Previous Meetings of Pastfinders

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 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.
Oct 15, 2014 We started with a brief summary of the Family History Month Open House and the program Genealogy in a Picture that our table presented. Then we covered how to preview Windows 10. how to protect against zero day attacks, some web search strategies and some hidden secrets in Windows that you can use to make life easier.
Dec 17 2014 We took a deep look at Family Tree Maker 2014 and covered from getting started to producing reports and charts and how to make them present what you want them to show. The handout covers more than we were able to show. We talked about the training tutorials that will lead you every step of the way that can be found under Help. There's also a 310 page manual that you can download or use the one in the Genealogy Room.

We also took a brief look at Windows 10 that you can get free to try out.

Jan 21, 2015 The main subject was transferring those old video tapes onto DVD fo safe keeping, editing and sharing using various methods to accomplish the task: using a dvd recordr to recxord content for archiving, using a DVD recordr to create files to transfer to a computer for editing and sharing and inputting data directly to a computer for editing. Feb 18, 2015 For my last meeting as conductor of the Computer Users Group for 13 years, we covered some of the more useful things that we had covered during that time. creating a Start Page, posting on the Internet, Facial recognition  Genealogy Programs, Email Etiquette, Image and Camera information, Added names to images, Saving tapes to DVD, File History and Troubleshooting. Stan Wells will take over starting in March. March 18, 2015 Stanley Wells first meeting of the Computer Users' Group brought several new approaches to genealogical data organizing.

Subjects for this meeting were organization of genealogy data in a computer directory, the free PC operating system, Ubuntu and the Stan Wells Microsoft Office Powrpoint presentation format for his family history.


Apr 15, 2015 Stan had an other committment so Bob Dill filled in for the program which covered  using charts and reports and books from genealogy progrms to publish your genealogy. Items coverd included those from FamilyTreeMaker and from the program Charting Companion. We also looked at a 3D genealogy program that publishes your family individuals in text boxes that can be rotated. magnified and swirled around  but allows for many more people to be shown than is otherwise possible. We also touched on Fractal Images that were exhibited in a showcase in the library. Sept 16 2015. Before Stan Wells walked us through setting up Windows 10, Bob Dill explained why it's essential to create a System Image Backup before updating to Win 10. Having a File History will provide added protection in case something goes wrong.

Stan then proceeded to walk us through the Win 10 setup procedure and showed all of options available.

Oct 21, 2015 Continuing with Win 10, we covered moving from app to app, a look at the Action Center and a look at Windows Essentials, particularly the Movie Maker. We saw movies of Stan's family and learned how to view each frame and move through them to select what we wanted.
Nov 18, 2015 Starting with a home movie on a DVD, I showed how to convert to WMV and then use Movie Maker to trim the movie to short segments of the most interesting parts, add a title, add photos, add special effects and show how to use other features of Windows Movie Maker. Dec 16, 2015 Description of the Meeting Jan 20, 2016 Description of the Meeting
Feb 17, 2016 Description of the Meeting Mar 16, 2016 Description of the Meeting Apr 20, 2016 Description of the Meeting
May 18, 2016 Description of the Meeting Sep 21, 2016 We started the meeting with Windows 10 tutorials, where to find them on the web. We featured tutorials from the website "" and demonstrated several of the tutorials. We listened to several youtube tutorials to show what is available. Then we reviewed a list of the top ten Genealogy programs looking Pros/Cons/Verdict. We listened to brief youtube tutorials for Family Tree Maker, legacy Family, Family Historian, and Rootsmagic. We had a few questions reqarding Family Tree Maker Reports and briefly looked at them. Meeting attendance was 7. Oct 19, 2016 Description of the Meeting
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