The third and final day of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2010 got off to a rather damp start (more rain), but at least I didn’t have to get up quite so early today.
As expected the crowds were smaller today, but still plenty of people about. I arrived a few minutes late for Josh Taylor’s (from the NEHGS) talk on "Online tools for learning US research strategies", this was really interesting for someone who hears/reads a lot about US research, but hasn’t really been actively doing any. You will be pleased to hear that Geneabloggers got a mention!
Next up were the three talks that were part of the one-day conference:
- Peter Christian on Where is the Genealogists’ internet going? – a look at what could or should happen in the genealogy field in the coming years.
- Julian Litten on The English way of death – a fascinating talk on the history of funeral arrangements and coffin design over the years.
- Nick Barratt on The mists of time: researching your medieval family history – a whirlwind tour of the sources available for medieval and early modern family history.
Then I had an appointment with Ancestry.co.uk to scan some documents, that was a lot quicker than I expected, and I came away with a memory stick of images of some larger documents and one large photo which had previously been scanned by me in sections.
As things had quietened down at the Ask the Experts area I decided to give them a try. Picking their brains on Mercy TROWER and her missing marriage and dying husband. I was relieved to hear that I had pretty much covered all options, they could suggest no further avenues of research.
Then all that was left was a final walk around the stands, many of which were starting to pack up and go home, as had most of the visitors. I had a quick chat with a gentleman from My History about the virtues of the Family Historian software and then made my way home.
Another great show, I felt I gained a great deal from my visit, probably more than last year, but I wonder if I could have been better prepared. It is hard to get away from the commercial side of things and remember that there are literally hundreds of experts (including the attendees) willing to share their knowledge.
Time to rejoice and celebrate! My stuff to sort folder has finally been sorted. Hurrah!
This mean that all my notes are now on computer in one form or another and subsequently being backed up.
Also all my original documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, which I am not throwing away have been scanned and are being safely backed up to.
It was back on the August 2009 that I first decided that I needed to get my filing sorted out. Nearly four months later I have finished sorting the paper side of things.
Now I need to start on my hard drive. A directory of folders on my hard drive is nowhere near as daunting as a physical folder of paper, and to be honest there is no rush to my digital folders organised.
They are not going to get lost or destroyed (famous last words) and they are not going to get in the way because they don’t take up too much space.
There are however two things I would like to do now in terms of organising:
- I need to come up with some standardisation for my file and folder names, and stick to it.
- Go through my Reference Material folder and see if there is anything I actually need to keep in there. I suspect not.
I made a big dent in my filing today, my stuff to sort folder is looking a lot thinner tonight. I have to confess though, I cheated.
I took advantage of the scanner at work, and whizzed through forty or fifty A4 pages of notes and various other prints. The beauty of this scanner (actually it is a photocopier, scanner, fax and printer) is that it is quick, has a document feeder and best of all converts the images into a PDF file. The drawback is that it is not a very high resolution and only scans in black and white, but it is good enough for handwriting or print.
So now I have a stuff to sort folder on my PC as well, but it will be much easier to work through on the PC, and takes up less space than the paper folder.
I think I am going to make an effort to get the physical folder emptied by the end of the week. There is not a lot left, and I need to get it out of the way so that I have space to put my new PC on the desk, plus I am sure you are sick to death of hearing about my stuff to sort folder.
I am after a new scanner, mainly for family history purposes of course.
At the moment I have a Hewlett Packard printer/scanner/copier which serves most of my needs. It is a little on the slow side, and the software is not as user-friendly as I would like, but I can live with it.
The thing it doesn’t do is scan slides and negatives. My parent’s attic is full of slides, and I would dearly love to have digital copies of them. I don’t know what the life span of a slide is, but it is a safe bet they won’t last for ever and a digital copy would a better chance of survival.
Ideally my new scanner will be portable, or at least more portable than my current set-up. I envisage visiting relations (not just my parents) armed with my netbook and a scanner and just plugging them in and being able to scan anything that gets thrown at me, from A4 pages to slides and negatives.
In terms of price, I appreciate that you get what you pay for, but I have a limited budget, I spend enough on my family history already! Current favourite is the Canon CanoScan 5600F, the price looks about right for my budget, but it looks a bit too bulky.
So I am asking you for your recommendations. What sort of scanner do you have? Is there anything on the market that is going to meet all my needs without me having to spending a fortune? Is there any advantage in getting two separate scanners, one flatbed A4 and one slide and film scanner? What do you use for your scanning? Let me know in the comments.
Yesterday evening I thought I would get down to scanning some paper documents, but my scanner had other ideas.
I had scanned some of my recent postcard purchases (I really must get around to showing you them) without any problems, but things started going wrong when I tried scanning some newspaper prints.
I had gathered together about a dozen A4 pages which I had printed from a variety of local newspapers. I had scanned five or six pages when my printer/copier/scanner froze. The scanner thought it was still scanning, my PC thought it was scanning, but it was doing nothing.
All attempts to cancel the job proved futile and I had to shut down the PC. The printer/copier/scanner refused to shut down until I pulled out the power cable. Half an hour later after several reboots I finally got the printer/copier/scanner and PC talking again, but I had lost all the scans I had already done, because the scanner doesn’t save the documents until you actually close the program down.
I suspect it was a memory issue which caused the problem in the first place, my old PC is low on memory and I don’t think it could cope with the size of the scans I was doing. I realise I could have changed the settings, but I was happy with the quality of the scans I was getting. Instead I chose to close the program after each scan and start afresh. It probably took twice as long, but it worked. Now I am dreading having to do the next batch.