Taking advantage of my laptop crash, I went back to some text-mode tools (vim, mutt, …): they are fast, easy to use (once you read at least the introduction section in the manual) and reliable (text files are more easily recovered after corruption than binary blobs). I also tested and adopted Snownews.

Snownews is a text-mode RSS newsreader. Installing it is very easy: download the archive, and type the usual “./configure; make; make install”. Since I’m following some blogs written in French, I configured Snownews with Unicode support: “./configure –charset=UTF-8”.

Using Snownews is also very easy (you always can get help with h). In the main interface, a adds a feed, r reloads a feed and you can navigate with arrows and the Enter key to highlight and read news from a feed. Once you hit Enter, you can use the arrows to highlight a news and read it. Simple. Easy. A snapshot? Here you are:

Snownews in action screenshot: list of all feeds

P.S. I got Beryl out-of-the-box on a second-hand Toshiba Tecra S1 and Fedora 7, what a pleasure! But it’s not really productive; so you enable it, watch and play with it for 5 minutes and then disable it before getting back to work. You’ll be able to re-enable Beryl before your next presentation