Reminder: Apple iPad Event Tomorrow – March 7, 2012

Tomorrow, Apple will probably be announcing the successor to the iPad 2, the iPad 3 or iPad HD. There will also be a possible update to Apple TV, bringing it up to 1080p. For those who have used Apple TVs to give genealogy presentations on HDTV, the 1080p upgrade will be nice.

The event in San Francisco is scheduled to start at 10am Pacific, 12pm Central, or 1pm Eastern (US).

Rumors are that the iPad 3 or iPad HD will have a much faster CPU, either quad-core or a newer version of the existing A5 CPU, more memory, improved graphics processing power, and most importantly, a “Retina” resolution of 2048×1536.

There are rumors of a smaller Apple iPad – in the 7-inch range, but I think for now they have been working on the standard 10-inch iPad form factor.

The increased resolution will be nice for those who work with photos or other graphics-intensive applications and data, including genealogy in my view.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Available

Earlier today, Adobe officially made Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 available, both in the full and upgrade packages. Along the way they’ve reduced the pricing as well.

Keep in mind that this is not like Adobe Photoshop, although it shares some of the same features and does work with Photoshop. Lightroom 4 is photo management software for digital photographers and is working for images straight out of the camera. It’s closer to Apple’s Aperature/iPhoto. Adobe Photoshop is for image editing. Lightroom handles processing large numbers of photos out of the camera.

New and Updated Features in Lightroom 4
* Improved image processing
* Improved Noise Reduction
* Shadow and Highlight Recovery – can bring out some details normally lost in shadows
* Photo Book Creation – Make photo books with photos from the LR library using built-in templates, and then order them from within the software (similar to iPhot’s book creation*
* Improved support for video, including editing
* Advanced Black-and-White Conversion
* Improved batch adjustments

Requirements – Mac OS X
* Multi-core Intel processor
* 64-bit
* 2 GB of RAM (Memory)
* 1 GB of Hard Drive Space
* 1024×768 display
* DVD (for physical media)
* Internet connection for internet services

Lightroom 4 is available for pre-order in some areas, but may not be available until 10 March 2012 in others.

Amazon (US)
Adobe Lightroom 4 Upgrade
Adobe Lightroom 4 Full
Amazon (UK)
Adobe Lightroom 4 Upgrade
Adobe Lightroom 4 Full

Other Links
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (product page)

LDS / TempleReady Mac Genealogy Software

As a part of my revamping of MacGenealogy.org, I’ve put together a better page showing which genealogy / family tree software handles Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormons) Temple Work event options like:
* LDS Baptism
* LDS Confirmation
* LDS Endowment
* LDS Sealed to Parents
* LDS Sealed to Spouse

Some go beyond the above options (which are a part of the GEDCOM 5.5 standard – see my note below) and support things like:
* LDS Initiatory
* LDS Mission

The page is: LDS / TempleReady Mac Genealogy Software

I should note that PAW2U (Personal Ancestry Writer II), developed by Howard H. Metcalfe as a spiritual successor to Personal Ancestral File (PAF for Mac, which stopped in the Mac OS classic days with version 2.3.1) goes above and beyond most genealogy applications in this regard. It not only supports the LDS Baptism, Endowment, and Sealing options, it has a dedicated LDS menu that allows you to easily tag people with any or all LDS Ordinances as well as the option to “Write TempleReady Status of Tagged People.”

It should also be noted that most Mac OS X genealogy/family tree software supports these ordinances because they are a part of the GEDCOM 5.5 standards that PAF supported, and all actively supported Mac genealogy software currently available or in development supports the GEDCOM 5.5 standards. In the past, not all applications did – some applications that were in development, particularly newer/concept applications never reached the stage where they added GEDCOM 5.5 importing/exporting.

If I’m missing any software, please contact me. I was unable to test Heredis Mac X.2, but was able to test most other actively developed Mac genealogy software. Heredis is undergoing a large update/rewrite as we speak, including Mac OS X Lion compatibility and features and I believe it supports LDS options.

I have a few similar-themed pages in the works for other religions/events in the works for this week, and will be posting those as well.

MacFamilyTree 6 – 58% off Through Sunday at MUPromo

Genealogy Software for Mac OS X Update: The 58% off sale is closed, however it’s 25% off ($44.99) through 17 March 2012.

