DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 7, 2014

2013 Sites in Review, Part 1

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year since we last talked.  I wanted to say, "Thanks!" to all of you readers who support the "Double Click" column by reading and writing over the past 12 years.  It is very much appreciated.  Please keep it up.  I always enjoy hearing from you.

It is the time of year when I review all of the sites mentioned during the previous year.  As always, have fun remembering, discovering, or rediscovering all the info! 

If the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them using "bit.ly" for print, so the links may not look quite right.  Without further ado…here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

  • Online music streaming sites;  "Slacker Radio" (slacker.com), "Spotify" (spotify.com), "Maestro" (maestro.fm), Last.fm and the one I like best…Pandora (pandora.com).   These are accounts for listening to most any type of music imaginable. 
  • Google Musicmusic.google.com.   Google’s music site is similar to above; however, you can also upload up to 20,000 of your own songs and listen to them online from any device.
  • Daily News-RecordDNROnline.com.  My flagship newspaper, read it often! 
  • Double Clicksdoubleclicks.info.  This column’s site, read it often, too!
  • Portable Appsportableapps.com.  A site where you can get apps that are… well, that’s obvious.  
  • Microsoft Officebit.ly/1kJ3oK4.  You know this one, "The" most popular office suite of programs.
  • Libre Officelibreoffice.org.  One of the two most popular free office suites.
  • Solutosoluto.com.  One of many ways to speed up your computer and keep all of your applications up to date, not just the Microsoft ones. 
  • Lynda.com. A paid online training site for many different applications used today.
  • Microsoft Office Trainingbit.ly/1cBOoM9.  Good free office training.
  • YouTube.com – among millions of other videos you can find excellent Office training videos created by people like you and me.
  • Google.com – the most popular search engine.
  • Gmailgmail.com.  Google’s branded email.
  • A Toy Train in Spacebit.ly/1bHdbc3.  A dad uses a Raspberry Pi computer to take his son’s toy train into space and return with some great video of the ride.
  • Newsblur.com, Feedly.com, TheOldReader.com, Pulse.me and Flipboard.com.  Several of the many popular RSS feed readers to replace the dead and gone Google Reader.  They vary for mobile platforms and web viewing.

Well that takes us through the middle of 2013.  Check out part two of the year in review next week.

July 9, 2013

Google Reader is Gone… Now What?

Last week I talked about Google Reader being another fond Google memory.  If you are still interested in following your favorite RSS Feeds, what can you use to replace this great application?  If you have already substituted it with some other “feed reader” let me know what it is and how you like it.  If you have not yet replaced it…read on.

There are many other readers on the internet which have been recommended to be good replacements for Reader.  I have tried numerous quantities of them.  I will not mention those which failed my examination; however, there are several that stand out as at least “OK.”  However, so far none have been as simple and as easy to use as Google Reader.  I am still looking but here is what I have discovered thus far.

There are a couple of things my new, best reader has to have and one is a clean user interface.  I do not want something that looks like a magazine, I just want simple.  Next, it has to be easy to add new feeds to and easy to navigate from one article to the next.  Finally, and maybe most importantly, it should have a website and android presence.  That way I can read it as my morning “paper” on my phone or tablet. Later for lunch at work I can continue where I left off on my browser.

imageOne reader that gets an honorable mention from me is “Feedly” at feedly.com.  This one has been around awhile but after the news of GR dying off, they beefed up their servers to take the extra business coming from x-Google Reader-users.  Of course, this beef up was pretty much universal with all RSS Readers after Google’s announcement.  Some of the companies have done well keeping up with the new, high demand. Feedly is one that has done well with meeting all of my “needs” mentioned previously.

http://www.iphonehacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/newsblur-icon.jpgThe next one I like is, “Newsblur” (newsblur.com). It has all of the features I look for except it is a little clunky to navigate. To me it looks sloppy and disorganized, but it works very well and has apps for all the regular platforms.

imageI guess I should mention Google’s substitute, Currents…well, I did last week and nothing has changed. To quote myself, “…it is nowhere near as straightforward or easy to read and navigate as the old version.”  Personally, I have tested this one for you and I would (believe me) skip it were I you.  Did I mention that is also updates very slowly?

imageNext, “The Old Reader” has a great UI for the web but lacks versions for Android and iPhone.  There is an “unofficial” Android version of TheOldReader.com at Google Play.  It is in its infancy and is not ready for prime-time.  The web version, if that is all you need, is great and I recommend it for your browser only.  The person who designed this one said they just wanted to replace GR with a very close duplicate.  He is close but not exact.

The readers mentioned above are those I prefer at this time; however, I will keep searching for the ultimate successor to Google Reader.

Now two honorable mentions.  First is Pulse at pulse.me.  It has a very good reader for Android and the iPhone platform and a very well laid out website reader as well.  This one did not make one of my favorites since it is “very graphically” integrated which you may really appreciate.  I guess I am just boring and enjoy reading only a title and a line or two about an article when choosing if I wish to read it.  With Pulse the graphics for the feeds are the main attraction.  Another which is similar to Pulse is Flipboard at flipboard.com.  Again, I am not opposed to these types of readers.  They are just not my preference.

http://appshopper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pulse-icon-2.png          http://scottkleinberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/flipboard-icon.jpg

Be warned, “Users preferences and experiences may vary.”  Especially with all of the readers constantly being revised in order to keep up with users’ requests.

Let me know what you find as you continue the hunt for the best replacement.

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