Monthly Archives: September 2009

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Free and Open Source Project Management Resources (on your own server)

There seem to be many free desktop applications for project management out there. Funny enough, most of the ones I encounter seem to claim they are also “open source”. The average user normally doesn’t care whether a product is open source or not since they won’t be developers after all. But it is good to keep in mind that most open source products have a developer community that is comprised of dedicated, often fanatic =) folks that will work hard on improving the product in their spare time and you can also benefit from that ideal.

Here is a short list of desktop project management software that is, open and free:

OpenProj

Open Workbench

Task Juggler

GaantProj

Epiware

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Online project management tools (free with some limitations) are now an easy thing to find since the Web has was labeled “Web 2.0″. Normally they include file sharing with version tracking and milestones. I have been pleased with Basecamp, but there are many similar products that are very similar and bring different features to offer that might be worth looking at. Many of them have applications available for mobile devices as well, making project managing accessible virtually from anywhere (where there is an internet connection):

Goplan.com

Zoho Projects

LiquidPlanner

ProjectSpaces

Daptiv

DeskAway

Comindwork

5pm

Well, you get the idea… too many options… and prices are similar.

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Some people also use wikis for managing projects collaboratively due to their ease of use for quick edits, attachments, ability to have multiple users contribute at once. Timelines, milestones, file sharing, to-do lists, project design documents, etc. Can all be easily maintained on a simple wiki.

Many companies use internal wikis on their servers with different permission levels.

You might also want to take a look at pbWorks’ plans (former pbWiki), the free account is good enough for most people managing small projects. Right now they have a limit if 20GB for file storage, etc.

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The most interesting idea are actually team project management engines that you can simply install on your own Web server and keep total control over them (Basecamp clones). While you could pay activeCollab for access to their installation files and support, there are many free and open source options to explore before committing to purchasing anything :

ProjectPier - a php-based clone of Basecamp. Extremely similar look and feel.

DotProject – Although it looks more “raw” than others and certainly doesn’t bring the latest “Web 2.0″ look and feel out of the box, this project has a lot to offer including a ticketing system for bug submission and other support requests.

Collabtive – This server-side project management is very easy to install on your server. A little problem I found is that out of the box you can only share files up to 8 MB and I wasn’t able to find information on whether this can be changed or not.

Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla are also so flexible that they make it possible for you to tweak them and add certain modules to a point where they work like (or better than) famous Web-based project management systems out there (aka Basecamp, GoPlan, etc).

OpenAtrium – Project Management based on Drupal.

ProjectFork - JoomlaPraise’s Joomla-based project management server-side portal (more hyphens, please?).

TeamBox – Ruby on Rails and open source team collaboration suite.

Other open source Web-based project management software that you can install on your server can be found on this post by nixCraft.

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You might also be interested in free open source ticketing systems. And here you go:

A list from, well, Open Source Help Desk List.com.

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Did You Know 4.0

All right… annoying version number aside, this is an interesting video similar to Shift Happens and other “trendy” videos out there about how social media and the Web are becoming even more important as more and more people get access to these technologies. And, well, of course, how knowledge is becoming less of an authoritative “institution” as social media makes it possible for “anyone” (that has the technology and means) to be authors of content.

Now, what else do WE need to know to have this supposedly democratic vision of knowledge creation impact even more how we teach, it already impacts how we learn…

Record Screencasts and Demos with no Downloads

It is nice not to have to download any programs if you want to record simple screencasts and demos (and in SIMPLE steps) of your computer screen.

Here is an good review of ScreenToaster by Jane Hart.

What is even better is not to have to create yet a new username and password for yet another website. That is where ScreenJelly differs from ScreenToarter: although ScreenJelly works pretty much in the same way, you can simply login with your Twitter account… Well, if you don’t have a Twitter account yet, go get one and play with it at least to know what the hype is about…

ScreenCastle is another simple, one-button, Java-based screen recorder that works with not need for complicated software installation. It is based on Skoffer, which offer a useful option for the bloggers out there: if you are an advanced (well, somewhat advanced) user, you can use their API to build plug it into your existing website for even quicker recordings.

Best of all, these tools are free of charge (as of this writing).

ScreenToaster

Screen Jelly

ScreenCastle

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

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There are many interesting ways to use the LinkedIN network to your advantage. Here are some quick tipsl:

  1. Keep your info and “resumè” up to date
  2. Join networks in which you already have connections
  3. Join networks in your area of interest and expertise (well, this one is obvious)
  4. Add friends and colleagues you have studied with and that you have worked with
  5. These colleagues will be glad to write recommendations for you (under your profile) if you also write recommendation about them
  6. Request recommendations from colleagues
  7. Write recommendations for your colleagues

More resources and tips:

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

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