Christmas Offer: Heredis at 50% OFF

Christmas is still a month away but the sales are already starting. One interesting announcement is that both the Macintosh and Windows versions of Heredis genealogy software are available now through January 3 at big discounts from the normal prices. Heredis is a full-featured genealogy program that is very popular worldwide.

Today’s announcement states:

LXLE: A full-featured Operating System for an Aging PC

If you have an aging Windows computer that just can’t keep up with today’s Windows programs, you have three choices:

  1. Live with the problem
  2. Spend lots of money to purchase a new PC
  3. Replace your old Windows operating system with a new one, designed to run on older, lower-powered computers.

If you select option #3, you probably will soon be looking at a number of solutions based on Linux or Chromebook operating systems. One version of the Linux operating system you should consider is LXLE. It is an easy-to-use operating system, designed for computer novices as well as experienced Windows users who don’t want to spend money for a more powerful system.


Progeny Genealogy Adds RTF Output Format Option to Reports

I have written several times in the past about the beautiful charts produced by Progeny Software’s products. (See for my past articles.) Now the company has added Rich Text Format (RTF) to the available options for output. Now you can now save Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass and Bowtie charts in RTF format, to view in a word processing document. The Progeny Genealogy web site (at states:

The benefits of RTF are:

Xendo: A Service That Lets You Search Dozens of Your Cloud Services At Once

Google makes it easy to search the entire World Wide Web from one search box. However, searching for your own files in Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other cloud storage services usually is much more difficult. Luckily, it is easy to change that and to search for all of your own information stored in the cloud from one search box.

If you are storing information online in Dropbox or Google Drive or any of a dozen or so other files storage services in the cloud, Xendo might be a very useful tool for you. I store thousands of documents and email messages in the cloud and often ask myself, “Where did I put that?” Xendo has now solved the problem for me.

Xendo allows you to search your own documents and email messages on Google (and all its services), Dropbox, Evernote, Pocket, and more online services from one search box. Unlike other services that search your files on just one cloud storage provider, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, Xendo searches everything. You can find notes you’ve written in Evernote, links you’ve saved in Pocket, and calendar events in Google Calendar. In addition, Xendo works on both Windows and Macintosh systems.

Xendo searches and indexes your information on a surprisingly large number of cloud-based services, including all these:

Convert Your Old Windows or Macintosh Computer into a Chromebook Clone

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks. (See for a list of my previous articles about Chromebooks.) These inexpensive laptop computers are great for many purposes. One obvious use is to provide a computer for anyone who is not computer literate, including children, senior citizens, or any adult who has never had a need to learn much about computers. The Chromebooks are simple: they just work.


Chromebooks typically cost $200 to $300 although you can occasionally find them for less if you watch the sales. That’s cheap, but not free. Now a company called Neverware can provide software that will convert your old Windows or Macintosh into the functional equivalent of a Chromebook. Best of all, the software is FREE for individuals.

Ancestral Systems LLC releases Clooz interface to Family Historian

The following announcement was written by Ancestral Systems LLC:

Ancestral Systems LLC have released version 3.5 of Clooz, a Windows desktop program aiding family history researchers in organizing and tracking all of the document records they collect. Having reviewed all of the information they found, Clooz users can then make educated decisions on which people belong in their family tree. In this latest update of Clooz, Ancestral Systems has added yet another family tree program, Family Historian by Calico-Pie, to the list of programs users can transfer records (people, events, sources) to using Clooz’s sophisticated document export tool. The tool assists users by identifying events which can be drawn from the document information they previously entered into Clooz. Sources are transferred, and the newly created events are automatically cited to the source.Clooz-1

Genealone/Genealone WP 2.0 Has Been Released

Genealone is a product that easily allows you to easily build your own genealogy website. You can use the program to create a freestanding web site or as a WordPress plug-in to add your genealogy information to a blog. Whether you want to start a simple pedigree page, build a large genealogy website with thousands of persons and complicated family relations, add your family tree to your WordPress blog or you just want to write down your genealogy data in private, Genealone probably is a good choice for you.

With Genealone, everything is as simple and intuitive as possible. Even installation is easy. You can view a number of web sites created with Genealone by starting at

David Nebesky has now released an update to the program. Genealone 2.0 adds the following new features and improvements:

Update: Keep Notes with Google Keep

Google Keep is a very useful syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive. You can enter a note on any one of your computers or tablets or cell phones and then later access the notes on your other system. It also supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists. I wrote about Google Keep in the August 28, 2015 newsletter at In that article, I wrote, “It is available for Chrome browsers on Windows and Macintosh, for Android devices, and for Chromebooks.” It was not available Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. However, that has now changed. Google has now announced a new version of Google Keep for Apple iOS devices.

