Monday, October 30, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 30 October 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 30 October 2006

-- External hard drives for backup
-- Converting VHS tapes to DVD
-- .pdf conversions
-- DNA & finding the parents
-- African American website
-- Paper copies

From: Tom
I also like that idea of using external hard drives with USB connections.
Since the price has come down I have purchased two external hard drives with
250 gigabytes of capacity and taking some good advice will dedicate one of
them to be only used to back up my files and not used for any other reason.
This should lengthen the life of the hard drives as daily use can subject
them to failure. For some programs I'm using flash drives with USB

In issue 19 you mentioned saving your Dad's VHS tapes to DVDs to preserve
them. Good idea but don't throw away those tapes as you can make another
DVD copy if the first copy goes bad for some reason. The DVDs are not as
permanent as we might think. We have mentioned all the reasons that they go
bad and what we have to do before so will not go into that again. And for
those who use anything but a VHS tape to DVD machine - when you get done
copying the tapes be sure and *FINALIZE* the DVD as it will be useless on
another DVD player if that is not done. We learn the hard way sometimes.
Seems like it is harder to do than taping was.

From: Sharon Gorohoff
Just a note regarding the question you answered from Bernard Frink regarding
converting PDF files. I purchased a program by ScanSoft called "PDF
Converter" over a year ago (version 3.. They now have version 4) which will
take a saved PDF file and convert it to Microsoft Office documents, (which
are then editable!) This program can view, edit & create custom PDF
documents, if needed, and is compatible with (but does not require) Adobe
Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader. The new version (4) is sold at CompUSA
(among other stores which carry software) for about $50.00. Check it out to
see if it might be useful, I don't use all of the features, but I have used
it to print and edit my "book" created with FamilyTreeMaker, and find that
it worked well for me.

From: Max Blankfeld []
I read today about "DNA and finding the parents" in your web site.

Family Tree DNA is the largest company in the world for genetic genealogy
purposes. Because of that, we also have by far the largest databases that
allow people that have tested to find matches. We have over 115,000 records
in our databases, which is 3 times as much as the other labs combined. For
example, in your column the person is saying "I have hit a brick wall
searching for my husband's grandfather, William James TAYLOR". Our database
has 241 Taylor that have tested with us and we also have a surname project
for the Taylor family, which tries to do exactly what this person is looking
for: go beyond the brick wall.

I would love if you could post this information in your page. By the way, we
are the DNA testing company that is affiliated with, and we
also do the tests for the public participation of the National Geographic's
Genographic Project.
Here's our latest press-release:

Max Blankfeld
"History Unearthed Daily"

NOTE FROM MYRT: I've continued to write back and forth with Max. Ol' Myrt is
recording an interview with FamilyTreeDNA founder Bennett Greenspan later
this week for release in next week's DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR
podcast. Should be interesting.

Re: LDS Church launches African American Resource Site
Your email on African American Resources came at the right time. However,
the first <web> address you listed tells me that the page is not there. The
one at the bottom of the page is fine and I have copied it. However, the
family I am working on starts much before the Civil War, 1816/1817. Do you
have any suggestions?

NOTE FROM MYRT: Some of the most well-regarded experts in African American
Research spoke at the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society's
recent conference. As the web page explains, the
audio/video copies of their presentations will be available at their new
African American Resources page:

There is nothing like old-fashioned paper records keep in notebooks. Put
them in [archivally safe] plastic sleeves. Of course, the side effect is we
get buried in paper. <smile>

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

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