I Love Vienna


I am sick. So, I have been doing work from bed and my desk–when I don’t have a fever and chills–and catching up on my reading. Please don’t laugh when I confess that I have just recently discovered the miracle that is the RSS feed and RSS feed reader. Oh, alright. Go ahead and laugh. I can take it. I am ahead of the curve enough not to feel that insecure about my handle on technology.

I use a MacBook Pro and an open source RSS feed reader called Vienna. I adore Vienna. According to the Vienna website, “Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS/Atom newsreader for the Mac OS X operating system. It provides features comparable to commercial newsreaders, but both it and the source code are freely available for download.” Vienna is absolutely free. People all over the world work on the program so that the rest of us can use it.

I am still amazed by the open source community and its commitment to providing quality software without locking down the source code. The shop we use on our site is an open source program as well called OS Commerce. Our programmer can modify it (and has) freely, and we end up with an online e-commerce solution that is incredibly sophisticated and, yes, free. However, I digress; back to Vienna.

I read education news from a variety of newspapers and magazines in a variety of languages. I also read a certain number of education blogs. I am still deciding about many of the education blogs I read. In any given day, all of the bloggers may link to the exact same article and/or each other. As a result, many higher education education blogs can be tedious.

Vienna allows me to see, at a glance, all of the headlines from a particular news source without visiting the publication’s webpage–unless I want to, of course. I save time and find that I can actually read more, because I am choosing what I want to read. No more getting sucked into the black hole that is The National Review and its webpage. No more getting lost in the archives of The Atlantic.

Here are a couple of my favorite daily feeds:

  • International Herald Tribune.
  • Guardian UnlimitedI’ll share more of my favorite feeds another time. If you have education news sites you’d like to recommend, please do in the comment section. Right now, it’s time for a cough drop and back to Vienna.P.S. The song accompanying this entry is “The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz” from Tom Lehrer. He was a math prof. at Harvard in the early 60s. His very successful sideline was writing and performing songs of political satire.

    Listen to my blog entry here.

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