March Updates

It’s been a while since I posted. Freelance work has been taking up all of my spare time, the last two weeks have been manic, thank goodness the particular job I was working on has now gone to press and I can, oh I don’t know, sleep a bit more.

So, what’s new?

Computer stuff

Well, I’ve started using a new RSS feed reader – endo. It’s written by Adriaan Tijsseling, the same person who makes ecto, the blogging client that I’m using right now to write this article, and 1001, a desktop client for flickr. I’ve used ecto for a while now and have been very happy with it so I immediately downloaded and tried endo.

Previously I was running Net News Wire and when you move from one piece of software to another that fulfills many of the same functions, it’s impossible not to compare the two. You find that many posts to endo’s forums are along the lines of “NNW did it like this but endo doesn’t, please fix this.” You have to accept that endo works differently and it’s a new set of keyboard shortcuts to learn (for instance), but, once you get over that, it does what it does pretty well.

Adriaan is really responsive to requests and comments and it’s interesting following his posts to the forums because it shows that he develops software from a very personal perspective. He needs an app to do something for him, and he has certain ideas about how he wants it to do that task, so that’s the way the app ends up.

Take notifications, for example. endo uses its own method for alerting the user that new articles have appeared. Now Growl provides a similar service but is available to any application that chooses to use it and has many more options for how those alerts appear. Some people have asked that endo provide the option to use Growl if it’s available, but Adriaan’s argument is that it doesn’t do what he needs it to do, so he’s decided not to use it.

That said, Adriaan is not immovable in his opinions. The groups bar provoked a fair amount of comment about it’s usability, and in the latest release (1.0.8) a new preference has been added to address these comments.

And that’s one of the reasons why I like Adriaan’s software – you get to see the development process of software up close. Over the last two weeks since I installed the software, I think there have been 4 point releases – fixing bugs, adjusting options and adding new features, many of these as a result of feedback on the forums. At this stage of a product’s life, that’s the sort of support that I like – it fosters a connection with the developer and gives you a sense of investment in the software.

Which is why I’ve paid my registration fee for endo and will be contributing to the forums wherever I can.

Art stuff

I recently found out about The Ruskin Gallery, which is tucked away in the Anglia Ruskin University here in Cambridge. The gallery is a large, double-height space which seems to be a converted connecting space between two parts of the University.

When I went they were showing the abstract paintings of Bruce Russell. The shows change roughly every two weeks and will be showing a lot of material from the courses and staff at the University.

It’s a funny place, I found it difficult to find as there was no sign-posting when you go to the site, and the room itself is good for displaying wall-mounted pieces but is in continual use as a corridor making it difficult to concentrate on the work. In a way this is good for the people at the University as they get to see the work as part of their daily movements through the site, but bad if you want to focus on the pieces.

On the whole it’s a good place to pop into when you have quarter of an hour free and you’re in that part of town.

Music stuff

Nathan Fake: Drowning in a sea of remixes

Smyglyssna: We can fix it remixes

Malcom Kipe: Lit

Wisp: Nrthndr

Find them all on Bleep.

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March Updates by escdotdot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International