Friday, July 09, 2010

What I Do - GeneaBloggers Meme

Over at, Thomas MacEntee has started a genealogy meme called "What I Do". It's all about the various kinds of technology (hardware, software and services) we use for genealogy.

Depending on what we each do regularly, of course, we may have different needs (and wants). Go to his post to see his original categories and to see a list of recently posted answers from other genealogists.

And, since Thomas is a genealogy technology specialist and has just started a new business venture - The Connected Genealogist - I'm sure we'll see a summary, and some good advice, from him later after he's had a look at the meme results.

Here are my answers. Some you will see relate closely to my genealogy writing, editing and teaching and speaking lives.

“What I Do”

Another interesting exercise!

Here I've mentioned my ‘most-used’ and even with those, I’ve had to look some makes, etc. up. I like to test things out, especially software, if there is a trial offer, but often these don't turn out to be something I find helpful enough and I stop using them quickly.

* Hardware: 2 Toshibas - Amy, a notebook - 266 GB (most) available, Windows 7 - she travels. And Maggie, a laptop, nickname 'Bookworm', but she used to travel a lot – 74 GB available originally, Windows XP. And Minnie, a Gateway Netbook, Windows XP – she goes on short trips and at home, she sits near me much of the time! Also a very old, patched together desktop computer – the less said about her the better now. I have thought about adding another monitor, but MS Windows 7’s Snap may do for now.

Router, etc. for the 2 laptops and Minnie. Computers wireless, but not networked. Lots of bits and pieces of hardware – e.g MicroSoft Presenter 3000 for talks; borrowed projector; but some things are seldom used now, e.g. webcam (as Amy has her own webcam).

* External storage: Iomega drive – 232 GB originally available and an older Bytecc drive (123 GB?) used with a Clickfree Transformer for backup. [Edit: Nope, the Bytecc is 232 GB. It's partitioned; confused me.]

* Online storage: not often – must look into this again. Use GoogleDocs now for class handouts, etc. I do have a free Mozy account. Also an account at Arcalife.

* Backup: see external storage. Also CDs, DVDs for special purposes (especially for publications I work on) – usually use Nero to burn CDs. Also LightScribe.

* Firewall: through router

* Virus protection: Norton, Avast

* Spyware:

* File cleaner:

* Printer: Epson Stylus C88 (ready to retire) and Epson Stylus Photo Printer R380. (I have a separate fax line and a separate (old) fax machine. Works fine – but I might swing to a multi-use general printer later.)

* Phone: land line & a pretty basic Sony Ericsson cell phone – but with Internet access for the few times I do want/need it. (It will work with my computer if I need that and no other Internet available. I have both cordless and (old, but not vintage) corded phones for home.

* Mobile media: CliĆ© PDA – hardly used at all now. (I always call her Clio.) Edit: See my comment way below - I use MyRoots software for genealogy on the PDA.

* Music player: Oh! I have an mp3 player right here ...and portable players for CDs and cassettes. I use these for travel only now.

* Car audio: NONE – it's public transit for me.

* eBook Reader: NONE, unless the eBook is readable on my computer.

* Browser: IE 8 and Firefox

* Blog: Blogger. Have used WordPress in the past for a group blog.

* RSS: various – but for a long time, I've used a personalized Yahoo home page with RSS feeds from many of my favourites and from my own blogs, etc. and a few gadgets. Still like this!

* FTP: Ipswitch WS_FTP Home

* Text editor: usually Windows Notepad

* Graphics: Photoshop Elements/GIMP/Windows Picture Manager/Paint/Picasa/Ifranview/FotoTagger. Also Flickr on-line.

* Screen capture: usually I just use Windows PrtSc.

* Social media: Twitter, Facebook; also GenealogyWise, etc.

* Social bookmarking:

* Social profile:

* URL shortener:

* Office suite: MS Office Professional 2003 (with 2007 patch). Most used – Word, Publisher, PowerPoint. But I also use Open Office and Scribus (and would like to use an open source presentation software).

* E-mail: Outlook Express (also multiple personal e-mail accounts – gmail, etc. And I have to use Horde for one group purpose.)

* Calendar: Here paper rules! I have a mini 'Reading Woman' calendar on the fridge for 2010 and a weekly paper To Do list I print from my computer. But I use a Google calendar for one group website and for myself, I’ve signed up for regular Hassle e-mail messages – Clean off your desk, Diane! Backup your data! ( I sign up on-line for various event reminders, and, of course, for a good number of Google Alerts.

* Accounting: Excel (And for Spending – PayPal! And I make good use of alerts from favourite shopping site – eBay and Abebooks.)

* PDF generator: PDF Converter Professional 6

* Genealogy database: Legacy is now my main programme. Also Family Tree Maker for some reports and demos. And The Master Genealogist.

* Genealogy tools: For cemetery info, indexing, etc.: CemEditor (, MS Excel, OpenOffice Base. Also GenoPro for genograms. FreeMind for mind mapping. (Like iMindMap though.)

* Digital camera – smaller Olympus with four or five spare memory cards. (For the BIG cemeteries, you know.) I’ll move up in this department soon.

* Other tech stuff:
- Lots of flash drives – various capacities – 'assigned' by me to certain portable tasks- like one for library visits - to take with me newspaper library research plans, inventories, and bring home article images (from scans/microfilm).
- Canon scanner CanoScan 4200F (Also use OmniPage SE – OCR, etc.)
- Logitech headset

* Website stuff – hosting services - Shaw and Zenutech (green); also for one group; domain names, etc. at Software – FrontPage 2003 and Drupal (still learning this). Also – genealogy webpages at Tribal Pages and groups at Yahoo and Google Groups and MyFamily.

* DNA - SMGF and GeneTree

* NON-Tech stuff
- A wide array of paper notebooks and binders and my favourite purple pen. A notebook is in my backpack/purse most of the time. Love the ones with several separate sections and I love 'cute' little bitty ones – better than bus transfers and receipts for quick notes, but I'll use any bit of paper in a pinch.
- Magnifiers; including 2 differently sized lighted ones. (They are techy, I suppose.)
- Preservation file folders, envelopes, sleeves, etc. Coloured file folders and coloured sticky bits, file cards, etc. for non-preservation needs.
- Personal library of books, CDs, journals, maps, etc. I use LibraryThing to keep track of many of my genealogy books. And I also guard my academic and other library cards and my copy cards.

That's about it!
Edit: Oh, no, it isn't - I forgot to say I use MyRoots on Clio, my PDA (


Thomas MacEntee said...

A very good and comprehensive list - some great ideas for me to look at as well.

And thanks for the shout out to The Connected Genealogist!

M. Diane Rogers said...

Looking forward to seeing everyone's posts on your meme, Thomas. I'm sure to see something new to try. And, I'll be very interested in your comments later.

Alex said...

My netbook's name is Maggie!

M. Diane Rogers said...

Cool! My computers are all named for my maternal great aunts and my grandmother. Minnie for the mini computer was, I thought, a really good name.(My grandmother would have liked that! She liked any kind of clean word game.)
If I get any more hardware, I will go down the other lines.