Software

Reunion 11 for Macintosh and ReunionTouch for Apple iOS Devices Now Available

A major update for Reunion is now available. Leister Productions has released Reunion version 11 for Macintosh and also ReunionTouch for iPad/iPhone. Reunion 11 includes the following changes:

  • Syncing with mobile devices has been completely revamped in Reunion 11. No more need to manually sync changes. Working via Dropbox, everything synchs immediately.
  • New Islands Sidebar lets you locate “islands” in your family file. Islands are groups of people linked to each other, but not linked to people in other islands.
  • Visual clue for family notes, pictures and events appears in the marriage fields in the family view.
  • Relationships are now identified “on-the-fly.” As you add, delete, link, or unlink people in your family file, their relationship to the current source person appears instantly. No need to re-calculate relationships for the same source person.
  • Thumbnails window for browsing images linked to people, families, and sources. Makes it easy to see all pictures in one place.
  • Book creator automatically generate a PDF book, complete with page-number indexes of people and places. Includes source documentation, a multimedia browser, surnames, table of contents, multiple column content with text wrapping around images, custom headers and footers, cover pages, graphics, and more.

And much more. The full list of changes may be found at http://www.leisterpro.com/doc/version11/newfeatures/newfeatures.php.

Updated Clooz Software Now Interfaces with Legacy Family Tree

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestral Systems LLC, producers of Clooz:

Exciting Improvement for the Clooz Data Interface with Legacy

Ancestral Systems LLC is releasing another in our continuing series of updates to improve the data exchange capabilities of Clooz. In addition to the existing transfer of images and links into Legacy, now non-picture media files (PDF, document, sound, video) and URLs attached to Clooz documents can be exported. People in Clooz being exported to Legacy can be inserted directly into the existing Legacy family structure. These files will display in the Media Gallery screens of Legacy, for the individual or event, as well as source details.

The Best History Apps

Kate Wiles has posted an article on the HistoryToday web site that probably will interest many genealogists and historians. It is “Our pick of the finest history-related apps for your smartphone or tablet.”

Apps described include Digital Libraries, Tools and Learning, and Interactive. She also provides links to other articles about history apps for smartphones and tablets.

See http://www.historytoday.com/kate-wiles/best-history-apps for Kate Wiles’ list.

Update: A $129 Chromebook

Since I published the article of A $129 Chromebook at http://blog.eogn.com/2015/04/03/a-129-chromebook/ yesterday, several newsletter readers have written to ask if their favorite application(s) will run on a Chromebook. I am always willing to look those up for you but there is a faster and probably easier way to do it yourself: go to the Chrome Web Store at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps and enter the name of your desired application into the box labeled “Search the store” and then press Enter.

Microsoft Releases a Document Scanner App for iPhones and Android

Scanner apps have been available for some time for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android. These apps allow users to take photos of a document and turn it into a editable file, including OCR conversion to text, such as a .DOC file that works in most any word processor. These apps are great for genealogists who often need copies of old documents or pages from a book.

Microsoft released Office Lens for the Windows Phone a while ago, an app that takes images with a cell phone camera and converts them into editable .DOC files. However, few people could use Office Lens because Windows Phone commands only about 3% of the smartphone market. All that is changing now. This week, Microsoft released Office Lens for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app is available today free of charge.

MyHeritage Selected by Google as Featured Android App on Google Play

Every week, Google selects a handful of the best new or updated Android applications and features them on Google Play. The MyHeritage mobile app for Android was chosen to be featured among the best apps in more than 30 countries this month.

Note: MyHeritage is the sponsor of this newsletter.

The announcement on the MyHeritage Blog states:

ENI Software Inc. Announces the Release of ENIndexer 1.0

The following announcement was written by the folks at ENI Software :

Brunswick, Maine, April 1, 2015 – ENI Software Inc. is pleased to announce the release of our flagship product, ENIndexer (pronounced as “Any Indexer”) for the use of genealogists and historians to create Every Name Indexes for local history and genealogy related books. The software is now available for download from our web site, www.enisoftware.com.

Using ENIndexer, authors of history texts can easily create professional looking Every Name Indexes for their works at a fraction of the cost of current professional indexing software or hiring a professional indexer to do the work for them. It is an affordable option for individuals and small societies looking to bolster sales of their next publication by including an Every Name Index in their publications. ENIndexer runs on Windows and Mac platforms.

