I don’t love my new Toshiba netbook any more

Early last year I bought a Toshiba NB200 notebook. It was just what I wanted. I bumped up the RAM to 2GB and installed Dropbox, and I never looked back. I could take my work with me and have it synchronise with my main laptop at home.

About a month ago it became unreliable as to starting up. Now it won’t start up at all. Not happy.

I’ve checked forums and so on. If I press F2 or F12 while it’s trying to boot up – nothing happens.

If I press 0 (zero) while it’s booting up to restore it to its factory condition – nothing happens.

If I do nothing when it’s trying to boot up, I either get a black screen or the Toshiba splash screen, and there it stays.

The forums also say to use my system restore disk. I have no system restore disk, and I don’t have a portable disk drive to run it on, so to buy these things will cost more money. I thought that’s what the space being taken up on the hard disk by the factory system restore was for.

I know we’re supposed to be replacing our netbooks with iPads or other tablets these days, but I use mine to work. I need a keyboard all the time. I don’t want to have to mess with a virtual keyboard, and I don’t want to have to carry a portable keyboard around and have to connect everything up when I get to the place where I am researching. I just want to open up my netbook and go.

I can’t afford to buy a new netbook every year and then upgrade the memory, and then spend the time loading everything back on it that I need. I would pay more for a netbook with a longer guarantee, but it seems that netbooks are on the way out, in favour of tablets.

OK, I’ve had my rant, thank you for your attention!

By the way, if you are interested in Dropbox, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, you will do me a favour if you sign up using my recommendation. That way I get more space, and when you are as hooked as I am you can recommend it to your friends and get more space above the first free 2GB.

Unlock The Past 2011 NSW Expo

The 2011 Unlock The Past NSW Expo was held at the Coff-Ex this last Friday and Saturday. I was there helping out in an official capacity and I gave a talk on Social Media for Family Historians. I was sorry to have missed many of the presentations given, but I did manage to catch two.

Carol Liston spoke about researching places in depth for family and local history in a talk called Finding the address isn’t enough – the links between local and family history. I have seen Carol speak on previous occasions and she always gives an overview that helps you draw the details of family history together in a way that you think ‘of course! why didn’t I think of that?’ Go and see her any chance you get!

Melanie Oppenheimer spoke about the Soldier Settlement schemes in NSW and the project she is working on to better understand the experiences of the soldiers involved in these schemes. The stories and photographs contributed by the descendants of the soldiers add a depth not otherwise possible. The website is hosted in conjunction with State Records NSW and is well worth a visit.

Both talks deserved a much higher attendance.

There are some excellent posts on the Expo by Shauna Hicks and Helen Smith and so I will not repeat what they said here.

I will just share some photos I took through the weekend:

NSW Expo

National Library of Australia

Kerry Farmer

 

Coffs Harbour Regional Museum
Society of Australian Genealogists

I think everyone had a great time, I know I did!

 

 

Picasa Face Recognition can be moved to a new computer

Picasa face recognitionA few months ago my laptop spent days going through all my photos and tagging the faces, and then I spent a few more days (on and off) giving them names. It was a lot of fun, and I wrote about it here.

When my laptop ran out of space I had to move all my photos onto an external hard drive. I was nervous about losing all of that work so I wasn’t brave enough to open Picasa.

Now I have a new laptop, with plenty of space for all my photos, and so I have moved them back. The question was, did I have to do all that face recognition all over again?

The answer, I’m happy to say, is no.

Picasa keeps all of that information in a separate database. As long as you can access those files from your old computer you can use them to replace the new ones when you install Picasa on it.

Basically you need to back up:

"C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2"

and

"C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2Albums"

The first one holds face recognition data and probably much more, and the second holds your albums. I didn’t have these files backed up, but they were still on the hard drive of my old computer, and today, with the help of my new hard drive enclosure that arrived in the mail, I was able to copy them over.

I have also added everything under AppData to my Mozy backups so I don’t have this problem in the future if my hard drive fails.

Do you have your AppData backed up?