Hello from Cincinnati! While, not quite. I am actually in an RV campground in the Cincinnati suburbs. I will be attending the annual National Genealogical Society Conference later this week, starting Wednesday (May 9) and going through Saturday. If you can be in Cincinnati this week, I'd suggest you drop by. This is shaping up to be a good conference.
The conference is being held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. This is only a block or two from the Great American Ball Park on the banks of the Ohio River which is the home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. And, yes, there are home games on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as a game on Sunday afternoon for anyone who cares to stay for a day after the genealogy conference.
The convention center also is surrounded by hotels and restaurants. You can also find lots of shopping "opportunities" for those who wish to do more than learn about genealogy.
Dozens of classes for all levels of genealogists, from beginners to advanced professionals, will be held, led by some of the leading genealogists in the field. A full list of all the events may be found at http://members.ngsgenealogy.org/Conferences/2012Program.cfm.
You can learn a lot more about this conference at the NGS web site at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conference_info.
I have to commend the National Genealogical Society for offering this year's syllabus on a flash drive. No more carrying of heavy printed books! I gave that up years ago. In recent years, the move has been to publishing a syllabus on CD-ROM disks. However, many laptops are now being built without CD-ROM drives so the natural progression is to flash drives. Flash drives are faster, easier to carry, and much more rugged. (I saw one attendee accidentally break a CD a few years ago by stuffing it into an overloaded book bag. That won't happen with flash drives.)
Attendees who registered prior to the early bird deadline (20 March 2012) were given the option to purchase a printed syllabus at extra cost. I did register prior to that date but there is no way that I want to carry a heavy book like that nor do I have room on the bookshelf for it after returning home. I elected to receive the flash drive version. I'll be copying my flash drive to a private area in "the cloud" so that it will be available to me wherever I am, both at the conference and in the future.
I'll be at the conference, carrying a MacBook Air laptop that weighs less than two and a half pounds and does not have a CD-ROM drive. It is the same laptop I am using at this moment to write this article and has been my only computer for more than four months. I suspect you will see others at the conference carrying tiny MacBook Air laptops or similar-sized Windows "netbooks." We all should thank the organizers for publishing on flash drives.
This year, the National Genealogical Society has added an app for Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and web-enabled devices that gives the schedule in the palm of your hand at any time. It also gives session details, speaker list, exhibitor information, maps of meeting rooms, a map of the exhibitors hall, and even a map showing the locations of nearby hotels and parking lots. The same app also allows the user to create a personalized schedule.
You can find the handheld app if you start at http://guidebook.com/g/ngsgenealogy/. I did find the process of downloading and installing the correct apps to be a bit confusing, however. You first have to download an app called Guidebook that has no mention of genealogy or of this conference. However, after downloading and installing the Guidebook app, you can then open the app and search for "genealogy." That will show the available databases, including one for the NGS conference in Cincinnati. You then download that database without leaving the Guidebook app. (This is a second download.) Actually, the process is rather simple if you know in advance it is a two-step download and the first step doesn't mention genealogy or NGS at all. However, I never saw that mentioned in the online instructions.
The nearby hotels are all sold out at this time. However, Cincinnati has many hotels and a list of major hotels within easy driving distance may be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations.
As for me, I'll be staying at my "Winnebago Hotel" at an RV campground in the suburbs.
I usually sponsor a dinner for newsletter attendees after the conference ends on Saturday evening. I certainly HOPE to do that this week although the process has been difficult so far. I'll write about that separately.
I hope to see you in Cincinnati this week!
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