Discounts on Heredis 2015 Genealogy Software for Windows and Macintosh

Heredis 2015 is a very popular genealogy program with versions available for Windows, Macintosh and Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch). You can read more about this powerful and modern genealogy program in my earlier article at Now the Windows and Macintosh versions are available for a limited-time discount.


Another Reason to Not Install Dictation Software on Your Windows or Macintosh Computer! You Probably Already Have a Similar Product.

This is a follow-up to my earlier article, Do Not Install Dictation Software on Your Windows or Macintosh Computer! that describes the new cloud-based Dragon Anywhere voice dictation software for or iPhone and iPad and Android. Dragon Anywhere costs $15 a month or $150 a year.

google_docs_click_to_speakGoogle has announced ANOTHER REASON to not install dictation software on your computer. The new reason is also cheaper. Much cheaper: FREE. In my early testing, I found that Google’s offering works well. Google’s competitive offering works in Google Docs on any Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, Android, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch computer with a Chrome browser. Best of all, the new Google software is available FREE of charge and probably is already available in your computer today. Voice typing is available in 40 different languages so it should help with your French homework or for writing to your relatives in Greece.

everyStory and Macphun Partner To Create Highest Quality Digital Photos and Interactive Stories

I wrote last month at about everyStory, a new cloud-based story-sharing service for the iPad. Now the company has expanded its services by announcing a new partnership. The following announcement was written by the folks at everyStory and at Macphun:

New story-sharing mobile app collaborates with photo editing and discovery software company to provide picture restoration and creativity solutions

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 1, 2015) – everyStory, a new story-sharing mobile app that allows users to store audio and picture files to a secure cloud-based system and privately share them safely between individuals and groups, announced today a partnership with Macphun, a leading photography software developer for the Mac platform. The two companies will collectively help everyStory users to produce the highest quality stories through superior discovery, photo restoration and creativity.

Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back)

I have written a number of times about Chromebooks, the inexpensive and very useful laptop computers. (See for a list of my past articles about Chromebooks.)

chromebookI have owned a Chromebook for three years or so and use it often. It is very secure, boots up quickly, and it only cost about $200. Best of all, its software is always up to date, the same as the newest Chromebooks. The newer Chromebooks may be a bit lighter and have faster processors, but my older system’s software is identical to what is installed in the brand-new Chromebooks.

Unlike Microsoft and Apple products, Chromebooks automatically update the operating system whenever a new version is released. Most releases are small, incremental improvements and are released every few weeks. There is never a huge download like Windows 10 or the Macintosh OS X Yosemite that change lots of things and sometimes break installed programs.

Run Windows Programs on your Macintosh with Parallels Desktop

Do you want to switch to a Macintosh for reliability reasons but hesitate to do so because you want to keep some of your Windows programs? Many Windows programs do have Macintosh equivalents (Word and Excel for both platforms), Calendar programs (replace Outlook with iCal), desktop publishing (replace Microsoft Publisher with Apple Pages), photo editing (Adobe Photoshop is available for both platforms), and dozens of other equivalents. However, maybe there is that one certain Windows program that you like that does not have an exact clone on the Mac. Perhaps your favorite genealogy program does not have a Mac version. What can you do?


Run the Windows program on the Macintosh!

Ancestral Quest is Now Available for Macintosh

Great news! Macintosh users now have still ANOTHER high-quality genealogy program available. The following announcement was written by the folks at Incline Software:

Salt Lake City, Utah (August 19, 2015) – Incline Software, LC announced today that Ancestral Quest™, its family tree software, is now available for Mac.

AQiconFor over 20 years, Ancestral Quest has been a Windows program, providing excellent, easy-to-use yet comprehensive tools to millions of users worldwide, both professional and beginner. During that time, it has been sold directly by Incline Software, and licensed by others, often under different titles, including Ancestry Family Tree (AFT) by and with more extensive adjustments as Personal Ancestral File (PAF) by FamilySearch. This powerful family tree record keeping program is now available to users of Mac. Ancestral Quest for Mac will run on OS X 10.7 and later.

Ancestral Quest for Mac simply downloads and installs directly to the Mac, without the need for additional software. Those who have used Ancestral Quest on Windows computers will find that AQ for Mac is the same program as AQ for Windows.

