UPDATE 2005: The Internet, Genealogists & the Future - Part 2
NOTE: Originally published in The Godfrey Update, Winter 2005 pp 16-19.
I’ll check into my hotel room showing the reservation confirmation from Expedia.com. There I will enjoy stand-fare high speed Internet access for my laptop so I can PayPal® $20 to my grandson and send him a BlueMountain® birthday e-card. Next I’ll firewire the PalmCorder® to my laptop and locate a short video clip of the day’s travel to send to my children. Fortunately their Gmail™ and Yahoo® accounts provide 1 GIG of free storage space. For dinner, I’ll meet at the home of a long-lost cousin, who will probably ask me for a copy of my compiled genealogy. I’ll be happy to share the database, digital photos and scanned documents since I keep the most recent backup on my key chain in a 512MB ThumbDrive™. I am hoping he will have more interesting data on my collateral Muhlenburg line, which I can download to my Thumb as well.
When I return home, I’ll eBay® some vintage postcards and a family bible rescued from a garage sale on the way home from the airport. I’ll detail my genealogical gleanings on surname boards at Ancestry.com™, make a few mailing list postings at RootsWeb send some tombstone photos to the USGenWeb Archives and enter another childhood memory in my personal blog.
I’ll order that new genealogy how-to book at Amazon.com and ask them to locate an out-of-print book about Pennsylvania Germans. Since my Romba® really knows how to clean up fore me, I’ll have plenty of time to create a digital report of my research trip. I’ll simply use Windows Movie Maker to splice together an assortment of video clips, adding digital copies of ancestor photos touched up in PhotoShop. I’ll insert personal impressions as a voice over. I’ll download an MP3 of Scott Joplin’s "Maple Leaf Rag" for a dramatic musical ending before burning the entire presentation to CD.
Switching gears, I’ll still have time, while microwaving dinner, to import my cousin’s database from my Thumb to my mail genealogy program on my desktop. To relax, I’ll catch a TIVO of the latest BBC episode of "Who do you think you are?" and Ancestry’s "Extreme Reunions" on my wide screen, high definition plasma TV with surround sound. After my shower, I’ll hit the remote to set the house alarm and adjust the outdoor lighting before I hit the sack. For comic relief I’ll read the a best selling e-book on my Palm®, using old-fashioned bifocals, since we won’t make that decision about Lasik eye surgery until early next summer.
In the morning I’ll make the 30 second commute to the studio in my home office, recording a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephone interview with a noted Italian genealogy research expert, and schedule it to air on my next DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour internet radio show. Then I’ll happily spend the rest of the morning carefully match/merging duplicates in my genealogy database. I’ll spend a few hours after lunch solving new research challenges posed by GenSmarts before polishing up a column on the subject for release later in the week.
THE FUTURE? One thing’s for sure: I will be the FIRST one in line for a "spell check" brain implant.
Happy family tree climbing!
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