Announcing LibreOffice Online

I ditched Microsoft Word several years ago and started experimenting with different word processors. I eventually settled on LibreOffice, a FREE suite of programs that includes a word processor (replacing Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet program (replacing Microsoft Excel), a presentation program (replacing Microsoft PowerPoint), a drawing program, a database creation and management program, and a formula editor that can be invoked in your text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings, to enable you to insert mathematical and scientific formulas. LibreOffice is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

NOTE: The LibreOffice programs are similar to, but different from, Microsoft Office. It is not 100% compatible. For instance, macros in LibreOffice’s spreadsheet program are different from those in Microsoft Excel. Even so, the LibreOffice suite of programs meets the needs of hundreds of thousands of computer users, corporations, and non-profits around the world.

Best of all is the price tag: FREE. LibreOffice never asks for payments although the sponsoring organization will accept donations. Most of the articles published in this newsletter, including the article you are reading at this moment, were created with LibreOffice.

Branches for iPad adds Several New Features

The following announcement was written by Sherwood Electronics, the producers of Branches for iPad:

Sherwood Electronics releases an update to BRANCHES FOR iPAD that provides access to LDS FamilySearch™ data and ordinances, plus support for DropBox and email GEDCOM downloads.

Sherwood Electronics Laboratories, Inc. announces an update to Branches for iPad that allows users to access the vast FamilySearch™ database and download family tree information onto their iPad. Downloading of GEDCOM files using DropBox and email has also been added. GEDCOMs can be created, and emailed, from downloaded data.

The new and expanded features of Branches for iPad make Branches even easier to use, and more powerful. Email and DropBox transfer of GEDCOM files has been added and is easy and fast.

The FamilySearch™ features support downloading of pedigree trees directly from FamilySearch™, which is a free service to everyone. Explore relationships and search back into your family tree.

Progeny Genealogy’s Charting Companion now includes Scalable Vector Graphics

One of the more attractive genealogy products available is Charting Companion, produced by Progeny Genealogy. I am always amazed that this great charting program isn’t better known. Charting Companion is a Windows program that creates great looking charts, including giant wall charts, from GEDCOM files or directly from Ancestral Quest, Family Historian, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File or RootsMagic. Now a new option has been added that can create family tree charts in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format, or embedded in an HTML page. This means genealogists can display their charts in a better, more compact and Web-friendly format than ever before.

How to Print to PDF

A newsletter reader asked today, “How can I save an image on a web site, such as a census page image, as a PDF file?” I decided to answer here in the newsletter in case someone else has the same question.

The short answer is, “there are several methods of saving images to PDF files.” However, I will expand on that with longer answers below. First, you need to save the image to your computer’s hard drive in almost any format. With most web pages, that means saving it in the same format that is used on the web site. Then you need to convert it to PDF. In many programs, that is called “print as PDF.”

Sophos Antivirus for Macintosh

For years, Macintosh owners felt smug with the statement that “Macs don’t get viruses.” Indeed, that was true for years but times have changed. Viruses and other malware (malevolent software) have appeared in recent years that will infect a Macintosh. Admittedly, these new threats are rarely seen. They don’t seem to spread as quickly and easily as the Windows malware. Nonetheless, Mac owners today can only claim, “Macs rarely get viruses.”

Most Macintosh owners have never installed anti-virus software simply because they never saw a need for it. In fact, that was a successful practice for a long time simply because most Macs never encountered a problem. New problems are appearing these days and I would suggest the prudent Macintosh owner now should install anti-virus and anti-malware software.

Luckily, there are free anti-virus programs for Macs that have an excellent reputation for preventing problems.

Famberry Launches “Famberry Search” and GEDCOM Upload

Famberry has been mentioned in this newsletter a number of times in the recent past (see http://goo.gl/T7QtoH). Now the company has announced a significant new update:

London, England (February 27th, 2015) Famberry (www.famberry.com), the private collaborative family tree builder, is pleased to announce the release of “Famberry Search”, an interactive search facility that uses key indicators from your family tree to give you the most relevant search results and an opportunity to connect with related family. The more you add to your family tree the better the Famberry Search results.

