19 Mar 2013

Hooray! I don't need Google Reader - rss2email works better for me anyhow

Like a lot of folks, I was kind of annoyed to hear Google Reader was shutting down. Not sad though.

I had a quick look around and found rss2email, a command line rss to email handler which you can run via cron.

To install on an Ubuntu or similar machine where it's already in the packages list:

sudo apt-get install rss2email

You've then got a command, r2e which you configure with your email address, some preferences and a list of feed urls.

It stores things in ~/.rss2email

See the r2e man page (type man r2e) for usage.

After running

r2e new email@example.com

the ~/.rss2email directory will be created.

In there, create a config.py file where you'll put config options. Mine looks like:

DEFAULT_FROM = "r2e@rss2email.reedwade.net"

The From address makes it easy to filter on. I use Gmail for email reading and I've created a new label called 'RSS Feeds'. All mail from that address gets that tag and bypasses the Inbox so I don't have to look at it until I want to.

Use Google Takeaway to get a copy of your Reader subscription data. In the zip file you'll find a subscriptions.xml file. Copy that into ~/.rss2email then import it via:

r2e opmlimport subsciptions.xml


r2e list

to review your subscriptions list and cull those you no longer care about.

r2e run

will process each feed and send you the new items. You probably don't want to get mail about all 2000 postings the first time, so:

r2e run --no-send

to get things caught up.

I have a cron entry which matches the times I might want to see new postings:

32 1,7,9,11,13,15,17,19,20,22 * * * r2e run

So far so good, I've only been using it a few days so I don't know how well it works or if there's gaps or whatnot.

The usage experience is as good or better than Google Reader as it's just a label in my mail instead of a separate thing.

4 Feb 2012

hand crank coffee grinder is fun

but, I can understand why our recent ancestors attached motors to these things, it's a bit of a work out

18 Nov 2011

Linux Mint 12 + Gnome 3

I like it.

I've just installed the Mint 12 RC and I'm surprised how much I'm liking Gnome 3. It's different from 2 but not startlingly so -- feels tidier, simpler.


22 Aug 2011

Movies Are Cool

I've just finished my first day at Weta Digital as a Production Engineer. The group I'm working with help to keep the world spinning in the correct direction so the creative folks can do their thing.

Lot's of smart and interesting people. Tons of things I need to learn still but I don't feel out of step there at all.

Someone asked me today if the movies seem less magic now that I've had a peek behind the curtain. It's had just the opposite effect -- the effort, the energy and the creativity is massive. Looks like the best kind of magic to me.

23 Jun 2011

The Python Standard Library by Example -- get it

My copy of The Python Standard Library by Example arrived this morning and it's totally kick-ass.

I don't much go for paper style books, especially chunky looking tech books but the python standard library ages pretty well and this is a collection of usage examples which is always nice to have at hand.

It turns out in this case the chunky book format is the perfect thing for thumbing through and discovering things that have been in the standard library all this time but you never noticed before. I've already spotted about 3 things I expect to use this week.

And it's written by Doug Hellman, the fellow who introduced me to python (via Zope even) on a project we worked on together a long time ago and it really saved the day. I've been loving python ever since.

Get it.
- from Amazon
- or bookdepository.co.uk (which tends to be cheaper where I am)

8 May 2011

Flickr Backups - PicBackFlick, but really digital autonomy

I've been working on a Flickr backup utility and it's far enough along now for other people to give it a go.

See http://reedwade.net/picbackflick/
code at https://github.com/reedwade/PicBackFlick

It's written in python, is a command line script, is suitable for running via cron, has a handy locally browsable HTML photo viewer, etc.

It works well and there's more features it needs which I'll be adding over time but if you feel like lending a hand then please do.


I like using tools like gmail and flickr but I don't like the idea of depending on their good nature to keep my stuff safe. Keeping my own copy of the originals and meta info in a place I control is only sensible.

So, this takes care of photos, now I need similar tools for:
- gmail (and contacts and calendars)
- twitter
- blogger
- linkedin