Previous Meetings

Computer Users' Group

Contents of our Computer Users' Group meetings are summarized here. Enough detail is provided to aid those that couldn't make the meeting and links are provided to all sites discussed. Click on the date in the table below for details of that meeting.

January 17, 2002 Creating an index in Family Tree Maker. GEDCOM files; what they are, how to create them and what the tags mean. Submitting your GEDCOM to a Genealogy Service. Creating your own Home Page February 21, 2002 Where to find and how to use Front Page Express.What's Ancestry Family Tree and what can it do? Description and use of IrfanView, a free graphics program. March 21, 2002 Searching the web. A look at some genealogy sites and what information they contain.
April 18, 2002 We reviewed where we'd been and then we covered how to prepare for a library search. May 16, 2002 We covered how to search genealogical site to get the most information with the least effort. Sept 19, 2002 We started with a short review of previous subjects and then we covered computer security; viruses, worms and hoaxes.
January 16, 2003 We picked a few things from our own web site to look at and then we went to Rootsweb and looked at a few items from that site. we finished with a few tips to make Windows more useful. February 19, 2003 Our first afternoon meeting. We covered a lot of ground on cameras, image processing and printers. This write up includes a few things that were omitted from the presentation. March 19, 2003 We had a three part program; So That's How You Do That, I Didn't Know I could Do That and Burn, Baby, Burn. (CDs that is).
April 16, 2003 As a bonus, we helped a member identify her great-great grandfather in a group of other sailors from the Civil War. Then we demonstrated a few shortcuts, described how to protect your personal data when you dispose of a computer or hard drive and we visited a few Internet sites. May 14, 2003 We looked at reviews that were done by others on genealogical software and provided links to them all. Then we discussed search engines and considered some specialty engines (databases) available only by subscription or through libraries. September 17, 2003. We were looking ahead to next month's video on entering multimedia into your genealogy so we covered inputting audio and video into your computer and preserving all of that old data on cd. We also did a web search as an example of what to look for. (Updated 9/21/03)
October 16, 2003. Joan Gathings brought in a video on how to get multimedia into your computer. It also covered creating a video from an old movie film. Project the movie onto a small screen and use a VCR to record it. Keep as perpendicular as possible to the screen with projector and VCR. November 19, 2003. Getting multmedia into your genealogy program, computer security, splitting your family file, Spyware, Spam and protecting your CDs were subjects that we covered. Click on the date above for details.(Updated 3/14/04) December 17, 2003. We tackled three subjects at this meeting: Ancestry Plus, available through the library, shopping on line and an introduction to publishing your genealogy.
January 14, 2004. We continued with Publishing Your Genealogy with a review of our Jan 17, 2002 program and details on publishing a pamphlet or book. Dr. Jim Peacock told of his book publishing experiences. February 18, 2004. We took the Pastfinders computer and found out what we could through the Control Panel. Then we took it apart, looked at the various parts and added 16M more memory. March 17, 2004. We covered some basic computer items beginning with plugging it in and turning it on and off. We progressed through standby and hibernation, organizing files, backup of data and system files.