Overview of Ancestral Quest for Mac

MacFamilyTree 7.6 and MobileFamilyTree 7.6 Have Been Released

Synium Software has released a major new version of MacFamilyTree 7 and MobileFamilyTree 7. Both offer a new source management, the person analysis report, and a new fractal ancestor chart. In addition to these new features, version 7.6 also comes with lots of other improvements.

According to the announcement:

MacFamilyTree 7.6 is a free update for all customers of MacFamilyTree 7 and can be downloaded or updated at the Mac App Store. For new customers MacFamilyTree 7.6 is offered with 50% and sells for just US$24.99 until August 30th. Same applies to MobileFamilyTree 7.6, which is a free update for all MobileFamilyTree 7 customers and US$7.99 for new customers.

Buy MacFamilyTree for US$24.99:
Buy MobileFamilyTree for US$7.99:

New source management (Mac & iOS)

Explore Your Family Tree with FTAnalyzer 5

Genealogy sites and as well as genealogy programs like RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, AncestralQuest, Family Historian, and many others are great for presenting family trees, displaying your data in a straightforward graphical form. However, one Windows program allows you to really understand your tree, to spot problems, links, and patterns you might have missed.

FTAnalyzer is an open source tool for Windows which imports your data in the form of a GEDCOM file, then analyzes it by using a number of useful reports, providing details you might not have uncovered any other way.

To use FTAnalyzer, you have to export your family tree from your present genealogy program or online service as a GECDCOM file. (If you are unfamiliar with GEDCOM files, read my GEDCOM Explained article at All modern genealogy programs and the leading genealogy web sites all do that although instructions will vary from one such service to another. In most programs and online family tree web sites, you need to find the command to EXPORT your family tree and then follow the menus.

FTAnalyzer produces many reports, including:

Develop a Genealogy App at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown and Win $20,000

FamilySearch International is inviting innovators from around the globe and from all industries to develop the next generation of mobile and social applications to impact discovering, preserving, and sharing family connections across generations.

The 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown is a global competition where developers and entrepreneurs participate by submitting cutting-edge applications to compete for a piece of the $100,000 in total cash and in-kind prizes provided by industry and national sponsors.

The $100,000 Innovator Showdown Prizes include:

Quip – Group Collaboration of Documents, Spreadsheets, and Lists

If you use your computer only for your own work and never collaborate with anyone else, Quip is not a program for you. However, if you are working on a genealogy project with a relative, if you are working with an editor on an article for future publication, or if you have any other need to collaborate with other people, Quip may be a powerful tool for you. It certainly beats emailing files back and forth!

Quip is an office productivity application, similar to Microsoft Word and Excel. However, it is designed to help you and your team members get work done faster and easier. It works best when there are several members of the team working on the same project. With Quip, each team member sees the latest version of a file at all times. There’s just one document and one chat thread, not a bunch of attachments with indecipherable titles like “FutureArticle-Kevin-Version3.doc.”

Best of all, Quip is free for use by private individuals. A somewhat more powerful version for corporate use costs $12 per user per month.

How to Safely Secure All Your Files in the Cloud’s File Storage Services with Encrypto

Some people are afraid to use file storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SpiderOak, iCloud, and the many other services. The odds of anyone hacking into these services are very small but not zero. Actually, it is probably easier to hack into your computer in your house than it is to hack into Dropbox, Google Drive, SpiderOak, iCloud, or the other services. However, it is easy to protect your files against hackers regardless of where they are stored: simply encrypt them.

In fact, you should encrypt all sensitive files that are stored in your computer at home in order to protect against devious people around the world who are trying to gain access to your home computer as well as to protect against anyone visiting your home and surreptitiously gaining physical access to your computer. Once encrypted at home, you can safely save copies of those encrypted files on any of the online services as the files will remain encrypted. Only you can decrypt and read them. Even if a hacker should obtain copies of the files from your home computer or from the cloud, he or she will be unable to read them.

Luckily, that is easy to do and the required software can be found free of charge.

Which Is Better For Translations: Man Or Machine?

Google Translate is an excellent tool for genealogist and many others. It translates text from one language to another and presently supports 117 different languages. People use Google Translate to translate over 100 billion words a day!

Machine-generated translation was sometimes laughable a very few years ago but the technology has improved greatly in the past 2 or 3 years. Still, the translations are rarely perfect. For many of us, the use of a human translater is still critical.

Verbal Ink is a company that uses humans who are fluent in various languages to translate documents, audio recordings, and to provide various other services. How well does Verbal Ink’s human translators match up to the machines? Could the machines imbue their translations with the nuances and thoughtful choices that we expect from human translators?


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