Easier Reading of Busy Web Pages

Do you often find yourself reading web-pages that have lots of ads, tabs, login buttons, animations etc?

I find that some web-pages are distracting and that it takes longer to read the story that brought me there or that it is harder to focus on the story and ignore the background images.

This situation can sometimes lead me to click on other links that lead me astray and then I become frustrated about wasting time or loosing track of what I was researching/reading.

There is a great solution to this distraction and I love it – it is called Readability and works simply by clicking on a button on your shortcut toolbar – and the web-page magically becomes simplified.

First you need to visit the Readability website and make a choice about which page format you prefer – you get to choose from a variety of styles, sizes and margin layouts. Once you have decided which style suits you best you simply add the bookmarklet to your bookmark toolbar and the next time that you are faced with a web-page like this…

Very Busy web page, lots of distraction

and turn it into something much easier to read, like this…

Clearer page, simple with just the relevant text and pictures

Running on Renewables

I am really excited about having moved my blog to a new server courtesy of a local business – my own company, in fact – Osprey Hosting.

My blog posts have always been written using renewable energy  because that’s the energy I have – we use a home made wind turbine and a photovoltaic array to provide our electricity.

I was always keen to have this blog hosted on a server that also uses renewable energy however it was not easy to find a solution that I was happy with – until now…

Thinking About Change

I am thinking about changing my blog template. Actually I have been contemplating this for awhile and kept putting it off for the simple reason that I really like this template.
I like the photo in the heading, the page-style layout and the overall colour and texture.
The final decision was made last night as I tried to play with google analytics and realised the template is too old to work well with it – a line of code appeared over the banner – not an attractive look!
So I will start to play with designing a new template for myself – what an exciting prospect!
Keep an eye on what happens here and please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think about the changes – when they happen….
It could take awhile – don’t hold your breath!
I do love to get comments – even if it just to say that you passed by for a moment so don’t be shy – drop a line….

Staying Warm

I was browsing through my blog-reader today and enjoyed this post by Rachel. In fact it got me writing about something I had forgotten to mention – our latest central heating advancement.

No, we have not gone mad and had oil fired central heating installed but we have improved the heating which we get from our wee stove.

We live in an open plan space – kitchen, dining and living room, which is heated with a small stove. It’s a narrow long space which is not well insulated and the stove is at one end which results in our being cold at the other end where the couch is, so recently we bought a small desk fan and attached it (safely) near and above the stove.

Now when the stove has warmed up the air around it and of course particularly above it, we switch the fan on to a low setting and the warm air circulates much better than before.

Interestingly enough when we bought the fan from our favourite small family run electrical shop the shop keeper asked what we were intending to use it for. No, she is not especially nosy, it’s just that she knows that we live off-grid and are not wasteful of our electricity and also that we, like herself and her own wonderful husband, are resourceful and might not always use things for their original design purpose. Also, of course, it’s winter and not many people are buying desk fans in the cold damp Irish winter.

When we told her what the plan was she said that someone else that week had also done precisely the same thing! Great minds think alike (never mind the rest of that saying – I am sure it’s not true that fools seldom differ!)

The fan works very well and does not use much power. We switch it on when feeling chilly  and turn it off when the room is fully warm.

It is a very simple solution, we are only sorry that we didn’t think of it years ago…