Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dick Eastman at the Family History Society of Arizona Seminar

Today was the Family History Society of Arizona’s seminar and annual meeting with Dick Eastman of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter as our speaker. Dick is a wonderful presenter who can take a topic and make it seem very easy  I find myself enthralled, learning new things and being affirmed that at least I am on the right track with some of the things I am doing. He gives me clarity. Here’s the top things I learned from each of his three talks.

Genealogy Searches on Google

Google has special syntax searches. One in particular caught my attention. On the Google search page, type the word "info:" and then the url of the webpage you are interested in. For example, if I do the following search:


This search returns about the url that you put in after the term "info:" including pages that link to this particular url and web pages that contain the term or url that you searched. It struck me as one way of finding out who's talking about you out in the blogosphere.

The Organized Genealogist

This talk was completely different from the usual organizing lectures I have attended that usually go over organizing you paper files or the folders on your hard drive. Dick gave this topic a really different and useful twist. One of the points he covered was the program called Evernote which can remember everything for you.. Since I have recently begun using Evernote, I found some very useful ideas presented.

Dick also mentioned a new product that is due to come out on the market soon called the Ion Book Saver. This device will hold a book while you flip the pages and take pictures. I’ll be anxiously awaiting Dick’s review when the Book Saver becomes available.

Conservation-Keeping Up With Technology

A question from the audience caught my attention during this presentation. A lady brought up that she has many Word documents from very early versions of Word that she is unable to open now. This issue could really apply to any program that has been repeatedly upgraded over the years. This is something hadn’t occurred to me. I’ll need to find, open and resave really old Word (or whatever) files in a newer version. I just figured that a Word file, no matter how old, could be opened in the current version of Word forever. Apparently that is not so.

Another question that came up had to do with a topic that I have investigated in depth in the past because there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Dick's explanation was incredibly clear. I wish I had asked him this question a long time ago! Since it's become a bit of a pet peeve for me, I am going to save it for a future post so check back in a week or so.

I love seminars. I always learn new things and enjoy the opportunity to see friends and meet new people who share a common interest. Bloggers Mary of me and my ancestors and Carol of Reflections From the Fence also attended (Carol and I had a blast carpooling). I hope you check out their blogs and see what they had to say.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Thanks for the overview of this seminar. I went to Dick's page and read more about it. Too bad I can't afford that one-ton book scanner! I look forward to your future posts on the seminar.

  2. I think you have a great page here… today was my first time coming here.. I just happened to find it doing a google search. anyway, good post.. I’ll be bookmarking this page for sure.

  3. Who doesn't learn something new from Dick Eastman on a weekly basis at least.

  4. Thank you for the recap! Wish I could have been there.