December 11, 2005

Ho ho home free!

I'm smugly satisfied to announce that I'm done Christmas shopping (another way DSL has changed my life; I did most of it via the Internet). I mention it not so much to brag, but in wonderment: I don't think I've ever been done this many days before any gatherings before. I might pick up a few things at Toys 'R' Us (we have to return something anyhow), but my actual list is done. Now, the wrapping is another matter....

Another way technology's impacted me lately is that I've tried RSS. That's Really Simple Syndication, but I'd never really heard a simple explanation of what it was, so I finally just tried installing it. Very nice.

If you don't know, it's essentially a program that searches your favorite web sites for you (no clicking required; mine does it automatically whenever I start the program), and provides you with any updated information that appears there. So far, different web sites will give you different information; with some blogs, you get the whole text of whatever someone's written. Others just give you the first few lines, and some sites (kgw.com) give you just a headline. It saves time for me, since I don't have to actually go to each site to see if it's been updated (and half the time with news sites, I just want to check the headlines anyway).

The one I tried is Net NewsWire Lite, a freeware program for the Mac. (If you want to try it, scroll down to the very bottom of that page to find the free version.)

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