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November 22nd, 2007

RSS: Just Like the Old Days

I’ve hemmed and hawed about RSS in the past, claiming to fully embrace it and then running away from it screaming. But about a year or so ago I picked it up again and have been enjoying it ever since. I was thinking about why I like RSS and figured it out.

Back in the olden days Ryan and I were both on GEnie. One could read various RoundTables on issues ranging from cooking to sci-fi to whatever. And a piece of software came out called Aladdin. This software – optimized to minimize its online time, as it was expensive – was scarily similar to today’s RSS readers. You’d set up which RoundTables you wanted discussions from, and it’d swoop in and grab them. At this point it was more like an offline mail or Usenet reader but still.

So why do I like RSS? Because it reminds me of the olden days. My morning routine involved making breakfast and firing up Aladdin to get the latest discussions… not too different than what I did this morning. Ah, progress.

Posted in Technology

Ryan November 22, 2007, 5:10 pm

Good thought, Paul. I’d never really made that connection before.

Rob November 23, 2007, 11:25 pm

Aladdin was priceless to me during my early college days before I abandoned GEnie forever. I had to pay to call the closest GEnie number, so spending as little time online as possible was important. Before that, I never used Aladdin. For some reason, I thought it was “cool” to do it all manually.

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