Friday, June 30, 2006

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a fantastic way to quickly see the latest news from your favourite sites, without having to check those sites frequently. Safari supports RSS natively, and Firefox and some other browsers support news reader extensions, but I prefer to use a web-based aggregator called News Gator Online, set to my homepage. It's free, and does a great job of displaying content. As you would expect, it updates itself, so if you leave a tab open in the browser of your choice, you can see all the updates without refreshing.

The same company that created NewsGatorOnline has a wonderful RSS application (i.e. not browser-based) called NetNewsWire, which does a wonderful job of organizing multiple feeds. This is not freeware, but you download the demo here. It features a very intuitive interface and I'm really digging it so far (update: there is a new freeware version called NetNewsWire Lite 2.1).

While I'm on the subject of RSS feeds... here's a tip: some sites like Craigslist create RSS feeds based on a custom search. This means you can perform a search once, and your RSS aggregator will keep a constant eye on the site for new results. For example, I searched for "foosball" on Vancouver's craiglist (for sale category), and it created this RSS feed for me. Now NewsGator will let me know whenever someone in Vancouver has a foosball table for sale.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Manage your bookmarks with cocoalicious.

Over time, one tends to build up a huge collection of bookmarks. Using my .mac account, I used to sync my bookmarks where I used to work with the ones at home, so if an interesting page caught my eye at work, I could check it out later without having to send myself a link. But after a while, the amount of bookmarks you have to manage is overwhelming, and a particular bookmark can get lost among hundreds of others.

The popular website allows users to post their links in an online database, and can access them from anywhere. The commonality allows to track site popularity, so you can view other popular bookmarks by going to the home page.

I decided to decentralize my bookmarks and move them all online. Here's the process:
1. sign up for an account at
2. download Safarilicious from
3. run Safarilicious to export all of your bookmarks to your delicious account
4. Download Cocoalicious from
5. Run Cocoalicious to organize your delicious bookmarks, tagging them to become searchable. This is the hardest part of the process, but it's a wonderful organizational tool.
6. Download the Firefox extension for Once installed, you can bookmark pages with a simple CTRL-click.

Now, when I want to play a game online, I can type in "gaming" to Cocoalicious and I can launch the site from there. To search for font websites, I look for any site tagged with "fonts". And so on. If I'm at another computer, I can just login to the website to access my bookmarks.

You may still want to keep some daily bookmarks in Firefox, but Cocoalicious can manage all your bookmarks for you, so there's no more need to have a huge tree of folders to organize.

Welcome to The Mac Tuner

Welcome to The Mac Tuner, a(nother) blog dedicated to getting the most out of Mac OS X operating system. Here I chronicle my experiences with utilities, applications, and hacks that make my life easier.

A little profile on myself: I'm a freelancing graphic designer who also dabbles in web design. I work from home, and spend practically every minute at, or near, my Mac - a 2.5 year old PowerMac G5. When I'm not actually working on designs, promoting myself, writing blogs, or checking out the coolest new Mac apps, RSS feeds, etc... well actually that doesn't leave much time for anything else =D Okay, just kidding. Actually I do a lot of other things, but they're not really relevant.

It is my wish that you will find this Blog useful. If you're a Windows/PC user, note that I am not a snob; I appreciate the advantages of the PC, but I enjoy the Mac experience much, much more. It would be nice to have more PC users convert, but maybe if everybody did then Macs wouldn't seem so cool.

Anyways, see you soon!