There are a host of professional genealogists who offer tips, shortcuts and tricks to make life easier for the rest of us. Along the way, each of us picks up tidbits of knowledge which help us survive, or at least become our own standard way of accomplishing tasks. In the past, suggestions I have made as comments on other blogs have produced thanks, and even traffic to my little genealogy home on the net. Therefore, once in a while, when I feel like it, in very irregular fashion, but almost always on Tuesday, I will tell you how I do something related to my genealogy.
If this little effort helps you, share with others, so they can be helped to. We all have a little something in our heads that can make life easier for others. One warning: I am a PC user, and I know nothing about Apple, Mac or Linux operating systems and/or computers. This is from a PC user, for PC users.
Several of my tips have revolved around open source software. As my husband inches ever closer to retirement, the word free or complementary mean a little more to me. Open source software is created and developed collaborative by individuals and made available free. The source code is available so other individuals may build on, improve or add to a given project.
Many people feel that it is necessary to be an expert in programming or computers, or software to use open source software, but I do not agree. You should read the notes or read-me file when you download an open source project, and follow any suggestions or instructions given in them. You might need some common sense to get you through certain situations, but developer knowledge is not required. Among the more well known open source programs are Open Office, Thunderbird, and Firefox. Currently, I am using Thunderbird for my e-mail and contacts, and Firefox as my main browser. I also use Filezilla as my FTP client, and have for several years.
SourceForge is a convenient website for finding open source programs to try out. Head on over there are poke around a little. The selection runs from full-sized photo editors, to tiny utilities that accomplish a simple stated purpose, to developer tools you probably won’t need. I think it is interesting what people will do for the common good, rather than profit.