If your into mind maps then FreeMind is well worth a look. Java based, nice featureset and some great export options. Did I mention it’s free?
Month: February 2006
The New Mini
It’s just over one year since I saw the Mac Mini in the flesh and I made the statement…if I had a plasma I would buy one without hesitation. Well I’ve got the LCD and a new version of the Mini has just been announced. The mouse has been hovering over the buy now button but I just can’t click it. Doubts have crept in.
The first one is the amount of duplication in gadgets – just what do I really need? The Mini would ideally replace XBMC and also allow so much more. At the same time I’m looking at the 360 which is more powerful than the Mini and the PS3 will be on the shelf in the next year – do I really need another box with similar specs to deliver slightly different functionality?
Second is cost. $799 does not equal Â£599. That’s Â£140 above the pound dollar conversion rate. A DVI cable from Apple is Â£60. Why don’t I bend over and take a humping at the same time. Thanks Apple.
So I will bide my time yet again, but hopefully for only another 3 or 4 months. By then I should know what the PS3 really will deliver and also just how good the small form factor pc’s from Intel will be like. Maybe I should just go with the laptop, scrap having a player at the TV and plug in the laptop when required. Anyone else have a good idea?
Sent Them Homeward
Scotland 18 – 12 England. What a match. At the end of the first half I had real doubts about the Scots. They had to defend most of the half and it was looking grim. Second half though saw the English tire badly and the Scots had most of the possession. Great performance, great defence but most importantly a great win and thoroughly deserved. Disappointed that we had the Scottish commentary team not because they were poor – would have loved to have heard what Jeremy Guscott had to say after that win.
Jill Douglas – At what point did you think you could beat England
Frank Hadden – Last week
Loved that quote – summed up the confidence that Scotland now have. Bring on the Irish.
Who Needs Vista?
Google Page Creator
Google Page Creator has just launched. You get 100Meg of space, a basic web page creator and a page manager to arrange your site. No mention of bandwidth restrictions either. Not a replacement for having your own web host but if you setting up a smallish site, say for a local group, it’s not too shabby especially as it’s free although you do need a GMail account (I’ve 100 invites just in case someone still doesn’t have one). Crashed once though while I knocked this up.
Rangers 2-2 Villarreal
Woo-hoo. A 2-2 draw is a pretty good result. Could we sneak an away win? Well – I can but hope. What was Prso doing though? Hard to criticise arguably our best player but to handle the ball in the box in the manner that he did in the first five minutes of such an important game…Alan Sugar’s quote in tonights Apprentice sums it up.
Anchor to wanker.
Curse of the Online Gamer
Stumbled upon a blog where the owner did a bit of stat taking. Not the normal number of kills, number of head shots. No – this was the number of times he heard someone cursing or being sexist/racist while playing Halo 2 (the worst game for this type of thing). Stats make for interesting reading and certainly ties up with what I hear on line. I wouldn’t be comfortable with juniors hearing some of this stuff. Bitch talking is not something I normally get involved in – Roy still holds the title for most abusive in a Halo session.
That’s where The Lickers kick in. It’s a league for folk that aren’t obsessed about being number 1 and where cheating and glitching isn’t tolerated. Certainly friendlier than random Live games although looking at the forums sometimes you wouldn’t think so. It’s also full of folk that are over 20 so you don’t feel like an old duffer when posting at the forums or playing online with them. If interested pop over to the forums and sign up.
A great guide has been created on ProductWiki – How to mod your Xbox and install XBMC. The media playing capabilities of XBMC have to be seen to be believed – I really struggle to think of a better media playing device (at this moment in time). Well worth doing if your thinking of buying some sort of media playing device that would sit near your TV. Further info can be found at the XBMC Homepage or on the forums at Xbox-Scene.
Live killer is the Hub?
Next-gen is saying that the Xbox Live killer will be called Playstation Hub. Catchy. It will do all that Live does (including arcade) and it will be a subscription service. Surprise surprise. No hard facts or how it will integrate with the PSP…yet.
I’ve been dithering for months now on how to sort out my storage ‘issues’. Thats digital storage I should add. Should be easy. Done it before – remove the current hard disks and replace with bigger ones. Pretty cheap, straightforward and after a wee bit of hassle I’ll have a massive amount of storage space.
However on so many fronts it doesn’t work for me. I want to access the data on the drives from any device. Xbox, 360, PSP or laptop. I also want it to be independant of a PC. My current desktop PC is so noisy and has too much oomph for just simple storage. I’m also going to replace the dekstop this year, probably for a laptop so any investment in the desktop now would be a waste (hasn’t stopped me before). The reason for the laptop is that I never use the desktop for games and I would gain from the extra portability.
I’d been swaying towards getting a NAS device so that my data is available on a network for any device to connect to and use but I just can’t find one that meets all my needs or that I’m comfortable that it’s a reliable solution. The 360 wouldn’t see that data either as it’s on a NAS device – it needs a bit of pc software to see media shares and to see video it needs Media Centre. Bah.
So – I’m plumping for a temporary solution. I’ll dig out the old desktop PC which is a lot quieter than the current one and either set it up as a normal PC with network shares or as a NAS device using NASLite. At least that way I’ll have more disk available and I’ll be able to stream on the Xbox. Long term solution is still a grey area. Might wait for more details on the PS3 and also make a decision on laptop first. Also need to factor in a proper long term backup strategy for all this data – it’s getting quite sizeable. As well as every new home having a solar panel it needs a server too, not as standard but definetly as an optional extra. I’m sure there’s a business opportunity there for someone with bigger balls than me.
Anyway – I’ll report back on data dilema’s once I get round to doing something. Hopefully some helpful geek will post up some other options.