New FamilySearch Family Trees

Enter your tree

Enter your tree here

The new FamilySearch Family Tree entry for those of us who do not belong to the LDS Church is now available. I couldn’t help myself – I had a look to see what I could make of it.

It’s not really intuitive.

For example, have a look at the tree above and tell me what you think I should do next. Where do I put my father? My mother? Where does it explain that if I put living people in (and I wasn’t initially willing to) they won’t show up anywhere? Where does it tell me that they won’t show up anywhere?

The add and search screen are the same, so if you enter someone’s name hoping to add them and then fill in the fields for parents and spouse, you are not adding the parents and spouse, you are just searching for the person with these people connected to him/her, and you have to add them separately. And because the chart shows two people in each box where you would expect to see one, it’s difficult to work out where to put anyone at all.

I’ve added five people so far, including myself, and I can only see three on the tree, so I’m not spending any more time on it.

I have every respect for the work that FamilySearch do, but they really need to find some decent web developers and analysts.

iGoogle has a new look

iGoogle has a new look, and I like it. I use iGoogle as my home page, as as you can see I have customised it to the way I like it. I also use Google+, and I appreciate the clean design it uses. iGoogle has been brought in line with Google+.

This is how it looked a couple of days ago.

iGoogle old look

This is how it looks today.

iGoogle new look

The changes are subtle but make a big difference. The most obvious difference is that side column. It’s not gone, it can be brought back at any time. You can see a little arrow on the top left above Weather. I’ve hidden it because 99.99% of the time I don’t need it.

Clicking on an item in Google reader gives a cleaner look as well.

Well done Google!

 

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.