Saturday, January 20, 2007

CGSSD meeting today

I attended the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting today at UC San Diego in La Jolla. This group's interest is a little different than most genealogy societies - it is devoted to computer genealogists, so everybody attending is computer ept. The quarterly newsletter is excellent and award-winning, edited by Joan Lowrey. The venue for the meeting is a classroom at UC San Diego with theatre seating and LCD projectors and wireless internet access. It is ideal for genealogy society meetings (except for the uphill walk from the parking garage).

The meeting has two separate parts. The first hour is devoted to genealogy software user group meetings - today it was for MacIntosh, Legacy and RootsMagic. I went to the RootsMagic session, hosted by Pam Journey. She demonstrated some of the features of the software, including source citation, which is excellent IMHO. I confirmed with her that the software CAN insert field codes into an .rtf file that can be used to generate an index in a word processing document. That is great news - just what I've been looking for (since FamilyTreeMaker can only put an index in a .pdf file). I will probably switch to RootsMagic at some time in the near future - I want to test it out a bit first using the limited program that can be downloaded for free from their web site.

After a refreshment break, the second phase of the program today featured presentations by two software guys providing overviews of Microsoft Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard. Both fellows knew their topic, and showed the flash and dash of the new systems. The bottom line was that Leopard would operate on relatively new Mac systems without a problem, bringing more features and user-friendliness. Windows Vista, which comes in four flavors, will be a memory and hard drive space hog at a fairly high price if you replace Windows XP on your computer. They both will improve security and backup capability in addition to more flash and dash stuff. For more info on the capabilities, you can go to the Microsoft and Apple web sites for their PowerPoint presentations.

All in all, it was a good day of learning. Thank you to Gary Hoffman of UCSD, the CGSSD webmaster, for arranging the speakers (whose names I've forgotten unfortunately!).

I will be giving a presentation on 17 March titled "Genealogy Blogging - Soapbox or Service?" What should I say about genea-blogging?


Anonymous said...

In answer to your question at the end of the post, since I've received both information and inspiration from your blog, I'd vote for it being more service than soapbox, at least in your case.

Tim Agazio said...


I think it's both soapbox and service...and both are important. I know people value your opinion (soapbox) on the state of genealogy on the internet...and other places...and you do provide a service. I know I look forward to the information you find out there and write about. I've learned lots of interesting things because of your its both...definitely both.


Becky Wiseman said...

Hi Randy,
You could say that genea-blogging, or any blogging, is a committment; it's a challenge; it's a way to interact with others; it's a way to get your family information out to others; it's dynamic (as opposed to 'normal' websites that are more or less static); it can be interactive (with comments); it's fun. To be sure, it is a soapbox to some extent, sort of like preaching to the choir, but can also be a service. Yours is both. You provide helpful tidbits for research as well as interesting items about the families you are researching. I enjoy your blog very much and look forward to your posts.

Becky Wiseman