20 August 2014

A good reason to write a blog

Blog posts are a snapshot in time. Just as a photograph can tell you a lot about someone, so can a blog post, even when they talk about seemingly trivial things. Even memes, those things that seem to go around like a craze in primary school, can be meaningful. I have been sorting through old drafts that were never published, and I found this one from October 2008: Ten years ago I was: Working on the implementation of a new computer system to prepare for Y2K Sharing our new house with my … [Read more...]

My own mini-scanfests

When you come back home after a productive research trip to an archive or library do you often end up with a stack of photocopies? Yes, me too. I use my digital camera whenever I can but sometimes it just isn't possible to take photos. Sometimes the repository doesn't allow it, and other times the documents are folded up so well that it is just easier to get the experts to photocopy them. When I get home I tend to leave them for a while in the 'filing' pile, and the longer they stay there … [Read more...]

Which is the best family tree program?

I am often asked this question, and it is a difficult one to answer. The answer depends on what you want to get out of the program. There are some things you need to think about: Ease of use - is the layout easy to understand, and is it easy to work out what you are supposed to do to enter and change your data? Output - what do you want to do with the data once you've entered it? Reports, charts, websites and screen display are all ways of seeing the data you have spent all that time … [Read more...]

Unlock The Past History and Genealogy Sydney Roadshow Day 1

I had a great time at the Unlock The Past History and Genealogy Sydney Roadshow today. I saw two of the three talks given by Dan Lynch, author of Google Your Family Tree, and learned some things I didn't know before, or had forgotten. I hadn't been able to justify buying the book until today, and Dan was kind enough to sign it for me. I'm a fan! I also saw both talks by Louis St Denis from Canada. Louis is Director of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies, a  supplier of online … [Read more...]

Sharing documents on the web

I've been playing with a couple of sites that allow you to share documents. Initially I had to find a way to share Powerpoint slides on a blog, and my solution was to use Slideshare, a free website that allows you to share Powerpoint slides. Slideshare is simple to use and works well. You can upload presentations quickly and easily, and make them public or restricted access, by being given a URL that you then share with those you wish to have access to the presentation. Viewers can leave … [Read more...]

Follow an archive day on Twitter

Today is Follow An Archive day on Twitter. Twitter users around the world are tweeting about their favourite archives, and archives around the world are tweeting about themselves, using the hashtag #followanarchive. I've learned about a lot of archives I didn't know about, and a lot that I did know about but didn't know they used Twitter. Here are a couple of examples: @BaselineLPMA  NSW Land and Property Management Authority Heritage Information website at http://www.baseline.nsw.gov.au, … [Read more...]

Picasa face-recognition scan conclusions

I have posted previously about letting Picasa 3 scan for faces so I can identify them. I had hoped to publish the results at the time but I was caught up with other things and didn't get a chance. Unfortunately I don't have an accurate record of how long it took. I started it on about the 1st October with 14,000 photos to process. On the 4th it was 50% completed after I had added an additional 5000 photos because I added some of the folders under Documents. On the 5th it was saying all day that … [Read more...]

Social Media for Family Historians – my first book!

Social Media for Family Historians, my first book, was published on Friday 22nd October 2010. It was launched at the Unlock The Past History and Genealogy Expo in Sydney. It contains 76 pages in full colour to explain what social media is and why it is of use to family historians. It introduces more than 25 websites that can help family historians, and anyone with families, to communicate, share and collaborate with each other. I think social media could have been designed specifically … [Read more...]

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Family Historians

I think that social media was made for family historians. We are different from other people - we actually enjoy finding distant relatives and keeping in touch with them! Social media helps us to find relatives and old friends in ways that were not possible in the days of mailing lists and message boards. Here are 10 social media sites that are not directly related to family history (except one) but are nevertheless important for communicating, sharing and collaborating with other family … [Read more...]

Whose face is that? – Picasa 3

I have recently upgraded my Picasa to version 3 and let it start running through my photos looking for faces so I could tag them. Picasa is photoorganising, editing and sharing software from the Google people. It's free. The scan started two days ago, and it's now 32% of the way there. Yes, I have a lot of photos. I have restricted to photos in the My Pictures folder for the present, which it says contains about 14,000 photos. Despite the slowness of it, and the fact that it uses up to … [Read more...]