NetNewsWire / Konfabulator

NetNewsWire crashed on me the other day. Looked to be WebKit's fault, having trouble with Google maps. When I restarted it, it re-opened all the tabs I'd had previously. It did lose the last minute or so of read marks, but the surprise of not losing my tabs pretty much made up for it. Why don't all browsers do that?

It's not like they never crash.

NetNewsWire is starting to get slow for me on my 2001-vintage PowerBook. I'm using the tree-like display, and on feeds like slashdot, where there are 10-20 items per day, it now takes a couple of seconds to switch to that feed. Slower feeds are less problematic, but it's only a matter of time. Hopefully Apple will come out with some new portable hardware less dull than today's new iBooks before things get too bad.


I see Konfabulator's now free. I've totally stopped using Dashboard: it's slow, awkward (because it's out of the way), and not very useful. I was curious to see what "widgets" Konfabulator offers, given its several-year head start. I thought it might give me an idea as to whether Dashboard might some day be useful.

So I waded through over a thousand widgets to be able to tell you what the future of Dashboard looks like. And the answer is lots of clocks, lots of book/movie/TV-specific countdowns, and lots of traffic webcams. And, for some reason, a lot of widgets to show your IP address.

I've no idea who needs a constant up-to-date display of the US national debt, or an estimate of the global human population.

It seems likely that I've got this whole thing wrong. This junk isn't supposed to be useful. It's just supposed to be. I don't have pictures on my walls, rugs on my floors, or any of that crap, so why should I expect virtual knickknacks to appeal to me? I don't have a sexy robots background image on my desktop, so why would I want an icon of a Japanese schoolgirl that sits on my windows' title bars?

Presumably those people who do fill their houses with cruft are equally keen to clutter their desktops.

The traffic webcam nonsense is still criminally stupid, though. Unlike the hundreds of clocks, most of which appear to have had significant effort put in to their appearance, the traffic webcams all look the same to me. Presumably only the source URL really differs.

I still think weather forecasts and countdowns would be most useful in whatever calendar program one's using; iCal in my case. It knows where I'll be on any given day, it knows what events are coming up, and it's where I go whenever I have a date-related question.

The only widget I saw that I might actually have a use for was a package tracker. But really, I want something that reads my mailbox for me, extracts the tracking numbers for me, and – at the risk of being accused of having some kind of calendar fetish – maybe the best place for it to display its information is in my calendar?