12 August 2012

Frozen with Indecision

My research has been  frozen by a chain of decisions I've made or not been able to make.  I haven't done any real research or analysis for 4 months.  Have you ever read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? ....

I firmly decided after returning from my Salt Lake City research trip in early April, that there would be no new research until I got all of that trip's output reviewed, analyzed, into my databases, and filed neatly away.  Good idea, right?

After I returned home, I did buy that additional computer I was yearning for in March.  I decided  I would return to my Apple origins and that I would NOT run Windows on my new Mac Book Pro.  So, then it didn't make any sense to do all the data input on the old PC just to have to transfer it later.  I played with the Mac in general to get used to it and I researched Mac database programs.  Narrowing it down to Reunion and FTM for Mac 2, I went off to Jamboree hoping to try them both while there.

I thought my decision was made for me when I actually won a copy of FTM Mac 2 at Jamboree!  And the Ancestry people were incredibly nice at their booth.  In the last two months, I've made gedcoms of my databases and imported them on the new Mac.   I really like how all the Ancestry.com document images are automatically attached/sourced in the database; it's really nice to be able to see the docs offline and from inside my database.  I've even synced 2 of my trees with Ancestry.com trees.  The syncing works quite well.  (Another decision had been to start making my online trees public: why do all this original research if I'm not more actively sharing it?)

But, otherwise, I'm just not sure.  All names and notes seem to have come through fine.   It's cosmetic, but many of my notes are missing spaces between words; I think the gedcom misses some <return> characters between paragraphs.  The biggest problem is that my citations did not all survive the import.  Source notes (IE: condition, edition, comments on validity) have vanished.  In general, the format of the sources is just so different from what I am used to that it is taking me forever to do anything.  Ancestral Quest allows citations attached to the name of the individual (I've been using that for hints, null searches, and sources with more detail than I care to input, etc.).  None of those citations show up in FTMMac2 at all.

Twice  in the last 2 months, I've been so frustrated that I stopped using FTMMac2. I went so far as to download Reunion, MacFamilyTree, and one of the open source alternatives.  But they each had major, major things I absolutely did not like.  And, then I even considered running Windows and a third-party program that would allow me to still run Ancestral Quest on my new Mac.  But, no, I just don't want to do that...  But the Family Group Sheet printouts are so much nicer in Ancestral Quest...

See what I mean by frozen with indecision?  Now, I've decided that if I am sticking with Mac, I just have to decide to stick with FTMMac2 until I get used to it.  And, I don't have to be compulsive about my sources & citations not being as elaborate as they were.  This is a hobby, it should be fun, and I do not have to agonize over perfection.  I am not responsible for archiving the world.

So, I'm going to start getting all that no-longer-so-new research into my new databases.  I really want to do some new research.  That's the part I like best.  Maybe I'll return to having FirstFridayFolders and use that to fully reconcile each direct-line couple between the old and new databases (at 12 couples per year, it'll only take 166 years...) but I won't make that decision now ...  I think I've decided that I'm giving the mouse a cookie, in fact, a whole box of cookies, ...and that means there will be some clean-up to do.... Maybe I can get the mouse to do her share?

1 comment:

  1. Every time I view your blog, I get so excited about the new things I find about our ancestors....you are such a blessing!!!! Thank you so much Marie for sharing it all.
    I really hope that I get to meet you one of these days....maybe at the Causier Reunion in England!!!!
    Thanks again for everything you do and share Marie!!!

    Love and hugs,
    Sally (Skelton) Bratton
    4th G-Granddaughter to William & Ann (Tolley) Causier