Friday, July 9, 2010

What I Do

Always a day late [and as Grandpa used to say "A dollar short"], I am a bit slow in posting my meme for the "What I Do" for geneabloggers! [started by Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers]

The meme: called "What I Do and you basically list what you use in terms of technology to either run your genealogy business or pursue your family history as a hobby."

So, while the ol' Texicanwife is trying to play "catchup" today, let me impart to you just what I do technology wise!

Hardware: I have a Dell Inspiron desktop that runs Windows 7. It offers 1TB ram and Intel Pentium processor. It has a lovely 22-inch monitor, and the entire computer sits within the monitor, meaning I don't have a big old nasty tower that has to sit anyplace else! This was a gift to myself this spring, a reward if you will, for my little genealogy business having taken off so well! I also have an HP laptop [that is currently being "borrowed" - meaning likely to never see again - by the Texichick - my daughter!], that was to be my backup computer.  Ahh... at least it was supposed to be!

External Storage:  I have 2 external storage notebooks. One with 298 GB of storage capacity. The other with 1.36 TB capacity. These tend to do very well for me.

Online Storage: I have been using Mozy for the past couple of years. I was introduced to Mozy through an article by Dick Eastman, on his EOGN. I am so thankful for that!!! The cost is a minimal expense [$55 a year I believe.] And I have had to rely on it for retrieval not once, but twice since I purchased the backup. And I have to highly recommend it! It is truly a life-saver! You can retrieve your files from them for free, or pay a small fee and they will overnight them to you on CD if needed! I can't recommend it enough!

Backup:  Routine weekly full to external hard drive; incremental daily through Mozy.

Firewall: Norton Internet 360

Virus Protection: Norton Internet 360

Spyware: Norton Internet 360

File Cleaner:  Norton Internet 360

Printer:  HP Officejet J4540 All In One

Phone:  I use a landline, and it is through Verizon [although I understand it is being changed and Frontier will be come our new carrier!] My cell is used for emergencies only, and so I use a pay as you go through Tracfone.

Mobile media:  Come on, haven't got that tekky yet!

Music Player: Okay, so I do use an MP3 player when I'm exercising on the treadmill, especially.

Car Audio: Well, here's where you'll probably laugh. I drive a 22 year old Lincoln Continental [hey! it gets me where I want to go!] and the audio is shot in it. However, with an adapter, I can play my MP3 through the speakers! Works for me!!!

eBook Reader:  I have two. Kindle for PC and and the B&N eBook Reader. I can read on my PC. And yep, I'm slowly moving over to the digital books. Although I can't quite drag my PC into the bathroom for those toilet reads! So,.... a real book is necessary for those trips! [Oh come one! We all do it!!!]

Browser: I use MSN's browser. Hey, it's simple, non-complicated, and works for me. Although I don't use Bing. You read that right! I DO NOT USE BING! [Can't stand it! I head to Google for all my needs!]

Blog: I've only been blogging for two years. And has treated me very well. It certainly meets all of my criteria and needs!

RSS: I use Google Reader for all of my RSS reads! LOVE it!!!

FTP:  Who used FTP when you can use a template??? [No worries! Even Go Daddy utilizes a free FTP!]

Text Editor:  Definitely MS Word 2007

Graphics:  Adobe

Screen Capture: Adobe

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, GeneaWise, and LinkedIn

Social Bookmarking:

Soical profile:

URL Shortener:

Office Suite: MS Office 2007 ultimate. [LOVE this!]

Email: I've used hotmail Professional since I first discovered it. I can send large email attachments without difficulty. And it's less than $20 a year.

Calendar: Don't laugh! I still use an office desk calendar! Hey, it works for me!

Accounting:  I like to call it "a calculator and ledger". yeah, not very techno...have used Quickbooks in the past, and they were alright. Just a bit more than I needed at the time, but if business continues to progress, I may need to go back to it!

PDF generator:  That's why I LOVE MS Office 2007! It's built right in!

Genealogy Database: I used the free PAF system for YEARS!!! It took care of all of my needs until I decided I wanted soemthing that could generate a more professional look for printouts. So I switched to FTM, and update it about every 2 years. Love it!

Genealogy Tools: I have used GenSmarts, but I still go back to Thomas' archives over at Geneabloggers! He's got quite the tools listed, and I find they are undoubtedly the best there are! And Cyndi's List. Wow! Talk about comprehensive!!!

Other tech stuff:  My webcam is built in to my system for video casts. I use a a CD-R King [tm] F-Series headphone and mic for broadcasts. I use a Kodak EasySHare z740 digital camera for all photo shoots, indoors and out [love the simplicity], and use a SanDisk card for extra storage. I use Corsaid Flash Voyager for all thumb drives. And while my cell phone doesn't have a GPS, my daughter's does. So trips to cemeteries, landmarks, historic sites, etc. can all be documented with the correct GPS coordinates [the Texichick is fast becoming my assistant to all genea-adventures!] I usually purchase most everything I need from the Internet, as I do live in a fairly rural community and have to drive well over an hour to get to any decent shopping! Thus it's usually cheaper to pay shipping than to pay for gas! Books are generally purchased through [an eBay subsidiary]. I don't mind second-hand books, and I find they are a great bargain! If purchasing new, not so much. New books are generally purchased through [such as Megan Smolenyak's latest release, or Dr. Bill's latest!] I also study eBay for genealogical finds. You'd be surprised what bargains can sometimes present themselves! And I am the best at finding last minute auctions! Buying at a quick bargain!!!

Non-Tech Stuff: I like the old-fashioned black and white composition notebooks. Call me silly [even though see that the Footnote Maven uses them as well!]. These are great because they can easily be stored upright on the bookcase for later reference! When performing any research, I carry a huge tote bag. Inside you will find an extra notebook, extra pens and pencils and a sharpener. Bottled water. A scarf [for those windy areas!] A power bar. Extra storage disks and batteries for the camera. Change for copiers. My wallet with lunch money! Cell-phone with emergency contact programmed in. I also let at least one other person know where I'm heading out to when I go alone. Most of my travels are rural, and it pays to let someone know if I don't show up or they don't hear from me by "x-hour", to come looking for me! A hiking stick or cane! I have bad back problems, and it pays to use a hiking stick when walking through the furrowed fields or woods to get to a site. It's also a great way to gently move those pesky slithering creatures that may be barring the path!!! My camera of course! The camera is used for documenting out of doors, but also for indoor shots. And I can switch it to "Museum" mode when I need to be careful and not use a flash. Which is great for those files that can't be photocopied! Sunscreen! Yep, the old SPF-30 is right there! And if you look, there's probably even more in that bag!!!

What tools do you use?

Let me know your fave's, or post them on your own blog and send me a link!

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