Which Computer(s) Do You Use?

I always want to publish articles that are relevant to the readers of this newsletter. Many of my articles describe genealogy software or related software and services. Of course, that soon begs the question: “Which computers and operating systems are the readers using?”

I have some guesses but am not certain those estimates are accurate. Therefore, I am asking you to take a minute or two and let me know what YOU are using. The questions are in the form of a poll that is listed below. The poll will be open for one week.

The poll contains only two questions: what is your PRIMARY computer and what other computers do you use occasionally? For instance, you might use a Windows system most of the time but also have an iPad for taking your data with you when traveling. You can also see the results (so far) of the poll questions.

Please note that the poll does not ask for your name, email address, telephone number, or any other identifying information. If you answer the poll questions, I will not flood your in-box with spam or call you on the phone just as you and your family are sitting down for dinner. I don’t do things like that. The poll is fully anonymous.

Won’t you take a minute and fill out the poll below? Please note there are two VOTE icons, one after each question. Please click on each one separately after you have answered the question. You also can click on “View results” at any time to see the answers entered so far.

Please click on VOTE above and then answer the next question:

Please click on VOTE above.

Thank you for providing the information!

52 Comments

I don’t see a poll on this page. Using Firefox (61.0.1) on macOS High Sierra.

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    —> I don’t see a poll on this page. Using Firefox (61.0.1) on macOS High Sierra.

    There is something wrong in your web browser. Here is what I see using Chrome on a Macintosh running OS X El Capitan: http://eogn.com/images/2018/Poll.jpg

    After reading your message, I tried it in Firefox and, again, it displayed properly.

    UPDATE: I see that a number of other people have already completed the poll so obviously it is working for them.

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    Sharlene Haussmann July 26, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Firefox has a blocking link. Up on the tool bar, click the shield, unblock for site.

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Was able to vote using Safari. Must be something in my Firefox settings, although I can’t figure out what it might be. Firefox seems to change how it’s settings work every other month these days and I can’t keep up.

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I thought you were asking about operating systems and voted for mine. But then read the next question and saw one choice was ‘genealogy services in the cloud’ with a list. That would have been my first choice but had to make it the second. You are the expert but isn’t this comparing different categories? I use Windows to make my computer run but the sources I use are largely online–Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Genealogy Bank, Fold3 and many, many others. Just a thought. Maybe others are confused too and will skew your data.

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    —> I use Windows to make my computer run but the sources I use are largely online…

    Not in my mind but perhaps it confused others. I have occasionally been accused of unusual thinking…

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    Agree with Virginia. The questionnaire unfortunately has overlapping categories. In my primary case I use a Windows computer to access genealogy services in the cloud! You will not get reliable results this way. The options where you mentioned Operating Systems will result in inaccurate answers. For example, they should have read “Genealogy program running on Windows” rather than “Windows”, etc.

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    I agree with you, Virginia.

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    I know I screwed up my vote as well. I use Windows for my genealogy program (TMG) and Mac for my research, cloud and some a couple of Mac genealogy program and everything else. I am not satisfied with any of the Mac programs I’ve tried, so I keep TMG until I find one that is comparable on the Mac. I may never get what I want, but that’s another story.

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    I also agree with Virginia. Although, your answer shows that the 2 questions may be sufficient for you to make decisions, I am left thinking there should have been another question. I chose cloud based Apps and then Mac, but what about my IPad? I frequently search Ancestry and other sites on my IPad. Sometimes I am searching a site on my Mac Book Pro and have Ancestry on my IPad for quick access to data, so I don’t have to switch tabs between Chrome and/or Safari.

    Some websites want to run as Apps on mobile devices and don’t work the same as on a laptop, so I always sign in to the website, but this might be changing. Some Peripheral Devices don’t work or don’t work the same on Windows and Mac. But perhaps, this isn’t necessary information when you are choosing your topics, as you usually do point out all the pros and cons of what ever you are writing about.

