November 29, 2015

Using Shoebox From Ancestry For The First Time

Shoebox from Ancestry

Today was the first day I had used the mobile app Shoebox from Ancestry. Admittedly, my photo taking and quality are not the best, but I think you can get a good idea of the ability of the application to save photos to your tree(s) on Ancestry. Please click the link for a full explanation of the features including how to use them.

To me, this is a real plus in the photo sharing department. It reminds me of the time we were at a Wilkerson cousin’s home and they had an enlarged picture of Joshua and Sarah Jane True Wilkerson’s formal portrait. Jim’s cousin Anita Vantiger tried to persuade the owner to let us take the photo to get it copied (yes, we knew it was a long shot) but that idea was understandably rejected. So, the next best thing was to use our old film camera and we took a picture of the image in its frame.

For those “you will never have this opportunity again” moments when photos or documents are available, using Shoebox from Ancestry would have been perfect. What a time saver! What about using it in cemeteries? Imagine you’ve trekked through the tick infested wilds of a country burying ground and actually found great grandpa’s worn and weathered headstone. Click!

Jim's pic capture on FB.jpg Obviously, this is not my husband Jim’s headstone (thank goodness!). It’s my photo that was edited in Shoebox from Ancestry, sent to my email and then after checking its quality, I was able to click the link and it opened on the Ancestry site as a link to my husbands profile in our Wilkerson family tree. When that page opened it gave me the options to share it on Facebook, Google+, or email it.

Isn’t technology great? Thanks Ancestry!

Looking for more technology tips? Check out Thomas MacEntee’s site Hack Genealogy.



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Cloud Backup Made Easy

Cloud Storage? Yes, but which one?

I’m sure you’ve heard that advertising catch phrase “To the cloud”, but do you know exactly what cloud storage means and how it can be a benefit to you?

Cloud storage is a descriptive way of saying that your documents and files stored on your computer are uploaded to backup company’s hard disk. Essentially, the company you choose stores the files on their hard disk at another location anywhere in the world.

 Safety, Security and Peace of Mind

These files are accessible only by you and are encrypted (even if they somehow were accessed they would not be readable) and kept safe by the hosting company as part of your agreement with them.

I personally pay for backup storage with a well-known company. We have two computers to back up, so we have a plan for each. The cost is minimal considering the benefit of peace of mind knowing I can always get to my files. How does it work? The company you choose will have a program you can download that links to their service site.

You can choose options such as the time of day you want your files backed up, the locations of those files on your computer, and will have some sort of indicator to show when all the files have been saved. It’s a one-time setup for the program and the rest is automatic.

For us, we leave our computers on and our cloud backup occurs in the middle of the night when we are less likely to be using our computers. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your computer when the cloud backup is taking place. It’s just easier (in my opinion) to do it at that time in case there is any kind of slow down while backing up.

Top Ten Cloud Storage

If you’re looking for more information to use so that you feel you’re choosing the best cloud storage I suggest Top Ten Cloud Storage as a great place to start. They will answer frequently asked questions (FAQ’s), you can determine the plan that best fits your needs. Personally, I love a site that’s already done all the research for me and put all the answers on one site.

Top Ten Cloud Storage goes an extra mile by displaying testimonials by actual users of cloud storage hosts.  They also have a blog, a forum and a presence on Twitter and Facebook.