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 and 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.

OK, here's the good news.

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

This is off by 2 years. Under Created Date, I get the right date but a different time.

If I look at the Info box in Photo Mechanic, the same photo gives this information.

Photo Mechanic is showing the same as Created Date in GeoSetter. This works unless Taken Date and Created Date in GeoSetter are both wrong. In which case I'm reading between the lines. If a photo says June 7 and 10 photos later it's still June 7, I'm guessing everything in between is June 7.

Unfortunately, times are inconsistent so those are still a guess. I wish I could say otherwise but there are photos showing me at a Halloween party at 4 in the morning and I'm pretty sure I left by 11.

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 wrong too.

Date Time or Modify Date under Image Info (ExifTool) also in GeoSetter seems to be telling the real date and time so I feel encouraged it's actually possible to get through this.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 Resolutions

As we approach another new year of hopeful resolutions, I find myself cleaning up my office.

The most useless of my degenerate habits when it comes to paper is keeping my to-do lists in multiple locations; bulletin board, ActionOutline, digital calendar, paper calendar, notebooks and scraps of paper in other rooms ...

It's very tempting because there are endless software options for note-taking. And there are all kinds of attractive paper notebooks. Me, I just like paper. Genius human invention. And I have enough pens to last me til I'm 200. 

I am choosing just one (again) - my digital calendar attached to Thunderbird email. Because sure as the sun's coming up tomorrow, if I don't make time commitments nothing's going to get done.

Step 1. Gather up all the errant messages to myself and put them on the calendar. It doesn't matter where exactly. Just pick a day in the near future. Nothing's written in stone. This is a computer and things can be moved.

I enter things as either Tasks (one-offs) or Events which repeat or don't. In Thunderbird they have different icons so they're easy to see.

I use * before the title of the thing if it's something that gets dragged from day to day like physical exercise. Or week to week like chipping away at census records.

Step 2. Go through all the main areas of my home ... there are 9 ... with a notebook and pen and take note of everything that needs to get done. Throw them all on the calendar, spreading them around so I'm not choking myself to death and I've left room for incoming mail, phone calls and visitors.

Step 3. Think of anything else I'd like to accomplish in the near or distant future, break it down into smaller steps and toss that on the calendar.

Now I've got a plan.

The only exception I make is one piece of paper on my bulletin board for a shopping list.

Friday, June 30, 2017


I was just about to shut down my office for the summer. And then ...

Oh, I know. There are probably a million ways to solve hand-sticks-to-desk-in-hot-weather.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reining It In

Every time I find myself looking up records for a 6th cousin 3 times removed I wonder how I got there.

It's another cousin and I'm attached to all of them. But, really?? How long do I think I'm going to live?

Awhile back I worked my way up from the bottom and left things mid-way through the 5th generation with the census records. And then I got sidetracked by something. And HOW does that happen?

I file by generation so this is an easy thing to get back on track.

Theoretically, I should have 16 sets of 3rd great-grandparents but I'm missing a few and a few others were married more than once so I actually have 14 sets in the file folder.

What I did was use the Focus Group search in Legacy to search for the Descendants of each couple.

I tagged them all as I went. Then I un-tagged the Living ones. I have 838 of those but they're living and they're none of my business at the moment unless they want to tell me about themselves.

That leaves me with 2,210.

There are virtually endless numbers of things I can do with these people without trying very hard. I can look up missing census records, birth dates, death dates, burial places, marriage dates and places. And, of course, missing sources. Inlaws. And then I can tidy up all their file folders while reviewing records I haven't seen in years.

If I'm done in this lifetime I can move onto the descendants of my 4th great-grandparents and then the 5th and so on until I get up to the last folder which is 10th great-grandparents whose descendants I often find myself floundering around with because that's the crazy nature of this business. Please see first paragraph above.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


My related peeps: 24,540

People with a gravestone photo: 7,179
Dead people without a gravestone photo: 11,036

Marriage date known: 3,775 couples
Marriage date unknown: 5,491 couples

According to Legacy's Census List Search, people in my database missing a census record:

1940 - 5,707
1930 - 7,249
1920 - 6,982
1910 - 6,516
1900 - 5,891
1880 - 3,948
1870 - 3,878
1860 - 3,180
1850 - 2,462

Total: 45,813, guesstimate average of 5 family members per record = 9,163 records left to find. Approximately 3,500 already found.

I could literally die while entering a census record with thousands left undone.

The last time I looked I had 1,200 DNA matches left to write to after writing to 900. I'm now six months behind in collecting the new ones. My largest address book is called DNA No-Reply. I killed the address book called DNA To-Do.