Gadgets for Genealogists

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Gadgets for Genealogists Powered By Docstoc
					The Latest Technology for

              Dick Eastman

           October 20, 2007
A Look at Devices to Expand or
Simplify Genealogy Research
   Digital cameras,
        portable scanners,
             PDAs …
    Just a few of the new technologies
    available to modern genealogists.

            Today’s Discussion:
       The Latest in Genealogy Tools
Genealogy Tools?
   Most tools not designed for genealogy,
    but they work well for multiple uses.
   Recommendation:
    Do not purchase a tool exclusively for
    genealogy work:
    Make sure it’s multi-purpose!
Tools for today’s discussion
   Laptop computers
   Handheld computers
   Scanners
   Digital cameras
   GPS
   Communications Devices
Laptop Computers
   Take your computer
    to the courthouse!
   Laptop computers
    are not new…
   What is new:
    Today’s laptop
    could be your
    only computer!
Example: Today’s Laptop PCs
Toshiba M3
 1.86 GHz CPU

 80 GB hard drive

 512 MB RAM memory

 Built-in CD-DVD/RW and
  wireless networking
 Windows XP

 5 pounds

 Price: $1849.99
Lower-priced Example
Compaq M2000
 1.6 GHz CPU

 40 GB hard drive

 256 MB RAM memory

 Built-in CD-DVD/RW and
  wireless networking
 Windows XP

 6.5 pounds

 Price: $529.99
An Even Lower-priced Example
Wal-Mart, Staples, best
 Buy and others sold
 laptops on “Black
 Friday” for $399!
Ultra Portable Example
Asus R2H
 Roughly the size of a
  VHS tape
 7” screen
 900 MHz processor
 60 GB hard drive
 768 MB RAM memory
 Wireless networking
 Windows XP
 2.4 pounds
 Price: $875 to $999
Handheld computers

   Tiny                 Limited functionality
   Can go with you      Limited storage
    anywhere              (but improving)
Palm versus PocketPC
Genealogy Software for Palm OS

   GedStar
       Pro - $29.95
       Plus - $19.95
       Basic - $13.95

   My Roots – $24.95
PocketPC Handhelds
                 Excellent PDAs
                 Generally more
                  powerful than Palm
                 8 to 256 MB RAM
                 Better
                 Hard drives may be
Some PocketPC computers have

                  Hewlett-Packard
Genealogy Software for
PocketPC Handhelds
                  My Roots - $24.95

                  The Pocket
                      Basic Edition $20
                      Advanced Edition $35
The Pocket Genealogist

                    3-Generation Screen
                         Parents
                         Current couple
                         Children
The Pocket Genealogist
               Individual Information

               Clicking on tabs across
                 top of screen moves
                 to other screens
The Pocket Genealogist

               Clicking on Event type
                 allows editing of
                 different Events
The Pocket Genealogist
               Individual Notes

               Full support of text
                 notes, up to
                 maximum size of
                 available storage
The big news in scanners is prices…

         …falling like a rock!
Watch for Bargains!

   Hewlett-Packard
    Scanjet 4600

    Recently available for
    $29.94 (after rebate)
Moving up a Bit in Price Adds Features

   Canon LiDE 35

       Recently available for
        $49.99 (after rebate)
       Self-powered
       Handles larger
How good is a $49.99 Scanner?
Prices Vary Widely

 Hewlett-Packard Scanjet
 5550c will produce higher
 quality scans.

 Has a built-in sheet feeder

 Not very portable

 Price: $299
My Recommendation
   Plan to spend $50 to $100 for a good
    general-purpose portable scanner but
    more for a high-resolution desktop unit.

   Do not be mislead by specifications, such
    as “dpi.” Quality is difficult to measure!
Not All Scanners Are For Your Desk
Visioneer SXP1001-DB
 Travels with you

 Color or
 One sheet at a time

 Price: $179.95
A Handheld Scanner!
QuickLink Pen by
  Technologies, Ltd.
 Scans a line of text at
  a time and converts
  to text by OCR
 Easily transferred to
  PC, Mac, Palm, or
  Windows CE
 Price: $139.95
Digital Cameras
Big news in digital cameras:

   More capability
   Lower prices
What’s New in Digital Cameras?
               More pixels!

                  Typical example:
                   Minolta Dimage S414
                  4 Megapixel CCD
                  Price: roughly $200
What’s New in Digital Cameras?
               More pixels!

                  Nikon D70
                  6.1 Megapixel CCD
                  Price: $899.99 +
Image Storage
   Early cameras
       Stored images in memory
       Required cables to copy to
        a PC
   Today’s cameras store
    images in:
       Flash Memory cards
       Floppy disk
       Memory Sticks
       Mini-CD
How About Batteries?
   Early cameras and some modern ones used
    expensive rechargeable batteries

   Many now use penlight cells
       Disposable ones are easily available
       Rechargeable penlight batteries are also available

   Don’t be caught with dead batteries at a critical
Removable USB Drives
   Also known as Jump
    Drives or Flash
   Store from 16
    megabytes to four
    gigabytes or more
   Prices vary from
    $3.99 to $150,
    depending upon
Removable USB Drives
   Can be found in all
    sorts of devices
Global Positioning Satellite
 Identify your location
  any place on earth +/- 10 feet
 Popular in aviation, trucking, boating,
  fishing, hunting and other outdoor
 Why would a genealogist use GPS?
To Find Cemeteries!
   Locate a cemetery on the U.S.
    Government’s geographic names
    information service at:
   Note cemetery’s latitude & longitude
   Enter coordinates into GPS
   Drive to the cemetery!
GPS Prices
   …vary from $90.00
       (at Wal-Mart)
GPS Prices
   …to $899
       (also at Wal-Mart)
GPS Prices
   …to more than
       In this Lexus

   NOTE: The cheap
    ones work better for
    finding cemeteries!
Another Option: Use a PC!
   Delorme Earthmate

   Simple to use

   Inexpensive at $65

   Requires a laptop or
    handheld computer
Advanced GPS Tools
   Geographic Names
    Information System

   USGS TerraServer
Maple Grove Cem., Bangor, ME
   From GNIS

       Longitude -
       Latitude - 44.85446N
Maple Grove Cem., Bangor, ME
   From TerraServer

   Longitude -
   Latitude - 44.85446N
What Other Electronics Should
You Take to the Cemetery?
   Walkie-Talkies!

   Prices vary from $20
    to $75 per pair

   Suggestion: Do not
    buy the cheapest
    models as you will be
Wireless Modems
   Full wireless modem
    capability via laptop card
   Surf the Web, search
    online databases,
    send/receive e-mails, and
   DSL speed!
   $60/month,
    unlimited usage
Handheld Wireless
 Combine a handheld
 PDA with a cell

 This unit contains my
 complete genealogy
 database of 3,000+
Handheld Wireless
 It also functions as a
 high-speed wireless
 modem with a laptop

 $39.95/month for
 unlimited high-speed
 EDGE data service.
Now you can...
Check an online database while
you are still at the courthouse

                      Do genealogy searches while
                      riding a commuter train

   Send/receive e-mails at
   any convenient time
   High-Tech devices are becoming
    commonplace in American life
   Many devices are useful for genealogy
    and other uses
   Prices continue to fall
What will the next year bring?

            Stay tuned!
Today’s handouts and slides are
available at:

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