Google Reader is closing down. I’m going for Opera Mail

We have around one more week for the closing down of Google Reader. It was a handy service to follow the interesting blogs and other websites – all in one place. Since google decided to ditch one of my useful tools I was looking for alternatives. I knew Thunderbird facilitates RSS reading and so many other mail clients. Also there are other online alternatives that are equivalent to Google Reader. However this time I decided to go for a desktop client.

Keeping E-mails and RSS together was my intention. And also I really needed a decent alternative for Mac’s native Mail application. It is slow and not very appealing.

Opera browser had RSS reader sometime back and now no more with the browser. However Opera has the ‘Opera Mail’ desktop client software for Mac and Windows that includes an RSS reader. I thought of giving it a try so now I’ve installed the Mac version and configured my email that uses the Google’s mail servers.

Opera Mail
Opera Mail Client

I choose to use the IMAP rather than POP. Therefore the configuration looks like this.

e-mail configuration


I’m putting this together here because I can keep this as a reference to the port numbers. 😉 If you want to use POP – the port number is 995.

Now it’s time to configure the RSS feeds of my favorite blogs and websites. For example I choose Peteris Krumins’ Blog. In the Opera Mail, go to the menu item ‘Feeds -> Manage Feeds’. It will bring up the ‘Subscribe to Feeds’ dialog – click on the ‘Add’ button and provide RSS feed URL.

RSS Configuration

That was all it required to get going and I’m happy with Opera Mail for now. It is fast and intuitive. Let me see how far I can go with this.

If you are looking for some other alternatives you can find them here:

Make Tech Easier blog page: (Mac only)

Drupal Security Update Required FTP Server in Mac OS X Mountain Lion

I was developing Drupal in my MacBook with XAMPP server setup. I was tweaking with a different distribution and that needed an important security update. I was trying to update and there came the need for an FTP connection to the localhost.

Apple has disabled the FTP Server in Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Here is the little tweak that helped me to start the disabled FTP Server in order to get the job done.

Start the FTP:
sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist

Verify the FTP is working by issueing this command
ftp localhost

Stop the FTP:
sudo launchctl stop

Start the FTP again:
sudo launchctl start

When the update prompts FTP credentials – provide machine username and password. This gets the job done.

Though FTP usage is discouraged due to it’s security vulnerabilities – this was the easiest way of tackling Drupal issue in local environment.

If you are seriously considering a secure FTP server in your Mac, check the PureFTPd Manager from the following link:


I encountered the same issue with WordPress development in MAMP Server setup. Easiest solution was to set the proper permission to the wordpress directory. Apache runs as the user _www:

sudo chown -R _www:_www wordpress_directory

Also this will work

sudo chgrp -R _www wordpress_directory/

Same technique could work for Drupal issue as well.

What do you do when you are good at something but not good enough?

I came across this question in Quora – and the following answer that was very much inspiring. I was always pondering about this – ‘Will I ever become best at something – say distributed systems?‘. Because throughout the life I’ve been chasing behind knowledge, new technologies but never felt good enough.  This answer was enlightening and I thought I should keep it saved even if Quora shuts down for any reason.


Question: What do you do when you are good at something but not good enough?

I have tried out a number of things and I feel that I am much better than the average person at the field, but always fall short of being among the best. What is the extra push that takes you there? It is so frustrating to remain at this stage.


Answer: I urge you to make peace with that feeling, because for most people, it never goes away: and I’m talking about the people who are the best in the field. It never goes away for them. Most of them don’t feel like the best in the field. They feel exactly like you. They are hugely aware of their mistakes and hugely aware of the ways they are lacking. Einstein tried and failed to unify the fields. You can say, “Yeah, but he was Einstein!” But that’s you. What was important — to Einstein — was how he felt.

Mostly due to having lived almost five decades and having had enough time to practice some things, I have reached a point where people consider me to be in that “the best” group. People ask my advice and talk to me as if they want to be what I am, falsely thinking I’ve reached some … place. I haven’t reached anywhere. I’m just as lost as I was when I started.

They are probably confused by my confidence. I am way more confident than I was twenty years ago. Less-experienced people tend to be confused about the nature of my confidence.

I’m not confident because I finally understand what I’m doing and know where I’m going; I’m confident being lost. I know I’ll be lost for the rest of my life. The turning point for me — the time I stopped feeling the way you did — was when I stopped trying to be one of the best and started enjoying being one of the lost.

I know I’ll never achieve greatness — whether other people think I have is beside the point. I’ll never achieve greatness, because if I do, it won’t be great anymore. It will just be something I already did.

What I know is that I’ll always be chasing greatness and my confidence comes from finally learning to enjoy the chase: by embracing being lost.

Step one was to absolutely stop comparing myself to other people. Am I “one of the best” or not? I don’t know. I don’t care. What I care about is that there are certain things I want to get done and certain things I want to experience. I’m working towards that.

I know that even if you accept what I’m saying, it’s way easier said than done. I certainly don’t know a magic spell for it. I achieved it simply by living a number of years and finally tiring of bashing my head against the wall you’re hitting.