MacFamilyTree 6 is now on sale through Sunday, March 4, 2012 for 58% off. It’s available for $24.99 US. I’m not sure if the deal is available for those outside of the US.

This is about as cheap as you will find it – normally it’s $59.99. This is about the same price as upgrading from an older version of MacFamilyTree.

If you’re interested in MacFamilyTree, click on the banner below:


Encrypt External Drives with Mac OS X Lion’s FileVault 2

Somebody asked me about whether I encrypt any of my external drives. The answer is yes – Mac OS X 10.7 Lion added the ability with FileVault 2 to encrypt an entire hard drive with XTS-AES 128 encryption (which is about as good as you can get while still making it easy). It’s handy when traveling, especially with the smaller USB/FireWire drives which can sprout legs and disappear. I’m talking about the smaller drives that use the 2.5-inch laptop hard drives. I’ve put together a couple of small FireWire 800 drives using Macally FireWire 800/USB 2.0 Enclosure (PHR-S250UAB) (Amazon is cheaper than dedicated Mac shops for this particular enclosure) and I also have a Western Digital My Passport Studio 1 TB FireWire 800 External Hard Drive (Amazon) that I picked up on sale.

Why FireWire 800?
Although this article is about encrypting external drives, I know somebody might be wondering about my choice of drives. FireWire 800 drives or buying FireWire 800 enclosures is a little pricier than the USB route, but my MacBook Pro supports it as does my iMac, it’s faster than USB, and you can daisy-chain devices, which frees up USB ports. There are also times where I handle a large amount of large files, such as when I’m scanning photos or dealing with home video or interviews, and it’s worth the speed increase. I do not have Thunderbolt interfaces on either of my Macs. Hopefully by the time I feel the need to upgrade, Thunderbolt-based external drives will be cheap and easy to obtain.

So why encrypt your external drives?
Imagine losing an external hard drive or flash drive. If you’re like me, you may be using it as a backup to your Mac(s), at least temporarily, or as supplemental storage. I do make use of Time Machine, however I leave my Time Machine backups in a secure location and don’t carry them with the computer. I use external drives when I’m traveling for manually backing up on the go and storing extra data and information. Those who are on MacBook Air’s with the smaller Solid State Drives (SSDs) are probably using external drives a lot, and although they are using USB or Thunderbolt devices instead of FireWire 800 like me, the information below still applies.

I have financial information, scanned receipts, emails and email attachments, and the other assorted digital things that we all come into contact with in our daily lives. It’s the nature of the “digital world”. In addition to being a Mac user, I’m obviously a genealogist. I end up with a lot of information such as copies of birth certificates, family photos, and other documents that I would not be comfortable having other people access without my permission. Imagine losing a hard drive with some personal information about a family member, and having to tell them that you didn’t take any precautions with that information even though it’s easy to do so? Awkward, very awkward.

The bottom line is that if somebody steals one of your external drives or flash drives, they aren’t going to be able to get the information off the drive if you have FileVault 2 enabled on the drive.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Once you’ve encrypted an external hard drive with File Vault 2, if you lose or forget the password, that data is gone!
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ScrapPad 1.1

Album tArt LLC has released ScrapPad 1.1. ScrapPad is a Mac (and iPad – see link below) application that allows you to easily make scrapbook layouts/pages. The included assets are 300dpi, and you can print the scrapbook pages, or email or upload them to the internet, as well as do presentations in the full-screen slideshow mode. It comes with 17 themed kits.

Version 1.1 offers a big upgrade – Facebook integration for those who want to share with family/friends.

Changes in version 1.1
* Facebook Integration – scrapbooks can be published directly to Facebook under the photo albums section.
* Fixed bug where rotation elements would stay fixed on screen after elements were deleted.?* Fixed bug where text box would be empty the second time an element was uploaded.

ScrapPad has an introductory price that’s 50% off – $4.99, according to their website.

Requirements:
* Mac OS X 10.6.6
* 774 MB

Purchase/Download:
Update: The Mac version has limited availability – see the ScrapPad website for details.

There is also an iOS/iPad version available, recently updated:
USA ScrapPad – Scrapbook for iPad – Album tArt LLC
Canada ScrapPad – Scrapbook for iPad – Album tArt LLC
United Kingdom ScrapPad – Scrapbook for iPad – Album tArt LLC
Germany ScrapPad – Scrapbook for iPad – Album tArt LLC
FranceScrapPad – Scrapbook for iPad – Album tArt LLC