"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tuning in to Technology

I haven't written from a geneablogger's prompt in a while so after checking out this week's topic I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.

This week's prompt comes from We Tree: Jump Start your Genealogy.  Amy Coffin has come up with 52 blogging prompts to help 'Jump Start Your Genealogy'.  This week is #14: Talk about the different types of technology you use in your genealogy research.  *Just a little side note, after rereading Amy Coffin's post, I realized I wrote about 2009's prompt #14.  Oh well, it made for interesting writing anyway.

Ok so the obvious one is my computer, which I am using now.  My new Acer Aspire One.  (Just a side note, walmart.com has a great deal on these right now.)  I also have an Acer Aspire mini that I just love for its portability.   Most of my photos are digital and of course, Legacy runs on the computer.  I also have a program that goes on my Palm Pilot called GedStar Pro, which is basically a GEDCOM file reader.  Very convient for those unplanned stops at local cemeteries or the local library.  I have also used a similar program for a pocket pc calledn Pocket Genealogist.  (Both are available to purchase from the Legacy Website.) 

Another piece of equipment that I used frequently is my printer which is a HP Inkjet all-in-one printer/fax/copier.  Having a copier is definately a plus at home for making extra copies of a form and not having to dig it out of a file folder on my computer somewhere, although I'm sure I could find a form on my computer just as fast as I could throw it in the copier.  I occasionally use my fax, but not very often for genealogy purposes.  The scanner funciton is handy, espcially for the collection of old family photos that my Great Aunt has and let me scan in for digital copies. 

My digital camera is another tool that I frequently use.  I mainly use it for photos of headstones in cemeteries (as far as genealogy goes) and we just got a JVC digital video camera a few weeks ago.  I have heard that people use them in cemeteries, but I'm not sure how.  Although I see where it could be useful for family interviews and other events.  I'm sure I will use it on our trip to Pennsylvania this fall. 

One thing we don't think of very often is good old pen and paper, when we talk about technology, but it is.  I frequently use pen or pencil and paper when I am researching to take notes, extra information from websites or print out my to-do list.  In fact my to do report is sitting here on my desk next to me and I have 3 pens laying next to my computer.  I also have a thing for pretty (colored) pens, for which I frequently get teased about, but it makes is more fun for me when I am writing. 

The telephone is another thing I think that we frequently take for granted in our technology driven world.  I use is to talk to my Grandma a lot, who is probably my biggest genealogical cheerleader, to try to nail down details of a story I heard or to jar her memory about some family information.  When I had a Blackberry I used the GPS function on it to help me mark cemetery locations.

Speaking of GPS, that is something I use.  I have been so lost in places that even a map woudln't help.  Thank you to the guy that invented GPS.  (It was the military I think).  And to my husband who now leaves his Tom Tom in our Mini Van (which is the car I usually drive or we take when we are out with the family anyway) so I always have access to the GPS when I get lost. 

I'm sure there are many other things that I haven't even thought of to include in the list of Technology that I use for genealogy, but I can't think of anymore right now.  This has been a fun entry to think about and to write.  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Happy Researching!
Have a Happy Easter everyone!!!!!

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