Since my earlier post I’ve bought a couple more apps, and upgraded another.


I work for a company which has thankfully embraced Mind Mapping as a valid way of sharing ideas. Of course, the rest of the office is using Windows, and those that Mind Map use Mind Manager. I paid just over £50 for my copy of NovaMind, considerably cheaper than Mind Manager. It imports and exports Mind Manager files as well. It’s amazingly easy to use, and you can do some cool text effects with just a few mouse clicks. The only thing I wish it had was a library of images to use for the start image of the map (with mind mapping, it’s recommended to start with a vibrant image in the centre, which should ideally be in at least 3 colours). It can import images from iPhoto— maybe I should create a library of suitable images there.

VoodooPad 2.0 (Flying Meat Inc.)

VoodooPad is fantastic! I urge you to download a copy of the free version, VoodooPad Lite. I upgraded to the full version the next day, it was so obviously worth the money. I use this most days now. It’s really handy for making notes, as it’s really easy to hyperlink everything together. I called my first document “Jon’s Development Wiki” but it turns out I’ve just put everything in there. Why bother creating separate documents? It’s easier to have your whole life linked together in one.

Notebook v2.0 (Circus Ponies)

I haven’t actually bought this because I already own it, but a new version has been released and my 1.2 license still works with it. Yet again it looks impressive, although it still has a bewildering array of preferences, inspectors, and nested configuration screens. It’s laden with features though, maybe this version will be the one that gets me using it regularly?

Further to my post which included details of NovaMind — if you’re looking for some Mind Mapping software and don’t want to spend any money, you should investigate FreeMind. It’s available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux,… in fact any OS with a JVM (because it’s a Java app). It works great, but it has fewer features than NovaMind. One of the nice things about Open Source software is the developers by and large aren’t bothered that users might somehow find out about a competing product and switch to it. In fact they are usually quite open about other products already available. If you take a look at the FreeMind Wiki pages you’ll find an entry for Alternatives to using FreeMind, which lists some other free and commercial Mind Mapping programs. I see that sort of thing quite often on FOSS sites, and it always makes me smile. You just don’t normally see information like that on commercial software sites.

The default key bindings for the home and end keys in Mac OS X are different to any other operating system I’ve ever used. By default, they seem to be bound to the viewport, rather than the line of text you are editing. In a multi-line document, the Home key scrolls up to the top of the document, and the End key scrolls down to the bottom. In each case the caret stays where it was. As a programmer I find this behaviour to be just plain wrong— I want Home and End to move to the start and end of the current line. I have found a way to “fix” this problem by editing the default keybindings file, ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict. Create the directory and / or the file if they’re not already there, and make it look like this:
        /* Remap Home / End to be correct :-) */
        "\UF729"  = "moveToBeginningOfLine:";                   /* Home         */
        "\UF72B"  = "moveToEndOfLine:";                         /* End          */
        "$\UF729" = "moveToBeginningOfLineAndModifySelection:"; /* Shift + Home */
        "$\UF72B" = "moveToEndOfLineAndModifySelection:";       /* Shift + End  */
If there are already entries in DefaultKeyBinding.dict, just add the 4 new mappings above to the main section of your file.

Here’s a neat idea. Take a photo of the wall behind your laptop, then set that photo as your desktop wallpaper. You end up with something like this: (update 2019-02-28 - all the links are dead.)

The Two Ronnies are returning to the TV! I watched Ronnie Corbett host Have I Got News For You a few weeks back, and it was hilarious. Even when he wasn’t telling jokes I was laughing. He could read a tax return and it’d be funny.</p>