In a sense, PAF has moved into the category of legend and myth. It has become the part of the pantheon of genealogical gods. It is now the immortal program and is fast becoming part of the "origin myth" of genealogy. From this standpoint, I really appreciated the comment in the email at the beginning of this post that says,
PAF has a place for everything most genealogists want to record and the exceptions can go into the notes. Its all the program most need or want.Hmm. Now here is the question. Is Personal Ancestral File (PAF) all the program most need and want? My question is a little bit different: does PAF still work on a new computer?
I just happen to have a PC running Windows 10 which was updated during the time I was writing this blog post. So I began the task of finding a downloadable version of PAF to see how it works on a relatively new computer running the latest Windows upgrade (until tomorrow when another upgrade comes out). As you can probably guess, I am reasonably familiar with searching online. However, after spending a considerable time looking, I was unable to find a reasonable website that had a PAF download. So I couldn't verify for myself whether or not the program will still run on the latest version of Microsoft Windows 10.
However, the fact that I had no success in finding a copy online indicated that when all the old copies are gone, the program will quietly die a real death. But then, I had a thought. What about Amazon.com?
It is still for sale!! But not only is it for sale, the asking price is more than both the brand new, fully-supported, up-to-date, programs that support all the old PAF files: RootsMagic.com and AncestralQuest (ancqueste.com) Now using an old, abandoned, pernicious program seems even more illogical.
If you want to read recent reviews of PAF please see GenSoftReviews.com. Here is a five star rating from January 3, 2018, that points out the inconsistencies in the defense of PAF but still lauds the program.
I have been using PAF since its beginning and have and will continue to use it until no computer will any longer support it. I just finished copying PAF5 to my new computer running the newest version of Windows10 and it runs beautifully and even faster than on my old computer.
The important thing is you must continuely make new gedcom files as you update your genealogy data. Then often upload the latest PAF gedcom file into a commercial software program of your choice. Some like RootsMagic and Legacy are 2 programs that even allow you to import your PAF file into their programs. There may be others.
If the time comes then that PAF can no longer be supported, you still have your complete database to point of the last GEDCOM upload into your commercial paid for software. It is more than worth the money and these extra steps to be able to have the simplicity and ease of use of PAF and not be concerned about losing all the research and effort you’ve expended.
Biggest Pro: Ease of UseUnfortunately, this reviewer wants you to buy the real commercial program to make sure you don't lose all your data. Why not just use the commercial program? By the way, the program is no longer supported.
Biggest Con: None