Several years ago I stumbled upon this concept of “mind mapping”. Frankly I really didn’t see the point of mind mapping when I first discovered it. After all it reminded me of those brainstorming maps my English teacher made me create in the 3rd grade. Not exactly the type of thing you expect someone in a business setting to create. Nonetheless, I started using it for managing simple tasks, which compounded into more complex tasks, and before I knew it I was mapping everything from major business projects to my packing list for vacation.
You’ve seen great how-to-videos here on The CAD Geek and many other blogs on the net, but how do we create and produce professional quality videos? Like most things in the tech world, you’ve got lots of options; each ranging in price from free to a few hundred dollars. Which tool is best for you will be a function of the type of screencasts you plan to create. Today I’ll share a some popular and up-and-coming tools of the screencasting trade.
Back in May I made a post titled “Some Nifty Tools” where I mentioned a very handy tool from Mindjet called MindManager. Since then the tool has become an absolutely indispensible part of my daily workflow. The power of all mind mapping software, MindManager included, is it’s versatility. Frankly there’s no wrong way to use the software, making it’s potential uses almost endless.
Some of my favorite applications of MindManager have included note taking in meetings to on-screen presentations, and even strategic planning. Of course one area which has proven especially helpful for is is tracking and documenting my companies Civil 3D Styles.
Back in May I happened to mention Mindjet’s MindManager product in a post titled Some Nifty Tools. Back then I was relatively new to the product, but it has quickly become an indispensible part of my daily workflow. These days I use MindManager for everything from mapping (planning) out my day, planning and documenting my Civil 3D projects (data shortcuts), even down to documenting my Civil 3D Style library.
First let me start by offering my congratulatory birthday wishes to the “Between The Lines” blog by Shaan Hurley. Seeing that most blogs die within a matter of months, reaching the 5-year mark is a monumental achievement.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. Since switching to Windows Vista in January of this year, I really have found the OS to be rather enjoyable. One thing I especially like is the Windows Search integration into the Start menu. Rather than browsing through all of my installed programs, I just type “Word” to launch Microsoft Word.
If you have stayed current on your Tech News, you have undoubtedly heard about Google Sites. For those unfamiliar with the Google Site’s service, I’ll provide the Cliff Notes version. Launched February 27, 2008, Google Sites is a wiki platform targeted towards small and medium sized businesses. The service has been made a part of the pre-existing Google Apps service. Google Sites is essentially a re-launched version of JotSpot, which Google purchased in 2006.
What makes Google Sites unique is the way it integrates a wiki like platform with things like documents, spreadsheets ,presentations, calendars, and even video (YouTube). Some have compared Google Sites with other collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint. While both are considered collaboration tools, I personally feel that SharePoint is much more robust than Google Sites. Of course one element Google beats Microsoft on without question is price. A public SharePoint site can prove incredibly costly, whereas Google Sites is FREE. After playing around with the service myself, I’d compare Google Sites to a service more like Central Desktop than I would SharePoint.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008, the day in which I decided to say goodbye to my beloved Windows XP and hello to the monster known as Windows Vista. Be it press releases from numerous government agencies, or the ever entertaining Apple I’m a Mac, I’m a PC ads – Vista hasn’t found too many friends. Despite all of that propaganda, I decided to roll the dice with Vista. Vista / Vegas – coincidence?
Much like AutoCAD installations, Vista installations are quite literally defined by the hardware you have backing it. For me I am actually working on a late Windows XP laptop, a HP Compaq nw8440 to be exact. Inside of it I have a 2.0 Ghz Intel Centrino Duo processor with 2.0 GB of RAM. Overall I see my machine as a pretty typical AutoCAD 2008 capable laptop.
Coming from a civil engineering firm, it’s only natural we are using AutoCAD Civil 3D and an array of other verticals; Land Desktop, Map 3D, and Raster Design. We are using the 2008 versions of the products mentioned above. But enough information about platform, what about usability and reliability?