TSGS Cruiser Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tech Info


This is a story from
someone that wishes he was a real techno guy...

I found one of my flash drives (AKA: portable, thumb or USB drives) and hooked it into my computer to see if there were any photos on it that I failed to put onto the regular desktop computer. I found that this was the little drive that I downloaded & installed the Family Tree Maker (FTM) program with its database & it also had an installed Personal Ancestral File (PAF) with database. This little drive could be carried around by me anywhere and I could check my database on anybody's computer and I could add, delete or otherwise edit anything in my family files to bring home and put into my desktop genealogy program. The good part was that the computer I would use did not need to have FTM or PAF installed on its computer! This reminded me about the lost Christian County, KY huge PAF database that my cousin Tom Henderson had given me several years back. I bought a new computer about 2.5 years ago with Vista... which was not compatible with the PAF version 5, but not to fear because it was on my old computer that still worked. I was going to make a gedcom of the PAF data to export to my FTM program that was installed on the new computer. But... well, you know I never got around to doing that, of course!

Well, the old computer died on me and I have not been able to access that great database my cousin Tom Henderson gave me. Back to that little flash drive, that I could read that PAF database without any problem - I decided to see if I could export a gedcom copy of the PAF data to my new computer's FTM program. It worked!!!

Now, I can access the file without the flash drive & I can use it in a program that I am very comfortable with its use (FTM ver. 2006). I also have FTM ver. 2009 on the new computer, but it is seriously different than my 2006 version that is similar to version 1 of FTM that I began using in 1996 and upgraded every 2-3 years. Since the gedcom worked from the PAF 5 to FTM 2006, I need to now convert the FTM 2006 to the FTM 2009, just in case the next genealogy program will not be compatible with a gedcom from a program as old as 2006.

I learned a long time ago that if you skip too many upgrades from one version to the latest version that you may not be able to merge your old saved files into the newer version. So, you need to update your files every few years just to be able to access them later.

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