Find My Ancestor Blog

Mobile Monday – Reunion App

Do you have a Mac? Do you use Reunion for Mac for your genealogy database? If so you should really try the mobile app. With the Reunion App you can sync your genealogy data back and forth between your computer and your mobile device. This of course makes doing your genealogy while you are not at your house very easy and simple to do. You don't need to take your laptop with you now when you go to the Family History Center or to the State Archives. With the mobile app you are able to view, edit and add data to your whole family tree and then go back home and sync that information back to your computer. I personally use Reunion for my genealogy database and I also use the Reunion App on my iPhone and iPad when I do my genealogy research. Because of apps like this I don't need to always take my laptop with my when I go downtown to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  It also makes if very convenient when I go to my grandparents house and talk with them about genealogy. The user interface is so easy and simple to use. The screen is very clean without a lot of clutter to get confused with - very similar to the desktop application on my computer. The app is available in the Apple App Store. You can also download it by scanning your iPhone with the QR code below. Reunion - Leister Productions, Inc To learn more about the Reunion App and to see more screenshots, visit the Reunion App page on Find My Ancestor.


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.


Mobile Monday – Find My Ancestor on Your Mobile Device

findmyancestor_ipadI don't know how many of you have tried to access Find My Ancestor on your mobile phone, iPad or other mobile device, but if you have, you have noticed that both the main website as well as the blog are formated for easy viewing and navigation. I regularly use my iPhone and iPad to surf the web, read blogs and watch movies. Surfing the Internet on a mobile is so much easier when the websites I go to are "mobile device enabled". The website appears a bit different than if you were access if on your desktop computer, but with it being mobile device enabled you don't have to worry about always "pinching" your screen to zoom in on paragraphs, pictures and links. Take a look at some of the examples of my website and blog being viewed on a mobile device. Notice some of the differences, but also notice how clean and simple it looks compared to viewing the regular browsing site.

Now, as I have surfed the web with my iPad I have noticed that many of the websites I visit do not automatically take me to the mobile version of that page but rather the full blown site. For the most part I do not find this to be annoying or weird because the screen size of an iPad is big enough that the full blown site works just fine. There are a number of full blown sites I have noticed do not work properly on an iPhone or iPad such as Google Reader. In order to use Google Reader on your iPhone or iPad you need to use the mobile version. If you use either Blogger or WordPress for your genealogy blog, it is very simple to make it mobile device enabled.  My  next two posts are going to show you exactly how to make your blog mobile friendly using Blogger and WordPress so stay tuned!


RootsTech 2011 – Day Two!

Friday was such an amazing day at the RootsTech Conference! To start off the day, I attended the Keynote presentation given by Curt Witcher. This presentation was unbelievable! He was so energetic and fun. Or course since this conference is about technology with genealogy, he was talking about many of the advantages and resources that have become available over the years. He also focused a large portion of his presentation on talking about how younger genealogists are the future. They are going to be the ones who are going to develop new technology, apps, websites etc. for us to use. It's the young people who know how to use the current technology and instinctively pick up on the new things that emerge almost daily. One of the points that he made that really stuck out to me was "we need to look at change and think - opportunity!". I completely agree with that! I love learning about new technology and think that others should too. I understand that many are not as excited as I am to learn and use new technology, but one thing I always tell people is that if you never try, you will never learn. One reason why I know so much about using computers and other gadgets is because I am not afraid to just play with them. For the most part, technology created specifically for others to use and play with is made to be user-friendly. Many people sometimes think they would break it if they push a button or click something wrong, but I think that is the best way to learn how to use something. Reading manuals just frustrates me so I pull it out of the box and just start playing. I think many people would be surprised at how fast they learn is they would just play with it and experiment. I also attended Lisa Louise Cooke's class on How to Create a Podcast. For those of you who don't know, Lisa has a number of different podcasts she produces including the Genealogy Gems Podcast. I have been interested in learning how to create a podcast for quite some time now, but I have not yet ventured out there and done it. After the exhibit hall and classes ended for the day, many people made their way over to the Family History Library for an evening of food, a showing of Who Do You Think You Are and of course research! Normally the library closes at 9pm but last night they wanted to give researches a little extra time to break down those brick walls and digitize as much microfilm as they could, so therefore the library was open until midnight! I'm not even sure the last time the library stayed open that late! The showing of Who Do You Think You Are was great. With so many genealogists there it was fun to laugh at many of the documents that were shown. Tim McGraw was shown document after document taking him back one generation at a time in his ancestry. I personally think it is funny because it makes it look so easy, but we always have to remember that research for these episodes took many many hours and difficult research. Below is a little video clip of some of the party at the Family History Library.