Reading

Next round in “how I use my computer”, how I read things. Much of what I do on my computer is fundamentally text based (I watch movies, and I do play with graphic design, but at least 80% of my daily use is basically words.)

  • Things I read on my computer: Lots of web-based things. A couple of online web-based forums. A lot of blogs. Webcomics.
  • Things I mostly don’t read on my computer: ebooks (I generally read those on the iPhone, and sometimes on the iPad). Newspapers/magazines/etc.

Tools I use: 

Web browsers:

These days, I do most of my web stuff in Chrome, for stability, and because I’m using a number of other Google products, and there are places where the stability/response/etc. is a bit better in Chrome. (It is not uncommon for me to have 15ish GDocs tabs open at once, for example.)

Tabs I usually have open at home include:

  • Gmail (I’ll discuss email more in its own post)
  • My Dreamwidth circle page
  • My LiveJournal reading page
  • The reading page for the online project
  • And then usually a couple to a couple of dozen other tabs, depending on what I’m doing at the moment.

I do still use Firefox, but mostly for Netflix (which only supports Chrome on PC, not Mac). I do find there’s some benefit in having a separate browser for streaming video – if the browser hangs, or gets cranky if I reload the page after a long idle (pretty common for me: I go through seasons of TV shows, and often leave it paused overnight part way through an episode) it’s easier to quit without worrying about the rest of my tabs/open comments/etc.

I use a small handful of extensions to make my life easier.

  • minimalist which removes various elements from Gmail and Google Reader.
  • Do Not Track Me - a privacy extension. (I’ve been reasonably happy with it, but I should probably do another round of checking in to see what’s new in that area)
  • LJ new comments which makes it easy to browse new comments in threads at both LiveJournal and Dreamwidth. (There’s a good explanation over on the dw_nifty community.) Installing it is a little fiddly: I have the best luck in Chrome installing it in Tampermonkey.

Reading tools:

I’m going to talk more about how I manage things in my RSS feeds in its own post, but I’ll note here that I use Instapaper  as my first step to keeping links that I want later. My toolbar bookmarks inclue the “Read Later” bookmark for it, plus the “popup with tags” bookmark for Pinboard. For actually managing my RSS feeds, I use Google Reader.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

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Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Information Technology Librarian at the University of Maine at Farmington, the small liberal arts college model campus in the University of Maine system.

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