Notes from the past…


The iPad Challenge:Day 1 (cont)

mt-everest-4The Challenge: use my iPad alone (no other computer) to do my genealogical research for 1 week!

I have been using my iPad all day and I am still sane (reasonably).

A few observations:



  1. You must have internet access for Splashtop 2 to be able to connect a PC (or whatever computer you use) to a mobile device (for me, the iPad 2)- not a problem since I’m usually online when I “do genealogy”.
  2. An iPad screen is a lot smaller than my desktop HP screen- takes a bit of getting used to (but not much).
  3. You gotta know and use the iPad finger gestures- I have had an iPhone for about a year, so I’m familiar with these, though not comfortable with them for everything, so I’ll need some practice.
  4. The iPad keyboard is certainly different- but I’m getting there…
  5. I was getting a bit frustrated until I figured out how to pull up the keyboard, I’m fine now (reasonably sane, remember?)
  6. While Splashtop 2 is accessing your computer, your computer’s screen becomes slightly distorted- no damage, still quite readable, returns to normal when Splashtop 2 not in use (so who really cares?).
  7. I have BIG fingers! Copy/paste, clicking on a link… now those are a challenge! Just gotta remember to zoom the page a bit (and I bought a stylus).
  8. When creating a post on WordPress, use the full screen option as much as possible.

So, on Day 1 of this 7-day Challenge, I researched and updated the file for one person. The process was much the same as with my PC, only much slower. I feel certain that will improve with more practice. I ran into only 2 significant problems, the first was remedied by the use of a stylus. The second had to do with zooming in on images that were difficult to read, in this case census sheets. I had to move back to my PC a couple of times to be able to zoom in clearly. Hopefully that will not be necessary as I gain more experience with the iPad.

I also uploaded the documents/photos of 1 ancestor (a total of 78 images) to this blog. Several images required resizing prior to upload. This was accomplished using my trusty old Paint Shop Pro program. Again the same process, only slower.

I also wrote 3 blog posts: the third was definitely easier than the first!

Day 2 of the iPad Challenge should be more productive!

Also in this series:

  1. The iPad Challenge!
  2. The iPad Challenge: Day 1

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The iPad Challenge: Day 1

I’m challenging myself to use only my iPad for my genealogical research for 1 week.

That presents the problems associated with having a read-only GEDCOM database app (FamViewer) on my iPad, and being able to get to all of the documents and photos in the Surname folders on my desktop computer.

More online research led me to this post from RootsMagic’s own Bruce Buzbee on the RootsMagic User forum on RootsWeb:

On 17 August 2012 16:13, RootsMagic <> wrote:
We are finishing up the iPad/iPhone RootsMagic reader app. It is
still on target for sometime this year.

For those who may want to access their full RM program from their
tablet (including editing), here is an option:

Splashtop is a program you install on your tablet that lets you
connect to your home computer and run any of the programs on that computer (it does require internet access).
So you can log into your home computer
on your iPad and run the copy of RootsMagic that is installed there,
and add or edit information directly
into your database at home.

- Bruce

Ok, I trust Bruce, so I checked out Splashtop 2 and quickly purchased ($2.99) the iPad app, downloaded the associated Streamer PC program, and set up a free account at Splashtop PC (necessary to be able to use Splashtop 2 to connect my computer to the iPad).


This is the neatest app I have ever used! As soon as I downloaded and logged into the Splashtop 2 program, I was instantly presented with this on my iPad:

my desktop

My desktop computer is now on my iPad! Too cool! (My grandkids are pretty awesome, too!)

Now I can access any program or image on my desktop thru my iPad! I can do research, enter my findings into RootsMagic, download and edit images, write blog posts, anything that I do with my desktop PC can be done on my iPad.


Also in this series:

  1. The iPad Challenge!

Leave a comment

The iPad Challenge!

mary-poppins1A few weeks ago, I wrote a series of posts dealing with the exclusive use of an iPad for genealogical research. I did a lot of research, decided what needed to be done to set up my newly-acquired iPad 2, then went about turning it into the “practically perfect in every way” genealogical research assistant.

But since then, I have to confess that I haven’t been using my new iPad hardly at all. I found a very nice hard case for it on, put it in the case and put it on a shelf on my desk… and there it has remained, collecting dust.

So, starting today, I plan to use my iPad for genealogical research, and no other computer, for one week.

I am actually doing 2 types of “research” right now. Each day I try to continue to go through my RootsMagic database, check each individual and update his/her file. This entails both looking for new data and reviewing what I already have for that person and making sure everything is entered (SOURCES!!!) correctly into the database. I am also going through my Surname folders and uploading images to the Photos/Documents pages of this blog (see menu at top of page).

But first, there are a couple of preliminary tasks to complete using my desktop HP computer:

  1. update the GEDCOM being used by the FamViewer app
  2. upload any new images to SkyDrive so I can access them on my iPad

These present some continued problems: I can’t edit my database using FamViewer, so I can do all the research in the world, but at the end of the day, I would still have to transfer everything to RootsMagic on my desktop computer. Also, uploading new images to SkyDrive is a slow process.

So how can I resolve these issues?

To be continued…