Explaining RSS

I keep having to explain what RSS is and what a news aggregator is, so I decided to write an article on it. One centerally located page I can refer to from all my sites.

Its written from a user’s perspective, not a technical one. This is for my wife, mother and father. People who use computers, but don’t know what XML is.

Feel free to link to this article yourself if you find it useful.

What is an RSS feed?


One of the sites I read on a regular basis is inluminent Its a cool site for small business marketing and also has hot chicks on it.

The author – whose name I don’t even know – is moving from North Texas, Dallas I believe. He got a new job, that is 3.5 hours drive from where he is now. So I’m betting its in Austin or Houston. Could be Oklahoma City, but I’m doubting that.

So Mr. Inluminent, if you are going to Houston contact me and I’ll give you advice on where to live. And I’m not trying to sell you either.

CSS is cool

Was reading someone else’s blog and followed a link to a page that handled links by putting a dotted line under them on mouse over. I thought that was cool, so I fired up BBEdit, told it to open my style sheet on the server and started editing styles. All I had to do to change the look of my site was to edit that sheet. No skins, nor HTML.


BlogApp didn’t do it.

As you can tell from the last post, BlogApp ain’t gonna work. It put the title in the blog, not the title field. No category, so it got General. And it added no paragraph information.

Testing BlogApp

Testing BlogApp
I really need a way to add items to my blog where I can spell check them as I type. Plus I normally use Chimera, an OSX Mozilla based browser, which is still in development and whose text fields really suck.

Plus I want good HTML in my posts. So I’m trying BlogApp. It uses the blogger API. We’ll see how it works. I can’t figure out how to set the category. Maybe that’s not supported in the API.

Building the site.

I actually run three and a half sites right now. But none of them were my personal weblog, so I finally found a domain name I like – even if I did have to make up a word – and started the is site.

When I went looking for blog software I looked a Moveable Type, but wasn’t sure it was free for my shareware company, so I looked some more and found Nucleus. Its written in PHP, which I understand, and that’s a good thing. Once you understand it it is also easy to use.

Next I had to find a look that worked. I’m a programmer, not an artist. But I ended up here via this path:

I also upped my account at DreamHost from thier $9.95 account, which only allowed one domain to be hosted, to the $19.95 account which lets me have 3 and more bandwidth and MySQL queries.

Stuff that matters.

Slashdot threads are like car wreaks. If you look you’ll be compelled to keep looking even when you hate what you see. I subscribe to thier RSS feed, so I get sucked in regularly. I want to write an app that watches my browser, sees if I’ve been on a single slashdot page for more than 5 minutes and closes the browser window.

But this thread is too good to pass up. I’ve got my threshold set to 4 so I avoid a lot of crappy posts.