Thursday, July 8, 2010

What I Do

There is a new Internet meme making the rounds (it might be an old meme for all I know) and here is its genealogy in terms of how I found it: The Presurfer got it from The J-Walk Blog got it from Cory Doctorow at Locus Online.

The idea is to list what tools you use for either your profession of your hobby such as genealogy.  For me, working at home as a professional genealogist, here is what I use day-in and day-out to "get'er done."

* Hardware:  Dell Dimension DXC061, Intel® Core 2 CPU 4400 @ 2.00GHz, RAM 2.00 GB

* External storage: 250GB external hard drive, mostly stores 140 GB of iTunes files

* Online storage: DropBox (free and amazing!)

* Backup: DropBox and Backupify

* Printer: HP 1200 All In One (printer, copier, scanner)

* Phone: iPhone 3G for mobile, a Uniden cordless phone system for home and office, Skype for computer

* E-mail: Outlook 2007 with 10 different GMail and Hotmail accounts patched through

* Mobile device: see Phone above

* Mobile media: iPod Nano

* eBook Reader: Kindle for the PC

* Browser: Google Chrome

* Calendar: Outlook, Google Calendar for GeneaBloggers items

* RSS: reader is Google Reader, burner is Feedburner

* FTP: Filezilla

* Text editor: Notepad

* Graphics: Microsoft Photo Editor, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0, PowerPoint (don't laugh - it is amazing what PowerPoint can do!)

* Screen capture: kickin' it old skool with PrtScrn and paste into Microsoft Photo Editor

* Social media: Facebook, LinkedInTwitter using TweetDeck

* Social bookmarking: StumbleUpon

* Social profile: Retaggr

* URL shortener:

* Office suite: Microsoft Office 2007, Google Docs

* Accounting: Excel, soon to be QuickBooks for my business

* Web Conferencing: Webex

* Firewall: Comodo

* Virus protection: AVG Free

* Spyware: SpyBot

* File cleaner: MRU-Blaster, CCleaner (cleans temp files and junk off your system)

* Genealogy database: Family Tree Maker 2009, RootsMagic 4

* Genealogy tools: Evernote, Obituary Filer, Surname Suggestion List, Transcript,

* PDF generator: PrimoPDF (free and amazing app!)

* Music player: see Mobile media above - hooked up to bookshelf speakers, iTunes on computer

* Blog: Blogger, WordPress

* Car audio: Thomas doesn't drive. Thomas is driven. But Driver uses a Blaupunkt stereo.

* Other tech stuff: Logitech headset to use with Skype and listen to music, Logitech webcam, ASUS Netbook for travel

I think this meme is important to the genealogy blogging community because it gives others an idea of how we achieve the genealogy "voodoo" that we do do so well.  I've also included links to the programs where possible, making it easier for readers to explore these options.  I am a big fan of "free over fee" when it can get the job done and many of my apps are free.

Note: for some reason Printer was not included in the original list.  I take it that these "kids" just don't do paper anymore. I also took the liberty of adding my own items such as genealogy database, genealogy tools, PDF generator, spyware, virus protection, etc.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Mike Clemmons said...

You listed Obituary Filer. Is this a piece of software? If so, how do you like it?

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great question Mike.

I use Obituary Filer as part of the Obit Daily Times volunteer project ( I am not certain if it is available otherwise.

It is Javascript based and very tempermental. I can't really recommend it - I wouldn't use it for personally indexing obits.

However, I am developing a Google Docs template right now using their Forms feature which will allow you to index the obit and the data feeds to a Google Docs spreadsheet. I'll have more soon.