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Discover Your “Musical DNA”

An online advertisement caught my eye: “Spotify & AncestryDNA Users Can Now Generate Personalized Playlists Based On Their DNA Heritage Results.”

Really? My musical DNA? What is that?

An article by Kaitlyn Wylde in the Bustle.com web site states:

AncestryDNA has joined forces with Spotify to create the ultimate personal playlist curation experience. And by “personal”, I mean the playlist that this partnership offers you will resonate with you very deeply — aka, the music is literally tuned to your DNA. Yes, using your AncestryDNA results, Spotify will put together a collection of songs that are based on your heritage. If you’re in the market for a closer connection to your music library, this special feature will definitely hit the spot. I mean, how much closer can you get than sharing DNA?

Music CDs, R.I.P.

A bit of history has faded away. Best Buy has stopped selling CDs at its stores. The sales of music CDs apparently is no longer profitable, due to digital streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others.

Now CDs have gone the way of buggy whips. You can read more in an article in the MoneyWatch web site at: https://cbsn.ws/2KvkSzv.

CBC (English-language) and Radio-Canada (French) Music Library Closing, CD’s to be Digitised, Destroyed

It is sad news but I am not surprised. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is facing huge funding cuts from the government and increasing costs. The results include massive staff and production cuts. Rapidly developing technological developments are also driving the changes. The broadcaster, with its stations across the country has, over the decades, amassed a vast collection of recorded music and other artefacts. In 2012, and subsequent to a massive budget cut, the CBC began a policy of digitizing its collection to save space and storage costs, even as a move began to sell off buildings and move into smaller quarters. An executive with the project said, there will be no room in the new building for storage of the library.

Not only are CDs to be digitized and the destroyed, older records are to be destroyed without being converted to digital formats at all. The records to be destroyed include approximately 70,000 old 78rpm discs. Few of these were ever re-recorded on LP, and almost none of these exist on CD.

RootsTech 2016 Announces Keynote Speakers David Isay and Michael Leavitt and Musical Guests the Crescent Super Band, featuring Ryan Innes, and The Lower Lights

News from RootsTech:

SALT LAKE CITY, (January 8, 2016)—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today additional musical guests and keynote speakers who will join its inspiring all-star lineup. Nationally renowned musicians the Crescent Super Band and Ryan Innes will partner for an exclusive performance during the opening social event on Thursday, February 4. The session of RootsTech on Friday, February 5, will feature award-winning radio producer and founder of StoryCorps, David Isay, while the session on Saturday, February 6, will feature Michael Leavitt, who served in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush. Concluding the conference on February 6 will be the musical group The Lower Lights.

RootsTech_opening

calibre 4.0 is Released with New E-Book Viewer and New Server Capabilities

I have written a number of times about calibre (start at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+Calibre&t=brave&ia=web to find the past articles). calibre (always spelled with a lower-case “c”) is a popular and FREE app for reading and even editing ebooks. It does for electronic books just what iTunes does for music, allowing you to manage your digital book collection while offering excellent support for converting books to different formats and editing their metadata.

With calibre you can take an e-book in one file format and convert it to another that is supported by your e-book reading device and, if you’re not happy with the result, you can tweak the conversion settings and even manually edit the book’s contents and formatting. For instance, you can convert a PDF file to ePub format or to any of a number of other file formats. The result can be read on a Kindle, an iPad, on Windows or Macintosh or on most any other computer that has a screen large enough for reading ebooks. The calibre software is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

As described on the calibre web site at https://calibre-ebook.com/about#history:

Czech Republic National Museum is Searching for Early Czech Sound Recordings in the US

Do you have Czech ancestors or other relatives or even friends or neighbors who speak Czech? Next, does their descendants have very old recordings of Czech (or often called “Bohemian”) recorded music? The older the recordings, the better. If so, Filip Šír from the National Museum in Prague would like to speak with them. Šír has been searching for the lost recordings and the stories of the people behind them.

Few people in the Czech Republic know that a significant chapter in the history of early Czech sound recordings was written by Czech immigrants in the United States.

Filip Šír said:

“Between the years 1900 and 1929, there wasn’t any Czech record label company. In 1929 and 1930, Esta and Ultraphone were established as Czechoslovakian record label companies. However, this is almost 30 years after the first recordings in the United States.

The Growing Interest in African American Ancestry

From an article about African-American Genealogy and DNA by Clara Germani in The Christian Science Monitor’s cover story of September 2, 2019:

The burgeoning interest of African Americans in their ancestry is helping to clarify family identities and heal the wounds of slavery. In the process, it is shaping everything from African American baby names to views on reparations.

