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:

I get this for the source citation:

"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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 ( : 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.

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. The idea is to get them all on there and shift them around later.

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 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.

All these to-do's break down into simple types:

Actual events. With dates and times. By design I don't have many of these.

Recurring. Monthly, quarterly, whatever. Things like paying bills, changing toothbrush ...

One-off's. Likely involving more than one step, but there is an end in sight. Each week I take a 'next' step, whatever that might be. As an alternative to complete inertia. Then I drag and drop it for a week later to continue. I use the Task icon for these because it's red and I can see it. These are priority things to kill off because I can. The less red icons I see the better I like it.

The Eternals. Some of these just are, like physical exercise. Unless I'm on my death bed, it continues and putting it on my calendar helps to motivate me. Another example would be looking for obits at funeral homes online. The cousins keep dying off and this is not likely to stop.

Other Eternals. They might be finished someday but they're so far away in my lifetime, to all intents and purposes, they're never going to end. This would be things like looking up census records and cleaning up genealogy files. Basically, anything genealogy-related because it does go on and on and on.

I put a * before all the Eternals so I know to drag them forward to continue. My time commitment to any of these is about 30 minutes max. but depending on the day and my level of interest I may get carried away.