Better use of RSS reader on NanoNote

As you probably know you can download and read RSS feeds on your Ben NanoNote. The SnowNews reader is great for this (the NanoNote package is here).

But you probably will prefer to read thhe news when off-line (lets say in bus or in train). How to save a link an interesting article that you want to read later?

Snownews on Ben Nanonote - specific feed

The solution is simple: the “SnowNews” can start a web browser (it´s the “o” keyboard shortcut) and you can replace the browser command with a custom shell script which will save the link for you.
It would be ideal if after the “o” key you will get a dialog with options to save the link, open it in the browser or download it to the disk.

It may look as a complicated task but you may use the program shown below.

Dialog software on Ben NanoNote

To to thinks work you have to do this:

  • Save the code below as a file /usr/bin/br-wrapper
  • make it executable:
    chmod +x /usr/bin/br-wrapper
  • edit the file .snownews/browser in your home directory (most probably it is a /root/.snownews/browser file) so it will include this:
    br-wrapper %s
  • try it

The br-wrapper file can look like this:

#! /bin/ash

export DOWNDIR=/tmp
export LINKFILE="/root/links.html"
export TERM=vt100

export A=`dialog --backtitle "RSS feed options" --menu "Select action"  10 30 8 1 "Download" 2 "Open in Browser" 3 "Save Link" --stdout`

if test $A = 1
	then 
		mkdir $DOWNDIR
		cd $DOWNDIR && wget $1
		exit 0
	elif test $A = 2
		then 
			links $1
			exit 0
	else
		echo ''$1'
' >>$LINKFILE exit 0 fi

Some notes: downloaded files will be saved in the /tmp directory which is erased on every shutdown or restart. So you probably will want to use differen directory (say /root/downloads). So create the directory and change its name in the script.

Also please note that only the Save link option work when you are off-line.

If you have found the line export TERM=vt100 to be unnecessary you are right. I only put it here to get more consistent look: the “SnowNews” is mostly black and white so the dialog should be in those colors, too. And setting the terminal type to an old good black and white VT100 is the easiest way how to do it.

Better use of RSS reader on NanoNote

Ben NanoNote on holidays

Recently I was on short holidays in the Lithuania, the Latvia and the Estonia. My only computer in that time was the Ben (not counting my Neo Freerunner phone which was turned off for most of time).

Cottage in LIthuania

I didn’t planned any intensive use computers during the traveling so I thought
that the Ben will be enough. And yes, it was.

So what I did with my Ben and what applications I used for these tasks?

First of all, I wrote some textual informations (where I have wait for the bus
and so), and I also made a checklist (to not forget to pack anything usefull).
The hnb program is great for such tasks. I also
saved few maps and public transport maps (you know: these colorful imaes
which are usually available on transport companies sites) and I used the “imgv”
program to view them.

Kurskaja Kosa, Lithuania

I also downloaded some maps (and put some points of interests) for the
“NanoMap” program but actually there was no need to use them.

I also did some usual things like some reading of stored HTML and PDF (“Links”
and “NuPdf” programs) files, some dictionary searches (“sdcv”) and so.

Because I have a MicroSD WiFi card I also used the Ben for e-mail, RSS news
reading with snownews
and for some www searches with (“surfraw” and “links”). There were no problems
with WiFi connectivity (except one hotel where the only WiFi-covered place was
the first floor). Actually, I downloaded the RSS news data in the evening and
readed them during the morning in the bus (if nothing interesting was around).

Unfortunately, I forget my earphones at home so I wasn’t aple to listen music
with the GMU (it wasn’t acceptable in the bus to play music aloud).

In general I was satisfied with the Ben. In is really a pocket computer (I mean
it really easily fits in my pocket) so it is easy to carry and it is available
when needed. The battery life was also OK for such use: I carried an external
power pack (Just Mobile) in my luggage but
newer used it.

Ben NanoNote on holidays