April 14, 2004. We covered the BIOS SETUP and then went on to look through some of the ways Windows can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. May 19, 2004. We covered how to set up Outlook Express and we briefly covered AOL and JUNO. In OE we went to Tools-Options and went through all of the settings under the nine separate tabs. We also covered setting up separate accounts and creating message rules. June 16, 2004. We covered a few random subjects. Downloading programs; where to find a glossary; how to find and preserve all of the EXIF data produced by your digital camera; Irfanview, a great graphics program; how to add and sort data columns to Windows Explorer.
October 13, 2004. We covered things to do to help troubleshoot your computer when it plays dead. We touched on Safe Mode, Recovery Console, Dr. Watson, the Event Viewer and a few other hidden resources. November 17, 2004. We talked about how important it is to install Windows updates. After a presentation of what the process requires we demonstrated some of the techniques involved in scanning, correcting and storing images. December 15, 2004. We covered some of the finer points of Notepad, Wordpad, Word and WordPerfect without making it a complete tutorial; creating a log in Notepad,selecting text, reformatting, creating bookmarks and templates
January 20, 2005. We met a day late and covered some genealogical sites and some other sites of interest. There were 9 of us present. Although not all saved web sites worked off-line, interested users can see what they missed by clicking on the links in the file referenced here. February 16, 2005 We covered spreadsheet basics, imported a large spreadsheet to extract cemetery locations and then aded pop-up labels to identify individuals in an old photograph along with some genealogical data.  March 16, 2005.  We continued with creating a single archive file for a photograph with embedded links, covered some new programs and sites and finished with a brief discussion on what it takes to connect two or more computers together.
April 20, 2005  How to Find Your Family History Without Ever Leaving Home. A case study of the use of online sites to find your genealogy. June 2005 Creating custom reports in FTM or PAF, seraching on the  Internet, getting mail while you're travelling and system maintenance. September 14  We covered blogs, RSS feeds, Podcasts and finally got to  web page creation.  We used Nvu  because it's free and does the job.
November 16, 2005. We went through all of the charts and reports that can be produced by both Family Tree Maker and Personal Ancestry File. We found ways to export them so that we could print them back to back, edit them and correct erroneous sources.. December 14, 2005. We presented a CD to the group that had this page and all program meetings referenced on this page. In addition it has several free programs. The handout also includes information on "ripping" a music CD to compress its size or add to a MP3 player. January 18, 2006. The presentation turn into a conversation as only one guest was present. We discussed camera, scanners, printerss and graphics programs.
February 15, 2006. We covered a few tips on how to be more secure using email and browsing. We then showed how to find and eliminate duplicate files and looked at a site where you can map your relatives. March 15, 2006. We had a brief review of the previous 2 months and then we looked at some saved web pages of genealogical sites. Some were repeats of prior work and some are brand new. May 17, 2006. We were not able to get on line but the handout shown here has all of the links to places we would have visited.
October 18, 2006 We used the library's wireless connection and connected to the web. We used the library's databases and connected to Ancestry and Heritage Quest. November 15, 2006 We created a Start page to keep all of the places you visit just a click away. We then created a web page and posed it to Pastfinders and the created a GEDCOM file and discussed how to post it.

