frustration and floppy disks

me... yesterday

image courtesy of

Remember that time you were typing a 12-page paper in college?  You’d put it off until the last possible minute — and even then you decided to go to Waffle House with friends before getting started.  You had been up all night, and were about 3/4’s of the way through the paper.  That’s when the electricity blinked, you accidentally kicked the power strip, or you went to grab a Dr. Pepper while your roommate got on the computer.

Your paper wasn’t lost in its entirety, but much more of it was gone than you were willing to rewrite.  This was long before computers automatically saved drafts of open documents.  Maybe this was even before we saved papers on our computers, but instead put them on hard disks called floppy disks — even though they were hard and there actually existed floppy disks that were indeed floppy.  Remember that moment of loss?  The sick feeling in your stomach, the anger, the despair, the incredibly strong desire to throw the computer across the room, go to sleep, and refuse to finish the paper?

these disks are NOT floppy

Yeah, that happened to me yesterday.  Well… I’m exaggerating a little — okay, a great deal.  There was no paper, and I’m not in college.  My problem had nothing to do with electricity (though we are frequently without it), and I had no desire to throw my computer.  So really the only thing yesterday had in common with my college frustrations is that I lost something on my computer and am not willing to redo it.

an actual FLOPPY disk

Not alone, anyway.

I want to ask you for help.

You see, I have for some time now used a feed aggregator called
Bloglines.  For the most part I’ve been really happy with Bloglines.  There have been two occasions when their entire system was down for a day or two.  Those times were frustrating to me because nearly everything I read on the internet is through my aggregator.  I read content through a feed reader for three reasons: 1) it consolidates, and puts in one easy-to-reach location, all the blogs I want to read, 2) it saves me a lot of time because, rather than visiting each individual blog to see if there are new posts, my feed reader automatically loads them as they’re published, and 3) because of the way my internet works in Tanzania, not having to download each of those sites, with all of their pictures and advertisements, saves me a great deal of money.

So it was frustrating those few times that Bloglines was down; but it was merely frustrating.  Yesterday, however, Bloglines apparently lost every blog and news site to which I was subscribed.  It took me a great deal of time to compose that list of blogs (and then to narrow it down a bit after I realized it was too much for me to read every day).

My solution:  I’m getting a new feed reader.  Keep me from reading my favorite blogs once, and you’ll be forgiven.  Twice, and I’ll repeat my forgiveness.  70 times 7, still my forgiveness flows as an unending river of love and mercy.  But just one time you flush all the work I’ve done down the toilet and tell me to deal with it… and I’m Doug — I’ll be outa’ here.

Will you please help me? I have two requests:

  1. What feed aggregator do you use and why? I’ve decided NOT to use Google Reader — so you’re welcome to tell me you use it and why, but it won’t be considered (unless like 15 of you gang up on me and change my opinion).
  2. What are your favorite blogs? And can you post links to them in the comments section below?  I had the following categories before Bloglines ruined my life:  Christian Devotional, Theology, Ministry, Missions, Friends and Family, Just Funny, Good Writing, Running/Cycling/Triathlon, and Sports (mostly Auburn football, World Cup, Tour de France).  But I’m open to just about anything if it’s good.

So… what do you read, and where do you read it?  Oh, and feel free to include a link to your own blog (I had previously been subscribed to everyone who regularly comments on this blog).



Filed under blogging, just thinking

16 responses to “frustration and floppy disks

  1. I’ll take the humble way and include mine: Man, what a bummer. I use Google Reader and I have a lot of blogs listed that I read. I would not want to redo them.

  2. Sean

    Not helpful to you but I use Google Reader as well. Mainly because it was the first one I looked at, accomplished what I needed and I was already using a lot of other Google products that were associated with it. I will say that now that I have been using it I am extremely satisfied with it; I’m sure you have your reasons for not using it though.

    Also, I’m sure you’re aware, that floppy disks are floppy because the disk inside is floppy – as opposed to the harder microchip, which was the only other storage solution at the time. My company bought be a desktop (Dell) within the last three years and it had both a DVD and floppy drive in it. I don’t even think I could store one image on that floppy drive (not that I tried). Useless.

    • my main reason not to use google reader is only that my wife has two gmail addresses, and either one is just as likely to be signed in at any given time as the other. i don’t want to have to sign in to read the news and whatnot — and even less do i want to have to log out and then log in again. so i want to get something that can just be open all the time, waiting to be read.

      • Mark

        The solution to that is to use a different browser from Christie. You take Firefox, she takes Safari, or one of you takes Chrome, etc.

        I actually have two separate Chrome profiles on my Windows and Linux machines, one for work and one for personal stuff. But I’ve never set that up on a Mac.

        But returning to your original question, what actually happened to your Bloglines account? They are a pretty small shop, so if you emailed and begged for help they might be able to restore your account to where it was 48 hours ago or something.

        • thanks, mark. not for the using different browsers idea, because i’m thinking that’s above mine and christie’s pay grade. but thanks for the advice on emailing bloglines. i just did. we’ll see what comes of it.

          i suppose your vote is google reader…?

  3. Kim

    Ack! Hate when stuff like that happens. So here is my attempt at helping you out:

    Humor: this guy cracks me up



    Randomly good ones:

    and of course my own:

    Those are just some of the ones I follow. Hope it helps a bit!

    • wow. thanks, kim. your post originally got stuck in a spam box — so i didn’t see it until just now. a lot of good stuff on here, and several i’ve never before looked at. thanks again.

  4. JMF

    Mark has the best idea — get the second browser. If you aren’t using Google Chrome, you should be. It is the perfect browser for surfing…clean, organized, and faster than everything else. I’d give Chrome an “A”, Firefox a “B-“, and IE an “F”.

    So yeah, get Reader and get Chrome.

    Problem solved.

    • i’m using reader and chrome. good call, guys.

      but i need some help: is there any way in reader to delete past blog posts, or do they always just stay there?

  5. I hate the frustration you experienced. Here is my blog:
    I suggest you check out John Mark Hicks’ blog. His address is:
    Blessings, brother.

  6. Chrome is theoretically quicker as a browser but might actually tie up more bandwidth because of all the prefetching, etc. Be aware of that if your charges are bandwidth based.

    I cut the number of blogs I follow WAY down and subscribed to them by email, abandoning the reader idea altogether. But that’s just me.

    My feed is at can find it from

  7. I personally don’t read any blogs but religously stalk the harrisons 🙂

  8. Sorry – I use bloglines.

    BTW, how are things going with your ministry? I have so much respect for the courage of all missionary families. I will keep your family in my prayers.

    • i got my bloglines back up and running again, but have made the switch now to google reader anyway. i was frustrated with the several times bloglines has messed me over. never heard of the same with google — though i can’t figure out how to use it well yet…

      our ministry is going well, though we’re a bit overwhelmed at how long it just takes to live. like monday… we ran out of water and had visitors coming today. so i had to drop all (over half really) the work i’d planned to take care of that. just seems like there’s one or two of those a week. i think they’ll become less, though. but as for prayers, please pray for time to get a lot of the settling in stuff done — we still have no curtains or shelves or closets, etc. and pray for the “thursday discovery bible study.” thanks for asking.

  9. that’s rough. i have no idea what a feed aggregator is. i just hunt for blogs occasionally and subscribe to those that interest me. mine is:

    hope you get things worked out!

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