Sep 202012
 

Backstit.ch – in beta – is a personal start page site with a clean interface that may be a good option for those who will miss the soon to be retired iGoogle or those using My Yahoo and others. At least based on initial and first impressions Backstit.ch is different from the usual and familiar start page. The potential for a cluttered look seems less likely with Backstit.ch where the pages seem cleaner.

Backstit.ch

Backstit.ch also makes it easy to view more than just news sources or rss feeds by adding a social aspect with twitter streams, facebook timelines and others that at this (beta) period includes Instagram, Linkedin, App.net, tumblr, Readabilitiy and Instapaper.

Creating a page starts by using the Catalog. The Catalog has a ready made collection available for one click additions. These are divided into featured and other categories like news and travel. The available selection includes TechCrunch, Tanga Deals, CNN and others including more specific social feeds like ‘Photos shared on Facebook’ and ‘Popular photos on Instagram’.

Backstit.ch

If a site is not featured or available click on the feed search link and then type the site name – not the full url! – to find and add a site to your start page.

With Backstit.ch the start page where everything exists is called Patterns. A ‘See all’ button on the top right of each item is like a maximizer for that feed or item. The Threads page on the other hand displays everything in its category – news, social and others – by date and time instead of by site.

The cleanest and perhaps most useful part of Backstit.ch is that when an item is clicked the full version of the article is presented on its own on a clean and no frills page.

Backstit.ch has potential because it is feels different and focuses on reading and viewing more than anything else.

I first learnt about Backstit.ch from this ghacks post and got a prompt reply from its cofounder (Jordan) when I encountered an error adding a twitter feed. In the second screenshot the facebook feed has failed to load but I am confident this will be addressed as Backstit.ch works its way through the beta period.

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Jan 082011
 

Makagiga

Makagiga has a simple interface where it attempts to provide an everything at your finger tips type of experience. It comes with widgets to populate its window. The widgets include To-do, Notes, Calendar and Internet Search. Additional widgets can be downloaded (Edit—>Get More Widgets) and include the likes of a Digital Clock and Countdown timer, among others. Somewhat confusing it also supports plugins and no real distinction is made with its widgets. A separate menu (Tools—>Add or Remove Plugins) and window is used to download and use plugins such as an advanced text editor but then to get even more plugins one can click the Get More Plugins link on this same Add or Remove Plugins window. These additional plugins include such things as a chart generator, a Wolfram|Alpha query and others.

The ability to subscribe to RSS feeds comes already built-in and therefore Makagiga can be used as a news feed as well.

Makagiga requires Java and Windows XP at a minimum. Separate portable (use the run-portable.exe file) and Linux versions are available as well.

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