The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Warning: This article contains personal opinions.
As you might expect with any conference of 150 or more presentations, there are many stories to be told at most any major genealogy conference. One that I hear often concerns the high failure rate of hardware and software among the presenters. At some national conferences, I have heard stories of no less five or six different presenters who experienced major problems with their laptop computers, operating system, projectors, PowerPoint slides, or other critical computer tools.
Some of the problems happen at the very last moment as the presenters are setting up at the podium to begin their talks. I was involved with one such problem recently when the presenter suddenly found that the only copies of her PowerPoint slides for two presentations were corrupted and could not be used. Several people, myself included, worked on her files in an attempt to salvage anything at all, but we all were unsuccessful.
Perhaps there are two or three lessons to be learned here. The first and most obvious lesson is to have backups. With the advantage of hindsight, it is now obvious that all presenters should have multiple backup copies of their slides and other presentation materials. I would suggest one copy on your laptop’s hard drive, another on a plug-in “flash drive,” and still another on a backup service someplace “in the cloud.” With that combination of backups, the presenter can always get to a copy someplace, even if using a borrowed computer after all his or her luggage has been lost by the airlines. And, yes, that has happened more than once.
Next, I have to ask, “What did we ever do before PowerPoint?”
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