Also:

(+) Convert Your Old Computer into an In-Home Server

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

If you upgraded your home computer to a more modern system, you may still have the old system lying unused in a closet or some other place. There are many uses for old computers, such as giving it to a family member, installing Linux on it to experiment with a new and more secure operating system, or any other number of worthwhile projects. I would suggest you consider converting the old computer into an a server.

There are several good reasons for having a server in your home:

1. A server is a good place to store backup copies of your important files. In case of a hard drive crash or an accidental erasure in your primary computer, you can quickly and easily restore the needed file(s) from your file server.

2. Placing your data in one place makes it easy to share files amongst your own desktop, laptop, and tablet computers, as well as with your cell phone and even with the devices of other family members. You can use the server as a “media server” to let all computer devices within the home access the music, videos, and other files that you have stored on the server and make them available to all computer devices within the home.

3. Making backup copies of files stored on a server is generally much easier than making backup copies of files stored on multiple individual computers, such as your desktop and laptop computers and the computers of other family members. For example, if you use a backup service such as Backblaze, you can first copy all your important files to the in-home server, then use Backblaze to copy all those files from the server to off-site storage space in the cloud. This makes it easy to ensure that all devices in the home get backed up while no device runs slower while the backup is in progress.

4. A server can easily also share printers, CD-ROM drives, and other computer devices amongst family members’ computers. If your new laptop does not include a CD-ROM drive, you can use the one installed in the server in the same manner as if it was installed within the laptop. The same is true with a printer: connect a printer to the server computer, and then make it accessible to all family members.

A Report from the FGS Conference in Washington, DC

I had a great time the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) last week. I thought I would share some of the highlights with you. Hopefully, some of my photos will give you an idea of some of the events at this major genealogy conference.

NOTE: Click on any image in this article to view a larger version. Please feel free to save or to republish any image in this article. There is no need to ask me for permission. “Just do it.”

The conference started on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The big news that morning was the announcement that FGS and the U.S. National Genealogical Society (NGS) have agreed to merge and become one organization, to be called the National Genealogical Society. You can read the announcement in an earlier article in this newsletter at: https://blog.eogn.com/2019/08/21/ngs-and-fgs-announce-intent-to-merge/.

The announcement created a lot of “buzz” and was discussed most all week. Most of the folks I talked with seem to believe it will be a positive move for both organizations.

The International Society of Family History Writers & Editors (ISFHWE) has Announced the Return of the “Excellence in Writing” Competition

The following announcement was written by the International Society of Family History Writers & Editors (ISFHWE):

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is reminding writers IN ALL MEDIA (magazines, newspapers, journals, websites, blogs) that the 2020 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries through 15 March 2020.

The competition is open to both MEMBERS and NON-MEMBERS of ISFHWE; both published and non-published authors may enter (see category list below). The categories are:

Newly Recovered Ground Zero Photos Show Why You Should Back Up your CD-Recordable Disks Now: Photo CDs Don’t Last Forever

An article by Sean Hollister in The Verge web site at http://bit.ly/2RlRD1V describes a problem that every genealogist would like to avoid. In fact, it is easily avoidable if you are already aware of the problem and if you have already taken steps to side-step this technical issue.

When comedian and activist Jon Stewart gave an impassioned speech before Congress to seek ongoing aid for 9/11 first responders, it inspired Internet Archive software curator and digital preservationist Jason Scott to share something timely with the world as well: a newly discovered cache of photos from one of the workers who toiled away at Ground Zero, and who’d saved thousands of those photos on writeable CD-ROM disks.

But Scott says he wasn’t actually able to preserve all of those photos, because of the way they were stored. Many of the images stored on writeable CD disks were unreadable! Indeed, CD-recordable disks made on personal computers do not last forever. In this case, they didn’t even last 8 years!

Irish island of Arranmore is Looking for New Residents from the United States and Australia

Here is an opportunity to study your Irish ancestry: move to Ireland.

Actually, you would have to move to Arranmore, a tiny island 5 kilometers off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland. The island is twinned with Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. In the 1800s, families evicted from Arranmore relocated to Beaver Island and most of the residents who live on Beaver Island today can trace their roots back to Arranmore.

While Arranmore is a tiny place, it boasts very high-speed Internet access, enough musicians and good Irish whiskey to keep a party going well into the night, the best diving in Ireland on your doorstep, seafood to rival the tastiest New England chowder, and a daily commute that will never exceed five minutes. It sounds dreamy.

Brooklyn Library Digitizes Thousands of Historic Newspaper Articles

The Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library is making more than 40 borough-specific newspapers available for online hunting. Their digital archive of Brooklyn Daily Eagle articles is already an essential tool in borough research and the latest project adds thousands more newspaper pages for history buffs to hunt through.

The Brooklyn Collection started in 1997 as part of the History Division, with a small book collection focused on the borough. It now holds more than 5,000 books and an archive that includes 200,000 photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, sheet music and more.

