I finally made the move from the trusty old FeedDemon to QuietRSS. Both are free desktop PC feedreaders for RSS feeds, but FeedDemon is increasingly old now (2013) and was starting to refuse to acquire perfectly valid Atom feeds. QuietRSS is maintained (Jan 2021) and has no such problems. It does however take some initial wrangling to set up — in terms of font choice, font sizes and CSS styles — to get it looking good and working as required. The basic steps are:

1. Tools | Options | change Font types and sizes. Arial Unicode and Segoe UI work well together.

2. Then View | Applications Style and choose a new CSS style for the UI. A number of pre-made CSS styles ship with the software, and ‘Dark’ will be the choice of many. This can then be opened with Notepad++ and hacked re: changing colours. There’s also an online ‘replace theme’ utility that can extend the Dark theme by writing a new variant of it.

3. You may find the dark blue ‘new items’ links stubbornly remain, even with a new CSS style, and thus ruin your tweaked colour scheme. Note that there are also font colours to hack in the QuiteRss.ini file, but the easier way is to use the tab tucked away at the back of the Fonts.

4. It appears the only way to compact the database is to have this done automatically at each shutdown. FeedDemon could do it manually, and compacting is important because it speeds up a feedreader running many feeds and keeps it fast. In QuietRSS the switch for compaction is reached via Tools | Options (or just press F8), and then you work through to this tab. Enable cleanup on shutdown, and also DB optimisation on shutdown…

It usually takes some time for a database to ‘learn’ what’s new and what are old posts dredged up from the past, and for the feedreader to settle down into showing you only the most recent posts.