pleasantly relaxed lunch even more pleasant.

So, while I didn’t get to do what I wanted today, I ended up having a good day, really.

[1] Postponed from last Friday, because I let my staff[2] have a holiday at short notice. Contrary to what some people[3] might allege, I’m nice like that
[2] All of him!
[3] Hi Twisty! :wave: