Category: Tech

The Old Reader skinned as Google Reader using Stylebot

So having looked at the various options I’ve decided the best solution for me is to use The Old Reader as my desktop RSS reader of choice. However, I wasn’t overly crazy about the layout so using the Chrome plugin Stylebot I reskinned Old Reader to look more like Google Reader.


Get the good stuff here:

See also: Moving from Google Reader: testing Feedly, TinyTiny RSS & Old Reader

Moving from Google Reader: testing Feedly, TinyTiny RSS & Old Reader

Sadly I Iearned of the impending demise Google Reader. I use Google Reader on a daily basis from everything to monitoring client site updates, to funnelling precise news feeds using Yahoo Pipes RSS mashups.

So while some folk have started the Keep Google Reader Running campaign, I’ve been busy looking at replacements. Having checked out advice on a few sites such as this I narrowed the running down to Feedly, TinyTiny RSS and Old Reader.


Moving my feeds over to Feedly involved nothing more than logging into Feedly with my Google account. So set up equals easy.

First thoughts, I hate the layout. I want all my feeds to be visible or for me to be able to twirl folders up and down. Occasionally I need to see if particular sites are updating in a different folder to the one I’m viewing. This makes it handy to see when a news story is breaking as lots of sites start updating. The Feedly layout feels cluttered and the adverts running down the right sidebar are irritating.

Tiny Tiny RSS (a mini tutorial in moving from Google Reader to Tiny Tiny RSS)

Tiny Tiny RSS (TTRSS) is a roll your own feed reader. It involves setting up a small application which sits on your hosting server or locally using something like MAMP. I set up TTRSS on a subdomain living on my website hosting server. To do this I followed these steps:

  1. Download the tar package here.

  2. Extract the files using 7-zip

  3. Create a database in your website control panel

  4. I opted for mysql so in phpMyAdmin import schema > ttrss_schema_mysql.sql

  5. Open config.php-dist in NotePad++

  6. Change line 6
    define(‘DB_TYPE’, “mysql”);

  7. Add your database login details to lines 8 to10

  8. Change line 21 to url where the application will live on the server.

  9. Rename config.php-dist to config.php

  10. Upload the files to the server using FileZilla

  11. You should come to a login screen the login is U:admin P:password

  12. Best practice recommends not using the admin login so create a new user and login using those credentials

  13. Go to your Google Reader account and go to Reader Settings >  Import/Export > Download your data through Takeout > Create Archive

  14. In TTRSS go to Actions > Preferences > Feeds > OPML and import the subscriptions.xml file

  15. I hit a few errors but TTRSS managed to import most of my feeds and folders

Okay, I like that this solution means I have control of it and it sits on my servers meaning I’m not reliant on some third party to manage my valuable feeds. The design layout is okay and not too painful to work with however there is a but. And it’s a big one. TTRSS is sloooow, I mean at times, really slow. It’s also little twitchy when moving quickly through feeds.

The Old Reader

Billed as being like Google Reader before the recent redesign, set up is fairly simple. Export your feeds from Google using their Takeout service and then import into Old Reader. Done that. So now the downside, their service like many others is overloaded which means I’m sat in the queue with some 40k folk in front of me. Bummer.


Feedly is a pain and yesterday their service went down probably under the strain of folk leaving Google. TTRSS is a nice little application and probably works fine if you have a small number of feeds but I suspect it’s current version isn’t quite up to the task. Which leaves Old Reader, I *really* hope this service is stable and works much like the old Google service…

See also: The Old Reader skinned as Google Reader using stylebot

Solution – how to manage fonts across several PC’s

Answer –

1. Install Dropbox (if you use this referral link you’ll receive 250 mb extra space and I’ll get some extra space too!)
2. Download and install this free font manager NexusFont
3. Take a copy of all the fonts in your Font folder (found in your system Control Panel)
4. Create a folder in your Dropbox and call it MyFonts.
5. Move all your fonts into MyFonts folder
6. Run NexusFont
7. Select all the installed fonts listed under the Library as ‘Installed’ and right click.
8. Select uninstall
9. Hit the ‘+’ button in the bottom left of NexusFont and create a group called ‘Not installed’
10. Right click this new ‘Not installed’ group and select Add Folder.
11. Browse to the MyFonts folder in your Dropbox and hit ‘OK’

With NexusFont running all your fonts are usable by Photoshop, Word etc. With NexusFont closed only core fonts are available to your system. So, once you have set up Dropbox and NexusFont on your other machines all your fonts will be co-ordinated across your machines, with the added bonus of increasing system speed.

3G Speed in Liverpool

I get nothing near this speed on o2’s network back in London