De-Applification Part 2: The Trash Can Had to Go

As mentioned in part 1 I decided to start removing my dependencies on the  company due to my increasing sense that their platform was becoming hostile to my usage patterns. The biggest, fanciest, and most expensive piece of hardware came in the form of my 2013 Mac Pro.

I Made a Thing

One thing I’d never done before was a URL shortener. Obviously there is no direct need for another one of these, but I thought I would add a bit of a twist: I’d use emoji characters. Already you should realize this has no practical purpose whatsoever.

Getting Rid of Duplicates in the Hacker News Feed

I’m happy to say I’ve survived the Google Reader Apocalypse and switched over to Feedbin to synchronize my feeds. Reeder on my iPhone supports this aggregator and so from that perspective the change has had very little impact on me. I miss is the desktop experience I had with NetNewsWire, but the web interface for Feedbin is much better than Google Reader and removed my need for a dedicated application.

The only new issue that I’ve encountered that I don’t remember from the Reader days are duplicated feed entries, which is only a big nuisance when it comes to a feed as active as Hacker News. The GitHub issue explains why this happens, but to summarize, Hacker News doesn’t assign a unique ID to each post, so Feedbin tries to assign one for it. Unfortunately, the way an ID is generated means that if the post title changes, as is often the case with Hacker News, a new ID is generated and appears as a completely different post in my feed. It got to the point where I became suspicious of visiting any posts on a topic I’d already seen. However, this sort of mental burden is exactly the sort of thing software is supposed to relieve us of!