Find My Ancestor Blog
2Mar/111

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Video

Over the weekend at the St. George Family History Expo I was able to purchase a couple of Flip-Pal Mobile Scanners for my aunt and sister-in-law. Yes, they did give me money to purchase them... I had a couple people say to me at the conference that they wished they were family so I would buy them on too! As many of you already know, the Flip-Pal is such a great new product enabling you to take a scanner anywhere you go. Because the scanner is so small it makes it so easy to take it to your family's home and scan photo after photo without having to worry about unplugging it from your computer, power outlet and size.
One of the things that impresses me most about the company that manufactures the Flip-Pal is their customer service and customer satisfaction. The Flip-Pal has only been available since the end of November, and since then they have had many Mac users ask them if their EasyStitch software worked on their Mac. At the time it was only available to Windows users, like many other software programs out there. However, they must have had so many Mac users request to have their software work on their computers that they have developed EasyStitch to work now for both Windows and Mac. This impresses me a lot! Most often, software developers do not think that there are that many Mac users to make it worth developing their software for Mac as well as Windows. Now, I agree that there are many software programs that would not have a big Mac user-base, but I believe that Mac users are growing very rapidly and especially in the genealogy community. I want to say "Thank you" to the Flip-Pal team for showing us Mac users that you listen and care enough to make your amazing software available to all of us! At the conference I was able to play with the Flip-Pal and use the EasyStitch software on my Mac. The software works very similar to the Windows software. It is VERY simple and easy to use. All you have to do is open the software, select which images you want to "stitch" and let it do its magic. Below is a video I put together to show how easy and simple it is to use. Even for you Windows users, this video shows a great demonstration of the Flip-Pal.
If you already own a Flip-Pal you can still download and use the Mac software free of charge! All you have to do is follow the simple steps found here. This new software for Mac only includes the EasyStitch and not the color correction software like on Windows. I am sure the Flip-Pal team have this on their to-do list though.

26Jan/114

5 Generations of Wedding Photos

This past weekend I was at the house of one of the leaders in my Ward (Church group). As we were having dinner someone asked about the photos on the wall. His wife told us that each of those photos was a wedding picture, equalling 5 generations! I was so intrigued by this I asked her if I could take some pictures and write about it on my blog. This is one of those stories that I read on other people's blog and enjoy so much so I wanted to share it with all of you.  The very bottom picture is their daughter. The one up and to the right is Karin. The one next to it is her mom. The one above Karin is her grandmother and the one next to that is Karin's great-grandmother. It isn't very often that you see 5 generation photos like this, especially when they are all wedding photos. Now, the part that I think is the most amazing is the fact that in all of the photos, all the women are wearing the same necklace!

Isn't this such a fun tradition? I think it is amazing that they have a necklace that has been passed down for generations and that each of them wore it on their wedding day. What kind of family traditions do you have in your family? Do you have an heirloom that has been passed down and it now in your possession? Possibly you know of an heirloom that you would love to have. Share with us by leaving a comment below!

20Jan/112

Combustible Film Forces Evacuation at LDS Church History Library

The following was posted on the Deseret News website yesterday:
SALT LAKE CITY  —  Two floors of the LDS Church History Library were evacuated Wednesday afternoon as a precaution because of decomposing film that posed an explosion risk. Salt Lake Fire Capt. Michael Harp said an alert archivist noticed deteriorating 72 mm film inside a canister at 2:30 p.m. The film contained an unstable element called cellulose nitrate, which Harp says can be flammable or even create a small explosion. Patrons on the third and fourth floors of the library were escorted out while the film was contained in an archival room. From there, a company specializing in the removal and transport of such materials picked up the film. After several hours when downtown traffic had tapered off, Harp said the film was taken to the local landfill where where it was detonated.
As soon as I read this many questions started popping into my head. What was on the film? Do they have a backup copy of the film? How does this situation affect other possible instances with other film? What else could happen to these rolls of microfilm that have been stored for many years? To me this just shows the importance of digitizing all of the microfilm the LDS Church has in the Granite Mountain Vault. It is hard to say what some of the condition of the film is like in the Family History Library, Church History Library, as well as any other library in the world that has old documents stored on microfilm and microfiche. Digitization of these documents is critical in order to ensure their preservation for future generations.

6Dec/101

Mobile Monday – Voice Memos

Disclaimer: The following reviews may have personal opinions in them. At the bottom of each review there is a link to purchase and download the app reviewed. By clicking on the links below you are helping support this free blog and Find My Ancestor. Thank You!

The following post continues the Mobile Monday Series reviewing various apps for mobile devices that help doing genealogy while you are on the go. If you haven't been following this series be sure to check previous posts:


Voice Memos

One of my favorite apps I use on my phone quite frequently is the Voice Memos App. The app comes pre-installed on your iPhone and enables you to do just what the title says, create voice memos.
This app is great for interviewing your family members, making little notes while you are on the go or to simply record your own family history. The application is very easy to use and the interface is very basic - no need of technical knowledge here. All you have to do once you are in the app is click the record button.
Once you are done recording you can view all the previous recorded audio clips, play them, edit them and share them.
To share an audio clip, click on the the specific memo either by clicking the little blue arrow button or the time the clip was recorded. If you click the time the clip was recorded, the Share button you see on the bottom of the screen will light up or if you click the arrow you will see another Share button on that screen.
Once you click the Share button, simply click Email and then enter in the email address you are wanting to send it to. If you clicked the little blue button to share the clip, you will notice there is also a Trim button. This will enable you to "trim" the clip, which in audio and video editing terms means to shorten. You may have pressed the record button and got a big long audio recording but you only want to share a little portion of that clip. By using the trim feature you can send only what you want and nothing else. This also helps keep the file sizes down too.

One great feature that I just found the other day was the ability to mark what kind of memo you are creating. After creating the audio clip, click again on the little blue button where it gives you the option to trim and share your clip. Notice there is another little arrow pointing to the right on the same box that has the time and date of the recording. When you click on that arrow another screen comes up letting you chose what kind of recording you made and label it that way.
This is a great way to keep all your voice memos organized. You can also create your own custom label to name it what ever you want.

After recording your memos you can also save them onto your computer hard drive for later use and sharing as well. When you sync your iPhone to your computer with iTunes, all your voice memos you created since the last sync are copied onto your computer into your iTunes Library. From there, simply right click on the voice memo in iTunes and either click on "Show in Finder" or "Show in Explorer" depending on if you are using a Mac or a PC. This will take to you the location on your hard drive where this clip is stored. You can use this clip in movies, slideshows, emailing, etc. 

Again, this app is already installed on your device so there is not further actions you need to take other than just clicking the record button.