Unlock The Past Expo Victoria

The last of the four Unlock The Past Expos was held this weekend in Geelong, and it was the biggest and best ever. It was held at the Geelong Arena, the home of the Geelong Supercats (a basketball team, I believe). The Exhibition Hall was a transformed basketball court, with carpet laid over the shiny wooden floor, and was swarming with visitors and exhibitors.

Exhibition Hall in Geelong

There were two streams of talks and my biggest regret was that I didn’t get to see any of them. I was kept very busy, helping out with registrations at the beginning of both days, and helping people with their research the rest of the time. There were lots of interesting questions and even though I couldn’t always find answers immediately for them we always managed to find somewhere else they could look. It’s important to remember that not everything is available online!

Gould genealogy table

For more photos go to my photo album in Facebook, and for a full rundown of all the talks see Shauna’s blog.

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!