Software

Next Generation OCR Now Available in TextGrabber 2 for only $2.99 US

Has anyone tried this? I just downloaded and installed it last night on my Android cell phone and am learning how to use it. I’d love to hear from a more experienced user.

If the advertisements are correct, TextGrabber may be a new revolution in OCR (Optical Character Recognition). I can see this having lots of uses in genealogy as well as for dozens of other purposes as well. Quoting from the ads:

“Translate recognized text into 100+ languages in a snap.”

“Today we proudly present our completely new TextGrabber Android. You’ll be amazed. Like its iOS sibling released in June, the Android version can now recognize texts on the fly thanks to our cool new technology, Real-Time Recognition!

Microsoft Office is Now Available on Chromebooks

This article has nothing to do with genealogy. However, I have written often about Chromebooks, the inexpensive laptop computers. (See http://bit.ly/2zNe4HY for my past articles about Chromebooks.) This is a follow-up to the earlier articles.

Perhaps the most common question about Chromebooks is, “Can it run my favorite Windows (or Macintosh) programs, such as Microsoft Word?” The answer was “No.” However, that is changing.

Chromebooks are designed to be used with the cloud and run programs that are stored on servers in the cloud. There are thousands of such programs available. See https://play.google.com/store/apps?hl=en for a list of the available apps that run on Chromebooks. The genealogy apps may be found at: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=genealogy&c=apps&hl=en.

HOWEVER, Microsoft has now released versions of Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive) written especially for Chromebooks. The Chromebook versions have most of the functionality of the Windows and Macintosh versions, although a few features may be missing.

QromaScan v3 Introduces Natural Language Tagging

I wrote about the QromaScan device earlier. Start at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+QromaScan&t=hg&ia=web to see my earlier articles. Now a major new software upgrade is available for QromaScan. Here is the announcement from Qroma LLC:

Create Industry Standard Photo Metadata from Natural Voice Descriptions.

SAN JOSE, California— November 17, 2017— Consumers frustrated by the complexity of scanning and organizing their film based images will have a new option as Silicon Valley-based Qroma LLC announces the availability of QromaScan v3.0 for iOS®. QromaScan captures and organizes photos, slides and negatives in one step using specially designed iPhone® accessories and an innovative voice recognition technology. Version 3 brings a new Natural Language Tagging engine that enables users to describe their photos in their own words and use QromaScan’s cutting edge voice recognition technology to detect and embed photo metadata tags for key details such like the date, location and people. A new Relationship Manager detects the use of common nouns used for describing family members such as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and automatically tags the image with their full names.

QromaScan 3 greatly simplifies what was once the tedious process of creating industry standard photo metadata. Powered by machine learning and linguistic parsing, QromaScan 3’s Natural Language Tagging engine can store up to 2,000 characters of the user’s transcribed description of a photo and then automatically generate photo metadata tags for things like dates, places, GPS coordinates, and people names. The transcribed description and detected metadata are embedded into the image where they are recognized and made searchable by any operating system or photo organization software that reads standard EXIF and IPTC metadata, such as Adobe Lightroom CC®, Google Photos or Apple Photos®.

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

GedSite is a great tool for creating personal genealogy web sites. The propgram has its own “roots” in a program that was used to create gorgeous web sites from the database of The Master Genealogist, a Windows program that is no longer available. The program’s creator, John Cardinal, then moved his focus to creating web sites from GEDCOM files. He named the newly-launched program GedSite.

Now John has greatly expanded the capabilities of GedSite, as explained in the announcement below:

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 1.10

Featuring enhancements for customers using Legacy®

North Andover, MA – October 27, 2017 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 1.10, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release features enhanced support for GEDCOM files exported from Legacy® and several optimizations related to exhibit handling.

“GedSite builds narratives using a flexible processing engine that interprets sentence templates exported from several genealogy programs, now including Legacy” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting.

Soliciting and acting on customer feedback is an integral part of the GedSite development process, and as usual, this release delivers several features requested by users, including optimizations related to media exhibits.

New Update to the MyHeritage Mobile App

There is a new update available for the MyHeritage mobile app. The mobile app is available for Apple iOS (for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) and for Android smartphones and tablets.

It is now easier than ever to explore and share your family history on the go. Capture and share family photos and memories right from your mobile device, invite family members to contribute to your family tree and update your tree at family get-togethers.

 

While there are numerous new features in the update, the one that impressed me the most is the capability to find your ancestors in MyHeritage’s collection of more than 8 billion historical records. These capabilities bring the mobile app to par with the full version of the website.

Microsoft Says, “We’ll have Two-Thirds of Office Users in the Cloud by Fiscal 2019.”

I have written often about the need to keep secure and encrypted backups of your important files off-site. Actually, I believe every computer owner should do that but it is doubly important for genealogists who have often spent hundreds of hours researching and documenting their family trees. A loss of all that data caused by a hard drive crash, a hurricane, a tornado, any other natural disaster, or simple human error, can be devastating.

