So Long Lindsay Lohan

When we moved to our new house a few months ago, I began taking the subway to work instead of walking. I was looking forward to the commute as while I had been enjoying the exercise my 40 minute walk had provided, I was missing my reading time. Day one of my subway ride, I boarded, book in hand, all set to sit down and read for half an hour only to find that we’re one stop too close for me to get a seat. That meant standing up, trying to keep my balance and reading and turning pages, which just didn’t work for me.

Since then I’ve grabbed the various free daily papers with their news snippets as I’ve learned the tricks of the subway, but ultimately the problem is still the same – I don’t have the space to hold and flip pages and when I do, the content is really not what I want – like the Lindsay Lohan update.

So, last week’s PDA chatter got me googling. Of course, I googled “hack my newton” and uncovered some cool apps for the now obsolete PDAs. One of which was an RSS reader. After being turned onto Bloglines by Darren about a year and a half ago, I’ve become an RSS snob, choosing not to visit media outlets who don’t provide me with a feed.

Krista had an old Palm M105, which she hasn’t used for about 2 years, so I took a look at how I could the same thing with it. Turns out it was really easy, requiring only two apps and some setup:
1. Plucker – an offline Web and e-book viewer for PalmOS-based handheld devices (http://www.plkr.org)
2. Sunrise – converts websites and newsfeeds to Plucker format (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sunrisexp)

Plucker is a Palm-only app that I uploaded to my PDA for viewing my docs. Sunrise has two components. A desktop application (I have the Windows version installed), where I select RSS feeds and sites I want and then configure each one’s depth, (thereby allowing me to grab content and not just headlines or summaries). A Palm piece, which is used during the Hot Synch for transfer of the converted documents to the PDA.

It takes about 3 minutes to pull down the 5 feeds I currently have configured, then less than a minute to synch them to my Palm which I did this morning before I walked out the door. The result was great, I was able to read without problem during my entire trip.

Only problem – 9hr old content for the ride home.

2 Comments

gslavinsApril 4th, 2006 at 8:36 am

Maybe, you could get a seat on the train and read an ‘afternoon’ newspaper.

jrothneyApril 4th, 2006 at 9:06 am

The best solution would be to pickup another cradle so I can hotsynch again just before I leave work.

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