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Frans Erich

What if I would die?

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Frans Erich

Hi community, 

My complete research is in the TNG database and it is getting bigger and bigger but this is a hobby that will never end. I’m backing up every night on another location  But what if…. I would die?

I will no longer pay my internet service provider and they will kill my site and destroy my data. So will eventually my backup provider.

It would an idea to make “Book maker” mod. Maybe it would be even better if Darrin should build an optional book maker application and sell it to us. Of course I could export a GETCOM and make a book out of that. But what about all those media files I’ve gadded for so many years?

I don’t think I’m the only one whom has thoughts about this.

So can you please share your opinions and ideas on this matter?

Kind regards,

Frans

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stores

Hello Frans, This is one of the reasons in my opinion one should maintain an offline test site or duplicate site on ones computer and or use an alternate program to maintain your tree and export info to a gedcom periodically to update your online site.

That said, I have seen a couple genealogy book makers over the years but I have only found one that came close to being useful in my opinion. It can be found here... http://www.ancestralauthor.com/ I use the 2.9 version.

Ancestral Author extracts information from your gedcom to create a pdf book.

Basically, after walking through a short menu identifying the start person and other things it creates the pdf book along with a txt script file. 

I found it easiest to just modify the txt script file to include chapters and images and other things so that periodically I would run the program, load the script file, and update the book from my newest gedcom. 

The nice thing about Ancestral Author is that the names have hyper links so you can walk through generations. The program also contains an index with hyper links to the individuals in the tree. 

I actually use this to create books on the different branches to share with relations.

You can download the program to try it out as well, which is always nice.


Hope this helps.

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Newfloridian

I would agree that some form of archive would be a great advantage. My personal option has been to create three backup synchronised copies of my website to USB drives using the module "TNG on a USB stick" which can be found on the TNG extras page. I have addressed one of these to each of three members of my Next Generation with instructions and a suitable emolument to get them started. Not perfect but at least it preserves both the data and my research work.

There is one initiative which, although flawed, may be worth looking at. The GOONS (Guild of One-Name Studies" has devised "The Members' Websites Projects (MWP): A safe haven for members' one-name study websites" which, they say, will preserve members research indefinitely. It has a large online database and can take material from a TNG produced GEDCOM.

I say flawed because in its present form you are tied in to whatever the administrators decide is a commonality (php version; mysql etc). When still a member of GOONS I was invited to have a look at the early stages and it was clear that a highly customised site such as mine would cause difficulties or even be incompatible.  They went part way to answering that but with this proviso:

 You can have your own stand-alone TNG site, but you will become responsible for its set-up and upgrading. The project team will not be able to assist you if things go wrong. You should be aware you will not have access to our server’s cPanel.
 

The Guild's MWP website can be found here:  The Members’ Websites Project (MWP)   A safe haven for members’ one-name study websites

Maybe that could be the skeleton to build a formal archive

 

Alan

 

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Frans Erich

Thank you both for your very useful advices. I will look into the bookmaker app. And the Guild site is a very good candidate to. The “mod” TNG on USB is my initiative. I’ve created the first and the most resent version. Still I don’t believe the USB option is not good one for the longer term. Because I don’t believe USB will last very long in this fast moving world.

I hope more people will share their ideas on this subject and place comments.

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Newfloridian

Hi Frans

There are a whole raft of imponderables when attempting to put together a strategy where your material will outlast you. The problem with the print option is that it is fixed at one point in time. I'm certainly not that downbeat about hardware and feel sure that USB3, its derivatives and successors will remain for the foreseeable future.

The biggest threat for longevity is the threat facing all of us right now - and that is the perpetual "monkeying around" with the underlying software: and by that I accuse PHP of being the worst offender. I hate to think what would happen if (when?) the powers that be start doing the same with html and css coding - insisting that pages validate correctly or they won't display!

I now have TNG (10.1.3 - with no interest in upgrading further) running on three systems, each using different versions of PHP. My online site is still at 5.6 - and my ISP has told me that they have no plans for withdrawing the provision of any of the eight versions of PHP which their users can choose through cPanel going back to PHP 4.4! The most advanced is my Windows 10 PC installation of Wampserver 64 which runs with PHP7.1.12. The Wampserver site provides modules to upgrade to the latest distribution version of PHP which then becomes switchable. 