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I have to agree with VirginiaB. Are you really interested in the genealogy apps people run and then what platforms they’re running on? For example, Ancestry.com is an app that runs in a browser (several types) on a variety of platforms (Windows, iOS, Linux, etc) so could be considered a ‘cloud’ app, but also can run natively on iOS (iPhone or iPad) as well as Android (phone or tablet). If your intent is to give suggestions of useful productivity apps, then it might be useful to know what platforms they run on as they probably work better on the same platform as the primary genealogy app does and if a person primarily uses cloud apps, then the average user can’t necessarily ‘install’ the app in a cloud, and there may or may not be any way to interface the cloud productivity app with the cloud genealogy app .. like you can if they were both on Windows or iOS.

Liked by 1 person

    Count me with the confused. I use some of the listed cloud services for research, and have a genealogy website using TNG software which is not in the cloud but am just marking “Android” as my secondary computer.

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Thanks for asking everyone this question. I’ve been wondering how things have changed. The Roots Users Group used to survey all their members every year or two and the results were always interesting to me.

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I don’t see any poll at all. No buttons or links to click. Using Windows 7 Pro 64 bit with Firefox 64 version 62.0b11. 16 gigs of memory and an AMD 9370E processor.

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I likewise didn’t see the poll using Firefox 60.0.2 for Linux, but can now see it using Debian Chromium 67.0.3396.87 (love those version numbers).
And I noticed a higher than usual number of Linux users so far, at least compared to the hits I get on my website, and my understanding of the number of Linux users worldwide.

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    —> And I noticed a higher than usual number of Linux users so far, at least compared to the hits I get on my website, and my understanding of the number of Linux users worldwide.

    Of the answers so far, about 2% of the people reported they are using Linux as their primary system and a few more reported they use Linux as a secondary system. Those numbers sound about right to me. Then again, I also use Linux as a secondary system.

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H. Joseph Dobrowolski July 26, 2018 at 5:38 am

Answered Windows (10 home) on both questions, hit Vote and don’t think it connected – just got a spinning circle in both vote buttons that never stopped spinning (cut off after 3 min). – Bad survey?

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FF: probably the built-in ad blocking, so tried on another browser (Opera) and even there I had to tell Ghostery to trust the page.

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I am using Firefox 61.0.1 64-bit and I do not see any poll on the page and there are no clickable links.

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I use Windows 7 on my home computer which is where my tree is located and how I answered the first question. I also use an Android smartphone when researching and also FamilySearch and other websites to help with my research. I do not have an online tree.

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I used the Edge browser in Windows 10 and everything seemed to work.

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I use a Windows based program, TMG, not a cloud based one, nor do I work off a tree in Ancestry, etc. I think that was what the question intended to find out.

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My own opinion, but I would like to see something that got at whether or not folks were using hand held devices, laptops or desktop computers. I’ve run into more and more people telling me they just use their iPad/tablet or phone and I can’t see how anyone can do any serious research without some type of laptop or other computer so files can be saved, edited or manipulated/edited. I use FTM, Excel, Word, Snagit, Adobe and a photo editor. Trying to use all that on a handheld device with apps would be cumbersome. At least I know I couldn’t do it! Give me a larger screen (sometimes 2), a mouse, and a keyboard… maybe I’m just getting old! LOL Thanks for all you do, Dick!

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    Totally agree. I have watched my sister-in-law work only off her IPad using an Ancestry Tree–I could never stand to do that! Clearly lots of people can, however. Websites are now being optimized for mobile devices, so where we once had lots of data on one page we could see at a glance, we now have more graphics and only bits of info (Ancestry.com, I am looking at you!).

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    I have to comment on using an iPad for genealogy work:

    I agree that using a normal sized iPad or iPad Mini without an external keyboard for any keyboard-intensive tasks, such as entering genealogy data, can be difficult and frustrating. However, I own an iPad Pro and have had a very different experience.

    My iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch Retina display screen that is about the same size as the screen on many laptop computers. In addition, its Retina display is easier on the eyes than most non-Apple laptops.

