Thursday, August 21, 2014

What To Do, What To Do ...

Laptop keyboard before

As I glanced over the post I was composing, I noticed that almost every word I had typed on my laptop was misspelled.  I'm a former teacher.  Stuff like that just shouldn't happen.  As I looked more closely at my laptop, I saw a possible reason.  In four years of use, I had actually worn the letters off a number of the keys, 13 of them to be exact!  No wonder my typing caused such a mess.

13 worn keys, highlighted in orange

With a desktop computer, I could by a replacement keyboard for $15.  Not so with my laptop.  Individual replacement keys online were $5 each plus shipping.  So I headed to my local office supply store to look for a better solution.

I ended up purchasing a cartridge of black tape with white lettering for my P-Touch printer.  After doing a few sample letters, I came up with a size that closely matched the letters on my keyboard.  In a few minutes, my laptop looked like this.

Laptop keyboard after

I actually did this repair over a month ago.  The tape has stayed put, no loose pieces of tape, no edges sticking to my fingers as I type.  I'd say it was a successful repair.

Now I can enter data into Family Tree Maker, write blog posts, add notes to my research logs, key to my heart's content.  Sometimes, it is worth it to give a plan a try.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Miss Clara's Glasses

Several times a day  I pass by and glance at these glasses.  They rest on an old marble topped table next to some other family mementos.  The glasses were given to me by a cousin some years ago.  At that time, my cousin mentioned that the glasses once belonged to my Great Aunt Clara Estelle Vaughan.

The other day I was looking through the photo albums that belonged to Mary Louise Vaughan and found several pictures of Clara wearing glasses that looked much like those pictured above.

Three of the Vaughan Sisters, Louise, Clara, and Eleanor

Clara Vaughan sitting between two friends
Oh course, the picture of Clara and her friends is my favorite.  After all, she's wearing one of those wonderful hats, just as her sister Charlotte previously wore.  Who knew such fashion was available in the town of LaGrange, Georgia?

Once again, I am grateful that someone hung on to Clara's glasses and that they eventually found their way to me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday's Tips: Saving Up For a Rainy Day with Google Drive

Rainy Day by russavia
source: Wikimedia Commons

The more time I spend researching my family's history, the more resources I learn of that I want to use later or which may take me a while to locate.  Google Drive has proved to be invaluable in helping me keep track of what I want to use, where it is located, and why I need that specific resource.

On Google Drive I have a number of Genealogy related spreadsheets.  When I come across a resource to use or track down at a later date, I add it to the the appropriate spreadsheet.  Then, when the opportunity arises, I can access Google Drive on my smart phone, tablet, laptop, or public computer, whatever is convenient at the time.

My basic Google Sheets (spreadsheets) are formatted in the same way so that items can be moved or copied from one Sheet to another.  A few things I even have listed on two different Sheets. This format includes:
  • Date
  • Family / Person
  • Task
  • Resource
  • Notes - helpful when I have searched only part of a book, certain years in a group of records, etc.
Currently, these are the Sheets I use most frequently.

The Newspaper Articles and Interlibrary Loan Google Sheets helped to keep me focused during a rainy day visit to a local university library.  I went there specifically to look for a book from my Interlibrary Loan / World Cat list which was available for "in library use only".  While there, I also checked my list of newspaper and magazine articles and discovered that I could view a number of them on the university's microfilm collection.  I located about a dozen articles, saving them to my flash drive to later read at home.

For a rainy day, it turned out to be a pretty good day.  Genealogy wise, it was a very productive afternoon all because lists of things I needed to use were organized and accessible on Google Drive.  And Google Drive definitely beats trying to keep up with paper lists and post-it notes.

One caveat about using Google Drive on an iPhone.  The Google Drive app is read only.  I had to download a second app, Google Sheets, in order to be able to edit any sheet I have on Google Drive.