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When Google first began killing Reader, I was very sad. But I saw the writing on the wall and began promptly looking for alternatives. After investigating, I settled on Tiny Tiny RSS, a project run by a curmudgeonly guy in Russia. He is famous in the support forum for savaging people that ask stupid questions without having bothered to do their homework.

TT-RSS requires some resources and a bit of technical expertise to set up. You need a LAMP server and you have to know how to manage permissions and start a daemon. But it really only takes a few minutes, if you have the necessary resources and you know what you're doing.

I had first set up an instance at Dreamhost and then later on the BCRC server. Dreamhost shared hosting isn't a good solution for tt-rss because they wont't let you run a daemon. You can run the updates out of cron, but it's not very satisfactory. The instance I ran on the BCRC server was OK, but I wanted to make it available to students and faculty using ldap, which uses http-basic authentication. This required some extra effort to offer public shared feeds and left Phil out, since he's not in the Department. He had switched to using The Old Reader, but it has been slow (or just unavailable). So last night, when he mentioned that, I offered to set up an instance on my new home server.

Since North Star wasn't using the computer I built with the students, I decided to bring it home and use it as a home server/workstation. I needed something since my laptop, which had been the repository of all my files and data, started failing this spring and the replacement laptop, provided by the university, is pretty unsatisfactory -- and doesn't have a large enough drive to store all my files. So far, I've been able to get Ubuntu to easily do anything I've needed to do.

It took about a half hour to set up tt-rss on the stock Ubuntu install. It wanted a php with curl, so I had to google up a command to do that. And I had to google up an init.d script to start and stop the daemon. And this morning, I found a problem: we were getting errors trying to subscribe to our shared feeds "XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity". When I had created the config.php file (which you do by copying and pasting from the installer, now) I had accidentally left in a blank line at the end of the file.

As I say, I'm very happy with tt-rss. The web interface is excellent and there is also a good client for android, which I was willing to pay for. I don't miss Google Reader at all.