    The iPad Pro also has an (optional) full-sized keyboard, which I also purchased. Most of the external keyboards made by other companies for use with the iPad tablets have a cheap, “rubbery” feel but not the one sold by Apple. It has a rather good feel to it and touch typists should have no problem entering data at high speed. I don’t believe Apple’s iPad keyboard has as good “touch” as the better desktop systems, however. It is loosely similar to that of many laptop keyboards I have used. It isn’t the absolute best but it is as good as the keyboards that many people use all day, every day on their laptop computers.

    I have no trouble using the iPad Pro for genealogy purposes when I am traveling. I admit, however, that at home I prefer the iMac on my desk simply because it has a gorgeous 27″ 5120×2880 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS DCI-P3 “Retina 5K” display. It is the best display screen I have ever seen on any computer with the possible exception of a few $10,000+ workstations.

    The keyboard on the desktop system is perhaps a bit better than that of the iPad Pro keyboard but in daily use I don’t feel much difference.

    I also own an older iPad Mini and use it occasionally when traveling but I never use it for entering more than a sentence or two of text. Entering data on the touch-sensitive, tiny screen is indeed difficult and frustrating.

    In short, please don’t dismiss the iPad or any other tablet computer as being difficult to use. Depending upon which model iPad is being used and how it is configured, it may be the equal of a much more expensive laptop computer. Beside that, it will be easier to carry.

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    Useful information. Thank you.

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No problems here! Using a home-brew desktop running Windows 7 Ultimate. Have a nice day.

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Had a problem with the way questions were worded. My main computer for pretty much everything including research on the Internet is an android, but my genealogy data/family tree, etc. is stored in FTM (windows) – not linked to Ancestry, backed up, of course, locally, in the cloud and on portable devices. The first question, as I read it, suggested your main computer was where your genealogy/family tree program ran.

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Mary Beth Blackmon July 26, 2018 at 10:36 am

I’m on up-to-date Safari/OS and clicking VOTE has left me with the dread spinning wheel. So for the record, both desktop and laptop are Macintosh.

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I am using Windows 10 with Chrome browser and can’t see any survey.

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Nothing happens when I click View Results. Also, can only see PollDaddy.com if I sign in with an email and password (which I don’t have). I’m not going to sign up for that. Also, I don’t believe my vote recorded. My “computer” is an HP using Linux Mint 18.2 with Firefox 61.0.1 browser. I have Windows 10 on my HP, but use it ONLY to make labels because Linux’s label template never works properly. I use Firefox to see everything and anything I do online including genealogy web sites. Secondly, I use a Toshiba laptop with Linux and Firefox, mainly for genealogy. If votes are not being recorded properly, I’ll bet there are more Linux users than you think. I’m interested in the results.

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    —> if I sign in with an email and password (which I don’t have).

    You don’t need to sign in with any user name or password. That is only for the people who created the poll (in this case, that’s me). Nobody else ever needs a user name or password to contribute to the poll.

    Something else is blocking your access, maybe Javascript, maybe an ad blocker, maybe an anti-virus programs that has created a false positive, maybe something else. As of now (July 26 at almost 2 pm Eastern U.S. time), more than 1,400 people have successfully completed the poll. Obviously, it is working for all of them. I am not sure why it doesn’t work for you.

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The choices you offer make no allowance for different versions of operating system, which can be important when choosing software to run on them. For example, there are still at least 4 versions of Windows in common use, and I even have an old machine (never used on-line) running Win 2000 which I use occasionally to access some old files that need DOS software. My main machine is a desktop, running Windows, and the rarely used second machine used when travelling is a laptop with the same operating system.

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I would be interested to know what things came up on the ‘other’ when this done

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Clicking on the shield, top left in toolbar in Firefox as one reader suggested is telling me your website is not secure. Also indicates there are trackers which I have ALL blocked to my system by Ghostry. (I suppose I should have used my VPN.) However, the ballot did show after I gave permission to ‘unblock’. I’m using Windows 7 Pro x 64. I also refuse to update past Firefox 59.0.2 because some useful toolbar icons/add-ons no longer function after that version. Ta-Ta

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    You are correct about the Firefox tracking blocking being the problem. I could not see any poll either until I disabled tracking protection under the privacy option or clicked on the shield at the beginning of the URL to disable tracking blocking. You can add the site to an exception list so it will ignore this site but still enable tracking blocking on other sites.