TheGenealogist Announces the Online Release of Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey Records

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist announces the release of Islington Lloyd George Domesday Survey records. These cover land owners and occupiers in 1910-1915 with over 70,000 individuals recorded, joining the previously released data books and their associated maps for other parts of London.

This new release is the latest stage of TheGenealogist’s vast ongoing project to digitise over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages, and linking them to large scale IR121 annotated OS maps which are now viewable in TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer tool.

The records have been sourced from The National Archives and were compiled by the Valuation Office in a period that stretched from 1910-1915 in response to the Lloyd George government passing the People’s Budget 1909/1910.

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood left out of Who Do You Think You Are? because his Family History is “Too Complex”

Ronnie Wood is an English rock musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, artist, author and radio personality best known as a member of The Rolling Stones since 1975. He was scheduled to be a celebrity guest on the U.K. version of Who Do You Think You Are? The show’s professional genealogists researched his ancestry and found a lot of information about his ancestors. There was but one problem,: they found too much information to fit into a one-hour program!

It seems that Ronald Wood has a huge family tree made up of gypsies, most of whom lived on canal barges.

A representative of Who Do You Think You Are? stated, “With Ronnie’s colourful relatives – who can be traced back over 300 years – there was too much to be able to work through in time for this year’s series.”

Using a Chromebox as My Primary Day-to-day Computer

The following article has little to do with genealogy, family history, DNA, or the other topics normally covered in this newsletter. However, it does discuss my recent experiences with low-cost computing and I think it may be of interest to many readers of this newsletter.

Here is a conversation I had recently with a friend:

“A couple of weeks ago I installed a Chromebox computer and it soon became my primary computer.”

“A what?

“A Chromebox.”

“What is a Chromebox?”

“It is essentially the same as a Chromebook computer except that it is not a laptop computer. Instead, it is a small desktop computer that requires an external, plug-in keyboard, a mouse, and an external monitor. It is powered by plugging it into a wall outlet, not by batteries. It runs the Chrome operating system, the same as the operating system used in Chromebooks.”

In fact, the Chromebox has become a better addition to my collection of computers than I expected. Of course, I haven’t disposed of my other computers. I still have the Macintosh, Windows, Linux, and Android systems.

I also have a Chromebook laptop which has become my primary computer when traveling. I have always been able to use the Chromebook for almost all computer tasks that I need to do. However, when returning home, I used to switch to the iMac desktop system for my day-to-day tasks. The iMac is the most powerful and flexible of all the computers that I own so I simply assumed it should be the one that I used most of the time. However, I have changed my mind in the past few weeks.

FamilySearch Celebrates 20 Years Online

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Twenty years ago, global nonprofit FamilySearch launched an innovative new website, a free internet genealogy service. Two decades later, FamilySearch is a leader in the rising tide of popular ancestry-related services online. During that time, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone.

On May 24, 1999, FamilySearch.org took the online genealogy world by storm, offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online—a treasure for those seeking to make family history connections. For perspective, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage at the time. Google, ranked 93rd of top websites, was still an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine by indexing the web to make results junk free and more consumer relevant.

MyHeritage Eurovision Bus heads to London

Attention European readers of this newsletter: You might want to attend the party on board the MyHeritage Eurovision Bus! According to an article in TVToday:


 

Fans are getting ready for Eurovision 2019, while music lovers spend the night in the pub.

MyHeritage’s Eurovision Bus has begun its tour of Europe, attending major pre-parties, hosting celebs and give Eurovision fans chances to win Eurovision tickets. The bus began its journey on April 6th in Amsterdam heading yesterday to Hamburg. It will be spending today in Copenhagen, however Brits wanting to get on board will need to head to London on April 14th.

The Internet Archive has Uploaded 450,000 songs Collected Before Myspace’s Massive Data Loss

I have written before learning about the music your ancestors enjoyed. (See https://blog.eogn.com/?s=music for a list of some of my previous articles about music.) Myspace used to be a good source for both old-time and modern music but last month, it became widely known that MySpace has lost much of the user data uploaded to it before 2016, including potentially million of music tracks from between 2003 to 2015. It is estimated that up to 53 million songs from 14 million artists were deleted.

Luckily, there is a free alternative.

Online Registration is Now Open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2019 National Conference

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

The conference will be held August 21 – 24, at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC. Hosted by the Federation of Genealogical Societies in cooperation with sponsoring local societies, corporate sponsors, and partner organizations, FGS 2019 offers a new full four-day format jam-packed with topics of interest to every genealogist. The theme for this conference is “Come Home to our Washington, DC.”

“We are so excited to open registration for the FGS annual conference. We have an extraordinary learning experience planned for everyone with a whole lot of added fun! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone this year in our nation’s capital,” said Faye L. Stallings, CG, President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Conference Highlights