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Which is Better for Long-Term Storage of Records: Paper, Microfilm or Digital? By Dick Eastman
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“Conventional wisdom” amongst genealogists, historians, and archivists states that digital media is a poor method of storing data for decades or for centuries. This “conventional... More > wisdom” claims that the only practical method of storing information for many years is to do so on paper or on microfilm/microfiche. There's only one problem: “conventional wisdom” is wrong! To understand the challenges involved, let's first review the processes used by those who espouse “conventional wisdom.”< Less
Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship? By Dick Eastman
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Are you eligible for citizenship in the country where your ancestors were born? You might not have to give up your American citizenship. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they are... More > eligible for dual citizenship.< Less
Send Large Files By Dick Eastman
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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
Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636-1637 By Dick Eastman
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We often think of speculation in stock market, real estate, oil futures, or dot-com companies to be modern ventures for risk-taking entrepreneurs. Not so. Our ancestors were known to take perhaps... More > even greater risks in a largely unregulated business atmosphere. Perhaps the most famous was the Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636-1637. However, it was not confined to the Dutch; many of our ancestors in other countries also joined in the frenzy. Many of them lost fortunes, large and small.< Less
The Best Spam Filter is Free By Dick Eastman
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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
Scan, Copy, and FAX from Your Cell Phone By Dick Eastman
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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
How to Create Podcasts By Dick Eastman
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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
A Robust Document Management System for Genealogists By Dick Eastman
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week I added a rather extensive combination of hardware and software to my primary Windows PC. The word “genealogy” did not appear anywhere in the new product's description or... More > user’s manuals. Nonetheless, I believe my new acquisition will revolutionize how I store and manage my genealogy documents. I am now more organized than ever before. I also expect to spend less time and effort in managing and citing the many photocopies of documents that I have accumulated over the years. In short, I am converting my 4-drawer filing cabinet full of photocopied documents and other pieces of paper into a modern document management system. I am now able to retrieve any document within seconds. I can also directly attach these documents to the various records in almost any modern genealogy program.< Less
What's In A Name? By Dick Eastman
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Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. The word is derived from the Greek word, "onoma," meaning name. Members of royal families... More > still use single names. A few celebrities, such as Madonna or Prince, also adopt single names to further their careers. The rest of us use two or more names to reduce confusion in identifying individuals. In most of the world, hereditary family names, or surnames, have become the norm. Many names originally were based on a person's physical characteristics, place of residence, occupation, or other distinguishing characteristics. As the centuries passed, the surnames have remained although those who carry the name today usually bear little resemblance to the ancestral namesake's original unique characteristics.< Less
Are Digital Genealogy Libraries Going to Replace Traditional Books? By Dick Eastman
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Is it time to stop the presses? It seems that every week I report in this newsletter about more and more genealogy books that are being converted to electronic format. Sure, old books have been... More > digitized for several years now. However, even new books are now appearing as electronic publications. Is this an indication of the end of book publishing as we know it? Will simple economics drive printed books out of existence?< Less