December 20, 2006 We looked at Internet Explorer 7 since it's a free update and many who have automatic updates on get it. We discussed tabbed browsing, phishing and RSS.Then we tackled some email problems and then saving web pages.

January 17, 2007 We repeated some of what we did in December and then we started a new series about getting the most from your genealogy program. One additional item that we added was using a download manager to speed up downloads. February 13, 2007 We met on Tuesday due to a conflict with our normal Wed. meeting. We will next month too. We covered the basics of FamilyTreeMaker and Personal Ancestral File; inputting data and sources, seeing different types of reports, exporting and editing them. March 13, 2007 There were 5 of us present and we covered more details of FTW (mostly) and PAF. Items covered included charts and all options for formatting them, splitting and merging files, backup and restore and privatization of files.
April 18, 2007 We finished up with FTW, covering Maps, Calendar, Timeline and Data Error Report, we checked into some genealogy web sites, covered different methods to select text and what to do with it and then checkout the Library of Congress. October 17, 2007 We checked out Footnote which is digitizing all of the National Archives Records and then visited a few Irish sites and ended up going to Google Books where you can find a book, search the book, view text, download the book or find a library that has it. November 14, 2007 We showed how to photograph slides, correct them and save them to a CD. We showed a couple of programs that check security. We then removed gigabytes of unnecessary junk from the computer and showed how to delete all of your cookies except the ones you want.
December 19, 2007 We checked out some animated gifs and showed how to use them. We discussed some of the other items rather than demonstrate them because we couldn't get on the Intermet. January 16, 2008 We explained why we couldn't get on the Internet the previous month and then finished what was scheduled last month and then visited some blogs, some Message Boards and some Mailing Lists February 20, 2008. We covered the switch to digital TV, computer system management and slide shows showing how to prepare images, sort them, input them and produce a slide show based on its intended use.
March 19, 2008 We covered a Legacy charting program, advertisers using emails to track where you go on the Internet, genealogy Internet sites and Shut-down, Hibernate or Standby. April 16, 2008 We looked at a World Clock, created a restore point and restored a computer to it, talked about anti-virus programs, checked out a couple of free programs and viewed some Lake County epitaphs. May 21, 2008 We covered some Startup Options when you're faced with a balky computer, covered some tips for both Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers including assigning a single character to a web address.
September 17, 2008 We covered what the upcoming change to digital TV is all about beginning with a history of TV, what the terms mean, what different types of connections may be required and how to set up your converter box. We then covered Google Books. October 15, 2008 We used several of the most popular genealogy search sites to find our ancestors. We tried to get beyond just entering a name and found out how to find items under test at Familysearch, how to search for a book and find how to download it or find it in a library and how to search all of the records available at Familysearch that you can borrow. November 19, 2008 We covered proper etiquette when emailing, cleaning useless files from your computer, backing it up and how to get the most out of help.
December 17, 2008 We covered the genealogy program Family Tree Legends and it's sister site gencircles and then used bith Process Scanner and Windows Defender to clean trash out of our computers. January 21, 2009 We started the new year with return to basics. Especially those items common to most programs such as open, save and save as and then covered setting up browser and email programs to make them do what you want. And we visited the Wayback machine that continually archives the Internet. February 18, 2009 We created a GEDCOM file and showed how to post it on Rootsweb and then we used Ged2web to create a genealogical web page and sent that up to the Pastfinders site. Then we looked at a simple presentation and then went through the steps used to create it.
March 18, 2009 We covered creating Fractal Art using Fractal Explorer and then looked through what you can do with the fastest growing genealogy web site, MyHeritage now with 30 million members. April 15, 2009 We looked through what information you can glean from the NEHGS weekly email newsletter and the over 400 previous issues in the archive. We then looked at local lake and streamflow data and show how to view historic records. May 20, 2009 We covered genealogy Blogs starting with a listing of 100 sites and then moving on to Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. We finished by discussing digital cameras, how to copy pages, input from a card and print.
September 16, 2009 We covered a new genealogy toolbar that puts hundreds of sites just a click or two away, then entering data and getting reports in genealogy programs, taking research notes and searching books. October 21, 2009 We covered the free office suite, Open Office, handed out a list of keyboard shortcuts and four CDs containing installation files for many free programs. We also covered Message Boards and Mailing Lists. November 18, 2009 We looked at what Windows 7 looks like and then discussed some things to look out for in updating. We then looked at what's on the Pastfinders CD and demonstrated each program. We would have toured a few web sites but couldn't get online.
There was no meeting in December, 2009. January 20, 2010 Our first meeting of the new year was conducted by Dan Wilmoth who gave us a very nice presentation on using Ancestry in the library. There you get full access to all records, international and US, all for free. You can get the handout here.
 