Most corporations are moving their corporate data to cloud-based backup systems, whether they create their own cloud computing systems or use one of the commercially-available cloud solutions (Amazon Web Services, RackSpace, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, DigitalOcean, and many others).

Now Microsoft is moving many of its customers who use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications) to cloud computing in an effort to improve the customers’ security and redundancy.

Heredis Genealogy Software for Windows or Macintosh is Now Available for $10.99 for a Limited Time

The following announcement was written by the folks who produce Heredis genealogy software:

For 5 days, a mega deal is available for genealogists until Sunday, October 1st, 2017 only inclusive: $10.99 for Heredis software:

– For Mac: https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-mac/706-heredis-2017-for-mac.html

– For PC: https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-windows/707-heredis-2017-for-windows.html

– For all users of a previous version of Heredis for Windows (upgrade): https://shop.heredis.com/heredis-for-windows/708-heredis-2017-for-windows-upgrade.html

Reasons to choose Heredis:

imbue App for iOS devices and soon, Android: Make Every Family Item a Time Capsule

A new family memory app for Apple devices that should appeal to many genealogists is being developed in a Kickstarter campaign. It will be demonstrated in a technology demonstration next year at RootsTech. The app was launched Wednesday, September 20.

The name of this new app is imbue, apparently always spelled with a lower-case “i.” The word “imbue” means “Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality. Saturate, suffuse, drench, steep.”

If you contribute financially to the development of this new app, you can be both a beta tester and also receive a subscription to the final, released product when it is ready.

rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®

Atavus, Inc. has just announced an improvement to the company’s product, rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote®. This should interest many genealogists as rootstrust is now interoperable with Evernote® now works with Evernote, a very popular product amongst genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Atavus, Inc.:

Atavus, Inc. announces that its multiplatform genealogy program, rootstrust, now supports interoperability with Evernote. In the latest version of rootstrust, users can optionally use Evernote as a primary or secondary repository for imported files and website links.

Evernote is a multiplatform app for taking, organizing and archiving notes where a ‘note’ can be virtually any file or website link. To take advantage of this interoperability between rootstrust and Evernote, you must first have an Evernote account. You can start with a free account and upgrade to a Plus account or to a Premium account, as you require more storage space. Windows and Mac OS users also need to download and install the free Evernote client program for their operating system. Since there is no Evernote client available for Linux, rootstrust will soon (next release) provide its Linux users with an Evernote-like extension to rootstrust.

rootstrust Now Runs Natively on a Chromebook

I have written previously about rootstrust, a genealogy program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.  (You can see one of my earlier articles at http://bit.ly/2y19Bff.) Now the folks at Atavus have still another operating system: Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop and desktop computers.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus:

Last year Atavus reported that rootstrust can run on a Chromebook via a virtual computer system that you must subscribe to for a monthly fee. Paperspace, MacInCloud and Frame are virtual systems that rootstrust is compatible with. Now Atavus is pleased to announce that rootstrust runs natively on GalliumOS, a free Linux variant developed specifically for the Chromebook. A Chromebook can be configured for dual booting which means that the user selects either ChromeOS or GalliumOS when the device is powered on.

Rootstrust executing on GalliumOS on an Acer Chromebook 14

How to use Evernote to Organize Your Life

I have written about Evernote dozens of times. (See http://bit.ly/2eKdTjT for my past articles.) It is a cross-platform app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. It is my most used program, after email, a web browser, and a cloud-based genealogy program. Now Zainab Hasnain has written an article telling you how to organize most everything in your life with Evernote, not just genealogy data.

Hasnain writes:

“Some people might still prefer the old, foolproof method of taking notes with pen and paper, but this is the mobile era, and having one good note-taking app on your phone can save you constant hassle.”

He also wrote:

Update: Zoho Workplace: My Favorite FREE Replacement for Microsoft Office

In the August 10, 2017, edition of this newsletter, I described Zoho Workplace, a FREE for personal use cloud-based suite of programs that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. I use Zoho Workplace frequently to write articles for this newsletter, especially when I am traveling and using a laptop or even a borrowed computer, such as in a public library or a hotel’s business center. The article is still available at: http://bit.ly/2x9qrcz.

If you use or are at least interested in Zoho Workplace, you might be interested in Zoho’s latest announcement: an updated version of Zoho Writer (the word processor) that is designed especially for use on cell phones and tablet computers.

Zoho Writer for Mobile is available both for Android and for Apple iOS devices. It isn’t an all-new product. instead, it simply is a new update that has been updated to work better on smaller screens.

Use the FREE On My Disk Software to Create Your Own Private and Secure Personal Cloud

You probably have read a lot in this newsletter and elsewhere about the various file storage services in the cloud. Some of the better known ones include Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, SugarSync, SpiderOak, Tresorit, Mega.nz, and perhaps a few dozen others. These are valuable services that allow you to gain access to your files wherever you are, to (optionally) share files with others, and to copy files from one of your computers to another. However, there are two major drawbacks to these services:

1. They tend to charge a lot of money if you have a lot of files you wish to keep available.

2. You have to give your files and, more importantly, CONTROL of your files, to someone else.

To be sure, all the better file storage services provide industrial-strength encryption that prevents anyone else from being able to read the contents of your files—not even the employees of the file storage service. Nonetheless, many people are uncomfortable with giving control to strangers on the Internet.

