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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Odds and Ends of Technology

Sometimes there are so many things happening in technology, none of which warrant a complete blog post that I like to just list a summary of recent events:

First on my list today, are some drastic changes to Google Reader. Google's new Reader design integrates Reader with Google+. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on whether or not you presently use Google+ and/or Reader. I'm also not sure whether or not the changes benefit the user or simply force more people to use Google+. I happened like Google+ more than I like Facebook, but I am sure that I'm in a minority in that regard.

Many news stories are reporting rather tepid sales for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. Apparently, the sales are running behind those clocked by Windows Vista during the same period of time.

I found an interesting smartphone/tablet app called Snapguide. It is sort of a cross between YouTube and a social networking site. It is setup to provide video instruction for everything from menus, two recipes, automotive repairs and everything in between. It doesn't look like the genealogists have discovered it yet.

There was a big controversy over the substitution of Apple's Map App for Google's Map App on the iPhones and iPads. Apple's Map program simply did not work sufficiently well to be useful. Taking advantage of the situation, Google dropped their Map program for a while and then released it again in an upgraded version. Meanwhile, some of us discovered Waze and other options for using map programs and the whole issue just went away.

During the past year, many of popular genealogical database programs have undergone significant upgrades. This is just a reminder to check to see whether or not the program you are using has been upgraded. If there has been a significant upgrade, you may have to purchase the upgrade. You may wish to do this for a number of reasons including keeping your software compatible with hardware changes and operating system upgrades.

The boom in the tablet computer market has certainly reached our family. At a recent family gathering with three of my children and their families, I counted 11 computers, tablets, and smartphones.

2012 saw the introduction of light field cameras. The first production model called the Lytro, started selling. Light field cameras allow the user to take a picture and decide later which portion of the picture to put in focus. Yes, an out-of-focus picture can be refocused after it has been downloaded to your computer. Toshiba is also developing the technology.

 That is probably enough for now.


  1. I'm with you James on preferring Google+ to Facebook. I've yet to explore the changes to my RSS tool Google Reader.

  2. Nice post. Let’s start thinking more of others and less of ourselves. Happy new year.