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25 October 2014

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Exploring Second Life

This post was originally written as part of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge, Week 38. I gave Second Life a go a few months ago. It's a very rich environment, with lots to do. Some members of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) were holding meetings and other activities there, which is why I decided to check it out. Most of their activities take place in the United States, which is far away from where I am. It's a steep learning curve, though, which I decided I … [Read more...]

Facebook Privacy

Last week I gave a workshop at the Society of Australian Genealogists Research Library for new Facebook users. There is a lot of interest in Facebook and how it can be used to connect with family and friends, but thereis also a lot of concern about privacy. The biggest issue is the default privacy settings that new users are automatically given. Facebook was designed by college students for college students, and the fact is that this age group are not as concerned with privacy as most of us … [Read more...]

Meet the Challenge

This post was originally posted as part of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge in 2010. The challenge this week is: Come up with a personal genealogy challenge of your own. Each person has different research goals and experiences. Use this week to come up with your own challenge, and then take the steps to accomplish it. Haha, I thought. that one's easy! My biggest challenge is finding the time toget everything done that I need to do. So I've decided, for the sake of this … [Read more...]

Find-a-Grave

Have you tried searching Find-a-Grave? I thought it was an American site, with only American graves, but I was wrong. I had a look around to see for myself. I searched the FAQ for 'international' to see if it covered countries other than USA, as I couldn't easily find this information on the homepage, and found that some fixes had been done to clean up the list of countries, including Australia. Woohoo! So I did a search for my usual test surname - Eason - and restricted the country to … [Read more...]

Find the book you need on WorldCat

This post was originally posted as part of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge in 2010. WorldCat is a catalogue of many, many libraries in the world. I've used it before and usually it has told me that the book I am looking for is in the State Library of NSW or the National Library of Australia, which is where I would have looked anyway. Unfortunately my genealogy society isn't part of WorldCat, but one day that will change. For the sake of this exercise I decided not to look for a … [Read more...]

When is a substandard photo a great photo?

I've recently updated my Facebook photo from the Christmas version to my normal one. The normal one is taken from an unusual angle, and it's a bit fuzzy. I love it, though, because of the photographer and the circumstances in which it was taken. My niece turned 13 early last year, and for her birthday her parents had approved a mobile phone. This is no ordinary 13-year-old - she looks after her things amid the chaos of living in a small house full of teenage girls. So the day this photo was … [Read more...]

I love my new Toshiba mini notebook!

Well, I was brave enough to take the risk! My new mini notebook is a Toshiba NB200, which arrived by courier yesterday. I broke the seal warning me that my new purchase may not function correctly and I've been playing with it ever since. So far I'm just installing the software I need and downloading and installing updates, and the battery has lasted very well. The keyboard feels solid and the major keys are much the same size as on my standalone keyboard, although of course all the other keys … [Read more...]

Thanks for buying, but your new mini notebook may not work

I bought a new mini-notebook, to replace the piece of junk I bought a year and a half ago. It has just arrived, and the label stuck across the opening to the box states, in part: You must read and follow all set-up and usage instructions in the provided manuals and Instruction Manual for Safety and Comfort. If you fail to do so, this product will not function properly and you may lose data or suffer other damage. EVEN IF YOU DO SO, TOSHIBA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY THAT THIS PRODUCT WILL … [Read more...]

A good reason to post your findings on your blog

Here is a blog post I read this morning that had a happy ending. Lynn Walsh is a facilitator and coach with an interest in her family history. She found an account of the robbery of her great-great-grandfather in the NSW Police Gazette of 19 May 1897: Thomas Gibbons was further charged in company with George Williams with breaking and entering the dwelling of William J Laws, Dock Road, Balmain, and stealing a watch, a scarf pin, two Alberts, four brooches,  a Gladstone bag, two coats, two vests … [Read more...]

Australian and New Zealand Genealogy Online Classes

The next Australian and New Zealand Genealogy class offered by Genclass.com starts on the 1st May. Genclass is a USA-based company that offers online training on a wide range of genealogical topics and geographic areas. The instructors are all experienced educators in the field of family history research. Courses last for a month, two lessons per week. Students receive the materials for the class by email and take part in online discussions with the instructor, who is also available for … [Read more...]