The personal blog of Sven Seebeck

In the beginning of the year read Vo.1-5 of Joe Hill’s and Gabriel Rodriguez’s amazing series Locke & Key. I was just about to receive the final volume 6, Alpha & Omega, at my local library, when Corona happened and libraries closed, and my reserved copy got indefinitely delayed.

Delayed, that is, until today…

While my reading during the last couple of months had significantly slowed down, this book I finished right away. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but what a great ending of a great series. Can’t recommend this enough.

Also: my daily achievement would be setting up an Org-Capture template to post a Microblog entry to my blog. All nicely with header and dates pre-filled. Nice! Will have to expand on this a bit more, but padding myself on the shoulder in any case.

Via Boing Boing I ran into Standard Ebooks the other day. A very nice collection of nicely made public domain e-Books. I will have to have a thorough look at this.

Yet another change to my digital setup

Over the course of the last few months my setup for how I do things on the computer, and how I organize my things, on making my tools and content really mine, have changed quite a bit. Some have developed over time and some have been a conscious decision. My latest is the switch to read my RSS feed locally.

For many years now I have subscribed to, and paid for, a selection of various RSS/Feed-reader services. There had been at least Inoreader, FeedWrangler and Feedbin that I had subscribed to since Google Reader had shut down and probably a few more that I tried and forgot about. All with the premise of having my feeds, which are an essential part of my daily reading habits, available to me at all times.

Before Google Reader (or at the same time, things are getting blurry) I already used NetNewsWire, which, as far as I remember, had been in the beginning a local reader and only later offered a sync (it also had a Windows app with a different name if I recall correctly) via it’s own service. And that certainly worked fine for me.

In came the phones and the need to sync and have all the feeds available at all times.

In hindsight I’m not sure if that was any progress. Sure it’s great to check my feed while I’m out and about, but I don’t think there is any real difference of checking my feed all the time, than checking-in on (add social media platform of choice). Since I would like to use my phone less, this seems like a reasonable decision.

That, and a look at my ongoing subscriptions list (which by now resides in a nice orgmode table) was reason enough to go down the local-route again. That will solve my compulsive on-the-go checking, free me of yet another service and ultimately give me more control.

I have looked into a couple of tools and the most interesting ones so far had been Elfeed, a feed-reader for Emacs, and Newsboat, a feed-reader for the terminal.

Since I started to, and somewhat get a hang of, and currently am weirdly fascinated of, Emacs, Elfeed seemed the most natural fit. I can easily skim or sort the feed, have a consistent environment at all times and have a consistent logic of navigation and keyboard shortcuts, quickly capture posts as TODOs, organize my subscriptions in a nice and easy to read plain-text file and many more things.

My initial testing so far is very nice, albeit I have to get used to the slower updates now which reminds me to go through my about ~150 feeds that I’m subscribed to and weed out the dormant ones, of which I guess there are plenty.

Since I’m in the process of moving things around I also had a look at a demo-account of Nextcloud and that looks very interesting. It ticks all the boxes: it open source, privacy and has inherently more control than elsewhere. Bonus points for that one can choose the host or go down the self-hosted route. Will have to look into that at.

If you follow this blog for a while you know I enjoy horror-/mystery audio-dramas a lot and via Boing Boing I ran into a modern adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Case Dexter Ward by the BBC. This is right up my alley. Think Serial meets The Black Tapes meets Lovecraft.

I stayed up late into the night to finish the show as I really wanted to know how it ends.

Since podcasts are a pain to link to, I suggest you search for it on your player of choice.