Tuesday, 17 April 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 16 - Tech Toys

  • Week 16: Tech Toys: Genealogists love their technology toys! Which tech gadget do you appreciate the most?  How has this tool enhanced your family history experience? Would you recommend it to others?
    This week’s prompt runs from Sunday, April 15 through Saturday, April 21, 2012
Whilst it is not a toy, this post can not be concluded without mention being made of the internet. The internet has truly revolutionised the world and indeed the way we can research our ancestry and connect with other researchers. We take for granted the quick and easy access to information as much as we do the basics of life such as food. Things that our ancestors simply could not have done.

Because the internet allows us to be connected to the world in a second, the means to share material or seek and find information is also revolutionised.

  • Scanners rather than walk to a copying facility, we can now print, scan and copy for home. Make the files into digital images and send them round the world. The time for scanning and tweaking then emailing or loading to a blog or website is say 10-20 minutes depending on the specific needs of the researcher, compared to say a week. Previously we would have written a letter perhaps by hand, gone to the copying shop and then put the copy in the envelope. Visited the post office for the stamps and posted. Arrival time between a day or two to a week destination depending.
  • Smart Phones are a fabulous concept. The ability to take a photo and send via email or message to anyone is amazing. Whilst the quality of the photo might not be as good as you would perhaps want, in the absence of a camera it is a easy and quick solution. I remember attending my Niece's christening and got to Yorkshire to find my camera at home. I nipped to a local shop and picked up a disposable camera and thinking what a wonderful gadget it was. That was in 1999. So, in 13 years we have managed to revolutionise the way we take photos.
  • Tablets So, having established that the smart phone market was a good one we make the screen bigger. I have an iPhone and remember emphatically saying that I did not need one. Then I saw a demonstration and that changed everything. So, having bought the smartphone and loving it I was rather taken with the iPad. Although affordable, could I justify one and this I debated and cogitated over for several months. Then I bought one and love it. I love it because it is versatile. I can check emails and tap into various social networking sites. I can Google and Blog read and read books. 
  • Social Networking has again developed and built on the back of the internet and the Smart phone industry. The ability to see something, photograph it and then upload to Flickr, Twitter or Facebook, or perhaps all three! in seconds. It allows those moments to be captured and shared in the here and now. Rather than see something wonderful, take a photo. Three months later get the photos developed and spend a fortnight remembering where and when the photo was taken.
In a former professional job I was a trainer and would arrive at destinations and carrying a huge pile of printed training material, a laptop, projector, leads and cables. In the majority of the cases, I had training material couriered, used the hotel or venue's cables, but always preferred my own projector and laptop. 

In the last year I was asked to give a presentation and used my iPad connected to a projector. So, my former job would actually be much easier to do in the preparation sense because I would use my iPad to deliver the presentation. I would use Dropbox to keep a copy of the presentation in both PDF and Powerpoint, (I am a belts and braces kind of girl!) and have a copy on a memory stick and one print out of the slides with my quick notes and pointers on. The equipment of iPad and flash drive would fit easily into my case or bag.

The next piece of equipment I want to explore and purchase is a Flip Pal.....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great post Julie. even having lived through it all, it's amazing how much has changed and how quickly. For me itwould be my camera and light laptop. And I love my flip-pal, like the iPad it's always "on" and so convenient.


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