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As an extra note to my previous comment, after I voted the little ‘waiting wheel’ just kept spinning around. As another suggested, their vote probably did not go through. So I give the info to you here: Windows 7 Pro desktop Intel CPU 4 core with 16 gig memory / None.

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I too could not see the survey using Firefox – forced to use MS Edge, I had no difficulty completing the survey, but I never use that browser on any of my computers.
The survey is a good idea!!

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I was confused as everyone else but voted hoping I was doing it correctly. Operating systems, eg iOS and Windows, should not be in the same category as websites, like ancestry. I access the latter primarily from an iOS base tablet, but some features only work from a [Windows] Pc. So I do both.

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I’m another one who cannot see any buttons or any way to vote. How trustworthy will the results be? And how many won’t leave a reply nor vote?

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    —> How trustworthy will the results be? And how many won’t leave a reply nor vote?

    There won’t be a problem. As of now (9 PM Eastern time on July 26), 1,937 people have taken the poll and recorded their results without difficulty. Obviously, everything is working properly for them.

    It appears that fewer than 1% of the people have difficulties. I also assume there were a very few more people who may have encountered difficulties but didn’t report the problem. Even so, the total number of people encountering difficulties undoubtedly still is a fraction of 1%.

    I am guessing the total is because less than 1% of the people attempting to use the survey use pop-up blockers or Javascript or ad blockers or some other software in their web browsers that blocks the polling questions. In almost all cases, when they switch to a different web browser or to a different computer, everything works perfectly. In short, the problem doesn’t appear to be with the article in the web site.

    I am not surprised that fewer than 1% of the people encounter problems, given the wide variety of web browsers and add-on software in use.

    No poll is ever 100% accurate. All polls admit to having an error rate of plus or minus some percentage. I’m happy with 99% accuracy.

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My primary computer is a Pentium P5 MMX 166MHz with 32MB RAM running Windows 3.11. Still runs just as good as it did in the 90’s. Never crashes, never slows or locks up, never a BSOD.

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I wonder if some peoploe with the “spinning wheels” might not have understood that you have to click on two separate “vote” buttons, one for each question.

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Just an FYI…I also didn’t see the vote on my Android phone with the Samsung internet browser. Switched to Chrome (also on my phone) and it popped up perfectly.

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Count me confused with the others, as Virginia, on the questions. I picked Mac for the first question, but then Android and cloud apps in the second, but not sure how to justify if I use cloud more than my Mac, although I use my Mac to access the ways I do genealogy research, like copying stuff to Trello, Evernote, or downloading documents to my harddrive, etc. But I also do a lot on Ancestry, sooo……yeah. I hope you can get a good picture of what we all use even thru our confusion!

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Dick,

We (most ?) Firefox users are not seeing the poll link as Firefox is protecting us from “elements on the page which are not secure”. Adding a security certificate (SSL – puts the “p” on your http) will fix this. Had similar problems with folks visiting I site I provide some assistance with. “Firefox, making the web safe, one site at a time”.
Bob

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    I believe that many Firefox users are seeing the poll although undoubtedly not all of them. Perhaps it has to do with the revision of Firefox although I would be more suspicious of other software, such as anti-virus programs or ad blockers or other things that claim to “protect” you when you are on the Internet. Those things are notorious for blocking all sorts of things.

    In any case, everyone or nearly everyone who has reported not being able to see the poll has then reported that they could see it when they switched to a different web browser. So far, more than 2,100 people have completed the poll so obviously it is working for all of them! I think that proves that the problem is in the web browser(s), not in the article posted in the newsletter.

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I have Firefox and had no problem. I voted but to comment, also have a Chromebook and if Microsoft goes ahead as per your recent article I will be switching to Linux or something. Won’t rent and I hate Microsoft to begin with and am tired of them adding things (like the daily “pretty” photos) to my computer without my permission and that I can’t change!!!!

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