Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mind Mapping Software Review

OK, I'm on a "Gotta get a side business going again.  I like to hash out ideas with mind mapping software.  I usually use FreeMind but I decided to take a look at what is out there. I was looking for something free or low cost that was still full featured.  For reference my main research sites where these-

Wikipedia List of concept- and mind-mapping software
Hive Five: Five Best Mind Mapping Applications

Well, the skinny of it is I'm keeping FreeMind but I might play with TheBrain.  Honorable mention is for quick and simple mind maps.

  • It looks like for the open source world, the FreeMind file type has become a standard, with multiple mind mapping web and desktop applications exporting and importing the FreeMind file type.
As far as software-
  • Google now has entered the fray, with their not so advertised "Coggle" software.  I use a lot of Google products, so this looked interesting.  But after getting burned with Google's RSS reader going away I think I'll stay away from Google's fringe products for a bit.  Coggle is not as nearly as full featured as the alternative I will present here either.
  • Mindmeister looked promising.  It is web based and looks nice, both pluses, but it didn't seem to have a lot to it yet.
  • If you just need to do simple mind maps and would like to make them "in the cloud", the winner would be hands down.  Very simple web interface and has all the basic stuff you need.  I might use it in a pinch.
  • TheBrain looks really cool.  It is a desktop app but there are versions of it for the big three OS's (Linux, Windows, Mac).  You can link any kind of files directly into your mind maps which I found interesting.  I held off because it is a download the pro version download and then after 30 days TheBrain downgrades itself to the free version.  I might test it out later but Idon't want to get sucked into buying stuff when I don't have to, as my budget for my business is very, ah, lean...
  • FreeMind reigns supreme right now still.  I don't like that it is a desktop application and I don't like that it has a Java dependency.  It doesn't look quiet as cool as say Mindmeiser or TheBrain.  But it works for my purposes for now I guess.  Maybe I'll revisit this in the future.
There are other tools out there, most of them cost $$$ or didn't look as promising as the above.  Disagree? Know a better tool?  If so let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Webmatrix 3: Hold Off

I found a bug with Webmatrix 3 that may only happen to specific machine setups, which is this

Not saying this will happen to you, I've read a bit and apparently most people claim everything is working great for them with Webmatrix 3.  But to be honest unless you are doing a lot with Azure or non razor development I would HOLD OFF installation of Webmatrix 3 just in case.

More info here