Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Software Complicating My Life!

The last couple of weeks didn't go exactly as I'd planned. I did get to my local FHC to look at films. I didn't find what I was looking for but at least I know that the films I'd previously put on indefinite status are still there. :-) And I got to spend some time with my best genealogy pal in the process. Bonus! :-)

I didn't get to my scanning. I didn't get any more Słownik Geograficzny entries translated. However, I did continue my correspondence with one of my "cousins". Unfortunately, we aren't cousins by blood but I'm more convinced than ever that we are connected by marriages. Let's put it this way, I can attach her name to my family tree but Legacy says we aren't related. Anyway, we've been sharing information, stories and documents. Thus far, she's shared more with me than I with her but I'm hoping that will reverse soon. It's been fun!

I've been using Legacy Family Tree software as my primary database for some time now (10+ years). A while back, when they released their mobile apps, I purchased Roots Magic.  I really only used it to give myself access to my genealogy on my iPad and cell phone. Meanwhile, I've been waiting patiently for Legacy to create and share their own mobile apps. But I'm guessing at this point that's not going to happen. I've been considering switching over to Roots Magic as my primary database since they seem to be moving forward in a direction I can appreciate and find beneficial. Then the "working relationship" with Ancestry.com happened and that made me reconsider again. My concern was about Roots Magic's mobile apps. Would they continue to support them and improve them now that their software will sync with Ancestry.com trees? It could be a cost savings move to discontinue their apps and instead offer mobile access via Ancestry.com trees. Perish the thought! I expressed my concern in the Roots Magic forum and was reassured that the mobile apps are here to stay. Yay! :-) I was so pleased to hear that that I'm planning to purchase the newest version of Roots Magic just to support the company.

And just as I'd gotten that bit of genealogy-related software decision making dealt with, Google dropped a bomb on my world. They've chosen to discontinue improving and supporting Picasa. They haven't added any new features in quite a while now and you know how that goes... if you're not moving forward you're falling behind. And Google isn't one to fall behind on something they value. So in a way, I guess I suspected something like this would happen. I can't begin to put into words how bummed I am about this. Those who know me know that photography is an essential part of my being. And Picasa has been my go-to software for tagging and organizing my photos and scans for years and years and years. I'm must admit, I'm secretly hoping that Google will sell off Picasa to another company the way Ancestry.com did with Family Tree Maker. I know it's not likely to happen but I'm not ready to give up hope! (I'm still hurting from Google's decision to discontinue Reader a while back and I still haven't found a replacement feed reader I like!)

I spent much of the past weekend looking for a tagging and organizing software product. The Adobe products (Lightroom and Photoshop Element's Organizer) have to be eliminated from consideration because their tags are proprietary. They can only be seen within Adobe products. Unfortunately, the same is true for the Corel software products. :-((((( I downloaded and tried out a few others but each was either too complex or too simplistic. Yah, I know. Just call me Goldilocks. ;-) As this new week begins, I still haven't found a good substitute software. I'm open to suggestions/recommendations if you have any!

Well, so one thing led to another. In the course of my tagging software quest I came to the realization that I wouldn't have to be so dependent on tags if my digital file system was better organized. This isn't really a revelation to me. I've known it for some time. Like most people starting out, I had no idea my genealogy research would result in my needing multiple hard drives to store all the documents, scans, email, and photos I've accumulated. I've been telling myself for years that I need to organize all that "stuff" better but what fun is that when I can be moving my research forward, lol! And honestly, backups have become a nightmare with some stuff on this external hard drive and some stuff on that one. I really, really need to organize and consolidate. I just don't want to be bothered with it. :-P

I know that having all my digital genealogy files organized will help me gather the info I need to write my family histories. And I'm determined to move forward with that writing project later this year. So I'm going to bite the bullet and focus on organizing all my digital genealogy "stuff" now. I don't have a specific goal for this next week other than to get started with the organizing, keep looking for a photo/document tagging product, and get over to the Detroit Public Library to do some research this weekend.

Till next week!