DSA & Computers

[Dated Mar 2011]

So yesterday morning I had some of my DSA related computer training.
So to summarise I have learnt:

  • To use Mindview to create mindmaps and timelines.
    • Incl. colours, links, relation-lines, Icons etc
  • To use ReadWrite Gold as a note-taking/writing tool.
    • Incl. gathering references, converting files between formats and using speech-making/playback tools
  • To use MSword and Vista more effectively.

I am vaguely miffed that ReadWrite only works with Microsoft products because thats not usually how I work so the whole thing confused me a little. I have to convert things into word files and gather via IE but the real trick is going to be integrating things into my writing practice so that I am achieveing more. I am hoping that being able to collect references and texts into pdfs and summary forms will prove more organised rather than an extended form of procrastination.

So far the Mindview has actually been helpful, whilst I was worried that I had just spent a whole lot of time arranging my sources in a pretty diagram for my own amusement – actually a quick visual aide-memoire has saved me sifting through notes several times this week.

I also got a new dictionary/thesaurus tool which might actually be advanced enough to be useful. With regard to writing 100,000 odd words it doesn’t do to get too repetitive and even with a reasonable size vocabulary you don’t have to be very tired before the words fade away. Now all I need is to find a dictionary/spellchecker that doesn’t panic when I use theoretical terms – of course a spellchecker for my latin and greek would be fantastic too. I guess maybe thats why classicists can still be compulsive about checking things – there is no one else to do it for you, no automated cheat.. Well if there is I really want someone to tell me about it!

So hopefully a new stage is born in my writing….

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