CAGe - Computer Aided Genealogy: A Guide to using Computer Software for Family History by Nigel Bayley. Published by S & N Publishing, 5 Polden Close, Farnborough, Hants GU14 9HN, England. 1995. 60pp. Charts, illustrations. Softcover. £4.95. All major credit cards accepted. Fax 011-441-1252-378054, e-mail 100064.737@compuserve.com.

This book is designed for the beginner and the experienced computer user. For the beginner it lays out what equipment is needed and what to look for in DOS, Windows and Mac based shareware and commercial genealogy programs. The emphasis is on the genealogy skills and requirements of the user, not the computer experience. All major UK products and most, but not all, US products are discussed. There is a good discussion of why you should use a genealogy program rather than a database or spreadsheet for recording your data. The major difference is in search and output capabilities.

The different types of charts and reports that these programs can produce are discussed in detail. This is an area where flexibility and output has improved greatly over the last few years. The researcher can insert and change the layout of family trees and charts plus include pictures. Also important is the discussion of programs that produce drop line charts which are rare in US based programs but so common for those of us who correspond with UK researchers.

For the more experienced researcher there is a good detailed discussion of GEDCOM and its capabilities, graphics files, optical character recognition programs and how to access information through computer networks. The book concludes with a good summary chart of the major DOS and Windows based programs. This summary chart alone is worth the price of the book.

The author points out that we are passed the point where one program will meet all our genealogy needs. This is a good place to start if you are a first time buyer looking at what is available or seeking a program to meet a new need.

This book is now in its second edition. Here is some updated information provided by the publisher in Mar. 1999: (Now includes CD of genealogy software) Published by S & N Publishing, Greenacres, Salisbury Rd, Chilmark, Salisbury SP3 5AH, England. 1999. 60pp. £5.95. All major credit cards accepted.
Fax 011-441-1722  -716160 Tel  -716121. Web Secure Ordering: www.genealogy.demon.co.uk

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.4, 1996