2013.11 Resource: Genealogy

Thanks to Walker Crawford for this month's presentation on genealogy. Walker was kind enuf to share his handout with us in electronic form, so you can use the links he's provided to follow up on his talk:

Popular Websites

Online Family Tree Sites

Ancestory — 14-day free trial / fee research
My Heritage — free up to 200 names

Family Tree Programs

Features to look for:
  • Ease in Navigation
  • Publishing
  • Mobile Applications
  • Timeline
Family Tree Maker — owned by Ancestory.com
Reunion — Mac program with accompanying iPad / iPhone programs

Attend DCAGS Meetings

Dane County Area Genealogical Society, 1st Thursday of every month
Contact Walker Crawford, 608.206.3182


2013.11 Tips: Dealing with New File Formats in IWork 2013

The lovely folx at Macworld have investigated (and now proceed to tell us about) things you should know about the new file formats in the 2013 release of Apple's iWork suite:
  • Pages (word processing and page layout = Microsoft Word)
  • Numbers (spreadsheet = Microsoft Excel)
  • Keynote (presentation / slideshow = Microsoft PowerPoint)

Bottom line: They may not be as compatible as you'd like with the old iWork 2009 suite, but they are now seamlessly integrated with iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, and they are all completely synced with each other if you use iCloud storage. (Apple would really, really, really, really like you to use iCloud; users — even those who acknowledge the benefits — remain skeptical about surrendering control.)


2013.11 Tips: 10 Cool Features Hiding in iOS 7

Did you know you could use your iPad as a level or your iPhone as a flashlight? Time tips us off to 10 cool features that Apple threw into the latest release of its operating system for handheld devices but didn't make a big deal out of, so you may not have noticed them.

Not this one, however:


2013.11 Analysis: Don't Leap Too Quickly onto the IWork Bandwagon

Concurrent with the release of the new operating system for Macintoshes (OS X 10.9, known as Mavericks), Apple also issued the first new version of its iWork and iLife suites in 4 years (since the '09 versions). Now, it's a bit misleading to refer to them as "suites" any more. Since the advent of the App Store, Apple has unbundled everything, and now you can get the individual component programs of iWork — Numbers spreadsheet, Pages layout, and Keynote presentation — separately, for the low, low price of $20 each. If you want a "bundle" (or suite), as such, it doesn't exist, but you can assemble one yourself for a grand total of $60. This is a fabulous bargain, and the software is pretty doggone good.

So you might figure that the latest release of these 3 programs would be even better. After all, Apple has had 4 years to work on them. Just think of all the great new features they must have installed, the speed bumps, the bug squashes, the interface elegances.

Surprise! Not so. Apple has stepped backward, stripping down the programs to have fewer features. "Why would they do that?", you're probably wondering, and you're not alone. SWAG President Dave Weston (the quintessential early adopter) was carping at our recent board meeting that Pages no longer supports import or export of RTF files. RTF! Rich-text format! The lowest common denominator of text storage, readable by virtually every word processor on the planet ... except Apple's flagship word-processing / page-layout program. (Dave has promised us full-blown articles on his experiences with Mavericks and the new iWork programs.)

If there's a saving grace in all this, it's that installing the new iWork programs does not automatically uninstall their elderly forebears. You can try the new versions to see if you like them, and if not you can revert to the old versions. Be warned even here, however, that the file formats are not reverse compatible. Anything created with the new version will be unreadable to the old one.

For those who are completely adrift as to what all this means, we provide the handy cross-reference chart ginned up for a presentation on office suites at one of our in-person meetings a couple of years ago: