Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Thunderbird for RSS and Podcasts

I’ve been using Sunrise and Plucker to read RSS feeds on my Palm TX.

On the other hand, I still use a Sony NetMD minidisc player to listen to podcasts (although I have a Sony HiMD minidisc recorder for capturing audio). In addition, my e-mail in-basket continues to overflow from push from Business Week.

I’ve always liked Mozilla Thunderbird for handling e-mail, and discovered on the upgrade to v1.5 that podcasts are now supported. Thus, I can keep track of the recordings on IT Conversations as they’re published. (I’ve worked my way through most of the backlogs). I can intersperse entertainment on The Ongoing History of New Music from edge.ca .

I had subscribed to two Business Week e-mail pushes — one of regular articles, and one on technology. This resulted in my e-mail often overlapping, with an article appearing once or two (or more) times. Of the Business Week feeds, the ones that look most interesting to me are:

  • Most Popular
  • Technology
  • B Schools
  • Magazine Selections

However, I’m pretty sure that there’s going to be duplicates. How can I scan through a list without having to look through many duplicates? Here’s the approach:

  • Subscribe to multiple feeds from Business Week (into an account I’ve named “Feeds”
  • In each individual subscriptions from “Feeds”, select all, and move into a folder under “Local Folders” — I call mine “BW Aggregate”.
  • Run the “Remove Duplicate Messages” Thunderbird extension (customized to compare only subject lines).

I’m still working down the backlog in my e-mail — I’m behind 3 months — but think that I’ll be able to turn off the push e-mail soon.

I may be spending a lot more time in Thunderbird, but it should reduce the time from clicking the link in Lotus Notes client, to launch Firefox, and then find the right article. On January 23, Ed Brill said that RSS support might be coming late in Lotus Notes 7 client, but this feels like something where the open source community might be more effective and timely.

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