I have been a long time user of the Firefox browser but lately I have been using Chrome a lot. Both are free. Both have good and bad points. I think it is a personal thing. Safari, the browser from Apple, which you can use on a Windows computer, is visually interesting. It’s on my iPod Touch. I have not figured out Opera. It’s on my phone and I do plan to try it on my computer. I don’t use Internet Explorer, mostly because it is the most prone to viruses but I think there is some rebellion there too. Some programs work better with some sites than others. If one isn’t working well with a favorite site experiment with another. Yes you can use five browsers if you want. Web site managers generally have several.
Chrome has a slick add on that allows you to clip a page or part of a page and send it directly to Evernote. It integrates well with Evernote, just fill out the notebook and tags and it is gone. Firefox uses Evernote’s clipper which has not worked all that well for me, not to mention it is always behind the current version. The two don’t seem to be communicating. What? You are not using Evernote? You really are cheating yourself of an excellent free tool. I keep all my notes from everything in it. I don’t know how people live without it.
Since I have scanned all my paper and saved it in pdf I am now looking for a program to read and manipulate pdf documents. I originally used Adobe Acrobat Pro, a good but expensive program from a less than supportive company. My version isn’t working well with Windows 7 and I really don’t want to buy the upgrade. I have used NitroPDF reader and PrimoPDF to print. I tried the entire suite but I had problems with it, probably more related to me than it since I insist on using WordPerfect and they use Word. [It’s a bigger issue than you would imagine and seems to be getting worse. Think Corel v. Microsoft.] I’d prefer not to have six programs. If you have suggestions let me know.
For years I depended on my Palm personal digital assistant [PDA] to keep me organized and keep all my information at my fingertips. My Palm contained my entire database from The Master Genealogist, every single fact.
Software changed. Palm changed. I was left without a PDA and was unsuccessful in my search for an appropriate replacement. I thought my Blackberry Smartphone would do it but it doesn’t.
Recently I bought an iPod Touch. Basically it’s an iPhone without the phone or camera. It has my calendar, my contacts, applications, music and pictures. Podcasts like Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and genealogy lectures from iTunes U are “other” under music. You could add tv shows and movies although I can’t imagine watching any on the 2 x 3.5″ screen.
One of the first apps I downloaded was Evernote. I don’t know how people live without it. I keep all my genealogy notes in it. On the iPod Touch you can make notes but you need the internet to see your stored notes and to sync. This is also true of Dropbox, another application. If you put a file in your Dropbox you can see it on you iPod Touch when you have wi-fi. The iPod Touch has wi-fi but you need a wi-fi source to use the internet. When you have that the internet is your oyster. More and more places have wi-fi internet these days.
I downloaded several pdf reader apps, found one that works for me called pdf Reader, and uploaded Michael John Neill’s Casefile Clues collection to the iPod Touch. I wouldn’t want to read a book [you can though – in fact there is a Kindle app] but blogs and such work quite well. The pdf files are stored on the iPod Touch – no wi-fi required.
I’m not impressed with the genealogy apps at the moment. Although GEDViewer looks promising it cannot handle more than 2-3,000 names. I’m sure it is just a matter of time until one I like comes along.
You can record voice memos too.
The virtual keyboard takes a bit of getting used to but I have become an accomplished one finger typist. Think of the hours I wasted learning to type correctly!
If it had a camera and continuous internet connection it would be about perfect. Oh wait, that’s an iPhone. I suspect there’s one in my future.