Genealogy Carnival #12: Solving Technical Problems while doing Family History

Technical problems and family history. A favorite topic of mine, seeing as how my life is mired in often consumed by solving technical problems. Indeed that’s what this site is all about.

This edition’s entries include: magnetic tape and cinching; putting grandpa’s travel album online; research, kludgy sites and frustration; why one writes software; liberating photo albums of physical space; family geek fun; how to organize digitized family letters, how to use VoIP to record family research phone calls, finding family history videos on the net, and transparent technology in telling tales of Mom.

It’s a cinch. This is not the cinch you are looking for

Richard Hess keeps a blog called Restoration Tips and Notes; he’s a man with a collection of dang near every reel-to-reel tape recorder head ever made. And he buys special cassette players on eBay. Just because. He’s involved in the business of restoration, which means he doesn’t transform the tape itself, but works to restore and capture the sound on that tape. He works with tape recordings of all sorts and

magically

skillfully coaxes old tape to play. He then transfers it to a digital format. Maybe he cleans it up, maybe he does a straight transfer. He’s witnessed ugly and hopeless spools of tape. His post, Let sleeping tapes ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 19, 2006 in • GenealogyLinks
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How I might keep track of a bunch of old letters

I have a bunch of family letters. The letters in the attic from this site. I wish to set up some sort of systematic way of digitizing them. This post is an articulation of a possible scheme for doing so. It’s not even a proof of concept, it’s just the concept– a plan of action thinking through what I’d like to try to do.

Scan all those letters? I am a masochist. But if I want to scan them all and somehow make sense of them digitally, that makes me a systematic  masochist.

The letters are mostly to my grandmother. Some are to my grandfather from his sister and parents. But they’re basically the attic-box correspondence with their family. My great-grandmother wrote her daughter weekly. In addition to the news of doings from home and her teahing jobs, the dispensing of advice and how to cook this or that, my great-grandmother’s letters include fascinating details such as prices for objects, newspaper clippings, and a prodigious dose of nagging “Why don’t you write me?”, and more.

When dealing with ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 18, 2006 in • DigitalityLetters in the AtticPersonal History
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aaaand Action! This is your life

Starring in your own movie about your own life. Marsha King of the Seattle Times on the trend of people to hire others to make custom movies, books, and other biographical memoriabilia. Mentions the Association of Personal Historians.

As a man who rarely talks about himself, this wasn’t his decision ... to be a movie star.

His adult children, nudged by a grandkid who heard about the idea, hired a film company to capture his personal story on a professionally produced DVD, complete with live interviews, old photos and music.

“He just had a lot of stuff to tell. We’ve been wanting to get it down on paper,” daughter-in-law Kathy Echelbarger said. “We just thought it’s a great way to get all this family history.”

The explosion of interest in tracing one’s roots has given rise to another phenomenon. Ordinary people—particularly baby boomers and their elderly parents—are hiring filmmakers and writers to immortalize ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 14, 2006 in • Do it: Hiring HelpPersonal HistoryVideo
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Carnival of Genealogy: Solving Technical Problems: Call for entries!!!!

Submit entries here. Deadline: November 15, 10pm Pacific.

Theme: Solving technical problems while working on your family history.

Have you encountered a technical problem while working on your family history? Did you solve it? Then let’s hear the problem and your solution. Haven’t found a solution? Describe the problem and how it affects you (who knows, you might find a solution as a result). You know that all software and hardware works perfectly. (cough, cough). It never breaks. All components work well with one another. Upgrades always go smoothly. (yeah right sure). So come one, come all. Feel free to gripe. Or to boast of your prowess. Or anything in between. Just as long as it’s about solving technical problems while working on your family history.

The carnival will be posted here by November 19th.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 10, 2006 in • Do it: YourselfGenealogy
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Veterans Stories

In time for Veterans Day, some Veteran-themed news stories of Oral History:

Iraq as told by soldiers in “What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It.” Journalist Trish Wood spent 2 years interviewing Iraq War veterans.

Iraq as told by journalists: Columbia Journalism Review interviewed 50 journalists covering the Iraq War for a special 45th anniversary issue entitled “Into the Abyss.” One of the interviewers is Chris Albritton, whose Back to Iraq blog has been one of my regular reads since Spring of 2003.

Eyewitness account of Iwo Jima, collected as part of the Veterans History Project. Chuck Bode, 82, comments on the movie, Flags of Our Fathers “I would say the movie is 90 percent accurate.”

Pensacola Junior ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 09, 2006 in • Oral history in the newsOral History Projects
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Dear Dad: I’ll be hearing you

Marla Bowman Fogleman’s Washington Post account of taping her WWII-veteran’s father’s memories for the Veterans History Project. [via Estate Vaults]

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • Oral history in the newsOral History Projects
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Carnival of Genealogy, 11th edition

This version, Making the Most of Family Get-Togethers, is hosted at genealogy.about.com. The Carnival is roving this month, and the next carnival will be here!!!

Next topic: Have you encountered a technical problem while working on your family history? Did you solve it? Then let’s hear the problem and your solution. Haven’t found a solution? Describe what it is, and how it affects you (who knows, you might find a solution as a result). You know that all software and hardware works perfectly. (cough, cough). It never breaks. All components work well with one another. Uprades always go smoothly. (yeah right sure). So come one, come all. Feel free to gripe. Or to boast of your prowess. Or anything in between. Just as long as it’s about solving technical problems while working on your family history.

Submit your blog post by 15 November here

...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 07, 2006 in • GenealogyLinks
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Digital Genealogist

A magazine in PDF form launches. Digital Genealogist picks up where the defunct Genealogical Computing left off. Check out the inaugural issue: November/December 2006. Subscription $20/year.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 02, 2006 in • Links
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