Sunday, April 8, 2018

Vital Stats

In spite of the odd impulse to pack it in, I realized the other day I'll be doing genealogy til the day I die. Or at least until I'm incapacitated to the point of being unable to reach a keyboard.

Because we just never know.

The other day I had an email from someone I wrote to 11 years ago requesting information. It turns out she's in possession of the family bible of one of my 4th great-grandfathers. It offered up a couple of long-unknown marriage dates as well as an intriguing question: Who is Lucy Harris?

That riveted me into something that feels like almost the present tense; considering the seemingly never-ending ocean of my ancestors and cousins. With nearly 26,000 people in my database, no matter how much I do I feel like I'm drowning.

I decided I needed a pick-me-up.

Not Living: 19,287

No birth date: 3,700
BUT 15,587, 81% done

No birth place: 5,923
BUT 13,364, 69% done

No death date: 6,778
BUT 12,509, 65% done

No death place: 10,668
BUT 8,619, 45% done

No burial place: 9,410
BUT 9,877, 51% done

No marriage date: 8,369
BUT 5459, 57% done

No marriage place: 9,284
BUT 5001, 52% done

No gravestone photo: 11,866
BUT photos for 7,421, 38% done

Saturday, March 10, 2018

FamilySearch Source Citations

FamilySearch has some problems with their source citations.

I don't know if this is across the board or just "North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979".

If I go to this page:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8X2-ZN5

I get this for the source citation:

"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8X2-ZN5 : 22 December 2016), Jesse West and Susan Lee, 09 Feb 1908; citing Ingram, Johnston, North Carolina, United States, p. , Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records. State Archive of North Carolina and various county Register of Deeds; FHL microfilm 540,292.

So far, so good.

But if I use the Copy to Clipboard option (under Tools) instead, (which I do in order to capture the source detail for my records) I get this:

Citing this Record
"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8X2-ZNP : 22 December 2016), Spicey Lee in entry for Jesse West and Susan Lee, 09 Feb 1908; citing Ingram, Johnston, North Carolina, United States, p. , Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records. State Archive of North Carolina and various county Register of Deeds; FHL microfilm 540,292.

This inconsistency is consistent across many examples in this particular database.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AceMoney Password

Did you know that it is mandatory to password-protect your AceMoney database file? I didn't.

It's an option hidden in the back of beyond. This applies to .amj files which replaced .mmw files, unbeknownst to me, a long time ago.

Although it may appear optional, being listed under Options, it isn't. Unless you want to risk losing all your financial data. And I don't mean losing it to a hacker. You can lose it in the privacy of your own home, even if you live alone.

I found this out when my desktop computer crashed and I tried to access my file on my laptop. The file was locked up because it didn't have a password. I was told to go back to my desktop and set a password.

My desktop was stone-cold dead as far as I could tell.

In other words, all my backup files were useless.

Fortunately, my desktop booted up a couple hours later.

If you don't have a password, do it now. Under Tools/Options, bottom left corner.

Permit access by multiple users isn't optional either. Trying to open my own file on my own laptop counted as 'multiple users'.




















My password is a single click on the space bar, followed by Enter. It still makes me grind my teeth but it's the best I can do to minimize the aggravation of having to enter a password to access a file on my own computer.

I thought Microsoft had a monopoly on bad software design. They don't. This beats it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How I Stopped Checking My Email

Most of the time I'm not expecting anyone so, after wasting untold years checking my email, I decided to figure out how not to.

I don't use Gmail which probably has its own way of doing things. This is instructions for Thunderbird only.

Step 1. Set "Show a tray icon" in Thunderbird under Tools/Options/General













Step 2. Click the up arrow near the clock and then "Customize". Set Thunderbird to "Show icon".






Step 3. Pin Thunderbird to the Taskbar, open it and keep it minimized.





When there's new mail, an email icon appears on the taskbar. Just like the recipe says.



Friday, January 12, 2018

Photo Metadata

I don't know how many of you would remember this. Geoff Coupe would remember. I had to look it up in the JLog archives. It was 2010. Microsoft did some weird thing with Windows Live Photo Gallery that completing screwed with GPS co-ordinates. I had thousands and thousands of affected photos.

I don't know what's happened since then because I uninstalled the program and then spent months repairing my photo metadata.

ANYWAY, one of the hangovers from this was strange time-stamps on my digital photos. I wrote a post about it in 2012 but I've been dragging my feet on doing anything because it's incredibly tedious work.

BUT, since it's New Year's again, I put it back on my calendar of things to do.

Just as an example, this is what one photo looks like in GeoSetter under Taken Date.



This is off by 2 years and a random number of months, days, hours and minutes. In other words, it's completely irrelevant. Under Created Date, I get what is likely the right date but the wrong time.

The place to look in GeoSetter for the best clues, and maybe the only clues, is Time under Image Info (ExifTool). There are enough time options to pick one that seems to be the right one. I feel encouraged it's actually possible to get through this.

 













For what it's worth, it's a simple matter to use this option in GeoSetter to change the numbers. And the Time Zone because that's likely wrong too.