Category: General

1 month's access to the British Newspaper Archive for £1

Category: General

The British Newspaper Archive is offering a month of access for £1 (usually £9.95). Subscribe before midnight on 20th July, choose the 1 month subscription and enter the promotion code SUMMERSALE.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

All in the name of progress...

Category: General

Regular followers of my blog will notice I haven't been posting very much in recent months. This is because I've been upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 Pro. First of all, I borrowed a Windows 7 PC to see just what software would and wouldn't work and after a few weeks of testing, I had my new PC built.

Leaving Outlook Express behind in favour of Mozilla Thunderbird was a culture-shock - I've heavily customised the program to look as close to OE as I could get.

I also hate the so-called ClearType (it should be called fuzzy-type) which Microsoft force on to their users and so I have removed this as far as possible. However, there isn't a way that I could find to get rid of it in Internet Explorer and so I've switched to Mozilla Firefox as my main browser.

I missed my XP start menu and so I installed the wonderful Classic Shell program - incidentally, a must-have for Windows 8 users in my opinion.

My web design program had to be updated too, as well as many more programs and some I've had to resign to the bin as they no longer work on Windows 7.

All this and then I finally had to look at my family tree software. Having tried Legacy, RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker 2014, Ancestral Quest and Family Historian, I hit a snag with every one of them. Some were too complicated for my liking but my main issue was after exporting a GEDCOM file to run through the program which generates my family web pages, I found facts listed in the wrong order and even children and wives in the wrong order too.

I eventually settled on resorting to my old and trusty Family Tree Maker 2006 program, but not before having to download a patch file first. I'm aware that reports can't be exported to PDF documents on a 64 bit machine. Although there is a work-around by using a third party program such as PDF995, this doesn't allow for single page outputs of charts. I shall probably have to export a GEDCOM and import it into FTM 2014 and produce the chart from there. I'm not so keen on the chart layouts in the 2014 program and it's more bother than before.

And so, in the name of progress, I feel Microsoft have put me through the ringer somewhat without me gaining anything, other than an operating system which will hopefully be supported for some time to come.

My Blog is 3 Today

Category: General

Having just checked in at Geneabloggers, I am reminded that my blog has now been running for 3 years. Having posted over 230 articles I wonder where I've found the time to do it. This is on top of all the research and updates to my tree and main website.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm Family History Bonkers and long may it continue!

Birthday Cake

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Ancestry supports the Royal British Legion - help out by watching a short video

Category: General

Ancestry.co.uk will donate £1 (up to a maximum of £10,000) to the Royal British Legion for each view of this video on YouTube until 20 November. Please share the video with your friends and family.

Ancestry supports the Royal British Legion

Those Places Thursday: Planned Plymouth History Centre - have your say!

Category: General

You can have your say in the plans for the intended Plymouth Historic and Cultural Centre by completing an online survey which is available at http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/historycentre. You don't need to live in Plymouth, or even in Devon or the UK, to participate in the survey so if you have an interest in Plymouth's heritage, then please get involved. The closing date for completing the survey is 27th October.

Full details of the planned project, agreed by the City Council on 3rd September 2013, can be found here.

For Plymouth locals there will be a 'pop-up museum' in the Drake Circus Shopping Mall where you can forward your ideas. The pop-up museum will be in the atrium (outside Starbucks and Primark) from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 26, Sunday 27, Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 October. Read more here.

Pop-Up Museum Banner

[Why Those Places Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Discover Your History magazine - out now!

Category: General

Discover Your History MagazineJust a reminder that the Discover Your History magazine is now available in all good newsagents or you can subscribe online here. Existing subcribers of Your Family History magazine will automatically receive Discover Your History from now on.

Henry James Weaver's story appears on pages 26 and 27.

Follow Friday: Wartime Farm - another great BBC series

Category: General

I've been avidly watching the BBC series 'Wartime Farm' and loving it. Some might remember my blog about the 'Edwardian Farm' - the latest series features the same three presenters but is set in World War II. So far, there have been two episodes which, if you missed them, are available to UK residents on the BBC iPlayer. Well worth a watch!

