The Latest Technology for Genealogists Dick Eastman October 20, 2007
A Look at Devices to Expand or Simplify Genealogy Research Digital cameras, portable scanners, PDAs … Just a few of the new technologies available to modern genealogists. Todays Discussion: The Latest in Genealogy Tools
Genealogy Tools? Most tools not designed for genealogy, but they work well for multiple uses. multi-purpose! Recommendation: Do not purchase a tool exclusively for genealogy work: Make sure its multi-purpose!
Tools for todays discussion Laptop computers Handheld computers Scanners Digital cameras GPS Communications Devices
Laptop Computers Take your computer to the courthouse! Laptop computers are not new… What is new: POWER! Todays laptop could be your only computer!
Example: Todays Laptop PCs Toshiba M3 1.86 GHz CPU 80 GB hard drive 512 MB RAM memory Built-in CD-DVD/RW and wireless networking Windows XP 5 pounds Price: $1849.99
Lower-priced Example Compaq M2000 1.6 GHz CPU 40 GB hard drive 256 MB RAM memory Built-in CD-DVD/RW and wireless networking Windows XP 6.5 pounds Price: $529.99
An Even Lower-priced Example Wal-Mart, Staples, best Buy and others sold laptops on Black Friday for $399!
Ultra Portable Example Asus R2H Roughly the size of a VHS tape 7 screen 900 MHz processor 60 GB hard drive 768 MB RAM memory Wireless networking Windows XP 2.4 pounds Price: $875 to $999
Handheld computers Tiny Can go with you anywhere Limited functionality Limited storage (but improving)
Prices Vary Widely Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 5550c will produce higher quality scans. Has a built-in sheet feeder Not very portable Price: $299
My Recommendation Plan to spend $50 to $100 for a good general-purpose portable scanner but more for a high-resolution desktop unit. Do not be mislead by specifications, such as dpi. Quality is difficult to measure!
Not All Scanners Are For Your Desk Visioneer SXP1001-DB Travels with you Color or black-and-white One sheet at a time Price: $179.95
A Handheld Scanner! QuickLink Pen by WizCOM Technologies, Ltd. Scans a line of text at a time and converts to text by OCR Easily transferred to PC, Mac, Palm, or Windows CE Price: $139.95
Digital Cameras Big news in digital cameras: More capability Lower prices
Whats New in Digital Cameras? More pixels! Typical example: Minolta Dimage S414 4 Megapixel CCD Price: roughly $200
Whats New in Digital Cameras? More pixels! Nikon D70 6.1 Megapixel CCD Price: $899.99 +
Image Storage Early cameras Stored images in memory Required cables to copy to a PC Todays cameras store images in: Flash Memory cards Floppy disk Memory Sticks Mini-CD
How About Batteries? Early cameras and some modern ones used expensive rechargeable batteries Many now use penlight cells Disposable ones are easily available Rechargeable penlight batteries are also available Dont be caught with dead batteries at a critical moment!
Removable USB Drives Also known as Jump Drives or Flash Drives Store from 16 megabytes to four gigabytes or more Prices vary from $3.99 to $150, depending upon storage
Removable USB Drives Can be found in all sorts of devices
GPS Global Positioning Satellite systems Identify your location any place on earth +/- 10 feet Popular in aviation, trucking, boating, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities Why would a genealogist use GPS?
To Find Cemeteries! Locate a cemetery on the U.S. Governments geographic names information service at: http://geonames.usgs.gov/ http://geonames.usgs.gov/ Note cemeterys latitude & longitude Enter coordinates into GPS Drive to the cemetery!