Blog Diet: A Starter List For Your RSS Reader (Updated Spring 2022) by Warren Ellis

“People keep asking me where I find stuff, or where to start with an RSS reader.

I exported my subscriptions, and damn, there are a LOT of dead blogs out there. I’m actually shocked at how much of my list is now gone. (And how many sites have shut off their RSS!) Here is a selection of blogs from the list of ones I think are still active. Like I say, it’s just a bit of my active subscriptions list, but maybe you’ll find something you want to follow.”

-Warren Ellis, “Blog Diet: A Starter List For Your RSS Reader (Updated Spring 2022).” warrenellis.ltd. April 22, 2022.

Here’s a list of “best” free RSS Readers for 2022. I’ve talked about RSS Readers a bit here in the past and suggested some places to start. I’m used Nextcloud News, newsboat, and flym. I like newsboat quite a bit, but I find I don’t check it as much as if it is in a mobile app. YMMV.

Newsboat

Newsboat is the Mutt of RSS readers. Works and looks pretty much the same as mutt. In making the conversion, I learned that I have over 500 RSS feeds, which in combination with a few dozen newsletters via email is how I discover the material to post to this blog.

I used to use an app on my phone to scroll through when I had time, but I found using Newsboat sped up the process considerably. So, even though I have to sit down at the computer and go through each feed, Newsboat will be my default method moving forward. Recommended.

Fun With Fortune in Linux

Fortune provides a random quote or aphorism every time you open a terminal in Linux. I wanted to have a personalized fortune using zuihitsu quotes posted on this site come up whenever I opened a terminal. If you want to do something similar, here’s the procedure.

To check if you have it installed, simply type fortune into the terminal.

$ fortune 

This either returned a fortune or an error message. If you got an error message, then install fortune using the package manager for your system.

$ sudo apt install fortune-mod

Let’s create our own file of fortunes. I want to use my zuihitsu quotes I have posted on this site. This file is a text file that looks like so:

%
quote 1
%
quote 2
%
quote ...

There is a copy of the file available online.

If you have just a file with lines of quotes, this is easy to get into this format using emacs. Simply type: M-%, followed by c-q c-j Enter then c-q c-j % c-q c-j Enter. I like to check the replacements, so just keep hitting y to do the replacement and move on to the next one if it looks good. Save the file to the appropriate directory, which on Debian systems is /usr/share/games/fortunes, but can vary. For explanation purposes, we are going to assume the file was named zuihitsu with no file extension.

Note: If you are using the file above, just save it as a text file in your directory. Then, copy it to the appropriate system directory without a file extension.

Now, create a .dat file for the file you just made.

$ sudo strfile zuihitsu

Set the same permissions on the new files as the others in the directory. This just makes the files readable to groups and others.

$ sudo chmod o+r zuihitsu
$ sudo chmod g+r zuihitsu
$ sudo chmod o+r zuihitsu.dat
$ sudo chmod g+r zuihitsu.dat

Following the rest of the directory. I added a symbolic link.

$ sudo ln -s zuihitsu zuihitsu.u8

You should be able to test it now.

$ fortune zuihitsu

Assuming that worked. The final thing to do is to have your preferred shell call this when it runs. I use bash, so I added the command above to my bash_aliases file. From then on, it will pull a random quote from the zuihitsu file every time you bring up the terminal.

Bonus

Make a fortune come up automatically every time you login or open a new terminal by adding the following to .bashrc or .bash_aliases:

fortune zuihitsu 

Also, if you use mutt, you can add the following to your .muttrc file to have this fortune file generate a random signature for your emails:

set signature="fortune zuihitsu -s|"

The -s selects shorts quotes and the | pipes it to your email text.

Did you know the original fortune-mod fortune collection is available as a EPUB?

Being a Creator, Craig Mod

This is a really interesting discussion of how one man created a business using a subscription model combined with discounts for the finished work for subscribers. There’s much to think about in this discussion. If this is of any interest to you, I’d read the whole thing and the previous year’s as well. He talks about what it takes, how much it costs, the tools he uses, and provides a whole lot of other detail that might provide some food for thought.

Min, The Minimalist Web Browser

See quick definitions and answers with information from DuckDuckGo, including Wikipedia entries and more. Jump to any site quickly with fuzzy search. Or search through the full text of every page you’ve visited, even if you don’t remember the title.

Min

I haven’t tried this browser. I like the idea. But, I think being able to use a SOCKS5 proxy is important, and I don’t see that functionality on a casual scan. Still, I thought it might be worth looking into as a secondary browser.