I often hear or read comments from non-technical computer owners who say, “I don’t trust the cloud.” That statement always comes from someone who doesn’t understand how encryption works. Even so, convincing someone to forego their fears of giving up control is nearly impossible.

One new product called “On My Disk” would seem to solve both problems.

Crowd Sourced Indexing is Now Available for Your Society’s Project

CSI, the newest technology available for genealogy indexing, is now available to genealogy societies, special interest groups, and to any group of genealogists with records they want to transcribe.

One of the more valuable trends of recent years has been crowd sourcing. The term is a contraction of “crowd” and “outsourcing.”

Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a large crowd of volunteers. Each person contributes a little bit and, if enough people contribute, everyone benefits. Wikipedia is one famous example. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, a small group of people developed the required software and then gave a crowd of millions the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

GedTree.com Creates Beautiful Family Tree Prints in Minutes

I haven’t used this service yet but it certainly looks promising. GedTree.com creates beautiful genealogy charts, suitable for framing. The information is obtained from YOUR GEDCOM file.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Turn a Chromebook into a Powerhouse With the Best Chromebook Apps

I have written often about the low-cost Chromebook laptop computers. I have a Chromebook and love it. The cheap laptop has become my preferred laptop for traveling. I also use it frequently at home when watching TV. See http://bit.ly/2uewqi9 for a list of my past articles about Chromebook computers.

If you own a Chromebook, you probably will want to read Turn a Chromebook into a Powerhouse With the Best Chromebook Apps by Tyler Lacoma. It describes a number of free Chromebook apps that offer the power of many of the commonly-used Windows applications. You probably will want to install several of them on your Chromebook. All of the applications described by Lacoma are available free of charge.

MyHeritage Acquires the Legacy Family Tree Software and Webinar Platform

Major news in the genealogy software marketplace! MyHeritage has acquired Millennia Corporation, makers of the popular Legacy Family Tree genealogy desktop software and well-attended genealogy webinar platform, Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

The following is a quote from the MyHeritage Blog:

We’re delighted to announce today that we’ve acquired Millennia Corporation, makers of the popular Legacy Family Tree genealogy desktop software and well-attended genealogy webinar platform, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This is our 9th acquisition to date. We consider Legacy’s products to be highly complementary to our wide range of features and services. The acquisition will introduce MyHeritage users to Legacy’s valuable genealogical webinars, and will also provide Legacy’s hundreds of thousands of users with improved resources and access to new services.

Legacy’s webinars, which have been around since 2010, have become the most popular source of education in the genealogy industry. Viewers enjoy talks accompanied by presentations and tutorials on a wide variety of genealogy content from the comfort of their own homes while learning from speakers who are leaders in their field, such as Judy G. Russell, Blaine Bettinger, Lisa Louise Cooke, and Thomas MacEntee. Topics include genealogical research methodology, DNA, historical records, and more. The webinars will continue to feature diverse and high-quality educational content. The webinar platform will also enjoy infrastructure upgrades to support larger audiences.

A Fresh, New Look for the Twile Timeline

Twile, a Website that lets family historians share what they find, has a major update to the service. The following was written by the folks at Twile:

Today we’ve launched a new version of the Twile timeline, designed to make your family history look even better!

We’ve introduced a number of changes to make everything clearer, brighter and easier to use. Your milestones have more colour, your photos are larger and you can see more about each event without having to click and open it.

RootsMagic brings Ancestry Features to their Desktop Software

The producers of RootsMagic genealogy software previously have announced a plan to allow Ancestry.com subscribers to connect their Ancestry accounts to the RootsMagic software. Since that time, Ancestry has developed a new technology to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with RootsMagic products.

Today, RootsMagic announced the product is now available. The free update to RootsMagic 7 is called TreeShare™ for Ancestry.

From within RootsMagic 7, as an existing Ancestry subscriber, you have access to your Ancestry Hints and the ability to share and synchronize data with your Ancestry online trees.

“Integrating with Ancestry’s trees and records has been one of our most requested features,” said Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic. “It’s exciting to work together with Ancestry to make this happen. The feedback that we’ve received from those who have tested TreeShare has been phenomenal.”

You can read the full announcement on the RootsMagic web site at: http://ancstry.me/2sicnyE.

Comment by Dick Eastman:

MacFamilyTree Update Version 8.2 is Now Available

I received a short note from the producers of MacFamilyTree, one of the leading genealogy programs for Macintosh. I have written before many times about this powerful and visually impressive product. You can find my earlier articles by starting at: http://bit.ly/2txH4MT.

This morning’s note says (in part):

We have just released the next huge MacFamilyTree update. Version 8.2 comes free for all users of 8 and 8.1. MobileFamilyTree has been updated to version 8.2, too. Both apps are currently sold at 50% discount.

Our charts always have been the most beautiful ones… but we improved them even more.