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Archiver > SOUTH-AFRICA > 2001-06 > 0993108230


From: "Steve Hayes" <>
Subject: Re: Family tree
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 09:23:50 +0200
In-Reply-To: <005f01c0f98c$c866eca0$e52821c4@oemcomputer>


On 20 Jun 01, at 15:27, David Moon wrote:

> Having bought Family tree I was told to buy Ultimate Family Tree, which I
> did when in the U.K. Then I was told to give that up as the company were
> not going to continue with this product. So I bought Master Genealogist..
> Lots of software and no progress seems to my story. Has anyone survived a
> similar experience and if so what was the final solution. David Moon
> Pietermaritzburg

I started off with Roots/M, which I think was the ancestor of Ultimate
Family Tree. Then the computer I ran it on died, so I started again with
Family History System (FHS), a freeware/shareware program, which i still
use as my program of first entry. I began using it in 1987, and upgraded to
the 1993 version. I use other programs because they have better reports, or
better source recording, or better quick lookups, but FHS still has the
easiest way to transfer data to the other programs in the first place, without
duplicating records.

I've been using PAF 2.2 and trying to get all the source records into order
in that one. Recently I bought The Master Genealogist at the Computer
Faire because everyone said it was the best, and it certainly looks very
nice, but getting my records across into it is easier said than done - it
takes the source notes from PAF 2.2 and creates nonexistent events. If
there is a source for a marriage, it creates a marriage.

I don't have time to go through over 8000 records to sort that kind of mess
out, but I've downloaded PAF 4.x, which is free, and in a year or three,
when I've got the source notes properly entered, I'll try moving them to PAF
4,x, and then see if they'll go into TMG after that.

That may be in 5 years time, by which time there will probably be new
versions of all those programs, and therein lies the problem.

Software companies have to keep bringing out new versions, because they
need a steady income. But you, the user, can get so seduced by this that
eventually you stop doing genealogy and spend all your time playing with
genealogy programs. You never have time to learn the features of one
program before the upgrade comes out, and you have to start learning it all
over again.

My favourite programs, the ones I use most of the time, were all written
before 1993, when Windows 3.1 came out. I still have not mastered them
completely, though I've been using some of them, like FHS and the
XyWrite word processor, for 14 years -- and they still have features that
other programs that take more disk space and memory, do not have.

So you have to ask yourself the question -- do you want to do genealogy,
or do you want to play with genealogy programs?

PAF is a free download - try it, and if you like it, you can stick to it, and
actually use it for genealogy.

Keep well,

Steve Hayes
Web: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/famhist1.htm
E-mail:



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