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.
My head is spinning, I think I have over done it today, I have indulged in too much organising and I don’t know whether I am coming or going at the moment. I am sure that when I close my eyes to go to sleep I will still be able to see census images!
I have spent much of the day going through folders and sorting out stuff again. The spare bedroom is looking much tidier now, and I am almost at the point where I wanted to be by the end of the week, I have a small pile of papers to go through tomorrow and then everything will be in folders or in the bin.
There are still three or four certificates to scan, but at the moment I don’t have the energy to get up and lift the scanner lid (actually clear the books from the top first then lift the scanner lid), so those will have to wait until tomorrow.
I have added several individuals and families to Family Historian, as well as filling in lots of census data and other stuff that I should have done before. It has been surprising today just how many loose ends I still have, it has been quite useful visiting old research again as it has reminded me of much I still need to do and how I really ought to finish one thing off properly before moving onto something else.
This whole organising process is really making me think long and hard about how I go about my research, I certainly need to make sure I never print out another census image unless I really have to. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have seen Thomas KINGHORN in the 1851 census today.
The other thing it has brought home is how huge my family tree is becoming, I have been all over the place today revisiting ancestors from many parts of England (although mostly the South East) and across many years, and it really is becoming very difficult to remember what I have and haven’t done. Once I have everything organised I really need to have a thorough review of my tree (perhaps down to every individual) and decide what else I would like to do.
I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have been finding it harder and harder to blog. It is not that I don’t have the time, it is just that the ideas don’t seem to come so easy and writing posts is more of an effort.
Perhaps after six months of daily posting the novelty and excitement of being a genealogy blogger is wearing off, or maybe it is just fatigue. However, it struck me today that there could be another reason. It occurred to me that this blogging “slump” has coincided with my switch from mainly researching to mainly organising.
Theoretically I can see that my creativity might be greater whilst I am actually researching and my brain is firing on all cylinders, rather than during the mundane tasks of sorting, scanning and filing, but could this actually be the reason?
I think I need to hurry up and get this filing sorted out, just in case my brain seizes up altogether!
I am looking for a quiet week this week, time to put my feet up and take it easy, or at least easier. I didn’t get much research or organising done last week, I did seem to get a lot of certificates scanned but that was about it. So this week I will try and focus on filing and get most of my organising finished this week.
- I still need to get the TROWER folder emptied and all the other lose paperwork filed. I need to set up a current projects folder for all my work in progress. So by the end of this week I want just four folders: original documents, general research material, current projects and stuff still to sort/transcribe/scan.
- You may have noticed some changes to the sidebar of this blog, well I still have more work to do, so this week I want to try and get that finished and tidied up.
- I want to investigate prezi.com and see if that is going to be practical solution for presenting parts of my family tree or if it is going to take too much time to set up.
- I need to try and find a database that will store details of my postcards. I would like to scan my entire collection and be able to add notes and research to them. Maybe I can just do this with tagging, but I suspect I need a database that will handle images (fronts and backs of cards) as well as text (transcripts of messages, addresses, details of the subject etc).
I decided on the way to work today that I am going to try and make this weekend an organising only weekend. No research just organising and sorting.
There is still a lot of stuff in folders, both physical and digital, that needs sorting out. I have a few other odd jobs around the house and garden to do, but apart from that I can devote all of Saturday to sorting out family history stuff.
I am sure I am going to have to look things up online, to fill in details or perhaps capture a digital image of something I have on paper, but I don’t intend to start anything new or continue any of my existing projects.
So that is the challenge for the weekend, well mainly Saturday because I shall hopefully be enjoying the delights of Shoreham Airshow on Sunday, but there will still be time when I get home for some organising. I may even have to extend it into next week if things go well.
Time to turn on the scanner, pull out a folder and get organised!
Something very strange is happening, these last few days I seem to have got the urge to organise. It doesn’t matter whether it is paper or digital I just seem to want to organise it (apologies to my wife because this enthusiasm only seems to stretch to family history).
I have a day off work tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be hot and sunny and I am seriously considering that I ought to stay at home and do some filing. What is wrong with me?
I have made some progress with my paper folders, I now have a bundle of pages from my GASSON research that I need to double check and make sure they are on my PC somewhere before I recycle them. I have set up a folder for my original family documents and started filing BMD certificates in there as I have come across them.
Over on my PC I have been sorting out photos, making a start on transcribing some of the gravestones from last May’s visit to Framfield (yes, I am that far behind). Inspired by Thomas’ post over at GeneaBloggers I have started looking into tagging my photos, rather than trying to put all the important details into the filename.
I have even started scanning some of my BMD certificates, having settled on a resolution and file format that I am happy with. I just need to make a note of the settings so I can make sure that all future ones are the same quality as well.
Filenames are something that I am pondering at the moment, especially for things like census images and the BMD certificates that I have been scanning. It is about time I decided on a standard for my filenames and stuck to it, so I am going to set up a simple text file with templates for each document type, once I have decided what the filename should contain. Suggestions welcome!
All in all it has been a productive few days, there is still lots to do but I feel I am making progress in getting my family history organised, which will hopefully make my research much more efficient.