[Why Follow Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Tech Tuesday: The Western Digital 'My Passport' Essential Portable Hard Drive

Category: General

My latest acquisition is a new external hard drive. I'm careful about backups and I keep more than one backup of my system and files, so when my spare 250 Gb external drive recently gave up the ghost I decided it was time for a new one.

I've always owned LaCie drives in the past. Mine have been chunky desktop ones and usually live on top of my computer. I don't have a particular need for a portable drive, as such, and this has always suited me. However, when I recently discovered my aunt's Western Digital 'My Passport' drive, I was smitten and decided to get one to replace the drive that was defunct.

The Western Digital My Passport Essential Portable Hard Drive
The Western Digital 'My Passport' Essential Portable Hard Drive

Here's what I like about it…
  • When it comes to operation, the 500 Gb Western Digital 'My Passport' Essential Portable Hard Drive doesn't rely upon a separate power supply and is just as convenient as using a memory stick in a USB port. It also comes with fast USB 3.0 connectivity and is backwards compatible to USB 2.0.
  • The drive is so small and neat and is, quite literally, portable. This, for me, means I don't have to keep it plugged in to my PC all of the time but can disconnect and store it away quickly and easily. In the event that my PC gets a virus or suffers an electrical surge, then it wouldn't affect any backups if the hardware wasn't physically connected at the time.
  • Because of its size and weight, you can easily slip the WD 'My Passport' into your laptop or netbook case, or even your pocket, and go. When not in use, you can put it away in a desk drawer.
The WD My Passport Essential Drive is so neat and small
The WD My Passport Essential Drive is so neat and small

Formatted for Windows, if required, the drive can be reformatted to operate on a Mac. Larger capacity models are also available and you can choose to make use of password protection and encryption for added privacy and security.

I've chosen to keep my 1Tb LaCie drive attached to my PC for daily backups and use my new 'My Passport' drive for additional backups. The 'My Passport' comes with a program which, once set up, will automatically and continuously back up vital files such as your Documents, Pictures, etc. and even your emails, whenever you add or change a file and will keep up to 25 different versions of a file if you choose to. If you make changes without the drive connected then it will perform the backup as soon as you attach it once again. You don't have to think about it at all so, for the technically challenged, this is a doddle. I've tried the software out but, after upgrading to the latest version, it kept continually catagorizing the files and using up lots of system resources so I've uninstalled it. You also need to bear in mind that the software doesn't allow for a full backup of the whole computer system. Nevertheless, I saw on my aunt's Windows 7 computer a Backup program within Windows which did this very thing. I'm still using XP and have been using Acronis True Image Home software for all of my daily, weekly and whole system backup solutions and will continue to use this on the LaCie drive. I will simply use Copy & Paste from time to time to back up data to the 'My Passport'.

The WD My Passport Essential Drive on top of my LaCie Drive
The WD My Passport Essential Drive on top of my LaCie Drive

I can rest easy in the knowledge that all of my family history files and photos are safe, not to mention all of my business data too.

Disclaimer - this is my own personal opinion and I have no affiliation to Western Digital.

[Why Tech Tuesday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Tech Tuesday: Quickly transcribe old wills and documents with speech recognition software

Category: General

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is very efficient for use in converting the printed word into editable, machine-encoded text. But how do we deal with old, handwritten documents? My husband bought a dictation machine a few weeks ago and I thought I'd put it to the test by transcribing my 5 x great-grandfather's 4-page, handwritten will.

The Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine
The Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine
and a copy of James Rice's Will
(Click the image to see a larger version.)

The gadget is the Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine with Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking Recorder Edition software. Purchased from Argos, the machine itself is amazingly small and as light as a feather......Read more »

Flip-Pal in the UK

Category: General

Hoorah, hooray, my new Flip-Pal finally arrived yesterday! It's taken more than 3 weeks to come and I wouldn't recommend the company I bought it through but I had no other way of getting hold of a Flip-Pal in the UK. At over £140, I don't often indulge myself by paying over the odds but I decided to treat myself just this once and so I went for it. See the comments section in my previous post if you want to know where I ordered the Flip-Pal from.
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