Monthly Archives: September 2003

More on Palm RSS Reader

More on the RSS headline viewer for Palm devices that I mentioned over the weekend. Today I tried it on my Tungsten C and it worked pretty well. A couple of minor bugs but overall a pretty nice package. They've also written a conduit (Windows only), so you don't need an internet-capable device to use the software.

PalmInfocenter posted the release of the software on Friday. Reading the comments at PalmInfocenter is always entertaining. My favorite quote is the first one:

Nice! This would be very handy for boring study halls; I could download news over WiFi on my NX70v in the morning and read it at school. But $15 is way too expensive for me.

You're using a Sony NX70V (list price $499) and $15 is too expensive? I guess you can't please everyone all of the time.

Most of the reader's comments point out alternatives such as Plucker. It's true that there are other ways to do this, but most require a fairly technical setup. Handheld Headlines/RSS is the first Palm application that I know of that just works like a desktop news aggregator would. Hopefully it lowers the bar so that people can take advantage of this useful technology (RSS).

Handheld Headlines/RSS screenshot, Tungsten C, viewing PalmInfocenter's RSS feed

AnandTech

Anand Lai Shimpi (founder and chief of AnandTech) has started a weblog (RSS Feed). Subscribed.

AnandTech is a great resource for PC hardware reviews, especially for the do-it-yourself PC builders out there. (Which reminds me, I really need to build a new PC. Still getting some use out of my Celeron 300 system with Windows 98, but it's really pathetic.)

AnandTech also has two other RSS feeds for Articles and News.

Bionic Office

Joel Spolsky's company (Fog Creek Software) just moved in to a new office. I'm jealous!

Most software managers know what good office space would be like, and they know they don't have it, and can't have it. Office space seems to be the one thing that nobody can get right and nobody can do anything about. There's a ten year lease, and whenever the company moves the last person anybody asks about how to design the space is the manager of the software team, who finds out what his new veal-fattening pens, uh, cubicle farm is going to be like for the first time on the Monday after the move-in.

Well, it's my own damn company and I can do something about it, so I did.

SyncIT Crash and Burn

I mentioned earlier that my copy of SyncIT was giving me fits and for some reason had erased ALL of my bookmarks. I was also frustrated by a total lack of information, updates, or news from the people running the site. Submitted a support request only resulting in a database error.

Today I received an e-mail from the company explaining their problems:

We realize we haven't been doing a very good job of explaining our situation to you. … The short version is that our extremely expensive, supposedly fully redundant database machine has failed catastrophically. We do not have enough money to replace it. We also can't seem to recover our previous database. I realize this hurts many people, perhaps you personally, who were relying on us to recover the service.

I guess blaming the hardware is one way to go. The good news is that they are promising to release the client software and web pages as an open source project under the GPL. This is good news, but there was no mention of the server-side or database software, both of which would be needed for true multiple-platform sync.

Update: It looks like Emmanuel Frécon is also looking at multiple-platform bookmark sync.