I am developing an abiding hatred for invisible toggle keys on the keyboard. The program you’re using may tell you to “press X to use the keyboard shortcut to do Y” but it doesn’t tell you the “shortcut” of the key that turns that toggle key on and off.

I was happily using “insert” to create a new text box, all according to the drop-down box’s recommendation for the keyboard shortcut. An hour after I started work, all of a sudden the insert key will only make a zero (since the insert key is also the zero key in the number pad). I don’t remember striking the num lock button, but yeah, pushing it fixed the problem. Still, it was an interruption, an irritant and and an imposition.

I am so tired of the pile of learning curves between programs, between gizmos, and between iterations of gizmos. It’s like an hourly ‘learning of toilets’ on a European road trip: “how do you flush THIS one?!?!”

Okay, rant over, blood pressure returning to normal, time to get back to work.

(I’m enjoying alone time with the last of my tea from my room-service breakfast so I can finish a highly-useful course by Kris Neri that started before I left home and ends this coming week. I’m going to buy the CDs of the Bouchercon panels I’m missing — many thanks to the Bouchercon team posting pictures on Facebook to remind me.)

I found a new open source program I’m enjoying — FreeMind.  It makes thinking fun, and you don’t hit the edge of the paper.

The image is a 25% screenshot of an unfinished bubble map (this one’s of a bad guy).  For me, the various events that drive him on his way are easier to keep track of on this map than with an outline, a notebook, or index cards on a corkboard.  It goes so quickly that I almost feel lazy using it until I remember that I’ve put more up here than I’ve managed in other brainstorming styles.

The program is easy enough to learn so that you don’t feel as if you’re undertaking a steep learning curve in addition to thinking up whatever it is you want to map.  Thank you to the developers, debuggers and distributors.