Blue Crab for Macintosh Downloads Entire Web Sites

An interesting Macintosh application will allow anyone to download part or all of a web site and then browse the site offline. This is a great application for making backups of a web site you own. I just made a backup of the eogn.com web site, then did the same for the Encyclopedia of Genealogy at http://www.eogen.com. Blue Crab also can be used to take a web site with you on your laptop to peruse when traveling without a wi-fi connection, such as on an airliner or a train. It is also useful for creating a snapshot of a website for historical archiving as well as for checking a website quickly for broken links, or to generate a site map.

If a genealogy society’s web site looks interesting to you, the entire site can be downloaded with Blue Crab and you can then browse the site at your leisure later. This is especially handy for use on slow Internet connections. You can download an entire site at slow speeds in the middle of the night when you don’t care about speeds, then later peruse the site as fast as your computer’s hard drive can supply everything. Of course, it also works with non-genealogy web sites.

Dropbox adds a Major New Feature to iOS App

I know many readers of this newsletter use the free Dropbox service. If you are one of the Dropbox users and you also use an iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch, your device just gained new functionality. The latest update to the Dropbox app for iOS adds the ability to save files directly to your Dropbox storage from the apps that you use through an Action Extension. However, this new feature will only work on devices using Apple’s new iOS 8 version of the operating system.

Many iPhone and iPad applications will now display an icon to “Save to Dropbox.” The new functionality already exists when saving photos. Most third-party apps need to be updated to work in this new sharing system, so it will take some time for the new feature to be added to all apps.

Windows 10 Will Let You Say “Goodbye” to Passwords and “Hello” to Fido

Passwords are perhaps the biggest security problems in computers. Short passwords are easily guessed by hackers. Long passwords are more secure but are difficult to remember. The longer and more complex the password, the more likely it is to be written down someplace by the user. Of course, writing a password on paper or in a computer file increases the odds that it will be found by a hacker. Therefore, long passwords probably are as insecure as the shorter ones.

Catch 22.

Apple partially solved the problem by incorporating fingerprint readers on the latest iPhones and iPads. Still, that is not a total solution. Now Microsoft is adding support for the Fast Identity Online (Fido) standard to Windows 10 to enable password-free sign-on for a number of applications.

Kindle Convert will Convert Paper Books to Kindle

Kindle Convert is a new application from Amazon that will convert scanned images of your personal printed books and documents into Kindle eBooks. Kindle books can be read on Kindles, of course, but also on free Kindle reading apps for iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones, and Android tablets. (See my earlier article at http://goo.gl/YeIe0e for details.) Once converted, your book can be uploaded and digitally preserved in your worry-free Amazon Cloud Drive.

Anyone using Kindle Convert can either elect to leave a scanned page as an image, or run the image through Amazon’s OCR software and convert it to text. If you stick with the image, you can crop the image, rotate it, center it on a page, and perform other basic image editing tricks. The text generated via OCR can be edited to remove errors, and styled.

Genealone 1.5.0 Has Been Released

I have written before about Genealone, a product that easily allows you to build your own genealogy website. You can read my earlier articles by starting at http://goo.gl/5CGSQG. Now a new version of Genealone has been released. I received the following message from David Nebesky of Genealone.com:

I am pleased to announce that Genealone 1.5.0 has been released.

New features:

The Sims 4 Adds Genealogy

Millions of people have played The Sims, a life simulation video game series, developed by EA Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is one of the most successful video games series of all time. As of September 2013, the franchise has sold more than 175 million copies worldwide. A new version of The Sims will soon be released and it features a genealogy game along with numerous other changes.

The Sims is updated more or less monthly. The February update should be available soon and will include story telling through generations of a particular family. One The Sims 4 player posted the following on the official The Sims forums:

Magnifier Flash Apps for iPhone and Android

These have to be the neatest smartphone and tablet apps available for genealogists and for many others. They are also great for anyone who has difficulty reading smaller text in old documents, news articles, restaurant menus, nutrition labels and more. They can also be helpful while searching for objects in the dark.

The concept of a smartphone’s magnifier and flash is simple: it is an app that converts your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android device into a magnifier and a flashlight. It uses the mobile device’s camera to view a document or other object and displays the image on the screen of the device. The user can zoom in to magnify the image up to six times the normal size.

As an option, the user also can click on an icon and the camera’s light is turned on, illuminating the object being viewed. Touch the icon again and the light goes off.

Simple.

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