Saturday, February 21, 2015

Week 7: Down a Dark Rabbit Hole?

Thomas gave us another two goals this week: a)Review Genealogy Software
B) Look into the Best Practices for Digitizing Photos and Documents

We will look quickly at Goal B first because I turn much of this over to my husband. Bob shares genealogy with me, but he dislikes the family research part; that is my job. Bob does photo work, he researches historical background, and he shares location searches with me. Naturally, I asked him to read the Photo Goals section. He studied that section and reports that our current practices are on target. So thanks to Bob’s expertise, the McCormick family tree doesn’t need any do-over in this regard. We will continue in the manner in which we have started.

I have reported before that I have an extracurricular goal of organizing all of our photographs and digitization. One would think that this week would advance that goal. “One” would be wrong. This and all other extracurricular activities have been on hold for the entire week.

Which brings us to
A) Reviewing Genealogy Software (Goal One)

I think Thomas was testing our resolve here. The GenSoftReviews site is the BIGGEST rabbit hole I have ever encountered, just full of BSOs (or perhaps it’s a Hobbit Hole containing one of the world’s biggest mathoms?)

I have spent all week there. I’ve tried out one or two software programs that I hadn’t known about and found them of interest. But mostly I spent hours trying to get a sense of organization for all this information.

This is a dynamic site; the number of total programs changes from visit to visit. Some new software is added (and I believe that some is dropped).

It took me awhile to notice that there are some areas at the top of the list that control the selection and sort of the programs that you see. You can select one or more of the areas in the row of buttons beginning with all licenses. This is how I have handled my sort. (You can also use the search area to call up the review for a specific software that you know of.)

Once I had mastered this I was able to prepare a spreadsheet showing 302 full-featured programs. I was able to sort my programs in Ascending Order and then to export that information into a PDF document which I am unable to embed into this blog. A ping file is too large to load or else it is too small to read; I cannot find a middle ground for this. My Google drive is out-of-order so I can't load a document through that. At this time I don't know any other way to show you the document. I will try to load this pdf file into another blog.

In my spreadsheet I also show whether an entry is free, costs money, or is unsupported. And there are some notes indicating nationality of the providers of the programs and so on. These notes also indicate whether the program has the ability to build a website.

I plan to continue to work with this, sorting for Utility and Auxiliary Programs in the same format. I am doing this for my own interest.. In Facebook conversations at least two people (one of them is me) asked about creating timelines. One or both of these additional sorts will provide some answers to those questions. So, if I can load documents AS a blog, I will post these files also. But again (and in advance) I advise readers to do their own researches. What GenSoftReviews says today will change before the end of next week.

It was a very enjoyable hobbit museum (mathom), but I will endeavor to stay away long enough to continue my do-over.

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