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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    January Update on 2011 Genealogy Resolutions with Blogging Buddy, Amy Coffin

    Did you know that Januarius had 29 days until Julius added two more, giving us more time to set our proverbial goals and exercise plans in place before February came crashing in? Too true! 



    The Roman God, Janus, patron of gates and doorways is often shown with two faces looking opposite directions. Like me, he must not know if he is coming or going at times.

    So, here it is the last days of January (on the new calendar) and time to report my progress thus far toward those Genealogy Resolutions set with Amy Coffin in the optimistic days of December. Amy posted her first update January 10, while I was still debating whether to take down the holiday decorations or "work" on those genea-goals. Guess what won out?

    Christmas in Pasadena is merely a prelude to The Big Day of the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl football game. Each year the city has an influx of visitors numbering in the tens of thousands, so that by December 30 it's a good idea to make a big pot of chili and put the car in the garage for a few days. It's also a great time to tackle a Big Project.

    The first goal I tackled was the Organizational Goal (a big one in multiple parts):

    1. Clean up my Mac after the transfer from PC
    2. Investigate new options in genealogy database programs for the Mac
    3. Move photos to an external drive
    4. Get back-up plan in place


    When the helpful folks at the local Apple Store moved my email over to my new iMac, they also moved my pictures and files. This would have been fine except every single file, photo, and document on my lovely new Mac now had the new embedded date of July 18, 2038.

    Obviously, this had to be fixed. A call to Apple Support advised me to reformat my hard drive and start over. Not fun. The alternative was to dump all the files and move over the originals with the correct dates. Either way you look at it, a laborious project. Actually a perfect project for New Year's in Pasadena. In between toasts to 2011 and parade reruns, I was able to cleanup the situation. I now have my old files on my new machine, and can access them by the correct dates. I checked off Part 1 of my Organization Goal and moved on to Part 2: "investigate new options in genealogy database programs."

    I knew it would be distracting to take down the Christmas tree, so I turned on the twinkling white lights and spent a week or so investigating Mac genealogy database software. This was an education in itself and worthy of at least one more post. I downloaded trial versions, ran through my list of essentials and generally kicked the tires of what is available. To be fair, I did not ignore the option of running a Windows program on the Mac through Parallels, Boot Camp, or VMFusion. If I research this topic much more I will never move forward; time to check off "Research" and make a decision. More on this later.

    Between testing software and lurking in forums, I also managed to move my photos to an external hard drive and get reacquainted with my absolute favorite photo management program, Adobe Lightroom. Since I was in a testing software mood, I also tried iPhoto, but found it just couldn't handle my tagging needs. Also bought and installed Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, my favorite easy photo editing program.

    I know I really need to do the last step in this goal, the back up plan, but, hey, the Christmas tree was losing needles so fast I thought I was risking fire as well as data crash. I finally got the tree out in time for the Martin Luther King holiday.

    All that computer work made me feel a little guilty that I was ignoring my Writing Goal. I decided to take a lesson from my teaching days and Plan a bit before putting words on paper. First step for the family history I want to republish is to scan Aunt Mercy's Winsor Genealogy -- task completed and images stashed on my external drive. I also finished an article on photo preservation and sent that off to the editor. I am moving forward on this goal.

    Regretfully, progress toward the research goal = zero.

    Amy, how am I doing? We do have the Overachievers reputation to maintain with Sheri Fenley and Cheryl Palmer. Maybe we should take them on, sort of a team challenge. What do you say, ladies?




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    Reader Comments (4)

    You're doing great. Any forward progress is a success in my book. And bring on the challenge!

    January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Coffin

    Is that a "Double Dog Dare" that I am hearing Denise? Damn you - you know that I NEVER walk away from a "Double Dog Dare."

    Well ok fine - I am upping the ante. Not only do I have the 15 page article for the Idaho State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal to be in their hands by March 1st. Our good friend Sister Mary Kitty (Kathryn Doyle) bamboolzed me into an article for the CGS magazine. I am doing a pioneer sketch about 4-5 pages. also due on March 1st!

    Hey Cheryl - Crack! Snap Snap Snap! Get that whip out.


    February 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheri Fenley

    Ok, well, looks like we have a "Double Dog Dare" going on! Team Challenge here we come!!!

    Hey Sheri, SNAP, CRACKLE and POPPING at ya with that dang whip! Don't let me hurt ya now!

    Hugs to all!

    February 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Palmer

    Family Curator,

    Thanks for your comments on my article"Saving the Family Bible"!

    I really wanted to tell you I had gone over to a Mac about 2 and half years ago. I try not to proselytize the good sense of this decision, but its really hard not to share with you the increase in productivity I have achieved.

    Simply by not ever having to deal with issues concerning my computer, I save weeks every year by having ditched windows.

    So, please give your iMac some time and I assure you it will be returned in more happy hours working not in maintenance. Besides, they are boco sexier!

    Forgive my rant,


    February 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMax Marbles

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