Tagged With diagrams

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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AutoRecovery is one of the most useful features in the Office suite, helping you recover documents if your system crashes unexpectedly. However, if you use any version of the Visio diagramming suite (which got updated this week along with the main Office 2010 range), it doesn't actually have AutoRecovery switched on by default.

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Lovely Charts is a free web-based tool for creating flow charts, site maps, network diagrams, and other visualisations with a drag-and-drop interface and a look somewhat upscale from black-line boxes and polygonal boxes. You'll be zipping through charts after a few minutes familiarising yourself with the layout of the tools—I made the basic network diagram above within the first minute I was on the site. You can customise nearly everything: icon size, labels, the size and shape of the connections between the icons, and so on. One feature that's missing, but in the works, is the ability to upload your own icons and artwork. Good thing, too, since my network map won't be complete until I can add a little Xbox icon. You can export your charts as JPEG or PNG files at the size you specify. Lovely Charts has free and professional accounts, the primary difference between the two being that free accounts are restricted to saving a single chart. You can create and export as many charts as you want, but are restricted to saving one chart for future editing. If you need the ability to edit and save multiple charts but would like to avoid paying for a service, take a look at previously reviewed open-source application Dia.

Lovely Charts

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Windows/Linux only: Open-source application Dia is a robust flowchart and diagram tool. Like a free version of Microsoft Visio, Dia provides you with all the tools you need to create anything from a simple flowchart to a powerful and complex diagram, and files can be saved in many formats, including a Visio Drawing-compatible VDX filetype. Dia is free, Windows and Linux only. If you'd prefer building your diagrams on the web, check out previously mentioned Gliffy.