Thursday, July 24, 2008

What You Missed: The July 2008 Computer Class

8 October 2008: Updates to the information in this post can be found here.

Before I tell you about four fabulous computer classes you missed last Saturday, July 19th in the Gates Computer Lab at the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library, I have to highlight some amazing people! We had four members and three non-members who very generously donated their time to make presentations for our society on various genealogy software programs. Because of extenuating circumstances, every one of these individuals was asked last-minute to teach on their favorite software, and rose to the challenge to give interesting, enlightening, and informative presentations. In addition, nearly everyone who presented was on a learning curve themselves, since two of the programs had recently been upgraded, one presenter had just recently purchased his software, and the last program is about to get upgraded within the next few months!

Our first class, held from 10:15 - 11:15 AM, was on FamilyTreeMaker, and was presented by Lola McCreary, Ruby Simonson McNeill, and Bette Butcher Topp. These ladies are long-time FTM users, and have been using FTM 2006 for a while. Lola recently purchased version 2008, and they highlighted the new features and answered the many questions that came their way. FTM 2008 can be purchased for $39.95, plus shipping and tax, at Ancestry. Here are some helpful links (all free!):

Next up was Lew and Trudy Lundy with their presentation on RootsMagic from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. EWGS members may remember the Lundys from their presentations on German research at the Family History Conferences held at the North Stake LDS Church. Lew served as tech support, while Trudy, who is very familiar with RootsMagic, version 3, gave the presentation on this user-friendly software. They highlighted features of RM 3 and then went to the RootsMagic blog for sneek peeks at RM 4, soon to be released. You can download a free trial version from the website.

The current version (3) of RootsMagic can be purchased for $29.95 (CD or download), $39.95 (CD and book) or the book only for $14.95. Upgrades from earlier versions of RootsMagic or Family Origins (the original software name) are $19.95 (CD or download) or $29.95 (CD and book). Shipping and handling, where applicable, are extra.
Lew and Trudy lead the Spokane, Washington RootsMagic User Group. They meet at 7 PM on the second Tuesday of each month at the LDS Church at 808 E. Sitka, just off North Nevada Street. For contact information, go here.

Our third class was on Legacy Family Tree and was presented from 12:45 to 1:45 PM by Judy Linnebach, who graciously answered my plea for help on the Legacy Mailing List after our scheduled presenter had conflicting family commitments. She showed the online video highlighting the newly-released Deluxe Edition of Legacy 7.0, then opened up her own program to demonstrate various aspects.

Standard editions of Legacy 7.0 and earlier versions are available as full version free downloads! (I recommend them to my Online Genealogy students to use if they don't have their own software, even though I am a RootsMagic user.) The Deluxe Edition is available for purchase for $29.95 (download) or $39.95 (CD and book). Upgrades from Deluxe Edition 6.0 are $21.95. Here are some helpful links:

Our last presentation, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM, was headed up by Bill Hire, who brought in his iMac to demonstrate Reunion for Macintosh. Even with the small number of Mac users within our society, there were six interested attendees, including myself and another PC user. Bill recently made the switch from a PC to a Mac at home, and he and the other Mac users enjoyed sharing and learning from each other about Reunion's great features (it reminded me in many ways of RootsMagic). The group was so enthralled, the class went on for an extra half-hour!

Reunion, like much of the software (genealogical or not) available for Macs is more pricey than PC software. Version 9 can be purchased online or in store (locations are on the website) for $99.00 (CD or download) or upgraded from earlier versions for $59.95 (CD or download). Shipping costs are likely added, where applicable.

If you are at all interested in purchasing any of the above software, or need support for software you already have, I highly recommend you visit the links I've provided. You may also wish to check out Cyndi's List of Software for other genealogy programs not listed. Dick Eastman and Randy Seaver often give interesting reviews on their blogs about various software programs, too--not just database programs, but organizational, research, mapping, reunion planning, and personal history programs, like Clooz, GenSmarts, FamilyAtlas, Animap, etc.

The next computer class will be presented by Miriam Robbins Midkiff on "" on Saturday, August 16th (Karen Struve's class on Newspaper Archives Online has been postponed until May 2009). If you are interested in signing up for any of our classes, please contact me, Miriam Robbins Midkiff, at kidmiffATgmailDOTcom (substituting the appropriate symbols for the text in green), or see our member directory for my telephone number. Currently, there are some spots available during the 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM and the 1:30 - 2:30 PM sessions for August's class. You must be a current EWGS member to attend. If you are interested in joining EWGS, please go to our website here and download the membership application.

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