With Google Reader being discontinued and everyone looking for alternatives I've decided to look for a little less "standard" solution, and hey, it turns out Emacs can be a pretty powerful RSS reader.
News Ticker is a built-in Emacs feed reader that doesn't get much attention for some reason. It is feature-rich, handles both RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds and has quite a bunch of tweakable options. Here's a simple setup to start with:
(require 'newsticker) ; W3M HTML renderer isn't essential, but it's pretty useful. (require 'w3m) (setq newsticker-html-renderer 'w3m-region) ; We want our feeds pulled every 10 minutes. (setq newsticker-retrieval-interval 600) ; Setup the feeds. We'll have a look at these in just a second. (setq newsticker-url-list-defaults nil) (setq newsticker-url-list '("...")) ; Optionally bind a shortcut for your new RSS reader. (global-set-key (kbd "C-c r") 'newsticker-treeview) ; Don't forget to start it! (newsticker-start)
This is a follow-up post to Gamification showing how I use it and what purpose does it serve me.
In summary, I'm a kind of control freak who likes all sorts of stats (such as my systems stats or a projects repo stats) displayed neatly all over the place, and it was only a matter of time before I started monitoring myself, and so I wrote a tiny tool, Gamify, that integrates with Emacs' Org-Mode and tracks my skills, their dependencies and their development.
Gamification (ˌɡeɪmɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n) is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service: gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun.
Let's see how to apply it to optimize performing daily activities and get some useful statistics out of it...
First of all, I barely look at my desktop. There's just no reason to do that other than checking some of the system stats such as memory usage or CPU load when I'm hacking arround and testing stuff.
For this particular use-case I figured the Emacs mode-line would be perfect to display all the relevant statistics directly in Emacs in such a way that I could glance through them without interrupting my workflow - giving me real-time feedback with minimal distraction.Continue reading