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James Tanner's Blog (321)

Genealogist's View -- More about memory cards -- Part two

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memory-card-comparison.jpg -- Public Domain



Digital memory is measured in bits and bytes. I am not going to get into a…

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Added by James Tanner on January 27, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

Genealogist's View -- More about memory cards

The names chosen by the manufacturers of memory cards are not helpful. They seldom give you any idea what the product is or can do. Since, in my experience, genealogists are consumers of flash memory and purchase digital cameras, it would be convenient to know what you are looking at when making a purchase without doing a search on the Internet. Unfortunately the memory card landscape is just about as complicated as buying a new car (although they cost a whole lot less than cars). I think this… Continue

Added by James Tanner on January 27, 2011 at 8:02am — No Comments

Dispelling some myths about flashdrives

Back on January 11, 2011 I wrote a post entitled, "Update on the reliability of flashdrives." I am certainly not immune to believing Internet Myths. I am fan of the MythBusters program on TV (which I am too busy to watch) but interestingly some of the myths they set out to disprove actually turn out to be true. But the opposite is very much more likely. Information passed around on the Internet…

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Added by James Tanner on January 25, 2011 at 9:35pm — No Comments

A very strange experience

I do not spend as much time as I would like to at the Mesa Regional Family History Center, but I regularly teach classes and help patrons. We have a lot of computers for patron use and a man and a woman came into the center and were sitting down to use a computer. I happened to be the closest missionary/volunteer and so I got the brunt of their extreme displeasure. It seems that the Center has spent considerable time re-designing their start-up screen to make it easier for patrons to find…

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Added by James Tanner on December 10, 2010 at 6:42am — 3 Comments

Google eBooks -- is this the beginning of the end for libraries?



As you can see from this short video, Google eBooks are device

independent. As they say in the movie, "Access all your ebooks

wirelessly, no matter where you go. Google eBooks stores your library

in the digital cloud, so you can read all of your favorite books using

just about any device with an Internet connection. Google eBooks is

compatible with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, web browsers

and many supported eReaders. Whenever you open one of… Continue

Added by James Tanner on December 6, 2010 at 6:33pm — 1 Comment

Google eBooks -- is this the beginning of the end for libraries?



As you can see from this short video, Google eBooks are device

independent. As they say in the movie, "Access all your ebooks

wirelessly, no matter where you go. Google eBooks stores your library

in the digital cloud, so you can read all of your favorite books using

just about any device with an Internet connection. Google eBooks is

compatible with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, web browsers

and many supported eReaders. Whenever you open one of… Continue

Added by James Tanner on December 6, 2010 at 6:33pm — No Comments

Genealogy - art or science or a mixture of both? Or neither?

After I thought about the relationship of genealogy as a discipline to

either art or science, I decided to look online and see what was there.

To my surprise (not really) it turns out that the subject is not widely

discussed. I did find one Blog post on the subject called "Genealogy is an Art"

from the year 2000. Right out of the chute, I must say that I disagree

with this Blogger's assessment.… Continue

Added by James Tanner on December 4, 2010 at 10:20pm — No Comments

What's in a name?

Genealogists' stock in trade are names, dates and places. I have been

thinking about names. My name "James" happens to be the number one most common name in the U.S. (according to some sources). John, Robert, Michael and William round out the top five. The top five for women are Mary, Patricia, Linda, Barbara and Elizabeth in that order. Now, we aren't talking here about popular… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 27, 2010 at 6:45pm — No Comments

Moving towards a Cartesian Genealogy

René Descartes in his influential book Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, [Descartes, René. Discourse on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking truth in the sciences.

[S.l.]: Project Gutenberg Association, 1993], in part, addresses some

of the fundamental ways of applying an early formulation of the

scientific method. Those who attempt to do genealogical research could

well implement… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 23, 2010 at 5:37am — No Comments

Moving towards a Cartesian Genealogy

René Descartes in his influential book Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, [Descartes, René. Discourse on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking truth in the sciences.

[S.l.]: Project Gutenberg Association, 1993], in part, addresses some

of the fundamental ways of applying an early formulation of the

scientific method. Those who attempt to do genealogical research could

well implement… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 23, 2010 at 5:37am — No Comments

Photo management software for genealogists

Genealogists are no different than any other computer user who wants to store photos or scanned images on their computer system, but they may have a greater need to specifically identify the images.

