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The Latest Technology for Genealogists Dick Eastman October 20, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "The Latest Technology for Genealogists Dick Eastman October 20, 2007."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Latest Technology for Genealogists Dick Eastman October 20, 2007

3 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

4 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!

5 Tools for todays discussion Laptop computers Handheld computers Scanners Digital cameras GPS Communications Devices

6 Laptop Computers Take your computer to the courthouse! Laptop computers are not new… What is new: POWER! Todays laptop could be your only computer!

7 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

8 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

9 An Even Lower-priced Example Wal-Mart, Staples, best Buy and others sold laptops on Black Friday for $399!

10 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

11 Handheld computers Tiny Can go with you anywhere Limited functionality Limited storage (but improving)

12 Palm versus PocketPC

13 Genealogy Software for Palm OS GedStar Pro - $29.95 Plus - $19.95 Basic - $13.95 My Roots – $24.95

14 PocketPC Handhelds Excellent PDAs Generally more powerful than Palm 8 to 256 MB RAM memory Better communications Hard drives may be added

15 Some PocketPC computers have keyboards! Hewlett-Packard Jornada

16 Genealogy Software for PocketPC Handhelds My Roots - $24.95 The Pocket Genealogist Basic Edition $20 Advanced Edition $35

17 The Pocket Genealogist 3-Generation Screen Parents Current couple Children

18 The Pocket Genealogist Individual Information Clicking on tabs across top of screen moves to other screens

19 The Pocket Genealogist Events Clicking on Event type allows editing of different Events

20 The Pocket Genealogist Individual Notes Full support of text notes, up to maximum size of available storage memory

21 Scanners The big news in scanners is prices… …falling like a rock!

22 Watch for Bargains! Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 4600 Recently available for $29.94 (after rebate)

23 Moving up a Bit in Price Adds Features Canon LiDE 35 Recently available for $49.99 (after rebate) Self-powered Handles larger documents

24 How good is a $49.99 Scanner?


26 Prices Vary Widely Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 5550c will produce higher quality scans. Has a built-in sheet feeder Not very portable Price: $299

27 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!

28 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

29 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

30 Digital Cameras Big news in digital cameras: More capability Lower prices

31 Whats New in Digital Cameras? More pixels! Typical example: Minolta Dimage S414 4 Megapixel CCD Price: roughly $200

32 Whats New in Digital Cameras? More pixels! Nikon D70 6.1 Megapixel CCD Price: $899.99 +

33 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

34 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!

35 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

36 Removable USB Drives Can be found in all sorts of devices

37 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?

38 To Find Cemeteries! Locate a cemetery on the U.S. Governments geographic names information service at: Note cemeterys latitude & longitude Enter coordinates into GPS Drive to the cemetery!

39 GPS Prices …vary from $90.00 (at Wal-Mart)

40 GPS Prices …to $899 (also at Wal-Mart)

41 GPS Prices …to more than $2,000 In this Lexus NOTE: The cheap ones work better for finding cemeteries!

42 Another Option: Use a PC! Delorme Earthmate Simple to use Inexpensive at $65 Requires a laptop or handheld computer

43 Advanced GPS Tools Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) USGS TerraServer Maps

44 Maple Grove Cem., Bangor, ME From GNIS Longitude - 68.81017W Latitude - 44.85446N

45 Maple Grove Cem., Bangor, ME From TerraServer Longitude - 68.81017W Latitude - 44.85446N

46 What Other Electronics Should You Take to the Cemetery? Walkie-Talkies! Prices vary from $20 to $75 per pair Suggestion: Do not buy the cheapest models as you will be disappointed!

47 Wireless Modems Full wireless modem capability via laptop card Surf the Web, search online databases, send/receive e-mails, and more DSL speed! $60/month, unlimited usage

48 Handheld Wireless Combine a handheld PDA with a cell phone! This unit contains my complete genealogy database of 3,000+ persons!

49 Handheld Wireless It also functions as a high-speed wireless modem with a laptop PC. $39.95/month for unlimited high-speed EDGE data service.

50 Now you can... Check an online database while you are still at the courthouse Do genealogy searches while riding a commuter train Send/receive e-mails at any convenient time

51 Summary High-Tech devices are becoming commonplace in American life Many devices are useful for genealogy and other uses Prices continue to fall

52 What will the next year bring? Stay tuned!

53 Todays handouts and slides are available at:

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