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Mind Mapping Software

We have both used various Mind Mapping Software in our various roles; I’ve used The Brain extensively since early 2000 and more recently been looking at Visual Mind

With a switch to the Novell Linux Desktop I’ve had to re-evaluate the tools on offer; also working with maps across a team means that some level of interoperability is required. Mark showed me FreeMind – and it seems to fit the bill exactly. Cross platform, Open and best of all Free :)

I’ll post some more on how I get on with this.



One of the best Mind Mapping toolsets on the market is Mind Manager developed by MindJet. Fortunately, I do not run Windows… only Mac OS and Linux in this guys house!!

Free Mind is a great tool to use to map out your thoughts and ideas as they are running through your cranium. Captured, on paper, ready to engage!! I highly recommend using this to keep your ideas organized, and to use during brainstorming sessions.


Tally Systems – New Hampshire

My fourth visit to Lebanon, NH – and this time I can write about it!

Tally Systems offices

The Tally Systems offices are in Lebanon, New Hampshire; it’s very different from the locations of other Novell offices I’ve worked in (Cambridge MA, Waltham MA, Provo UT, San Jose CA, Bracknell UK etc) – the setting is pretty rural in the Upper Valley in NH.

The weather this time is stunning – it’s warm and sunny; the views of the mountains and forest are incredible; and very different from Provo.

Travelling via Chicago

I’ve learned from experience to avoid Chicago during the Winter months. Rain, snow, storms, ice.. they all add up to delays and misery. I’ve tried to route via Denver to make life easier.

Yesterday I had no option but to fly via Chicago to make a connection to Manchester, NH. What should have been a five hour trip turned into a fourteen hour ordeal.

Thunderstorms in the Chicago area closed the airport for about three hours – incoming flights were diverted; outgoing flights grounded. I ended up being diverted to Moline, IL for an hour or so of unwanted stopover.

“Thought Leadership” – Open-minded, Passionate and Honest.

I’ve been hunting around for examples of teams blogging on specific areas of specialty. Most pointedly my search has been for online examples of the nebulous area – “Thought Leadership”

Several CxO blogs promoting this – including Debbie Weil on CEO Thought Leadership:

First, blogging is writing. That’s all it is. Good blogging is good writing. It is not copywriting. That is, writing-for-hire whose purpose is to sell someone else’s products or services. So for you, Bob, a blog might serve as an outlet for itchy fingers to sound off on topics / issues / bugaboos that come up in the course of your copywriting assignments. Do you have that urge? If you do, that’s a raison d’etre for your blog. If you don’t, well… I understand.

I like the comment on having an urge to express. On my personal blog I write more about how I came back to blogging

I also liked this from James McGovern – an IT Enterprise Architect blog:

The difference between generally available opinions and thought leadership are the difference between night and day. Opinions tend to be emotional, reactional and narrowly focused. Thought leadership on the other hand serves to introduce ideas and concepts to individuals using factual, open-minded, disciplined approaches.

Especially in the area of technology this seems like a great approach to communication. It suggests a divergence from the traditional marketing-led approach to blogging and more of an unbiased (is that the word I’m meaning?) discussion of the technologies and issues at hand.

Open-minded, Passionate and Honest.

Summed up by this:

Employees will be blogging in their off hours if it’s fun for them. Edwin K., the primary author of the Collaxa blog, actually used the words “fun” in describing his 2 and 1/2 years thus far of evangelizing the business process management and BPEL space. Fun, passion, challenge, enthusiasm: It’s the only way the commitment will be maintained.

Wednesday Keynote

The Wednesday keynote was incredible.

We did a deep dive on all of the Identity Driven Computing pieces – including a really compelling demo of ZENworks managing the Novell Linux Desktop. We also did a sneak peek of the Tally Systems TS.Census product.

Found some interesting commentary on the keynote:

Bert Plat:

Next followed a sneak peek at the upcoming ZENworks 7, with its new management web interface, and the possibilities to control Linux boxes to the same extent as Windows desktops. I haven’t taken a close look at ZENworks since, oh, version 3 or so, so to me this was quite revelatory. Another product I need to take a very close look at.