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I didn’t know too much about mind mapping until I read this book about photoreading. Photoreading – I won’t go into that today, because I’m not sure if it works. Anyways, then a friend told me about mindmapping software. Basically mind mapping is just creating bubbles that represent ideas and then linking them together with other ideas, so that you can visually see the relationships between them. It looks something like this:

Mind Mapping

I have tried it once myself for a presentation, and believe it or not, it really did help me. It’s more useful than an outline b/c it’s not linear.

The problem is that the mind mapping software is usually pretty expensive. Mind Manager comes to mind.

But there is a free, open-source one out there you might want to try, called FreeMind (available for windows, Mac and Linux). Give it a whirl for yourself. You might find yourself being a clearer thinking and presenter.

Check out FreeMind

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Palm going Linux – pictures!

I might be late in keeping up w/ the latest news w/ Palm, but I finally saw some screenshots of the new Palm Linux platform (yes, palm is abandoning the regular palm platform, and going to use Linux with Palm running on top of it).

Check out some pics here, courtesy of http://www.palminfocenter.com

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If you’re just a basic user, and don’t use fancy features and formatting in Word, you might be a good candidate to use OpenOffice or AbiWord.

OpenOffice is open-source software (bunch of guys getting together via the internet and developing free software out of goodwill). It comes with the following applications:

-Writer (like Word)
-Calc (like Excel)
-Impress (like Powerpoint)
-Draw (a drawing program)
-Base (a database program)

I’ve only personally tried Writer, and I found it to be quite good. It’s matured over the years, and it’s pretty stable now. You can get more info about it and download it yourself:

Another good, mature open-source Word like application is AbiWord. It only has a word processing program (unlike the full suite given in OpenOffice).

It looks almost exactly like Word, and it seems quite good as well.  If you are planning to use a document switching from Word to OpenOffice or AbiWord, I recommend that you watch out for formatting changes, as they might not talk to each other well.

But like I said, if you’re just writing normal letters or essays and such, you will be ok with these free alternative solutions.

They are available for Window, Mac or Linux.

Save yourself some cash and go treat your family/friends out to dinner!

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not my own article, but a link. Read the informative story here.

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Do you have an old machine, say one with a pentium 3 processor , 256mb ram, and 10gb hard drive? It’s probably not fast enough for the windows xp. After all, then you have to keep up with all their updates and fixes, and install antivirus, etc. Additionally, you need to buy Windows XP, and it’s not worth it.

You may want to open your mind and try linux on it. There are different “flavors” of linux (which is basically a more “window-fied” unix operating system). I’ve tried a couple, and the one I decided I really like is Ubuntu. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. Anyways, it’s free.

After you download it, you need to burn the ISO image to a CD, using something like Nero software, or Easy CD creator software. If you don’t have them, and you have no idea what I mean, you might just want to order the CD they give you. It’s free.
You can read more about Ubuntu here on their main site.

Before you install, note that this will wipe out your whole hard drive and install Ubuntu on top of it. 

To install it, just do the following:

1. put in the CD in your PC.
2. reboot the PC.
3. It should automatically boot from the CD and then give you a menu type listing. Take the default 1st one of install Ubuntu.
4. You are now in “live CD” mode, which means, the Ubuntu is just running off the CD. On the desktop, you notice a “install” icon. Double click on that.
5. It will lead you through the install process. Now you need to go to this website for all the details.
6. Note one thing you should do different if you don’t want to dual boot (meaning just have Ubuntu as the main operating system), is that on step 6 you want to select the 1st option of “resize IDE master…” That means you’re going to wipe out your whole hard drive, and start fresh with Ubuntu. Just take all the defaults from there.

One extra tip for the more than novice person when you are done installing:
-Go to this EasyUbuntu site.
-copy and paste the code in the orange box.
-FYI, you need to be connected to the internet (plug in your ethernet wire into your network card in the back)
-In your Ubuntu menu up top, click on applications > accessories > terminal to launch terminal app.
-Use the edit menu to paste the code.  It will do a bunch of geeky stuff like download and extract some files.  It will hang after it’s done.  But it’s not hanging, just press enter.  Then it will show you a box to install a bunch of handy software.   Select all, except for the last 2 on the last tab having to do with video cards.  It will install useful things such as new windows fonts, and java, and etc..

-Additionally, you can go to the Ubuntu’s Applications menu, and select “Add/Remove programs” and select a bunch of FREE software you can install.  There are quite a bit.

-Enjoy!  (if this isn’t helpful enough info, there is a forum where you can search, and/or ask questions at Ubuntu’s website)

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