The problem so far is that I haven't discovered whether Wampserver could be used to run TNG on a USB drive. Obviously I realise that you have done stirling work with this mod starting with MoWeSII and then transferring to USBWebserver when MoWeSII was withdrawn. The question now is whether there is a simple way in which USBWeserver's program suite can also be upgraded to the latest versions (I think the version in the TNG Extras folder is still at PHP5.4)

Alan

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Ken Roy
On 12/29/2017 at 9:21 PM, stores said:

That said, I have seen a couple genealogy book makers over the years but I have only found one that came close to being useful in my opinion. It can be found here... http://www.ancestralauthor.com/ I use the 2.9 version.

Jim,

Thanks for the above link to a genealogy book generation program.  Years ago, 1994 to be exact, I used GenBook to generate a book for a large family reunion.  Every person in the book was in the index.  Females were indexed with both maiden and married names.  Unfortunately the program was DOS based so no longer runs under the current Windows and I forget to order the version that would have processed a GEDCOM file rather than PAF, so while I could run the program under VirtualBox, GenBook does not process the last version of PAF.

Alan,

Your concerns about future software are valid.  I always wondered why you did 3 different backups but if they are destined to 3 different persons, it now makes sense.

Frans,

Your concerns about hardware are valid as well.  How many still have 3 1/2 diskettes that cannot be read today because the current computer hardware does not come with a removable disk drive. 

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stores

You are welcome Ken

Frans, sadly, the only real option that you have even some control over, for your research to survive after you pass on, is for you to develope something locally, on your computer, then write up some type of desktop guide for a close relation to know just how to access that research to carry on your work after you are gone, but to be honest, that research will only be carried on if that close relation has an interest in family history and the time to devote to it.

If you rely on some on line entity to preserve your research, that research is only preserved as long as they remain in existence, which naturally you have no control over.

A good example is genealogy.com and the "World Family Tree". Ancestry acquired the company in about 2003 and a few years later the company died. The trees in what was known as the World Family Tree did appear as a separate collection of trees on Ancestry for a couple of years, and you could download the WFT gedcoms, then they eventually went away. I would think the only way to access these trees now is to go to a local library that purchased the "World Family Tree" CD's and that is only if you knew the WFT number.

What's next, perhaps rootsweb, for years this has been a free option for society's and everyone else to store and share all sorts of genealogy related information and now it seems even that might have seen it's day, just read some of the posts here... http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi

In the end, if you truly want your research to survive you, then either develop something locally or upload it to Ancestry or one of the other online sites, then at least parts of it will survive, those being the parts that are copied to other people's trees.

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Newfloridian
32 minutes ago, Ken Roy said:

How many still have 3 1/2 diskettes that cannot be read today because the current computer hardware does not come with a removable disk drive. 

Hi Ken

Not that I'm saying I would ever want to (although I still have a few 31/2 disks in a box in the loft!), just to be perverse:

How to use Floppy Disk on Windows 10 !!!

Cheers Alan

 

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Newfloridian

The significant section of that page is as follows:

How to use Floppy Disk Drive on Windows 10

If you have an old physical Floppy Drive that you can attach to your device, then you will need to download the latest driver from the Windows Update website to use it with Windows 10. Attach the drive, open the Device Manager and select Scan for hardware changes and then Install or Update the driver. If this works, good, else go down to the manufacturers website and download and install the latest device driver.

If you plan to buy a new one, then there are several USB Floppy Disk Drives available even now in the market that are Plug and Play. and work just fine on a Windows 10 computer. Just plug the device, wait for the device to install the drivers, and start using the Floppy Disk Drive on your Windows 10 once the process is completed.

Amazon certainly do have USB floppy drives (£8.99 UK;  $15.99 US) for Windows; also advertising for Mac

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Merv

I suppose another question would be...  what happens to TNG when Darrin is no longer around?

 

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Kare
På 30.12.2017 at 3.21, stores skrev:

That said, I have seen a couple genealogy book makers over the years but I have only found one that came close to being useful in my opinion. It can be found here... http://www.ancestralauthor.com/ I use the 2.9 version.

 

I imported a GEDCOM exported from TNG into Ancestral Author and got the following error message:

(40785): GEDCOM file tree1-04122017.ged has inconsistent information in it. Multiple records with the same cross reference identifier @N1@ have been found. Only one will be used, the others ignored. This may cause other errors later.

Any ideas what this means, and what possible errors I could have in the TNG database?

 

 

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stores

Hello Kare, no idea, I have used Ancestral Author for many years and have never received an error importing gedcoms. Have you looked at the gedcom with a text editor to find out what @N1@ is.

