Quest for data portability

So, for years I’ve been working on ways of accessing my information easily from multiple computers (and operating systems). Sometimes this involved choosing to use software which could run on multiple platforms, such as AbiWord or OpenOffice.org for word processing, Mozilla Thunderbird for email, and Opera for web browsing. Other times it’s involved choosing web-based solutions that allow my stuff to be backed up in standard formats, such as a good IMAP-based email provider.

The new version of Opera (9.5) which recently came out supports synchronizing bookmarks, so I can easily keep the same bookmarks at work and home, using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. It’s great!

More recently, I’ve been working on moving my files to the file storage connected with my email. This way I can access any file anywhere I have access to a web browser. Also, I’m working on ways to easily access all the files from home and work by mounting the file space using WebDAV. NetDrive on Windows is working well so far. Nautilus in Linux and Finder in OS X work well enough for my purposes so far. It’s a little slower than keeping the files on my own hard drive, but I love having access to my files everywhere.

So, now my challenge is news feeds. For a couple years I used various RSS readers. A while ago I migrated to an RSS-to-email service called RSSFWD. It’s worked fairly well, until recently. News items get delivered to my email, and are filtered into a folder until I want to deal with them. I handle podcasts the same way. But recently the reliability of RSSFWD has been going downhill. Some regularly updated feeds (multiple items per day) appear silent for weeks. I just don’t trust it anymore.

I’m trying out a couple other services, such as SendMeRss and Blog Alert. So far SendMeRss seems a bit more reliable than RSSFWD, but still not good enough.

But Newspipe has gotten me quite excited. I’d have to host it myself, possibly tucked away on ajk2.ca or something, but then I’d have the control I want. It keeps the news list in OPML, which many feed readers import & export, so that’s very nice. I’d have to edit the OPML manually, but that’s not too big an issue, and I can easily download my current feeds from RSSFWD and just modify the file. The only other trick will be figuring out the best way of setting up a cron job (or something similar) to run it regularly. I’ll probably be testing it soon. 🙂

And somehow I suspect Darryl and Adam will be the only people even vaguely interested in this post…

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