Friday, November 26, 2004

Update on newsreader software

We're not suddenly going to become a tech newsletter, but I thought this recommendation might still be worthwhile. I mentioned in an earlier post that I use Mozilla Thunderbird for managing my own RSS subscriptions. I still think it's a good program, but I also think I've found a better one. SharpReader is freeware that works nicely, quickly and easily, and gives you more control over your subscriptions. (Though it's freeware, you can donate, if you choose, to support their work.) It has only two downsides that I've found so far:

  1. It requires that you have .NET Framework, version 1.1, installed already. You probably do; if you don't, you can get it by going to WindowsUpdate, which you should do regularly anyway.
  2. If I remember correctly, it makes itself your default browser (I mentioned that one earlier too). If so, it's not a big problem. If you still use Intenet Explorer (which has dropped in usage against Firefox), click on Tools > Internet Options > Programs and make sure the box is checked for "Internet Explorer should check to see if it is the default browser." (If it's already checked, which is the default, then IE will automatically check when you first open IE. Just tell it "yes" and forget the rest of the instructions.) There are similar ways of having Firefox and Mozilla check (if you use either of those, I'll bet you already know how to make it your default).
  3. OK, another one. There's not much by way of help files, so you have to be able to figure things out pretty well on your own. The good news in this regard is that the program is fairly intuitive and self-explanatory, so it's not too hard to figure out.
Give SharpReader a try if you are just now setting up RSS feeds--I think you'll like it, and it's certainly priced right.


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