Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The RSS Reader search goes on

Like me, Stephen Desroches, another B&B Gnomie, is searching for the Perfect RSS Reader. He seems to be impressed by FeedReader, unlike me who was annoyed by its lack of support for the increasingly common content:encoded extension (it’s why I provide a separate RSS 0.91 feed). However, its small footprint, both in terms of HD space and memory, impressed me, along with the fact that it’s free.

Anyway, somebody called Adam Webb left a comment pointing to SharpReader. I took a look, and I’m certainly impressed from an ease-of-use point of view. Here’s a screenshot:

The address bar is a nice touch – you can read an RSS feed in it without having to subscribe to it, and it displays feeds fine. It fully supports RSS 2.0, from what I can tell, which is nice.
But I’m not going to be keeping it. Why? Well, look at this shot from task manager:

Yep, 20MB of memory, which is even more than Mozilla uses when it has 4 tabs and the mail client open. The ‘sharp’ in the name should give you a clue as to why – it’s written in C# (that’s ‘C sharp’, not ‘C hash’), which means it needs the .Net framework. Now while .Net is allegedly faster than Java, its platform-independent rival, it still sucks up huge amounts of memory, which, on a 112MB system running Windows XP, is in short supply.
This was also my complaint with Syndirella – the client was good, but my system isn’t capable of running it, particularly as you’re supposed to run these programs in the background. I have it running now, and the system is not nearly as responsive as usual.
So the hunt goes on. Blarg.


  1. In just over a day of using FeedReader, it started to annoy me on various tasks. It’s nice and simple but it’s just not doing it for me like I original thought it would. I have installed a few more readers today and must say that SharpReader is real nice despite the memory usage (almost 50 meg on my system of 512). Since I only plan on opening it when I want to browse and not run it in the back-ground all the time, this draw back is a small obstacle to look over.

  2. why dont you put another stick of memory in your laptop?

  3. Because I can’t. I’ve opened up the panels but can’t find anywhere to put the memory, and I’m scared about taking the whole thing apart in case I can’t get it back together again.
    And I don’t intend to spend