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Kristin’s Do-Over - Week 5

Needless to say, I'm on my own timeline for the Do-Over. I do have a good excuse for last week in that we attended RootsTech/FGS 2015 in Salt Lake City, with a few extra days beforehand in the Family History Library. This post was initially written before the trip, and I actually do have some results that I've entered in the Research Log. (I'll have to write up in a separate post the prep and results from the FHL.)    
 
For Week 5 of the Genealogy Do-Over, the topics were:
  • Building a Research Toolbox
  • Citing Sources
 
Once again, I’m not keeping up with the MacEntees and Joneses. I’ve been watching the posts in the Facebook group for the Genealogy Do-Over regarding different links that we can include in our Toolbox. That’s still a to-do item for me. And since I haven't yet done any real research or entered anything into my research log, I have yet to cite any sources. Toward this objective, I do pledge to read the first two chapters of Evidence Explained, the “foundation chapters."
 
So, what have I done this week?
 
I spent some time working on genealogy-related business cards with the most common surnames in my tree.  As part of that, I also worked on developing a logo for The Intentional Genealogist that I can also save as a “favicon”.  What’s a “favicon”, you ask?  According to Wikipedia
 
favicon/ˈfævɪkɒn/ (short for Favorite icon), also known as a shortcut iconWeb site icontab icon or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more small icons,[1] most commonly 16×16 pixels, associated with a particular website or web page.[1][2] A web designer can create such an icon and upload it to a website (or web page) by several means, and graphical web browsers will then make use of it.[3] Browsers that provide favicon support typically display a page's favicon in the browser's address bar (sometimes in the history as well) and next to the page's name in a list of bookmarks.[3] Browsers that support a tabbed document interface typically show a page's favicon next to the page's title on the tab, and site-specific browsers use the favicon as a desktop icon.[1]
 
I finally finished this step for both business cards and website, so, for the website, if you’re using Chrome or Firefox you can see it in the top toolbar — it’s that little tiny icon on the webpage tab in your browser; Safari doesn't show it. For creation of a logo/icon I found a free app for the Mac in the AppStore that will do some basic icon creation: Art Text Lite. There is also a paid version with more fonts and samples. Then to convert it to a favicon, I used this website: http://favicon.htmlkit.com/favicon/. Bruce then moved it to the appropriate place on the blog server and — voilà! (If you’re interested in more detail on adding a favicon see this article on Bruce’s business site; he also has a paragraph on creating an Apple-specific icon [used on iOS]).
 
Also this week, I entered some additional books and Legacy QuickGuides into LibraryThing and then exported it into a format that could be imported into Excel. From there I did some minor formatting (fonts, sorting, hiding columns, and page layout) before saving it as a PDF file and adding it to Evernote. I will have this with me when I travel now and hopefully avoid purchasing duplicates — or missing the chance to buy an item for fear that it *is* a duplicate. I also copied some of the research QuickGuides that I have into Evernote so they will be with me.
 
I listened to a couple of YouTube videos on organization and have refined my flow. I like the idea from Ancestry Anne of first saving an image to a TEMP folder, then adding it to my tree, sourcing it, and only then moving the image from TEMP to its permanent home on the hard drive.
 
I spent the remainder of last Friday (technically the beginning of Week 4, but hey…) working on consolidating media or otherwise genealogy-related files into a new single Genealogy directory/folder (with subdirectories/subfolders) on our RAID array attached to the Mac Mini. Any old records or images are going into a folder called “TEMP-old records”; anything new during the Do-Over will go into a "TEMP-new process" much as I discussed in the previous paragraph. I may change these names, but that’s what they are for right now.  Did I get all the files?  Heck no!  But it’s a start, and that’s what counts!
 
I also fixed a couple of nagging things on the website (still learning!) and caught up on blogging. The rest of this week will be spent entering data in the Research Log to get ready for a research trip. I also hope to add the Research Toolbox, probably as a separate spreadsheet or file that I can keep in Evernote. I really like having access to information across platforms. I do have both a Dropbox and a Box account, but so far I'm not using them much for genealogy. (Hmm, probably should have Bruce write an article on our backup(s) strategy.)
 
 

This is already week 5 of the do-over in which Kristin is participating, but it is really about the third major segment of the technology do-over that I am doing to get a better arrangement for all of the digital materials that are part of the family archive.  The main activity of this segement was having a vendor scan some large photos that are too big for the 8 1/2 by 14 scanner that I've got.  At the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) meeting in San Antonio last summer, we stopped at the booth for Image Retrieval, a scanner supplier and scanning service that is an easy drive from home.  I dropped off all of the oversize materials and got a call a few days later that it was all available and that I could stop by with a drive to copy the materials off of their server (they can provide a drive, but it is a lot cheaper if you provide the drive). 

