Monday, November 19, 2007

PC to Mac

Wild times on the home front.

I have finally acquired a new Mac laptop and am faced with the need to learn many new procedures. The commands may be intuitive, but it is still a challenge to embed them in the old brain. And there are many tips and tricks which only another Mac user can explain – fortunately I have several family members with Macs who are only too happy to show me the ropes.

I also bought a copy of Reunion 9, the Mac genealogy program, and had no trouble installing it. The next step was to transfer a copy of my Personal Ancestral File data to the Mac via GEDCOM. To do a test run, I chose a small file. It is called CainOther because it consists of family lines which I have not yet been able to connect to mine. There is little documentation (another good reason to keep it separate), and fewer than a hundred individuals, so it was a good choice for attempting this initial transfer. The steps were easy to follow, and I was delighted to see it make the transfer with no apparent glitches. Even the notes, that most important field, came through.

(GEDCOM, as you probably know, is the widely-accepted protocol for transferring genealogical data from one computer program to another. A succinct description can be found in the online Wikipedia. Information in this format can be retrieved from websites or other researchers, and compared with one's own – though I would NEVER NEVER accept the option to simply merge someone else's data with my own. Better to load it into a separate file, and work from there.)

The Reunion displays are quite different from Personal Ancestral File, and it will take a while to find my way around the various screens, but so far I am satisfied with the results.

My PC desktop computer, about 4 years old now, is still useful for most purposes, but I wanted a working laptop for its portability. It's far easier, on the road, to check a surname in a computer than to leaf through binders full of family group sheets! Less bulky, too.

I am planning to attend the Utah Genealogical Association Seminar in Salt Lake City in January, and will certainly put the computer to good use there!

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