Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In genealogy, the only constant is change itself

One of the hallmarks of the new developments in the world of on-line genealogy is the need to use updated computer systems. One of the basic components of such a system is a high speed Internet connection. Fortunately, in many places of the world, such connections are becoming more available and reasonably priced. In some areas these connections may be free in connection with other services. In our neighborhood, we just got a flyer announcing that high speed fiber optic cable was now available. New FamilySearch is graphics and data intensive, without a higher speed connection, it is almost unusable.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) has specific recommendations for computer systems for the best results in using FamilySearch. Here are the combinations of operating systems and browsers needed:

Browsers Operating Systems
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and newer running under
• Windows XP (Home and Professional SP1 and newer)
• Windows Vista
Mozilla and newer, including Firefox also running under
• Windows XP (Home and Professional SP1 and newer)
• Windows Vista
Safari 3.12 Mac OS X (10.4 and newer)
You can use other browsers and operating systems, though some features may not work as well.

Other Requirements
• A VGA or SVGA monitor with a screen resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixels and at least 65,000 screen
• A dial-up Internet connection of 28.8 kbps or better (broadband is recommended for using the online
overviews that teach how to use the system)
• (Optional) Adobe Reader version 6.01 or higher to view and print instructions for FamilySearch
• (Optional) Adobe Flash Player version 7.0 or higher to see online overviews for FamilySearch

This information comes directly from the New FamilySearch Web site.

In today's electronics market, computer systems running this software, with more than the capability to connect to the Internet and process genealogical information, start at considerably under $500. For example a new HP a6610t with a 19" monitor and 2 GB SDRAM and a 250 GB hard drive is $499.99 at Costco. Similar prices and systems are available at many other outlets such as Best Buy, system for $379.99 and Walmart, system for $415. If you are serious about keeping up with the progress in genealogy, part of your consideration, besides spending time, should be to have the right equipment.

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