Virginia DeBolt (bio) writes the bi-weekly Elder Geek column for Time Goes By in which she takes the mystery out of techie things all bloggers and internet users need to know to simplify computer use. She has written several books on technology and keeps two blogs herself, Web Teacher and First 50 Words. You will find links to Virginia's previous Time Goes By Elder Geek columns here.
One of my earlier TGB Elder Geek posts talked about a tool to make reading on the web easier. That article was Readability.
A lot of readers with Windows had problems getting it to work right. I found something better and I hope it will work for those of you using Windows. The developers promise that it works in Firefox 3.0, Safari 4.0, Chrome 1.0, Internet Explorer 7.0 and Opera 9.6.
The application I think is better has a similar name: Readable. You can customize the colors and sizes of what you see when you use it. Here's a before and after example using an article from blogher.com:
Start by setting up how you want it look at the Readable setup page.
You can choose font, font size, width, margins, colors and something called full control which gives you even more choices about appearance. As you choose each option, you can preview how it looks in a preview window immediately under the setup options.
Once you like the way it looks, drag and drop the big button that says Readable into your bookmarks bar.
If your browser's bookmarks toolbar is not visible, you can make it visible by going to View > Toolbars > Bookmarks Toolbar. To drag and drop the Readable bookmarklet, left-click on the big button that says Readable and hold the mouse button down. Move the mouse, dragging a ghost-like image of the button along, until your mouse is over the Bookmarks Toolbar. Then release the left mouse button.
You should see the word Readable appear where you dropped the button. It no longer looks like a button, it's just a word.
To use Readable when you are on a crowded page and want the article you're struggling to read to be a little easier to see, just click the word Readable in your Bookmarks Toolbar. Once you've read the article, click anywhere outside the text to go back to the regular page display. Those are the main usage features to know, but you can learn more in the Readable Tutorial.
I got quite excited when I found this tool. I hope it works better for those of you who tried my earlier suggestion and had a lot of problems with it.
TGB EXTRA: The New England regional TV channel, NECN, has featured Millie Garfield of My Mom's Blog in a story about elderbloggers. Her son, Steve Garfield, takes issue with the reporter about her stereotypical attitude toward old people. Don't miss it, and it would be nice to go thank Steve at his blog for being such a terrific advocate for elders.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mort Reichek: When Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas Rented My Old Apartment