A “do it yourself” alternative to Google Reader

rss_iconI am a huge fan of Google Reader. Well, used to be, because the service is shutting down on July 1.

There is plenty of alternatives, but I like the fact that there is a central web application that stores all your feeds (and keeps track of read/unread). It needs to be accessible and optimized for iPad also.

After a lot of testing and comparing, I went for the following solution:

  • I purchased and installed Fever (one-time fee of 30$). You have to host the application yourself (requires php-mysql-apache hosting); the license is tied to your domain name. 
  • I installed Sunstroke for iPad. Can be used on iPhone too.

The two work nicely together, but even the web interface alone is already quite usable on an iPad. I am really happy with the alternative, there are no specific functions of Google Reader that I am missing.

Update: Sunstroke is no longer available. Fiery Feeds is a valid alternative on iPad, even works much faster.


Microsoft Surface can’t connect to ad hoc network

I was trying to connect my Microsoft Surface to a wireless network created with my mobile (using Joikuspot), but this didn’t work.

Turns out that Windows RT cannot connect to ad hoc wireless networks. More info here. Quite disappointing, as the surface does not have 3G/4G built in.



OneNote for iPad crashes frequently

I am a big fan of Microsoft OneNote, and I am using OneNote for iPad, but I was experiencing frequent crashes of the iPad application.

Some tests and some searches later, I learned that I was not alone, and that the crashes are caused by OneNote pages that contain a table with meeting information (when you create a new Linked Meeting Note from an appointment in an Outlook calendar item). So try to avoid that, or remove the table from the note if you are syncing with iPad.

Update: Microsoft updated OneNote for iPhone/iPad on July 1, 2013, and this update fixes this issue !


Screen rotation on the HP Elitebook 2740p

The HP Elitebook is one of the best devices I ever used, but it has some serious issues with the screen rotation of the tablet. If you turn the screen around to use the pc as a tablet, you should be able to change the orientation of the screen with the rotate button.

In some cases, the screen rotates automatically, sometimes it does not, and the rotate button does not always work as expected.

This is what solved the issue for me:

  • install the latest Intel HD video driver from the HP support site
  • install or reinstall the HP Quick Launch button drivers from the same site