Notes from the past…

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The Games are over…

…so it’s back to research!

I’ve returned to my Appling’s of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. This morning I found the Civil War Service Records (Confederate) for 4 of William Appling‘s sons at I normally wouldn’t be researching this far laterally from my direct line, but I simply can’t resist anything Civil War! Most of these are the original documents, created from 1861-1865. They are simply fascinating! Maybe someday, I’ll focus my research on my Civil War soldier ancestors…

I also just uploaded all of the Appling documents to my Flickr Photostream, 83 images total. That “Comprehensive Back-up Plan for My Digital Research Files” in action!


On the subject of backing up and organizing

For the past few days, I have been working on my Genea-Bloggers Group Games events. I have added descriptions and tags to 43 images that I have saved in the database of my great-great grandfather, Miles Francis Stanley I.

Part of that time was spent trying to figure out the best way to describe/tag/upload using the fewest keystrokes, and therefore as efficiently as possible. My previous method involved opening the image in the default Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, right-clicking on the image, going to Properties then Summary and adding the info. Then I would upload the image to my Flickr Miles Francis Stanley I set in the Stanley Surname collection and again add a description and tags. The image would upload to Flickr just fine, but the metadata wouldn’t go with it. Double-duty!

A couple of months ago, I downloaded Picasa2, but haven’t really done much with it. But when I started seriously examining the program in conjunction with the Games, I discovered a plugin for Picasa that allows you upload the image directly to Flickr, description & tags intact!

Picasa2/Flickr has made the task of organizing/backing up my data simple and painless!

Now I have no excuse! :)

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A back-up solution

Once upon a time, I had a zillion digital images saved on my computer. Well, one day my daughter was using my computer and called me at work to ask “Mom, what does fatal exception mean…?”

Needless to say, it was the dreaded “blue-screen-of-death” and my hard drive had crashed! Fortunately, my daughter also had a friend who was a computer whiz. She was able to save almost all of my precious data, and replaced my hard drive. Thank you, Jessica!

Since that fateful day, I have been concerned about backing-up my data, and have tried many options. Discs don’t hold enough, flash drives don’t hold enough, etc. I currently have 3 usb flash drives hanging from my desk, all full. So when I graduated to DSL a couple of months ago, I decided to try online storage. For the amount of data I have (about 11 GB), the fee would be about $5/mo. Certainly reasonable. So I signed up.

Then I began the upload process. A week later, the job was finished.! That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen! It took about 3 times as long to upload 1 image as it would had I done it manually.

Well, I was visibly unimpressed, as a doctor I used to know frequently commented. There had to be another option. So yesterday I went to my local Best Buy and checked out their external hard drives. I settled on one that has 160 GB of space (remember, I currently only need 11 GB), costs about $100 and is about the size of a PDA. It took less than an hour to back-up everything to the external hard drive, including my genealogy research and a big bunch of digital images.