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A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Monday, March 01, 2004

I started looking into RSS newsreaders last week, and there seem to be a lot of them out there, and for most platforms. I'm on Windows NT, and I was looking for a freeware one. I started with the free 30-day trial of FeedDemon (written by the guy who wrote HomeSite and TopStyle) and that seems pretty good, especially since it comes pre-loaded with lots of feeds so you can get a good idea of what's available out there. But the three different windows are a bit busy and I started to feel overwhelmed with all those readymade feeds, so I decided to keep looking....

The next one I tried was SharpReader but here I got caught on the need to have the .NET framework installed (which seems to be quite common among RSS newsreaders). It turns out my computer doesn't already have that, so I downloaded it from the Microsoft site but it persistently failed to install with "unspecified reasons". I tracked down the missing dll that the SharpReader installation error message mentioned, but I still couldn't get this going. So again, I kept on looking ....

And then I came across Bloglines. It's free and web-based, so like webmail I'll be able to get to my soon-to-be-favourite RSS feeds wherever I am, whatever platform (including PDA). It can be used it to keep track of blogs, which I guess is how it really started, and you can share lists of feeds with friends. The blurb tells me the system will also recommend feeds/blogs based on my existing ones, but that side of things seems a bit basic so far. But anyway, it all seems like a quite a good package to me, so I've stopped looking for now and am trying this one out.
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