Launch a web browser and visit the Feed Notifier website. When the page loads, click the link at the top (where it says Windows Installer) and, if the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Now locate and double-click the downloaded file and work through the installation wizard, accepting all the defaults. At the end, ensure there is a tick next to ‘launch Feed Notifier’ and click Finish. After a second, the first news story will pop up on the Desktop.
That welcome message is from the program’s own newsfeed, but we’re going to add our own. Right-click the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) icon in the Notification Area and choose Add Feed from the menu. After a moment the Add Feed dialogue appears. It’s not terribly helpful but we can sort that out. Flip back to the web browser and visit Computeractive's website. When the page loads, find the RSS icon at the top right and click it. At the next screen, scroll down to the ‘Our free RSS feeds’ section and click on All articles.
At the next screen, click once on the address bar at the top (where the ‘http’ stuff is) to highlight what’s there, then right-click and choose Copy from the pop-up menu. Flip back at the Add Feed dialogue box, right-click in the empty box, choose Paste from the menu and the address for the Computeractive’s RSS newsfeed will appear. Click Next to continue. At the next dialogue, give the feed a name and set the polling interval in seconds, minutes, hours or days. Then change border colour. Click OK and then Finish.
Give it a moment and then something magical will happen. You’ll start receiving pop-up messages from Computeractive’s newsfeed displaying story headlines. If something of interest pops up, just click the link to open the article in your web browser. Use the controls in the panel to go forward or back one story at a time, click the play button to cycle through new stories or click pause to stop new updates from appearing temporarily. Click the ‘x’ at the top right corner to close the panel (it’ll automatically open again during the next update cycle).
Carry on adding RSS feeds in the same way. Different sites provide RSS information in different ways but, if you’re in doubt, click the RSS icon and when the page loads, check the browser’s address line. If it includes ‘feeds’ or ‘rss’ try copying and pasting that. You can configure feeds too. Right-click on the RSS icon in the Notification Area and choose Preferences. Click the Feeds button to add, remove or edit existing newsfeeds and change their appearance and position by clicking the Pop-ups button and changing the settings there.
It is also possible to filter the content of feeds to remove stories you don’t want popping up. Click the Filters button and then click Add. At the next dialogue box, click the radio button next to Selected Feeds and then select Computeractive. Typing -Apple, for example, will tell Feed Notifier to ignore any stories from the Computeractive site that include the word Apple. Multiple items can be excluded by separating words with a space, like so: -Apple -Dell -Adobe. Alternatively, remove the minus signs to ensure you receive news only about Apple, Dell and Adobe. There are more examples on the Feed Notifier website. Click OK, then OK again to finish.