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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

FamilyInsight and Windows 7 on an iMac

FamilyInsight is a highly useful add-on tool for Personal Ancestral File (PAF) users who want to do many of the things that PAF won't do, particularly with New FamilySearch. The features of the program give PAF real utility, but unfortunately you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. (Actually, you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but the question is, who would want to?). PAF is not going to be supported in the future by FamilySearch and as time goes on and more and more information is obtained from online sources, PAF is being left further and further behind.

That brings us to FamilyInsight. This program does what it does so well, it makes me pause repeatedly in my dismissal of the PAF program. Ohana Software has created a really convenient interface and even the most computer illiterate of the PAF users can usually figure out what the program is offering. So, I was very interested to see what would happen when I loaded PAF on my new Windows 7 installation on my iMac. If you haven't read any of my previous posts, you will, of course, not know that I installed Windows 7, using Paralells Desktop, on my iMac. I also have a PC which I have used for years, but I really prefer working on a Macintosh computer.

If this experiment works out, and it seems like it is going to do so, then I will dump my desktop PC in favor of the new iMac.

The PAF program running on Windows 7 looks and acts in the normal PAF fashion. However, I have yet to get FamilyInsight to work with any PAF file. The first obstacle was to get FamilyInsight to open at all. The program could not find the FamilyInsight data file. I finally got the program to recognize the location of the data file for the program but I have still not gotten past the program's inability to locate the PAF data files, even when I open FamilyInsight from within PAF while the target data file is open in PAF. I am still working on the issue and haven't yet decided if the problem is with Windows 7, the way it works on the iMac or something in FamilyInsight.

As with any new operating system, I would not recommend jumping directly into an upgrade until I determined to my own satisfaction that the new system will work with all my existing programs. Stay tuned for further comments on Windows 7 and existing genealogy software.

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