Apple Spring Forward/March 2015 Event

Apple Spring Forward Apple’s “Spring Forward” event for March of 2015 is set to start in about 10 minutes (10am Pacific, noon CST, 1pm EST).

Of course, the Apple Store is down ahead of the event.

Obviously, Apple’s Watch is going to be the main focus, with pricing, new apps, and release information making up the main part of the presentation.

There is a lot of speculation about additional hardware being introduced (MacRumors has a good summary), and the thing that’s of interest to me (and to Mac-using genealogists) concerns non-Watch hardware. Not that the Watch isn’t cool, but I don’t consider it a must-have for myself. Anyways, the speculation is focused around new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, with a move to Intel’s Broadwell CPUs, with most of the other options remaining the same. The same holds true for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

The one rumor I find very interesting, is about a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. It’s been several years since we had a 12-inch portable Mac offering (going back to the G4 PowerBook days I believe). It’s supposed to be a completely redesigned Mac laptop, with fewer ports and with a much thinner build than current Macs.

In the realm of “probably not happening” are updates to the iPad mini (the iPad mini 3 was disappointing due to the lack of major improvements outside of the fingerprint sensor), and the release of a new iPad size, the fabled “iPad Pro”, which I’ve seen mentioned as being anywhere from 11 to 13 inches.

You can watch the event through AppleTV, or point your web browser to:

MacFamilyTree 7.3.3, MobileFamilyTree 7.3.3 Released

Mac FamilyTree 7 for OS X The Mac genealogy program, MacFamilyTree 7, and its companion iOS genealogy app for the iPad/iPhone and iPod touch, MobileFamilyTree, have both been updated to version 7.3.3.

This is a minor fix, correcting an issue with uploading persons to FamilySearch.

You can update MacFamilyTree through the Apple Mac/App Store (US) or through Synium Software’s website.

MobileFamilyTree can be updated from within the iOS device (check the App Store), or through iTunes (US).

Practical Citation for Reunion 10, Family Tree Maker 3 available on Kindle

Practical Citation Ben Sayer at Genealogy Tools, and more importantly, Practical Citation, has released on the Kindle platform (compatible with Macs, iPads, etc., see below), two important books for Mac fans of Reunion 10 and Family Tree Maker 3, along with one for Family Tree Maker 2014 (the Windows version). The full title of the three ebooks is “Practical Citation, A Guide to Simply and Safely Recording Sources and Citations” and are available right now for download:

The books are exactly what they sound like – a guide to recording important source/citation information, including non-Internet sources, and what information you need to record. They also cover moving/converting source/citation information between programs, and testing the information.

It’s easy to find a genealogy application that you like, and to start using it, plugging in all kinds of information. I won’t say it’s “too easy”, but if you’ve been closely following the whole “Genealogy Do-Over” movement, you’ll have seen numerous people on blogs or in comments, who talk about one of their biggest problems with their genealogy research being a lack of sources (proper or otherwise) after plugging in all kinds of information over many years.

In his Genealogy Do-Over Announcement, Thomas MacEntee directly mentions this:

How many times have you thought about doing the same thing? Did you start your research the same way I did, by just collecting names, grabbing stuff from other online trees, or pasting text into your genealogy software? Lately, has the prospect of going back and citing sources and proving facts and evidence brought you down and ruined your genealogy buzz? Do you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!” only to return to the same review and edit process days or weeks later?

Most of you who have been doing genealogy research for many years, or who have changed genealogy programs (in particular) have probably encountered the two big problems that Sayer discusses:

  1. Citations don’t need to be as complex as people are making them.
  2. Transferring information between leading genealogy applications is unsafe.

These books/information are already available to you if you have a subscription to Practical Citation, but this is the first time they’ve been made widely available in book format.

If you are interested in these ebooks, and you do not have a Kindle, fear not – Amazon has provided free software to view Kindle titles on your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, etc.

Have an Apple TV? Stream RootsTech 2015 to your HDTV!

Apple TV If you are wanting to watch some of the sessions that are being streamed from RootsTech 2015, and you have an Apple TV and a compatible device, it’s very easy to stream to your HDTV, thanks to AirPlay.

On your compatible Mac or iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), just load up the RootsTech 2015 website in your browser, and have it stream (mirror) through AirPlay to your Apple TV/HDTV. You can find the full streaming schedule here, and remember that all times listed are Mountain Standard Time (MST). The first session starts in half an hour (at 9:30 am if you’re in CST like I am).

Regardless of which method you use, you will need a 2nd Generation Apple TV or later. I have confirmed that the RootsTech website’s streaming is compatible with iOS devices, on an iPad 2 running iOS 8.1.3
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Family Tree Maker 3 (Mac) Version 22.2.4

Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac Technically it’s version or (depending on whether you are installing from or from Apple’s Mac App Store), but a major new version of Family Tree Maker 3 was recently released.

I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet, but the additions are very welcome, including pictures in genealogy reports, plus removing generation lines in said reports. Also there is a manage historical facts option, and improved timeline reports.

It should be noted that the new file formats/database are now compatible with Family Tree Maker 2014 (Windows) and their recent updates from November and December – Service Patch #4 SP4 (Build 340) and Service Patch #5 SP5 (build 345).
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Need an Older Version of MacFamilyTree?

I’m in the process of fixing over 350 broken links and over 440 redirects on (11 years worth of articles/links) as a part of the website overhaul/relaunch, and in the process I found that Synium Software still has links to the last major releases of older versions of MacFamilyTree going back to MacFamilyTree 4.5. It’s very handy if you have an older Mac, especially a PowerPC Mac, and are limited by the OS X version.

Head over to the Synium Software Downloads Page. MacFamilyTree versions currently available:

  • MacFamilyTree 7.3.2 (Mac OS X 10.7 – 10.10) (Current version)
  • MacFamilyTree 6.3.9 (Mac OS X 10.5 – 10.9)
  • MacFamilyTree 5.7.8 (Mac OS X 10.4 – 10.8)
  • MacFamilytree 4.5 (Mac OS X 10.4 – 10.5)

MacFamilyTree 6.3.9 is the last version to support PowerPC Macs. MacFamilyTree 4.5 is unsupported (it’s from around 2007).

Keep in mind that these are the demo versions, but if you have a license, they can be fully enabled. You can also purchase “new” copies of some of these older genealogy apps on

I’ll be posting other developer’s latest/last versions as well as I update everything.