Project Management
Creative Commons License photo credit: Cappellmeister

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I often look at project/document management software. In the traditional Microsoft world MS Project is not much more than a Gantt chart, Microsoft would like you to use Sharepoint for document management and collaboration. I am no fan of Microsoft and certainly no fan of Sharepoint, the licensing can be expensive and confusing and I believe there are better solutions available.

There are many project management solutions available including web based and open source software. Many of the project management solutions will include some element of document management (check in/check out, version control etc) but this functionality maybe basic and if it is a serious document management solution that is required I would recommend looking at specific document management software.

Web based solutions

At the low and free end Microsoft offer Office Live and Office Live Workspaces, not really project management but it has a task list and the although Office Live Workspaces doesn’t offer offline collaboration it does offer documents to be “checked out” and “checked in,” for editing locally using Microsoft Office but the service does integrate with MS SharedView for real-time screen sharing. Office Live Workspace keeps track of older versions of  files and you can use the web interface of either to roll back to a previous copy.

Google docs is similar to Workspaces but is all contained on the web with an online wordpressor and spreadsheet. Instead of a checkin and checkout process Google docs allows for multiple collaborators. Again Google Docs is not really project management software.
Looking at the non free web solutions that are pitched at Project Management one of the most highly rated is Basecamp which includes collaboration, resource management and document management although not document locking. Other web based solutions:
Huddle – includes document locking
Zoho – Includes project management functionality, document locking and integration with Google Docs
Open Source Project Management Software
The solutions mentioned above are proprietary hosted solutions and in most cases have a monthly charge for business use but there are also web based open source solutions that you could run on your own server or a third party hosted server. Solutions include:
Feng Office – choice of open source and hosted project management including document linking.
Feng Office Screenshot – fully functional open source web based project management software that includes document linking.

More links to project management software:

While at Mitch Altmans How to make cool things with Microcontrollers Workshop at the weekend I recorded quite a bit of video. I now need to cut most of this down in size and length. I have put a couple of these videos on youtube. They were taken with the incredibly inexpensive Kodak ZX1. The quality has been reduced for youtube and apologies for the hand shake that you inevitably get with these small cameras.

The first video is a great introduction from Mitch Altman and Jimmie P Rodgers explaining about hackerspaces (introduced by the great Antonio Roberts)


The second video is a great guide from Mitch Altman on how to solder properly


On Sunday I went to Mitch Altman’s How To Make Cool Things With Microcontrollers workshop organised by Fizzpop where with lots of help from Mitch Altman from Cornfield Electronics, Jimmie P Rogers and my son we made this:

Mignonette Game

What is it? Its a Mignonette Game a mini games console that you can build yourself. It comes pre- installed with a mini pacman type game but you can also download mini Space Invaders and mini Tetris.