Information: CD-ROM products and Macs

I spoke with the folks over at about using Macs to view the genealogy data on the CD-ROMs they publish/sell, and they informed me they are working on a Mac solution (right now the viewers are Windows only). They don’t have a timeframe as of yet, but will e-mail/contact us when they have more information.

They have a lot of good genealogy publications to begin with (2000+ books and CDs and counting), and it’s great to see they aren’t going to leave Mac genealogists out.

If your interested, you might want to take a look around their site, and maybe even send them an e-mail stating that your a Mac user and would like to be informed when their Mac solution is released. They obviously know there is an interest from Mac users, since they are working on a Mac solution, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to let them know that you are interested and to thank them for working on a Mac solution. We’ll post more information when we have it.


Macworld: Apple’s New Products

By now, you may have heard about Apple’s new offerings :

Mac mini. They did it. A new, entry-level Mac at $499. Six and a half inches square and two inches tall. Think about that for a few minutes. Much of it is Build-To-Order as well (faster CPU, more memory, bigger harddrive, DVD burner, etc.). If you know anybody sitting on the fence about converting to Macs, or have an older machine and want to upgrade, or just don’t like clutter, this might be the Mac for you. Ships: 22 Jan 2005

Apple iPod shuffle. $99 or $149 iPod (512MB or 1GB storage), about the size of a couple of sticks of gum, twelve – twenty hours battery life. Doubles as a flash/USB drive. If you want a cheap backup, maybe your taking some photos or files over to a friends or a family member, this might be the device for you, because it’s not much more than normal flash/USB drives in this range. Ships: Now

Apple iWork ’05 – Productivity Suite made up of Keynote 2 and Pages, Apple’s new word processor, with plenty of features including some spiffy styles/templates, Word compatability, PDF publishing. Noticed that ‘Family Newsletter’ was one of the templates… $79. Ships: 22 Jan 2005.

Apple iLife ’05. Substantial updates to iMovie (HD/Letterbox content), iDVD (many more formats, themes/menus), GarageBand, and iPhoto, which has almost become a replacement for Adobe Photoshop Elements (and some would argue the asset management was better). iPhoto will handle RAW photos, as well as some advanced editing features. $79 Ships: 22 Jan 2005.

Software: Notebook 2.0

Two major updates/announcements for journaling/outlining/notebook software. Some people use those terms interchangeably, but regardless many genealogists are using these or similar software products in addition to their normal genealogy programs.

Circus Ponies will release version 2.0 of it’s note-taking/organizing software, NoteBook in March for $50. Among the 150 new features, will be the ability to integrate with some Apple iApps/applications as well as the iPod. This will be a free upgrade for 1.2 users.


Online Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter has setup/sponsored a free online genealogy encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is

a free-content encyclopedia created by its readers, people like you. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is available to everyone, free of charge. Everyone can also contribute information, again free of charge.

It provides reference information about everything in genealogy except people.

Utilities for MrSID images/files.

Steve Jackson has a small collection of useful genealogy utilities for working with MrSID image/raster files at his .Mac Homepage.

Unfortunately they are Classic/MacOS 8 & 9 only, but they include not only the browser plugins but a standalone MrSID viewer (that lets you export as TIFF files and that is much faster than going through the browser). Many of us run into these images, either through online maps we come across or through some sites publishing genealogy data in this format.

These are/were originally from LizardTech, however it appears they have abandoned the Mac platform. They can still be found there if you dig around.

Update: As of February 2005, mrSID support has been added to GraphicConverter.

Software/Java: GeneaPro 0.0.6.PreAlpha

GeneaPro’s latest alpha has been released. Note: This is still in the early design stages.

GeneaPro is a Genealogical Database application, and will have a complete feature set similar to high-end commercial packages. In addition to providing a high quality product suitable for use by serious amateur and professional genealogists, GeneaPro primary additional features that improve upon the current commercial products are: read more.

Official Page Page

Release Notes

Note: Tested under MacOS X – the scripts point to Windows/Linux-specific files and stops. For the time being this is probably a no-go unless you are very familiar with Java programming. We’ll drop a note to the project leaders about OS X support.