Author Archives: telford


How can I find out when there is a new post to my favourite blogs? Is there an easier way than visiting all of the sites each day?

This is a technical post to help those new to reading blogs and other information streams. Most blogs (web logs like ) or traditional media outlets ( e.g. ) also have an auxillary web page which contains a specially formatted list of the most recent articles. Depending on the formatting used , this list might be called an RSS or ATOM feed. For the examples above the feeds are at and . A news web site will often have many feeds: one for world news, one for domestic news, one for local news, etc.

A news feed is not meant to be read by humans. You subscribe to the feed by pasting the feed’s web address into an a special program called an “aggregator”. The aggregator checks all the subscribed feeds periodically, and presents a summary of new or unread articles. This can save you a lot of time if you read many sites!

Examples of aggregators:

  1. If you have a free Google Account you can use the Google Reader web interface (My current favourite).
  2. If you use the Firefox web browser there are many options. Recent versions of Firefox display the icon rss icon in firefox in the address bar when a feed is detected. By clicking on this icon, Firefox offers to add this feed to an aggregator, either as a “Live Bookmark” or using another aggregator.
  3. If you install the Firefox “Sage” plugin, place all of your Firefox “feed” bookmarks in a single bookmark folder, and configure Sage to look in this folder for feeds, then Sage will provide a good aggregator in a Firefox side bar(Heather’s current favourite). Below is a Sage screenshot showing feeds and feed articles on the left and the current article on the right.
  4. Install standalone program to check feeds. On a PC there are many free ones like FeedReader or SharpReader. There are many more, but you know how to use google.

I am interested to know how you are keeping up with this blog. Are you using an aggregator? Don’t be afraid to try one if you are not. Many of the aggregators allow you to export and import lists of feeds in OPML format, so it is straight forward to change aggregators,


Sage Firefox Plugin

Children who talk about Narnia…

get gradually balmier and balmier. Well, that is what Eustace says in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and if it is true the children in this house would be the balmiest children around. Narnia has been a favourite topic in this family for a while but the arrival of the movie and the radio theatre cds A9 received for Christmas has increased its popularity immensely. A9, in particular, answers questions and gives directions in the manner of a true queen of Narnia. I have read the series several times and a few years ago I read it to the girls and they have since read some of the books themselves. We went to see the movie during the Christmas break and enjoyed it. I was in two minds about seeing it as I have clear pictures in my head of what it should look like and I was afraid Disney would not be true to the story. I was impressed, as were the girls at how close to the text it was. There were some amusing additions and some unnecessary dramatic additions eg. white water rafting on ice! but no huge diversions.

a9 says: I especially liked the movie. My favorite character was Lucy. I was reading a magazine which had things about the movie, and I read that the character who played Edmund had been taught a dance with a green furry creature and he had not known that it was being filmed so is now wondering if it might turn up as a special feature on the dvd. I’ve also been looking for websites about the movie and I found a few movie trailers

l11 says: “Aslan is on the move!”(The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe) I recently went to see the new Narnia movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite characters were the Pevensie children and the White Witch. I also thought the fauns, centaurs and other mythical creatures were very well done. I have been listening to A9’s Focus on the Family Narnia CDs as well and really enjoy them. A9 and I are constantly reciting scenes from them. “For Narnia and the north!”(The Horse and his Boy)