Find My Ancestor Blog
4Apr/110

Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper – 4/4/2011

Here is your Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper! I am going to start including some more information along with these wallpapers from time to time. Whenever I create a historical wallpaper or a location based wallpaper I will include other blogs, websites, histories and other information. Also, many of you will notice the sizes of wallpaper has changed. After a couple months of making these wallpapers and monitoring the stats of the visitors of this blog and website I have decided to modify the wallpaper sizes to better fit your computer monitor. The new sizes are close if not exact sizes of the most common monitor resolutions of the visitors. I hope these sizes will work better for your computers. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Civil War Wallpaper  

1861–1865

The Civil War

Civil War Blogs

Civil War Records

Civil War Education

Civil War Photos

13Dec/100

Mobile Monday – Gramps Portable for Windows

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:


Gramps Portable for Windows

This Mobile Monday article is a bit different then most that are posted on the Find My Ancestor Blog. Usually I post articles talking about mobile apps for the iPhone/iPad and even some apps for Android devices, but the other day I read an article by Dick Eastman featuring a genealogy database program that you can install on your thumb drive and use on any Windows computer.

You may have heard or used the RootsMagic To Go or even the AncestryQuest 2 Go. This program is similar to those. The program is called Gramps. Gramps is a fairly new software that has been getting more and more popular over the past year it seems. I think one reason this software is becoming more popular is the fact that it is open source. For those of you who many not be familiar with the term open source, "Open source software is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees." - Wikipedia

This pretty much means that the software is free and that anyone can modify the code to what they want. 

Dick Eastman's article talks about the software being available on Portable Apps, a software you can install onto your thumb drive and take a wide range of software packages with you wherever you go, enabling you to use it just about anywhere. To read more about Portable Apps, visit their website at http://portableapps.com/

Check out Dick Eastman's article on Gramps Portable for Windows to learn more about the software.

11Oct/100

Mobile Monday – WikiTap

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:


WikiTap is a great application to access Wikipedia while on the go. It has quite a few really neat features to help you learn more about various things and also add and contribute to facts you know about.

Once the app loads, the main screen gives a few suggestions on things to lookup. While the suggested icons on the main screen are sometimes fun to look at, I really like the button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says Today in History. This is similar to the On This Day... app I wrote about a while back. By clicking Today in History you can find out different world events that happened on that day, with links to other articles and pictures that tell more about each of the events and people.
While doing a normal search, WikiTap starts showing suggestions of topics or words as you start typing in the search field. This is very useful for a number of reasons. I like it because sometimes if I am typing something really long, it will pick up on what I am wanting to type and since the little keyboard on the iPhone sometimes isn't the best with my fingers, it makes it convenient to click on the suggested words. I is also nice because you can learn of other similar topics that have the same words in them as the one you are searching for.
Once you select a word, topic, etc. of what you are searching for, the page comes up and tells about it just as it would in your normal web browser. Along with the web browser, it has hyperlinks to other words or topics in the paragraphs. This makes for easy transition from one topic to another without having to type it in the search box.
By clicking on the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen you are able to "Email this Page". This is great if you either want to share the page with someone else or if you want to email it to yourself for a nice reminder and easy access to the article later when you are at your computer.
The plus button (+) next to the email button allows you to add an annotation to the current page you are on. You can either "Find & Add Videos", "Add Pictures", or add stuff "From MyMedia" which is accessible fromt he main screen of the app.
While on a topic page you can click the Contents button on the top of the screen to show you an overview or contents of that page. This allows for easy and fast access to a particular part of the article without having to scroll down the page to find what you are looking for.


Overall, this app is very handy for finding information quickly without having to try and just Google it in the Safari web browser of the phone. It is very simple and easy to use. I really like the options of sending the page as an email as well as the Today in History feature.

Of course, the best part of this app is it is FREE!

Wiki

28Jun/100

Mobile Monday – Articles

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!

Wikipedia is one of the largest websites today. Millions of articles have been published on Wikipedia to help us learn and better understand our world and the many things in it.

I am sure most of us have used Wikipedia at least once in our genealogy research. Many times when I come across a word I am not familiar with I Google it and in the search results Wikipedia is usually one of the first on the list.

Wikipedia is on of the best ways to learn about an item, topic, location, person, etc. I really has taken place of the volumes of encyclopedias that used to take up so much room on our book shelves and cost so much money. Wikipedia is fast, free, and easy to use.

Articles

Articles is a Wikipedia viewer allowing articles and images to be viewed directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

You can use the integrated maps feature to find interesting places and historic events around your current location and anywhere else in the world.


Some of the really great features of Articles include:
  • Discover articles around the globe using maps
  • Shake your device and it will randomly chose and article for you to read
  • You can preview and zoom in on images
  • Share article links by email
  • Save photos to your Camera Roll
  • Adjustable text size
  • Access recently viewed articles offline
  • Bookmarks and Folders to help keep your research organized

Articles is a great way to easily lookup Wikipedia articles while on the go. Next weeks article I will be featuring an app that goes hand-in-hand with Articles and make researching history day by day easy and fun. Stayed tuned.

To download Articles, visit the iTunes store by clicking on the link below. 
Articles
To learn more about iTunes and why they require credit card information even when apps are free, see the article I wrote about iTunes Account.