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David Wardell
Williamsburg, VA
David Wardell has been active in genealogical and historical research for over 30 years.
Interests: Genealogy, Family History, Digital Imaging, Videography, Record Preservation, Photography, Computer Science
Recent Activity
If you could share one story about your grandma, what would it be? FamilySearch is asking people throughout the world to respond to as part of its worldwide media campaign, 20-30 September, 2014. FamilySearch is seeking 10,000 stories in 10 days to kick off a global initiative where descendants are... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Family History Notes
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via www.guardian.co.uk Professor Thomas discusses the limitations of DNA-based genealogy. Whatever your views, worth reading. Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 26, 2013 at Family History Notes
Surprising as it may sound, printed books are technologically superior to the e-book: 1) The usable life of a commercially printed book is unknown--but it is at least 500 years. The first books printed are still intact and usable. 2) Printed books don't depend upon hardware to operate, nor upon some benevolent manufacturer or distributor for their existence. Anyone who believes, for instance, that Amazon is so big and successful that it can't go out of business and leave users of its products with little to show for their investments should repeat "Digital Equipment Corp." to themselves until the feeling goes away. 3) When you "own" a printed book, you're free from constraints imposed by the manufacturer as to who you give it to, whether you resell it, or how you choose to lend it. The same cannot always be said of e-books--in many instances, it's not obvious what you "own" when you buy an e-book in any case. 4) Printed books require only the investment to buy them--no future worries about keeping hardware current or backups. 5) Printed books are durable. You can drop one from 100 feet or run over it with your car. There may be cosmetic damage but it will still be perfectly usable. Try that with your Kindle. 6) There is a qualitative (as far as understanding is concern difference many people perceive when reading from a page as opposed to a screen. Refer to "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains," by Nicholas Carr.
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Your birth: when, where, parents, surrounding circumstances and conditions. Your childhood: health, diseases, accidents, playmates, trips, associations with your brothers and sisters, unusual happenings, visitors in your home, visits to grandparents, relatives you remember, religion in your home, financial condition of parents. Your brothers and sisters: names, date of birth,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2012 at Family History Notes
David Wardell added a favorite at What was I thinkin?
Jun 3, 2011
A prior comment was correct as to the proper speed and stylus-type being necessary to play these records (the stylus is very important so as to get a good result and not damage the record). I have the proper equipment readily available and can help, if you need it.
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The public library in Lancashire, England is a well-funded and progressive organization. They have a policy of offering library cards to anyone who requests one--you do not have to live in Lancashire or even be a resident of the UK. Their online collection includes a number of resources useful in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2010 at Family History Notes
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" - 1 Thess 5:21 Over the years I've applied time to the study of numerous family histories. There is much to recommend them, for history is largely composed of the testimonies of eyewitnesses, and much of our personal history comes through... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2010 at Family History Notes
Gary, Many thanks for your excellent paper and your thoughtful contribution. A few suggestions you may want to consider: 1. Media Obsolescence I'm not sure the example (page 4) of the phonograph LP as an enduring media form is a good one--this is more likely the exception than the rule. There have been many popular storage formats over the years that are now very difficult to work with at present owing to the lack of usable technology. The computer 5 1/4 inch floppy disk and the open reel tape recorder come to mind--the latter having a history almost as long as the LP (ca. 1950). Users are likely better off assuming that obsolete technology will disappear and planning for orderly migration to the mainstream of what the market supports at present. 2. Archival Video I had difficulty understanding your reasoning (page 6) surrounding appropriate formats to archive digital video. Quicktime is Apple's proprietary container format and is burdened by the same limitations and issues that surround all proprietary formats. Many times highly successful companies can and do disappear quickly, often taking their proprietary formats with them. As with other container frameworks, Quicktime relies upon encoding schemes (file formats) that are almost always lossy by their nature. The Quicktime File Format (QTFF) is the basis (mostly) for the MPEG-4 file format; hence it is hard to understand why MPEG-4 should not be preferred, as it enjoys much wider acceptance. Likewise, the Audio Visual Interleave (AVI) is a container format that (usually) employs lossy encoders. There is little to recommend AVI over more current container technologies, such as MP4 (the typical, although not the exclusive, container for MPEG-4). Except in very unusual circumstances, users will archive their video using some form of lossy file format/codex--the alternative is simply too unworkable. An uncompressed standard definition DV AVI file, for example, can run around 30gb per hour, which is beyond the means of most users to store--and unnecessary. Users are likely better off with widely-accepted, non-proprietary current container and codex technologies, such as MP4 and MPEG-4, while recognizing that these (like AVI) are lossy formats and some quality is invariable lost, especially with repeated reformatting Such standards themselves will need to be reevaluated in the future as technology continues to evolve. Best regards, David Wardell http://davidwardell.typepad.com/blog/
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Here is a recent (October 25, 2010) presentation summary from Salt Lake regarding the future they envision for familysearch.org: Click here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2010 at Family History Notes
You'll be interested in Gary T. Wright's paper on digital preservation. Gary is a FamilySearch employee and offers many helpful suggestions. The paper may be accessed here, and my comments are below. Gary, Many thanks for your excellent paper and your thoughtful contribution. A few suggestions you may want to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at Family History Notes
It's been a long time since most of us received a real letter by mail. E-mail has pushed most non-business letter-writing to the background. You would think that communication might have improved in the e-mail era. Frequently this isn't so. E-mail has become an excuse for sloppy writing, incomplete sentences,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at Family History Notes
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"I don't have time to worry about photographs! I've taken some myself and collected others from parents and other family. It just isn't important." Think again. If you're serious about family history, you need to put the day-to-day cares of life aside at least for a while and focus on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2010 at Family History Notes
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About 1996 I was an early pioneer of making family history available online (wardell-family.org). Seems commonplace these days, but it was new and unique for the time. I might do it different now, as privacy concerns are much more defined in recent years, and I while I was preparing all... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2010 at Family History Notes
Subscriptions Subscribe to RSS (this is my preferred RSS feed) Subscribe by e-mail: Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner Categories Around the Family History Center Books Family History Photography Religion Travel Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2010 at Family History Notes
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www.footnote.com Follow this blog Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2010 at Family History Notes
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Mar 12, 2010