FreeMind, Protecting content


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FreeMind (see previous post) is a lot easier to use if you know a few keystroke combinations. These are the important few. I get 99% of what I want from FreeMind with these keystrokes.

[Note: An important mouse movement is placing the mouse cursor over a node. This highlights the node; you don’t have to press any buttons.]

<esc>: Pressing the escape key moves the node highlight to the master node.

<ins>: Pressing the Insert key creates a sub-node from the highlighted node. I use Apple keyboards, which have no Insert key. In the first column of keys on the left side of the number pad, second from the top there’s a key marked Clear. If I press this key, it deactivates the number pad. ‘0’ (zero) on the number pad will then insert a sub-node for the highlighted node.

{ I think this probably turns num-lock off. Since I don’t have a PC-style keyboard, I can’t check it. I’d appreciate a comment if you can verify this. }

<rt>, <lf>, <up>, <dn>: The Arrow keys allow you to move the highlight from node to node.

<alt-pgup>: (alt+page_up) Collapses one level of detail in the tree structure (sub-nodes) beyond the highlighted node.

<alt-pgdn>: (alt+page_down) Expands one level of detail in the tree structure (sub-nodes) beyond the highlighted node.

<alt-home>: Collapses the entire tree structure beyond the highlighted node. If you do this for the master node, it collapses everything to the primary nodes. (First level of nodes attached to the master node)

<alt-end>: Expands the entire tree structure beyond the highlighted node. If you highlight the master node and do this, you expand the entire mind map.

That’s it. I find that most of what I want to do with FreeMind can be accomplished with these keystrokes. Of course, there are menu options that do the same thing, but I find these keystrokes easy to remember and more efficient than mouse-ing around.

One last tip: I keep the note window (bottom of the screen) open. If you highlight a node you can attach notes to it by simply typing them into the Note Window. If you don’t see a note window, use View->Note Window from the main menu.

Protecting Content

A life preserver, or toroidal throwable person...

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Blogging is about content creation. I’ve seen a couple of very interesting blogs that are text only. The ones that I find most appealing, though, have some kind of graphics or video. These blogs require a broad skill set:writing, photography, graphics manipulation, sound editing, video editing. These are big buckets. Each encompasses many skills. For a one man or woman shop, it’s a steep climb to develop even basic skills in each of these areas. It can also get pretty expensive if you go the commercial software route. Being a Linux-er, I’m interested in how much I can do without spending a lot of money. That will probably continue to be a theme at The Robotic Frog.

The content that we create eventually ends up on our computers in the form of files. Then, through some alchemy, these thing are merged into our blog posts. Both before and after publication, there is a lot of valuable information that we don’t want to lose. Anyone who uses a computer has been admonished to back up their data. Most of us say, “Yeah, that’s really important. I need to do it.” The problem is that we either don’t get to it at all or we start out with the best of intentions and then don’t keep up with it. For a content creator, all that stuff hiding on our hard drives is important. If, like me, you’ve not taken seriously backing up your data, now’s a good time to change your ways. There are many painless ways to make sure your content is protected. Next time, I’ll share my solution to this problem.

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