I dropped the drive off, and watched one of the operators use the Windows copy/paste graphical user interface (GUI) to copy the files--all 110 Gigabytes (I specified high resolution for scanning). All of the operators grew up in the post-command line era, and clearly don't know that there are some command line utilities that make this process easier and more reliable.

If you have to copy a large number of files , it is likely that a network error will occur, or the machine will go to sleep or something else will cause the transfer to fail.  Rsync is a command line utility that makes this process much more reliable, as it has restart capability; if the file transfer is interrupted, it will restart where it left off--a big help for a multi-hour or multi-day file transfer.

When I got home, I used the command


rsync -arvzpogt /Volumes/Image /Volumes/RAID_0_Media/Image_Retrieval_2015_02

in a shell script to copy the files from the USB drive that I took to Image Retrieval on the mirrored RAID array that I created in week 1 of the do-over.  To verify that the command completed a couple of days later, I re-ran it to get the following output:


macmini:Image_Retrieval_2015_02 userID$ sudo ./ir_copy.sh
Password:
building file list ... done

sent 26533 bytes received 20 bytes 53106.00 bytes/sec
total size is 108517958726 speedup is 4086843.62
macmini:Image_Retrieval_2015_02 userID$

Now I know that all of the files were copied correctly; if they had not’or there were new files’I would see a listing the files being transferred.

Rsync is available on Windows via Cygwin Unix/Linux utiltities and on OS X via the MacPorts set of utilities. Grsync is a GUI client that is available for both Linux and OS X (via MacPorts) and Windows. There are also native Windows and OS X clients available. If you are working with large archives of digital files, finding and learning an rsync utility can make you life much easier.

The topics for Week 4 of the Genealogy Do-Over:
  • Managing Projects and Tasks
  • Tracking Searches
 
To the first topic:  I’m fairly recently retired and, before retirement, was used to working on projects and tracking tasks. After retirement, I had so many ideas running through my head that would flit in and then flit out. I needed some place to record them all before I’d forget and miss something I really needed or wanted to do. I’m an iPad user and was not finding what I wanted in that App Store. I was frustrated. We were riding in the car one day and I was venting to my husband: “I want a program where I can enter a top level project and then add subtasks to it to which I can assign dates. I want to be able to look at these tasks on a calendar so I see what I need to accomplish. Because I’m overly optimistic, I want an easy way to change the target date. Why is this so hard?”
 
The next day or so, I was sitting in front of the Mini and decided to check the App Store there (as opposed to the one on the iPad). Voilà! There it was! I’m talking about DayMap by Whetstone. It was almost exactly what I was looking for. It had the features I had described to Bruce plus more. You can include (or not) your Apple Calendar entries along with the DayMap tasks on the calendar (by week or by month). You can easily move overdue tasks to the current day — that’s great for me! I was in heaven! There’s a Mac version (Lite for free or full for sale) and an iPhone version available through the iTunes store; they sync through iCloud. Until they publish the iPad-specific version, the iPhone version will run on the iPad. I wish they would add the capability to prioritize tasks, but I’m doing okay without; I can manually drag and reorder tasks and projects. Another app that I found later that I might have otherwise considered is “Things” by Cultured Code, but I was already pretty far down the path with DayMap. I’m just happy to have an app/program where I can capture the random thoughts of things that I need to do. I’m definitely getting more done, and I was tickled tonight by an entry on the Whetstone blog: “My question is, how much better could your life be if you became intentional about the direction you’re going, the things you want to do, the person you want to become?”  The emphasis on “intentional” is mine — just liked the synchronicity with my blog name!
 
The other task for Week 4 was tracking searches. What can I say — no searches this week, but I like what Thomas is getting at, especially regarding the repeatability and transferability of searches between sites. To keep in mind for the future...
 

Irrelevant Vent

OK, I just have to vent for a minute. When I took typing in summer school back in the dark ages (manual typewriter!), we were trained to insert two spaces after a period. Now in the internet-era with line wrapping, two spaces is considered obsolete. Really! Just google “two spaces after period” and you get a bunch of hits. The first one from the Cult of Pedagogy made me bust out laughing. Slate Magazine and even the Chicago Manual of Style get into the conversation. I guess I’m dating myself. I’m trying, but I know these will slip in from time to time. One space just looks wrong! Please bear with me! ;-)

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