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News reading from the console - Look, someone's on that tree

Nov. 27th, 2010

11:41 am - News reading from the console

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It is a bit misleading, the tag of this post I mean.

Now that I am no longer running any Gnome applications, the tag should probably be changed, but I will leave that for another time.

Recent years I have been having an affair with the console on Linux. There have been some good and some bad moments. However my wrist pain got worse, so regardless of the 'regular user' pros and cons, I have switched to console again.

Not that I don't run X. Unlike Mr. Mandla, I still want to see some web pages with their images (mostly blog entries with 20 and more images in them, viewing those one by one in links is tedious).

In this case one can use Vimperator, which is an add-on for Firefox, that makes it behave much like Vim. This is all good, but unfortunately firefox starts very slow, it is very noisy (too much output for my taste when started from the console). It is only once process, yes, started once it can be used. Yeah, but I want to view just one or two pages a day, waiting for 15 seconds just to start is not gonna cut it.

Enter 'surf'. The most minimalistic browser EVER. It uses webkit and 10 shortcuts. And that's it. And it loads really, really fast. Because there is nothing but webkit.

For images I use 'feh'. It can load the images from the Internet and locally, so it is all good. I use it to view messages from my news (will get there in a bit) and from elinks. Once elinks is configured to use MIME types and images are pointed to use feh it works really nice. How about flash video?

Enter clive. It is in the repos, so not hassle installing it. Use it with mplayer and you don't even have to switch anything regardless of the medium (i.e. X or no X). Detailed instructions are available here.

What about the news I have mentioned? Well, I was in a limbo for a while now, between google reader and newsbeuter. The thing with greader is that you get your news anywhere. The keyboard shortcuts are great, they provide both list view and page view which is great for image blogs. Sounds all good, except I miss the filter language that is available in newsbeuter. Turns out it is possible to configure newsbeuter to work with google reader! And then again, I have to keep all my things on their servers.

Don't get me wrong, I find it very pleasing especially for emails, because I get my emails on my Android phone. But my feeds.... I don't know why, maybe because I had issues before with the loss of some entries or I don't know... it is just I am not comfortable with everything being there. So I switched back to load URL source for now.

Wrote a little script to handle different type of media from the newsbeuter 'browser' command (so when I start 'open-in-browser' I am actually submitting the link to a script that decides how to handle it, feh for images, clive/mplayer for video, links for html).

The Internet can tell you how to use alpine/mutt with google main, but as mentioned I don't get that much of mail so I use my phone for it.

It seems that this is all, I get everything else from console applications, including mc, mocp, hbn, vim and a few bash scripts to handle various situations.

There is however one major exception. I use homebank to handle my finances, I have not discovered console tool to manage this. I enter my day to day expenses from cli script I wrote and once in a while I import it to homebank, but still this binds me to X.

Anyone knowing any PFM (Personal Finance Manager) for the console?