Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bring Your Sense Of Humor When Teaching Kids Genealogyh

The other day my mom and I were babysitting my 7 year old cousin, Audrie. The news was on the TV, but no one was really paying attention. A news segment about how eating habits in this country has changed over the last 100 years came on.
Naturally, Audrie began asking questions and telling us all about the nutrition unit she is studying in school. My mom casually made a comment about how sugary treats used to be hard to find and were only eaten at special occasions.

The disbelief on Audrie's face was priceless. After she things about it a little more, she asks why they didn't just go to the store and buy the treats.

My mom tries to use the example of Audrie's Great Grandpa Dugger (my grandpa). As a kid, he lived in the Appalacian Mountains in Tennessee. My mom and I went on and on about how different things were back then.

"Auntie Sharon - was it like that when you were a kid too?" asks Audrie.

"Not exactly. I'm not that old," replied my mom

Thankfully, no one got offended and it has become the new joke in the house. Everytime my mom sees Audrie, she pretends to use a cane and talks about "back in the old'n days when we traveled across the country in covered wagons..."

Lesson of the Day: Always pack a sense of humor when trying to connect with kids on a family history level.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brand New Laptop

Hey Everyone - I'm back!

Sorry for the delay in posts, but I have been having some technical difficulties. My old laptop, Ole Clunky, finally died about two weeks ago. She was old and I knew it was coming. I am only grateful that it came right before I got my grant check and that I backed up all of my genealogy.

So I'd like to introduce you to my brand new laptop. It is a Toshiba and I love it. It isn't top of the line, but it is a technological upgrade for me nonetheless. It has Windows 7 on it, and I am still getting used to it. But I love it.

But with this new laptop comes a few recommendations and some lessons learned:

  1. This laptop was my first big purchase. Even though the laptop I bought was cheap compared to many of the laptops on the market, it still hurt my bank account. After I swiped my card to pay the $500 bill, I got a rush. I know that sounds silly, but this is a BIG purchase for me. However, it was worth it.
  2. While my GEDCOM files, documents, and picture files were all backed up and safe, my podcasts were not. This isn't such a big deal, since I can just redownload the podcasts. But this is a huge pain to do and takes time.
  3. I need to be more organized when it comes to saving my registration keys for programs. While it isn't a big deal because I was able to email the companies for them, it is still a pain. I would've had my RootsMagic 4 already downloaded, but I had to wait for the company to reply to my email (In all fairness and honesty was pretty darn fast considering I emailed them on the weekend - but when it comes to genealogy, I am impatient).
  4. Setting up a computer just the way you like it takes time - especially when you are dealing with a new operating system. But during that time, you get to play around with new programs and sometimes find even more things that you like.
  5. I can now play Second Life! I still don't really "get" it, but I am hoping that will come with time. I am really looking forward to the chats.

I just want to also let everyone know that the blog might be quiet for the next couple of weeks. Between school, my family get-togethers, my boyfriend's family get-togethers, and all of the regular life stuff, I am swamped. But just know that I am planning on some awesome stuff for the month of January (and the second half of December if I can fit it in). So stay tuned!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

When Was The Last Time You Backed Up Your Data?

I am a firm believer in backing up my data - mainly because I work so hard on it. I've put so much time and effort into my work. I'm just not willing to let it disappear in an instant.

I back up my electronic files at the minimum of every month. My GEDCOM is backed up onto my flash drive every time I enter more than 3 facts or sources to it. Then, I upload the GEDCOM onto Window's Live Skydrive (which requires a hotmail or MSN account). Then, once a month, I send my GEDCOM to my boyfriend's computer, just in case. I use all of these methods in order to ensure that my data is is safe and accessible should my hard drive ever crash (hopefully that won't be for a very long time)

For my pictures and documents that I have scanned, I back them up onto my flash drive when I scan more than 5 at a time. Then, I upload the files to my Window's Live Skydrive account.

With my blog have to back up my template and my posts. I back up my posts to my flash drive every 9 blog posts. Then, I upload the file onto my Window's Live Skydrive. I back up my template every month (since it really doesn't change that often) onto my flash drive and then onto my Window's Live Skydrive account.

Thus far, this method is working out pretty well. Although, I must admit that I need to give some thought on all of my paper copies.