Words on the no-Google thing

So, I said I was going to try going no-Google for a bit and I did give it a go.

Search: Duck Duck Go and IXQuick are both quite good and don't keep an eye on you when you're searching, though they don't search quite as efficiently as Google. Searching for anything mildly complicated (such as "flickering video picture on ubuntu laptop hp") comes up with almost nothing in those two while Google offers useful forum threads and bug reports. However, Duck Duck Go is a lot faster and IXQuick is a bit more reliable for small words and phrases.

Google Reader: Newsbeuter is faster and better equipped to display text in an efficient manner. I prefer a terminal application for text such as this anyhow. I find it difficult to migrate away.

To use it, run it once so it creates the .newsbeuter folder in your home. Go into it, create a file called urls and open it up. In there, post, one line at a time, the feed URL's that you wish to use.

Mine is as follows:



Email: Okay, this is the hard one.

I tried to find a free email service as good as Gmail. No such thing. Paid? Well, Lavabit looked okay, but they wouldn't let me join (something about people abusing the service or something). Fastmail looked fine, and I actually made an account to try it. The user interface could have been better, but it was definitely usable.

The issue was getting all of my email to go into the single address, which was an issue. I eventually gave up on this piece, which I may come back to at a later date.

I considered doing an email server, but that looks far too complicated, unless someone has an easy route.


Charles Roth said...

can you explicate a little more on newsbeuter...better equipped? What did you like about it? What did it do better?

Also I couldn't find the way to change the config settings when I tried to use it.

aberinkulas said...

@Charles: Sure thing. I thought I talked about it in a blog, but I can discuss it better than that.

For my RSS feeds, I don't need a shiny interface. I just want the text. That's all. I can press shift-r and bam, updated. I press n and it gives me the new posts of the day in a nice, quick manner. Sure, google reader did this fairly well, but doing it in the terminal feels so much more natural. And of course, the whole purpose of my Google-free experiment was to go google free. ;)

I didn't even have to configure anything past what I discussed in the blog, personally. Just add the list of URL's that I wanted and it worked fine. Did you have a specific configuration setting you needed changed?

Charles Roth said...

I imported my google reader feeds as a file. That worked great.

I wanted to try and mess with the color features to recreate visually the folders or tags. It's not that critical I guess.

Newsbeuter is fast and easy and I like that. Liferea was supposed to be fast and easy but I found it very slow to refresh.

I will keep toggling between Newsbeuter and Google Reader, as I like being able to my RSS on my phone as I spend a lot of time on buses.

If I could find the config file I could even have Newsbeuter directly mirror google reader and then have the best of both worlds. :)

Caleb said...

Ah, thanks much!
I'm debating whether or not to go Google-free. I think for the time being I'll continue to use Google. What exactly were you reasons for going Google-free?

aberinkulas said...

@Charles: I would think that the config file would be in .newsbeuter along with the urls file, but I'm not certain.

@caleb: No reason, really. I just like proving to myself that I can divorce myself if it turns out Google is really evil. And who is to say that there aren't other, better programs out there?

Charles Roth said...

The config file didn't exist...until I configured something :). Now I have midori as the goto browser, auto refresh settings, and some flags set up.

You are right it is more efficient to just have text, since most entries I only want to scan anyway. It's a lot faster without ads, logos, icons, and other distractions.