Category Archives: Web

Protopage Update

This was originally posted in June 2011, but with the recent announcement of the demise of Google reader and iGoogle having already disappeared, then Protopage is an excellent alternative. I’ve no connection with the firm, I’m just a long standing very satisfied user of Protopage.

I guess a lot of people use something like Google Reader or iGoogle. I’ve used both in the past, but back in about 2004/5 I came across Protopage and I’ve not used anything else since. It’s a free ad supported service.

I have Protopage set as my home page in every browser on all my machines around the house. Why? Well I then have all my feeds and bookmarks on every machine, without having to copy bookmarks across or using the sync capability of modern browsers. I can also use the mobile version of Protopage on my iPod Touch.

And here’s what mine looks like: [Click on the photo to see it full size]

Of course it’s infinitely variable in terms of layout, mine is built up over many years, I do change things around every so often, but it generally stays like this.

So I have bookmarks as well as RSS feeds grouped together in to topic areas, news feeds in the center, a weather feed for Thouars. A Flickr feed for new photos as they pop up.

Along the top you will see other tabs for different pages again grouped by interest/topic. You can shuffle your panes (widgets) between tabs just by dropping them on the tab, then going to that tab and moving the widget to where you want.

Each tab can be set up as a number of columns or free form. Each widget you can resize too or have them automatically minimise, although with my big iMac I don’t need to do that so much.

In the top right hand corner there is a drop down of different search engines, these can be configured a lot as well. So I have Google (UK), Amazon UK, Amazon France, Ebay(UK), Wikipedia etc etc.

Here is my Weather tab, which also has my travel book marks and world times. The ‘Weather Station’ is in fact part of a web page that I feed on to the page and then using the x y off set I exclude the parts of the original original webpage I don’t want to see. The weather station is at Bewl Water Sailing Club in Kent, not far from where we used to live. I need to find a similar feed for here! If you click on that link you will see the page in full. [Click on the photo to see it full size]

Here are some of my settings screens so you can see how I’ve got it set up. This is the news feed . Other common formats for most feed addresses are as follows:
Wordpress –
Blogger –


This is the Flickr Feed:


This is the settings for the overall Protopage

If you haven’t tried it give Protopage a try, it’s free, it works on every browser and OS I’ve used it on and I do use quite a few !

You can see how I use one of my Protopage tabs to monitor a large number of blogs for new posts for a twice weekly feature on the blog Philofaxy which is a guest post I wrote for the Well Planned Life blog


Why I’m still against Pinterest – The continuing saga

pinterest-72_oEvery day this week I have had to file a DMCA notice on Pinterest to ask them to remove images that are mine off of their site. The problem of keeping images off of their site seems to have returned, as bad as it was this time last year

Why I don’t want my images on Pinterest and why I don’t support the site is not up for discussion. We have been there several times in the last year and my opinion has not changed.

So will continue to fight to keep my images off of Pinterest I will take every step I can to get repeat offenders banned from Pinterest.

If I have to start watermarking images that are mine then I will, I don’t want to have to do this, but if people will persist in loading my images on to Pinterest, then they will leave me with no option but to spoil the pleasure of my genuine readers by vandalising my own pictures to make them instantly recognisable when I have to look through the Pinterest search results.

This I might add is despite installing their ‘No Pin’ code. That reduced the problem for a few months last year. But there are one or two Pinterest users that have found a way to bypass that code and have gone through Philofaxy like a hoard of locusts copying my images… oh and then going to all the sites we link to and doing the same there too.

Enough is enough and this is the line in the sand. If people will not take notice of the polite notice on Philofaxy to not Pin Images, or to copy them etc then I have to take steps to combat this issue head on. But I will stop being polite to offenders, they will be getting an invoice for each picture of mine that they steal and use for their own use.

Blogger Comments Problems

I’ve occasionally heard of people not being able to comment on Philofaxy, but until tonight I was unable replicate the symptoms. By talking to one or two users about what exactly the blog was or wasn’t doing, I got a few ideas.

In the past I’ve suggested people trying different browsers this has been with mixed results. So tonight starting with Firefox I was able to go to another blogspot blog and get it to not allow me to comment repeatedly, and then after trying various things discover what it was that was stopping me commenting. I won’t go through the experiment in detail, just go through the cure…

The problem lies around allowing 3rd party cookies, if you don’t allow 3rd party cookies to be downloaded to your machine then blogger ( will not let you add a comment to a blog because it doesn’t let you log in to your Google (or other) accounts.  I found that allowing 3rd party cookies cured the problem.

In Firefox I was able to still disallow 3rd party cookies but I then added an exception to allow the cookie from this then allowed me to post comments ok.

In Preferences, Privacy:

Click on Exceptions:

Next I tried Google Chrome, again allowing 3rd party cookies and it allowed me to comment, but for some reason I’ve not discovered yet even allowing the cookie from still wouldn’t let me comment, so some more work is required on Chrome to fully understand why the fix doesn’t work.It appears that I’m being logged out each time which I think is the symptom of the problem, allowing 3rd party cookies though and the problem disappears!

To get to the settings you have to go in to the advance settings:

Click to enlarge

On Safari, you can’t add exceptions, but under certain circumstances that setting didn’t seem to make any difference as long as I allowed popups on websites. How bizarre is that! So again more work on Safari to fully understand how it works.

So my advice at the moment is if you want to block 3rd party cookies, then use Firefox

All tests carried out on a Mac, although I believe the results will be the same on all Operating Systems.