Podcasting is the latest method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or videos, over the Internet for playback on personal computers or on portable music players. These broadcasts... More > are rapidly becoming very popular on the Internet. What began as a way of broadcasting music to iPod devices (hence the term “podcast”) has grown to include many kinds recordings that anyone can enjoy from any computer connected to the internet. It’s now easy and cheap enough that people like you and I can add recordings to our own web sites or to the web site of our local genealogical society, historical society, or museum.< Less
I love technology. It allows us to do many things that were unthinkable only a few years ago. As hard core an enthusiast as I am, I still occasionally find new things that cause me to exclaim,... More > "Wow! That's neat!" I had one of those moments this week. I used a combination of technologies that I never dreamed of before. Yet, when I used the service for the first time, I instantly became a fan. This new service has many uses, but I immediately thought about using it on genealogy field trips. I know I will be using this service again and again.< Less
I used to have a spam mail problem. Everybody receives spam mail these days; but because my e-mail address is plastered all over the Web, I get more spam mail than most people. The "spam... More > harvesters" that scour the web looking for e-mail addresses always find mine. About 400 spam messages per day bombard me, many more than the number of legitimate e-mail messages I receive.
A few months ago I found an easy solution. It works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. It deletes about 99.9% of the junk mail, and more importantly, it never deletes a legitimate message. I went from 400 or more spam mails per day in my in-box to less than five.< Less
Sending large files to other people, such as photographs, GEDCOM files, word processing documents, PowerPoint slides, video from your digital camera, or other large amounts of information can be... More > problematic. To be sure, there are many ways of accomplishing the task, but none of them are very convenient.
All of this is complex enough make it difficult to send files to only one person. How about situations when you want to send pictures or other files to everyone at the last reunion? Perhaps 50 or 100 people? Perhaps some of them are using Windows while others use Macintosh. How do you handle that?
The "simple" task of sending a few files to a group of people quickly becomes complex. Luckily, there is an easy answer. Best of all, the solution is available free of charge.< Less
I recently started using a little program for making free calls over the Internet to anyone else who also has the same software. It is free and easy to use. Best of all, it works with Windows,... More > Macintosh, Linux, and even some handheld PocketPC computers. If you make a lot of long-distance telephone calls, this free software can reduce your telephone expenses significantly. Even better, it will even (optionally) allow the two participants to see each other via the use of inexpensive web cams.
Want to talk with and see that grandchild? This software may be your answer. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and (optionally) an inexpensive webcam. Do you need to hold a "meeting" of a society's Board of Directors? This software can do that inexpensively, with or without video.< Less
Would you like to carry your genealogy data with you at all times? How about your e-mail messages, checkbook data, family photographs, and much more, all stuffed inside a tiny device weighing a... More > couple of ounces? When visiting a local Family History Center near you, would you like to quickly and easily copy data from their computers onto a tiny data storage device that you can carry in purse or pocket? Best of all, it is cheap and easy to do so.< Less
Warning: This article contains personal opinions.
As you might expect with any conference of 150 or more presentations, there are many stories to be told at this year’s conference of the... More > National Genealogical Society. The one that surprised me this week was the high failure rate of hardware and software among the presenters. I heard stories of no less than six different presenters who had major problems with their laptop computers, operating system, PowerPoint slides, or other critical computer tools.
Perhaps there are two or three lessons to be learned here.< Less
Do you have a document or even a full-length book that you would like to enter into a computer's database or word processor? You could re-type the entire thing. If your typing ability is as bad as... More > mine, that will be a very lengthy task. Of course, you could hire a professional typist to do the same, but that is also expensive.
We all have computers, so why not use a high-quality scanner? You will also need optical character recognition (OCR) technology.< Less
Computer malfunctions can destroy your data at any time without warning. The most common cause of data loss, however, is human error. More than once, computer users have exclaimed, "Oh... More > @#$%^&*, I didn't mean to delete that!"
Having a recent backup available is the best way to recover from both manmade and other file losses. Computer experts will also tell you to store backup copies of your files "off site" to protect them from major catastrophes, such as fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or other damage that can destroy computers and backups alike.< Less
Genealogists often scan old family photographs. Once digitized, it is easy to use these photographs in any number of ways. For instance, I carry a few hundred photographs with me most everywhere I... More > go. Luckily, I can easily carry thousands of old family photographs inside my shirt-pocket.
This is a great convenience at family reunions, genealogy meetings, and elsewhere. It is easy to show photographs to others when you carry a huge photo collection in your shirt pocket or in a purse.< Less