February 17, 2010 Dan Wilmoth presented the second of his three part series on Family Tree Maker 2010 and Ancestry telling us all about Family Tree Maker 2010 and the various screens on which you can input data.
March 17, 2010 Dan Wilmoth took us through Ancestry.com and showed what we get for free and what we get as members. He then showed us each section of Ancestry. You can see what he presented by clicking on the date above. April 21, 2010 The LDS church website, FamilySearch, has a lot to offer and we started by looking through all of the menu items. And then we searched, chaecked what's new in the Pilot area and checked some online tutorials. We then talked about ebooks readers and how to get free books. September 15, 2010 We covered office suites enough to get started. We used the free suite Open Office and did some very basic word processing, created a Raunfall Chart and a Generation Chart in the spreadsheet and nade a short presentation of words and pictures in the presentation program.
October 20, 2010 We covered databases and drawing programs using Open Office, talked about sharing your data with others on Rootsweb as a lead in to our next meeting on how to do that and then we covered free TV on your computer including all NFL football games. November 18, 2010 We covered posting genealogical information on the web using social sites, genealogical sites and combinations of both and creating your own web site, turning you tree into HTML code and sending information up. We then covered email etiquette especially noting that it is NOT necessary to return the message you just received in the reply. December 15, 2010 Server problems kept us from demonstrating what records are available to non-members and how to search for what you want. You can go to the NEHGS link and look at what records are available, enter a name to search for and you'll be told what exists but you need to join to get it. There are, however, some records that are available to all. Registration is free so sign up.
January 19, 2011 We covered digital cameras with explanations on resolution, saving and correcting images, using it as a copy machine and copying slides. We also discussed a program to organize your desktop, one to provide free anti-virus and a web site that can answer nearly any question that you can ask. February 16, 2011 We were going to visit a lot of web sites that would help us learn about our family but were unable to get on the Internet until just before the meeting was over, We started with a way to create lists of people and places to help in your research and then discussed the sites that we could not visit. March 16 2011 We covered some basic computer tasks and included a few downloads that are useful and showed one process that may be slowing down your computer. In particular, we addressed creating a download folder and showing how to make that the default and how to find a downloaded file if you forgot it's name.
April 20, 2011 We covered four genealogy programs, three of which are free for the downloading. They essentially do the same things but some have a bit more functionality and some may be easier to navigate. But they'll all do the job of accepting your data and giving you a variety of ways to present it. May 18, 2011 There were 6 of us present as we discussed computer security, different file types, a bit of image processing, interesting web sites and searching the web using Google. We found some interesting things. Sept 21, 2011 We covered the basics of getting started, verifying data, and seeing what types of charts and reports that can be produced.

We then covered getting ebooks from the library both those on loan and those free ones that you can own.

October 19, 2011 We covered getting rid of Flash "cookies" and regular Cookies using Ccleaner and then covered adding names, text and images of people in photographs when their face is pointed to or clicked on. We also suggested using Picasa and it's face recognition to identify unknown people in our photo collection. November 16, 2011 We continued with adding features to an image by including a video when a face is clicked on. We also used a graphics program to permanently add names to an image. Then we looked at a genealogy program called The Next Generation Genealogy and indicated how to learn more. January 18, 2012 There were 10 of us present but we were unable to get on the Internet except through a member's external connection. Our basic program was about browser toolbars, adding search engines, and organizing our folders. We also talked about a few good genealogical web sites and were able to show those. We also talked about some free computer help sites.
February 15, 2012 We covered a range of subjects starting with digital cameras and image storage, overcoming computer disasters, a bit about Windows 7 and an interesting Library of Congress web site. March 21, 2012 We covered Backing Up Your Computer by various means including portable hard drive, flash drive, on a network and online. Then we discussed the free programs that are on the Pastfinders' Flash Drive, covered the genealogical search engine, Mocavo and mentioned Webinars are the information that they provide. April 18, 2012  We covered organizing an XP and a Win 7 computer showing how to create, manage and move files and folders, We discussed Wiu 7's library feature and how you can add folders to it. We the were supposed to see a trial version of Win 8 but my computer didn't have enough memory to install it. It will next meeting. Last was a discussion of Metaphone a possible replacement for Soundex.
May 16, 2012 We covered the 52 items of the Windows 7 Control Panel and noted what was also in the Windows XP Control Panel. Enough information was provided to guide you but many items depend on user preference and for some items, further guidance is suggested through Help and Support. Creating a Restore Point is suggested before making changes to the Control Panel settings.

We also listed a few free web sites for searching your ancestors on the Internet.

