Computer Users’ Group

October 16, 2013

If anyone is interested in the DVD that we created for then open house, there are some available. Aside from covering the handouts from each table, there is a section on Miscellaneous Links that includes the top 101 genealogy web site chosen by FamilyTreeMagazine. In addition, there are 2 full books in PDF format. One covers the soldiers who were involved in King Philip’s War, 1675-1677, mostly Mass, RI and Conn but there is an everyname index that I will pass around. Then there is the 3 volume set covering every American soldier who was killed, wounded or died of disease in the first world war. They are listed by states and a picture is provided for everyone listed. The notebook that I will pass around covers only the Florida soldiers.

 

Taking Notes: On December 15, 2004 we discussed wordprocessors and suggested that a way to take notes is to open Notepad, enter .LOG and save the file as gennotes or something similar. Everytime that you open it, it will display the time and date. Before a research session you can open it and minimize it to sit in the tray so you can copy something from your research, pop up notepad and paste it in. That is still a viable way to take notes but programs like Evernote add a lot more functionality; clipping web pages and making your notes available on all of your devices through sychronization (synch). PCWorld has compared the three leading note taking programs, the new Google Keep, Microsoft’s OneNote and Evernote. The results are here and Evernote wins. http://tinyurl.com/crcj5ft (This is the use of Tiny URL to make a long URL short).

 

Making it easy to take notes is the goal of the Evernote program. It’s free for saving up to 60MB per month. You can go here to sign up for a free account http://evernote.com/ . Data that you save is stored in your computer but can be retrieved by any other device that you have that has Evernote on it. It’s a great help doing genealogical research since you can copy any data that you find and add it to your genealogical data collection. Just highlight what you want to copy and it will save it for you. Go to the site above and enter the data asked for to sign up. Once you sign up, you can go through Getting Started, go to the Getting Started Tutorial and visit the Evernote Blog. Evernote will add an Add-on to any browser that you have that will allow you to highlight something that you want to save. In Firefox and Internet Explorer, click on Tools and scroll down and click Add to Evernote. You can also select to add the Web Clipper that will allow you to save whole web pages. For something located in your computer like a picture or some text that you’ve highlighted, click CTR-C to copy it and open Evernote, click on New Note at the top of the page and paste it in. Then click on add a title to add the title that you want for it.

 

 

Windows Start Button: Sometimes using Windows 8 can be a bit painful. In Win 7, if you want to check on Devices and Printers you just click on it in the left column. In Win 8, to get there you have to go to a corner on the right to pop up the Charms Bar, click on Settings and then on Control Panel and then on Devices and Printers. Painful. Bringing back the Win 7 Start Menu would be nice and you can do it with Stardock’s Start 8 program. You can go here http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ and click on get it now and follow the instructions. There are two versions and the $4.99 version has a 30 day free trial. Opt for that and cough up the $4.99 when your time expires. Instead of starting in the Win 8 screen, it will now start with the Win 7 Start Screen. And there will be an Icon in the lower left corner that will take you back there any time that you want. Now, Devices and Printers is one click away.

 

While that worked for a while, I had a Windows update that re-started my computer and it did not start with the old Win 7 Start screen and I couldn’t find the Icon to start the old way. I re-installed the program but it still didn’t work and Dotty couldn’t get it to work on her computer either, so I removed it and installed another program, Start Menu8. CNET has a 5 star rating on Start8 and a 4 star rating on Start Menu8. Start Menu8 is totally free. So far it works but it doesn’t start with the old start screen but with the Win 8 screen. And when you are in the Desktop, pressing the Windows Key will not return you to the Windows 8 screen. You have to be in the Start Menu and click on Switch to Metro. When you press the Windows Key, you toggle the Start Menu on and off. You can get Start Menu8 here http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php Choose whichever one that you want and give it a try.

 

Copying and Moving Files In Win 8, you can open a file in the main pane by clicking on it in the left pane. You can expand a folder in the left pane by clicking on the tiny icon just before the folder name. You can repeat that until the file you want is found. You can find a file or folder you want to move in one pane and the folder you want to move it to in the other. Then point to the one you want to move and hold down the right mouse button and drag it to the destination folder and release the mouse button. You will asked if you want to move it or copy it. Select the one you want and wait for it to finish. Another approach, more like what we discussed on October 17, 2012 is to click on a folder in the left pane that you want to open. Then find a folder containing the file or folder that you want to move and Right Click on it and select Open in a new window . Then move to a blank area on the task bar at the bottom of the page, Right Click and select Open Windows Side by Side. Now you have side by side windows like we did last year. It makes it much easier to navigate to the files and folders that you want.

 

Cloud Storage: There are plenty of Cloud Storage sites and many of them are free until you reach the storage limit. Some will only allow you to retrieve your data if you pay when you reach the limit so be careful. If you have a lot of items to store, you might consider several free sites, placing your pictures on one, documents on another and your genealogy on a third depending on how much you have to stash away. This article will describe several of the most popular.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413556,00.asp . Microsoft offers 7GB of free storage. with Skydrive that you can get here. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/download Download and install it and it will create a folder called Skydrive in your Documents folder. Just drag anything you want to share or save to that folder and it will be added to Skydrive. I dragged my genealogy from FamilyTreeMaker to Skydrive so I can change it on one device while I’m doing research and have it available on all other devices. You can add Skydrive to more than one device so you can have access to your data no matter where you are. That’s just an example. Look through the list and find what what you want and give it a try.

Another approach that simulates the cloud on a limited basis is called Network Attached Storage (NAS). There are hard drives that have it built in, separate NAS devices and many wireless adapters have a USB port for adding a storage device. With a wireless network, all of your devices can share what is stored on the NAS. While it’s only as good as you network can reach, it may be all that you need.

 

File History: One nice feature about Win 8 is called File History. It runs in the background, copying the files that you have designated to the storage device that you choose. That can be a hard drive or flash drive attached to your computer which can be cumbersome for a laptop or tablet or to a drive attached to your NAS. Determine what your storage device will be and then go to Control Panel and click on File History, select the storage device and turn File History on. Files that it backs up are those in the library, contacts, desktop and favorites. If there are other files you want to back up, add them to your library.

 

Google Books: The two Soldiers books mentioned above are available from Google Books for a free download. There are also a great many genealogies that are available through Google Books and a notebook that I passed around lists some of the full family genealogies that I have found. The Bacon family Genealogy goes back to the origin of the name in 1082.