Fortunately, there are dozens of programs, some of which are free, that

can help organize images. One issue that arises immediately is the need

to maintain image associations. As one commentator wrote recently, she

had an old picture album…
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Added by James Tanner on November 17, 2010 at 6:32pm — No Comments

Diving into the FamilySearch Research Wiki

The Wiki.FamilySearch.org website has been incorporated as part of the newer Beta.FamilySearch.org

website. Presently, the Research Wiki, as it is commonly referred to,

is growing at the rate of over 400 pages a day. It is my opinion that

this website is quickly becoming the first place to go to for starting

any research project. I am continually pleasantly surprised at the

amount of… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 14, 2010 at 9:08am — No Comments

New features on Beta FamilySearch

It is certainly interesting to watch the changes as the Beta.FamilySearch.org website continues to grow and improve. Thanks to Sue Maxwell at Granite Genealogy

for quickly noticing the newest changes. It looks like many of the

improvements to the Search capability and Library Catalog that were

discussed at the Bloggers' Day in Salt Lake, have now been added. The… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 11, 2010 at 9:01am — No Comments

What do I do with all that genealogy stuff once it's in my computer?

Thanks for asking! One commentator took pity on my plight of unending

scanning and questioned me about where I put all the stuff and keep it

organized. Very interesting questions. Very difficult answers.



Have you ever looked at ads for computers? Have you ever noticed that

there are no cables in any of the pictures? Try it now. Go to Best Buy

or Amazon and look for some kind of computer. Any kind will do. If you

can't think of one, try a Dell 3.0 Ghz GX. Do… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 10, 2010 at 11:03pm — No Comments

Build a Better GEDCOM wiki

Several bloggers put up posts about a new website called Build a Better GEDCOM Wiki. The current goals of the site include the following:

Based upon information provided on this page and others, we will attempt to build a set of goals here for the current project of replacing/updating GEDCOM. This new standard will be referred to as BG

(Better GEDCOM) in this discussion.



  1. BG should remain a file format…
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Added by James Tanner on November 10, 2010 at 8:04am — No Comments

A new paradigm for genealogical investigation

In a FamilySearch Wiki article from a presentation at the NGS 2010 Conference entitled "Blazing Digital Trails at FamilySearch"

Bill Mangum, of Product Management explains the process of record

acquisition used by FamilySearch to augment its already huge collection

of documents. In addition to giving some interesting insights into the

FamilySearch record acquisition process, the process… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 5, 2010 at 8:40am — No Comments

The challenge of moving beyond PAF

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is probably the most influential lineage

linked database program in the world. To quote BradJackman on LDSTech back in 2008,

" However, I think most genealogists will agree that PAF still holds a

major position in the field, and it's ease of use, simple GUI, and huge

user base make it a force to be reckoned with, not some little

freeware experiment to be swept under the rug."… Continue

Added by James Tanner on November 3, 2010 at 4:31pm — No Comments

Genealogy, pages, images, books, documents and records -- What???

In my recent post about statistics for FamilySearch, a comment by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings

got me thinking about the statistics and terminology used online by all

of those huge records collections, everybody from FamilySearch to

Ancestry.com to the Library of Congress. One of the most influential

books I have ever read is a small 144 page treatise written in 1954

entitled "How to lie with Statistics." Here is the… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 29, 2010 at 8:03pm — 1 Comment

Top ten genealogical repositories in America -- have you been there?

In a recent FamilySearch Blog post on 25 October 2010, DiltsGD offered a list of the top ten genealogical repositories.

There is no doubt that the libraries on the list offer huge

genealogical resources, but the most important question for researchers

is how accessible are the collections? What access is there to the vast

stored material? How much of what the library contains is original

source documentation… Continue

Added by James Tanner on October 26, 2010 at 8:31am — No Comments

5.5 million page views of the FamilySearch Research Wiki



Nearly two thousand contributors averaging about 500 new articles a week

go into the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Now linked and integrated into

the Beta.FamilySearch.org

website, the Wiki is accessed through the "Learn" link on the startup

page. Here is a screen shot showing where the link is located:…



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Added by James Tanner on October 25, 2010 at 8:15pm — No Comments

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