September 19, 2012  We covered using image processors, starting with images I had done over the years. Images with names and data added are shown here and viewing the source code will show the text necessary to accomplish the task. We also showed how to improve old, faded images. We then looked a a few genealogical web sites and briefly discussed genealogy programs and especially the relationship calculator. October 17, 2012  We covered many subjects starting with downloading files so you know where they are; copying and moving files and what the defaults are; creating your own start page to put you in charge of what's easily available; creating a data CD that you could use as a photo album, family history disk with an index to chapters and anything that you can think of to index and share with others. We included a Genealogy in a Picture in ours that can be pointed to or clicked on to see about the person. Try it here.
January 16, 2013 We started the New Year with a look at Microsoft's latest Operating System, Windows 8. We covered running the Win 8 Update Advisor before you buy an upgrade to be sure your computer can handle it. I looked at how to get around and make it work for you. We then talked about the web site MyHeritage where you can post you data and get records that match what you are looking for. February 20, 2013 We created a Family History Picture Album to gather images and data about our ancestors and other relatives. It's a work in process and requires a lot of planning and effort. There are many ways to accomplish the task but you can follow the method that we chose and modify it to suit your needs.

We then covered a little about Windows 8 and showed how to move or copy files.

March 20, 2013 We talked about adding slide shows and videos to the Family History Picture Album that we covered last month and then covered a charting program, PAF Companion that creates charts for the Mormon genealogical program, Personal Ancestral File.  Dick Eastman has a a genealogical encyclopedia that we talked about and then went to sew Irish web site that has 2000 volunteers waiting to answer your questions. Lastly, we handed out a Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcut sheet to help take the pain out of Win 8. April 17, 2013
April 17, 2013 We covered the many ways to stay up to date , both with genealogy in general but with your family and it's history. We covered newsletters, Blogs, podcasts, message boards, mailing lists and webinars and then a bit about Win 8 and some bout using a tilde (~) in a URL. May 15, 2013 We cover several subjects including Problems with the Adobe Reader, Matching faces of ancestors through graphics or face recognition software, matching files with programs that open them, posting genealogy on the Internet and using the site Tinyurl to shorten a long URL September 18, 2013 We called it CUG 101 because we covered 3 listings of 101 websites each. We then discussed what's happening to GEDCOM, Malware, Correcting places in FTM, replacements for the PAF program and printing out a folder listing.
October 16, 2013 We talked about taking notes, especially using the Evernote program, adding the Start button into Windows 8 like the one in Win 7, copying and moving files, using cloud storage and some of the pitfalls and, finally, using the File History feature in Win 8 that saves a copy of everything you do. January 15, 2014 We started the new year with a discussion of Ransomware and how to prevent it, what's good and bad about the upgrade to Windows 8.1, the new Learning Center section of the NEHGS web site  and then showed ways the protect yourself based on tactics used by NSA in hacking web sites. February 19, 2014 We covered additions to the learning Center, creating and editing PDF files, the National Weather Service site, a couple of meetings from th past, the Wayback Machine, creating your own start page, and the top 100 genealogical web sites.
March 19, 2014 We covered how to open Works files and offered recommendations for replacement programs, discussed  how to create a family album and how hard the sites are to get started, got some info from the Ancestry Learning Center finding old newspapers and finding deleted files on your computer. Click on Computer Users' Group above and scroll down to March 19 2014.

 

April 16, 2014 We warned about a new ransomeware program called Cryptodefense and suggested everyone backup their files and remove any backup device to prevent it from being encrypted also. You can get the good genealogy resource Heritage Quest at home through the library and find great information on people and places and view the census and Rev War records. OneNote has been improved by Microsoft and they made it free.We looked at 7 sites on YouTube where good computer help is available. May 21, 2014 We covered techniques for improving your search results, the genealogy program Family Tree Builder and it's affiliated web site, MyHeritage and how to search it's many records. We looked at FindaGrave and BillionGraves where you can find information on many burials. We finished by recounting some of the history behind Fractal Images and showed a website that presents many created by Dotty Dill.
Sept 17, 2014. At our last meeting we covered Keyboard shortcuts that get things done faster including a mode called God Mode that shows a list of links to every command that Windows accepts, several built in ways to keep your computer safe and healthy. We then looked at ways to find where you ancestors lived and if the house still exists and finally find ing out what it was like where your ancestors came from.


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