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Dick Eastman
Dick Eastman kept his first genealogy database on 80-column punch cards.
Interests: ham radio, recumbent bicycling, flying, genealogy
Recent Activity
---> Evernote does not play nicely with mobile phones; it constantly locks you out of your account and forces you to reset your password several times a week. I don't agree. I use Evernote often, typically several times a day. I have been using it for a several years on an iPhone and, for the past two weeks, have been using it on a Moto X Android phone that I am trying out while I am traveling in England. I don't remember Evernote ever locking me out of my account on any device and I am still using the same password I created when I first signed up for Evernote several years ago. One of the reasons I am so enthusiastic about Evernote is because it has been so reliable.
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David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, has written in his own blog about a goal to provide U.S. citizens with easier and faster access to materials held at the National Archives and Records Administration. He writes: "The first of our new strategic goals is to 'Make Access Happen.' Increasingly, access means digital, online access. Our first goal has one objective, to make our records available to the public in digital form to ensure that anyone can explore, discover and learn from our records." You can read his full article at http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/?p=5417. Continue reading
It didn't take long! The Heartbleed bug was introduced on March 14, 2014 with a new release of the software. Neel Mehta of Google Security discovered Heartbleed vulnerability within a few days. One week after being introduced, on March 21, 2014 Bodo Moeller and Adam Langley of Google wrote a patch that fixed the bug. I would call that rather fast! It is a much faster response than bug fixes produced by Microsoft, Apple, or most other commercial companies. In fact, the fix was already available before the problem became publicized. Details may be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartbleed
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The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch: FamilySearch has added more than 2.1 million images to collections from Italy. Notable collection updates include the 89,778 images from the new Italy, Lucca, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1807–1814, collection; the 445,302 images from the new Italy, Genova, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1796–1812, 1838–1859, 1866–1899, collection; and the 1,637,317 images from the Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865, collection. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org. Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers... Continue reading
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I wrote earlier (at http://goo.gl/MttkJE and at http://goo.gl/qhG8Oe) about a 7-day genealogy cruise on board the Celebrity Silhouette in the Eastern Caribbean that starts on December 7, 2014. I will be one of the speakers on that cruise. Now the cruise organizers have extended an Early Booking Special for those who sign up before April 30, 2014. Book on or before April 30 and receive one of the following: Free Classic Beverage Package for 2 people (includes gratuities): Beer, up to $5/serving Spirits, Cocktails & Wine; up to $8/serving All Soda, Premium Coffee, Teas, Juices, Bottled Water NOTE: Upgrade to... Continue reading
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The Heartbleed bug is a new security problem that theoretically could be used to expose users' passwords when connecting to many web sites. The problem only arises when using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to web sites that run OpenSSL software. Indeed, SSL is supposed to PREVENT security issues but the new Heartbleed bug does the opposite: it could create security problems. The Heartbleed bug is a serious issue, and as such, there's a lot of confusion about the bug and its implications as you use the Internet. A couple of newsletter readers have written to ask if there is... Continue reading
SSIDs are created by the person(s) who install or maintain the wireless network. They can be anything at all, there is no "code" or standard method of assigning SSID letters. One SSID might be "big-pine-rv-campground" while another might be "RNA337529x" so I don't know of any method of identifying them if they are not obvious.
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The following was written by the folks at the Texas State Genealogical Society: In partnership with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and findmypast.com, the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) announces a Call for Exhibit Hall Presentations to be held during the FGS 2014 Conference, 28-30 August 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. As part of the educational and outreach missions of both FGS and TSGS, the exhibit hall will be free and open to the public. During that time, approximately twenty half-hour presentations will be offered on the exhibit hall education stage. These 30-minute presentations will be geared towards educating... Continue reading
Kenneth C. Thomson Jr. has dedicated the majority of his life to studying and preserving local history. He received the Citizen of the Year award from Sumner County Publications on Friday in Gallatin, Tennessee. As a freelance historian and genealogist, Thomson has been the go-to source for everything and everybody related to Sumner County history with the ability to answer off the top of his head specific questions, citing names and dates. Late state historian Walter Durham once said that Thomson knows more about “Sumner County people than anybody.” You can read more about Kenneth Thomson and his award in... Continue reading
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I had a great time this past weekend when I attended the annual conference of the Guild of One-Name Studies, held in Ashford, Kent, England. I also was invited to speak at the conference. This organization, affectionately referred to as GOONS, is based in England but has more than 2,600 members around the world. Indeed, they are very serious genealogists. Founded in 1979 in Britain, the Guild is widely recognised as a centre of academic excellence in one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed... Continue reading
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CeCe Moore, Dr. Tim Janzen, and others are organizing a brand-new conference that sounds like it should be a winner. The Institute for Genetic Genealogy is the new organization that will produce the 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference, to be held August 15-17 in Washington, DC at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. An outstanding group of genetic genealogists and population geneticists have agreed to speak at this conference. Representatives from all of the major genetic genealogy companies have agreed to give presentations. Dr. Spencer Wells, who heads the National Geographic Genographic Project, will be the keynote speaker. A significant... Continue reading
Library and Archives Canada has seen a lot of internal turmoil in the past year or two. Some of the problems were described in my earlier articles. You can find those articles by starting at http://goo.gl/B469KJ. New leadership has now been announced and the new Librarian and Archivist of Canada will (hopefully) bring stability to the agency. The following was written by the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages: Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover today announced the appointment of Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a term of five... Continue reading
It appears that Iceland joined NATO for purely practical reasons. It has no army and is unable to defend itself. It does have a very small Coast Guard that could never stop an invasion. Instead, Iceland depends upon NATO for its defense. The US Air Force used to maintain aircraft at Keflavík (I used to help support that effort when I was in the US Air Force and was stationed in Labrador, Canada, and maintained encrypted communications lines to Keflavík) but the US forces left years ago. Wikipedia notes, "According to the Global Peace Index [at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index ], Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, due to its lack of armed forces, low crime rate, and high level of socio-political stability."
