Notes from the past…


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Serious genealogical research with an iPad? (Part 2)

In a previous post, I revealed that I had acquired a like-new iPad 2.

My intent is to use it almost exclusively for my genealogical research: a dedicated tablet. But some “modification” would be necessary…

In the year that my granddaughter owned this iPad, I used it only occasionally, usually to play a game she had downloaded to it. But what could it really do?

Of note, I have used an iPhone 3G for about a year, so I’m familiar with iOs.

The first thing I did with my “new” iPad was delete all the games apps and some others (Justin Bieber…ugh!) that didn’t appear useful for my intended research. I also transferred the over 700 photos to her new laptop. Now my iPad was essentially back to factory new.

I then installed a few apps that I use on my desktop HP for genealogy:

  • Facebook- for that cousin connection
  • Diigo- bookmarks of favorite research sites
  • Google Earth- locations and maps
  • SkyDrive- all my surname files

as well as a couple from my iPhone

  • FamViewer- my genealogical database (GEDCOM), read-only
  • PS Express- for image editing

I also added an RSS reader and a favorite old photo to use as wallpaper:

my genealogy iPad

My iPad was beginning to look like a working research machine, but I still needed something for note-taking and file management and also better access and use of the Internet (Love Firefox, Hate Safari!). And there is the occasional need to print an image or document…

So, off to Google I went and typed in the term “iPad for genealogy”, and look what I found:

(to be continued)

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Serious genealogical research with an iPad?

iPad 2I recently came into possession of a iPad 2 in like-new condition (I traded my granddaughter out of it!). I already have a desk-top HP that I use for daily living, including genealogy, so why would I want an iPad?

First, possibly the greater question is why would my granddaughter allow me to trade her out of said iPad 2? About a year ago, her laptop was on its last legs, so we started looking for a  replacement. After some online research and comparison, she decided on the iPad. Off to Best Buy we went, and came home with a new 16GB iPad 2. Now normally when I get a new computer, I immediately set it up with Firefox, antivirus, OpenOffice, and PaintShop Pro and of course, RootsMagic. But with the iPad, none of this was necessary (or even possible). My granddaughter simply took it out of the box, fired it up and started surfing!

The iPad was great for Facebook, Skype, taking photos and doctoring them, and playing games. But it seemed like when homework time came along (which is why I bought a computer for her to begin with), she was back at my desktop HP.

The iPad just didn’t seem to be the optimal tool for education.

So, a few days ago, after doing my own homework, I went back to Best Buy and found a Dell laptop that was $200 cheaper at Best Buy than from the Dell website. I brought it home, set it up with the aforementioned Firefox browser, Panda Cloud Antivirus, LibreOffice (the new OpenOffice), my Canon printer software, and iTunes. By the time my granddaughter got home from school that day, the Dell was ready for use… and the IPAD WAS MINE!

(to be continued)

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My new Flip-Pal Scanner: Problem Solved!

Flip-Pal ScannerA couple of weeks ago, I posted about problems I was having with my new Flip-Pal Scanner. I had been reading about this little jewel all around the genea-sphere, so I finally bought myself one for my birthday!

A few days went by before I finally had time to try it out… and almost immediately ran into problems.

I found it more difficult to use than was publicized and the end-product just wasn’t what I was expecting.

But help was just around the corner, and from an unexpected source!

Later that day, I got an email from Diana Thompson with Flip-Pal’s Customer Support Team. She had read my post and was offering to help. I returned her email with more specifics of the problems I was having.

It turns out that Flip-Pal‘s software needed to be updated. Simple as that! Diana walked me through the upgrade process and requested that I send her the “problem” images that I had obtained in my first scanning attempts so that Flip-Pal could evaluate them.

The Hill County marriage certificate that I rescanned stitched together perfectly after the software upgrade, and it only took about 5 minutes to complete the job!

I was already impressed with Flip-Pal’s scanning abilities and the implications for my genealogical research, and now even more so with the people behind the Flip-Pal. A win-win combination!