Notes from the past…

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Using labels

It suddenly occurred to me this morning that I should be using the “labels” feature of Blogger. It really makes sense for surnames (duh!). I can find all my posts about Carrico, for example, pretty easily if needed, rather than have to hunt through the entire blog. So I started scrambling around, trying to figure out how to add the list of labels to the side bar. If I were using a Blogger template, it would be simple to do. But as I’m using my own template (mostly), the code has to be added manually. Next step: Google!
I found a really neat site that explains things quite simply: The Dummies Guide to Google Blogger (Beta). Using their directions, it was a piece of cake! The font isn’t exactly the same but I’ll figure that out in a minute.

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A couple of other programs I found

Here’s a couple more new programs that have come across:
The first is not a genealogy program, per se, but if you like to build your own genealogy web site, you might find it pretty helpful. It is called FontPage, a free font viewer and font examiner. “You can view any typeface in bold, italic, underline and also 3D. In addition, you can also compare two selected fonts and preview fonts that are not yet installed on your system. FontPage can also print a sample page for selected fonts or print a list of all installed fonts.”
Download it here. I plan to use it as I redesign my personal blog. I really like the way it compares fonts.
The other program is called The Complete Genealogy Reporter. “
Whatever genealogy program you use, you can now create comprehensive genealogy reports, books or web folders with fully cross-referenced narrative text, notes, sources, ancestor and descendant charts, pictures, family tree diagrams, and indexes of occupations, places, dates, anniversaries and individuals.” I can see a lot of uses for this little program. Check it out. It is shareware at $24.95, but there is a 30-day free trial period.

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Awesome new program!

I have been reading in several blogs lately about a new genealogy program that is totally different from anything else available right now. It is called Family.Show and version 2.0 just came out about a week ago. It is Open Source software, and what’s important about that is…the program is free! It is being developed for Microsoft by Vertigo Software, and was actually created more to demonstrate what this type of technology can do, rather than as a program for actual use.
So, last night I decided to download it and give it a try. First I had to download .Net Framework 3.0 from the Microsoft site. The Family.Show runs on something called WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), and you need .Net Framework 3.0 for that. Now, I have dial-up, so it took several hours for it to download (I set it up and went to bed!).
When I got up this morning, I downloaded and installed Family.Show, which went very fast, only a few minutes.
I opened the program and imported my most recent GEDCOM from my Family Tree Maker. Then…my mouth dropped open!
Wow, this is a visually-stunning program! First you are presented with an in-color, three-dimensional family tree:

This view can be zoomed in or out, each person can be high-lighted and shown in detail to the right of the tree. Images can be drag-n-dropped to this area as well as to a photos and stories section:

Here you can add photos and images of documents, and also write a biography of your person of interest. Pretty cool!
At this time, Family.Show 2.0 doesn’t allow you to document sources, so it certainly won’t replace your regular genealogy program. Apparently, it is in its early stages, sort of Beta, but wow! What a view! It also has 2 skins: black and silver. The black is more appealling, visually, but the silver is easier for my 50-year-old eyes to read!
I am quite excited about this new program! Somehow, my cynical self believes that once word gets out about this little gem and the number of downloads sky-rockets, Microsoft might just convert it to non-Open Source (you’ll have to pay for it!). But, it might still be more than worth the cost. Something to follow-up on. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun with it!