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This isn't about genealogy but I found it interesting. I don't like snooping by a government or by identity thieves or by rip-off artists. All are equally evil, in my opinion. Several websites, mobile apps, and desktop programs offer encrypted services that keep your communications safe from prying eyes. One that impressed me recently is Unseen.is. The ".is" in the address stands for Iceland. Unseen.is based in Iceland and all its servers are located there as well. Iceland is a country that has very strict data privacy laws to help protect your information. Historically, Iceland has always refused to cooperate... Continue reading
Carousel is designed for use only with photos.
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1,400 employees, a 10 petabyte (10 quadrillion bytes) database with 13 billion structured and unstructured records going back to the 1300s, a number that grew by 1.2 billion documents in 2013. That's impressive but then add in a paying subscriber base of 2.7 million people around the world who generate an average of 75 million searches a day on the company's various Websites, including Ancestry.com, MyFamily.com, FamilyTreeMaker.com and Genealogy.com. In addition, the AncestryDNA database currently has DNA from more than 300,000 people, who get information on which of the 26 regions of the world their ancestors came from. To determine... Continue reading
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Here is an interesting article about the genealogy of Stephen Colbert who will replace David Letterman next year as host of CBS’s the Late Show: http://goo.gl/uWZVIJ. Seven out of eight of Colbert’s great-grandparents are documented as being of Irish descent. Continue reading
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About a month ago, I wrote an article at http://goo.gl/vpRSYd describing Microsoft's new Free OneNote for Macintosh. I wrote, "For some time, [OneNote] was the best free-form note taking application available. However, in recent years, free programs, including Evernote and Google Keep, have become much more popular, especially amongst consumers. Also, OneNote did not have a Macintosh version until today." Now MacWorld has published a comparison of OneNote for Macintosh and its biggest competitor: Evernote. You can read the review at http://goo.gl/vhWjmT. Spoiler alert: the anonymous reviewer at MacWorld wasn't impressed with OneNote. Continue reading
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The following was written by the folks at Fold3: In remembrance of the Civil War’s commencement in April 1861, Fold3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection for free April 14–30. Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates, Army registers, and much more. Other record types include photographs, original war maps, court investigations, slave records, and beyond. Items such as the Lincoln Assassination Papers, Sultana Disaster documents, letters to the Adjutant General and Commission... Continue reading
Dropbox normally provides up to 2 gigabytes of storage space free of charge. That total is for all files, including photos. However, Dropbox also offers additional space for photo storage if you use something called Camera Upload in Windows, Macintosh, Android, and Apple iOS. Details may be found at https://www.dropbox.com/help/287/en
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The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. CD discs (often called “optical discs) have been commercially available since the 1980s. Sadly, many computer users have inserted their older CDs into a computer and found that the discs no longer work. Sometimes it is a software problem: the old software for the CD might not work on a newer version of Windows or Macintosh. However, the most common problem seems to be physical: the CDs themselves have microscopic mold or "rot" that ruins the surface and prevents the data from being read. Even worse,... Continue reading
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Sometimes I think everyone has a Dropbox account and for good reasons. It is a useful application for many purposes. This week Dropbox launched Carousel, a new application designed for backing up and organizing photos. I have used Carousel a bit this week (I've been busy! I flew to England.) but am impressed with it after my limited use. Dropbox has always backed up digital photographs and copied them to other computers you specify, along with all sorts of other files. The new Carousel application simply adds new functionality that is not included in the basic Dropbox product. Carousel combines... Continue reading
An Associated Press article written by Savannah King describes a very worthwhile project: clearing and restoring an overgrown cemetery on Strickland Drive in Gainesville, Georgia. It is the fourth cemetery the mission has cleared in its 14 years. Community volunteers are helping to research the genealogy of those buried in the cemetery and will try to contact any surviving relatives. You can read this interesting story at http://goo.gl/cXHH2z. Continue reading
I haven't tried it myself but believe it should easily be possible. Branches accepts data from the keyboard (a slow and tedious process) or from GEDCOM files, a much faster and easier method. Ancestry Family Trees may be downloaded as GEDCOM files by the owner of the tree but not by guests or contributors. Since you apparently are the owner of your family tree on Ancestry, you should be able to do so. You can read step-by-step instructions showing how to do that at http://help.ancestry.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/472/~/uploading-or-downloading-gedcom-files-on-ancestry.com Good luck!
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The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. Genealogists are well aware of the disposition of wills, diaries, letters, and other personal items when a person dies. Indeed, the legal processes make sure that a person's personal affairs are wrapped up properly. If a will exists, those same legal processes have always made sure the wishes of the deceased are considered and implemented as closely as possible. However, today's new technologies add new challenges that are not yet covered by probate law and also not well documented for the family members of the deceased... Continue reading