Friday, October 10, 2008

NCH Express Talk vs X-Lite/Eyebeam

Well after evaluating various softphones, I've finally decided on and purhased NCH Express Business Edition.

I found it to be more stable overall than X-Lite and it was cheaper to than Eyebeam (~$25 Australian as compared to ~$60) and NCH is an Australian company.

After I realised that Skype and Windows Live Messenger do not support SIP, it narrowed the field substantially, but I'm reasonably happy with my choice.

This means I can now transfer calls among other things.

One thing I am looking for though is a similar system to the Skype dialer plugin for Internet Explorer but that I can use with Outlook Address Book and Business Contact Manager so I can click a button and invoke the dialer on Express Talk. I'm not sure yet whether something like that exists, but neverthelesst that would be nice.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Freemind vs Mindmanager

I've long been a fan of mindmapping for work and just general idea management. I am a big fan of Mindjet's Mindmanager software having found it very handy when preparing proposals, particularly heirarchical representations of website information architecture. However I have also found also found it to be very expensive. So after evaluating several different versions, installing and uninstalling them, I recently experimented with a piece of software called "Free mind". Before this, I hadn't been able to find anything quite like Mindjet's offering.

Freemind does most of what Mindmanager does, the main difference being that it is free and runs just as well on any platform and the XML support is much better for integration with websites. Freemind even allows you to import mindmaps directly from MindManager. While the interface isn't as slick as Mindmanager (certain things like linking nodes, icons and notes can be tricky at first), and I still haven't figured out how to get all the tree nodes on one side, Freemind still holds its own.

I'm interested to see what other people use and if there is anything better out there or if people really feel that Mindmanager is worth the money they are paying for it.