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Kare

Thank you Jim. I looked at the Gedcom with a text editor. The cross reference identifier @N1@ is used in connection with a NOTE, see the attached image. There are 3 instances of the identifier for each note. Any ideas why this happens?

I am using a test version of AA (version 3.0). Errors like this were ignored in version 2.9 of the program according to AA, and I can load the gedcom into 2.9 without any problems being reported.

8D14B336-4C8D-4FFC-989C-2A0D70418E35.jpeg

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Frans Erich

 

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this subject. It is interesting to hear we almost all come to the conclusion there is no ideal solution to this problem. And we risk to lose all the information we’ve gadded and all the fruits of those many painstaking hours at the archives after we are gone.

I think GUIDE is a nice initiative but as far as I can see it only allows you to drop your gedcom and then they upload that into their TNG environment. Above all they don’t have clear lasting business model that guaranties the continuation for years to come. 
I’ve collected all the information and made photo copies of all the files I’ve found and added those copies to the people and families they are connected to. So by giving my data to GUIDE it will lose a lot of its flair. 

But I will drop the same question at the forum of my favorite archive sources. Like the Dutch organization Tresoar (https://www.tresoar.nl and https://www.allefriezen.nl/) that is very active in digitizing all their very large archives. And at the forum of the Dutch “Center for family History” (http://cbg.nl Dutch language only) where all Dutch genealogy research efforts are collected. And where they have a lot of paper copies of genealogy research books and materials available. Maybe they can advise us on this matter from a professional achieving perspective.   
If this results into interesting advices I will pass them on to this forum and submit them to this post.
 

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Chris Lloyd

My desktop program is the Master Genealogist - sadly no longer supported. However you can get a supplementary program called Second Site by John Cardinal and this makes archiving the gen data extremely easy. I make DVD copies and send them to some (younger) family members.

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BobS

Hello Frans,

I have to agree with you that a book format would be really helpful to preserve our hard-won research (seems ironic in this digital age). I have used ancestralauthor. I would also like to give a shout-out to "The Complete Genealogy Reporter". You can find it here:  http://www.tcgr.bufton.org

However, I have invested so much time in TNG over the years, including photos, grave sites, histories, etc, I decided to teach myself some coding by modifying the register.php and reglib.php files. You can see the results here:
http://www.schwartznet.net/genealogy/register.php?personID=I118&tree=Tree1&generations=4&tngmore=1

In my register-format "book", you can see the events and notes for each descendant and their spouses. I then add a section that shows the media associated with that descendant. Later in the book, I envision chapters that show the various histories, a gallery of the photos and a gallery of the gravestones. This output would then become the book.

This solution will likely not work for everyone, but I like the way it's heading for me.
Bob 

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Sherlock

this to ... Newfloridian

I have my tng all on a usb thumbdrive - 32gig

It also has UwAmp server

standalone - no one can mess up my genealogy - only I can - and I have done so when not being careful lol

Works great!!!

with the exception that often I have to reload a page - as in if I am accessing a family and want to go into a particular member I might have to reload the family page then into the individual members

Not certain as to why - not as if its a huge database - only 1000 people on it so far

And I do back up the program on my main drive and onto CD's ..

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Pat Downs

I have a good deal of professional experience with document imaging and I have often pondered the topic of media longevity and image formats and how long they will be usable.  Frankly, if you really care about longevity the answer is low tech and simple.  Paper!  Print it all out using good archival quality paper and ink.  500 years from now someone will still be able to read it.

This year I'm focusing on publishing my research of the past 20 years.  TNG is part of my solution.  I'm also going to burn some DVDs and send them to the next generation of my family.  Who knows what will become of it all.  I'm skeptical about the longevity of GEDCOM, software that can read GEDCOMs, etc.  I also doubt anyone wants a 10,000 page printout of my research!

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Drake
On 12/29/2017 at 8:25 PM, Frans Erich said:

Hi community, 

My complete research is in the TNG database and it is getting bigger and bigger but this is a hobby that will never end. I’m backing up every night on another location  But what if…. I would die?

I will no longer pay my internet service provider and they will kill my site and destroy my data. So will eventually my backup provider.

 

The original poster is correct.    When you die, and no longer pay internet service provide, they will kill your site.    Perhaps the solution is to find a way to keep funding the internet service provider,  even after death?    You certainly can't do an automatic payment with a credit card, because your credit cards will be cancelled.

My thought is to renew the domain name for 10 years,   and automatically have the account funded by a secret  swiss bank account!

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Michel KIRSCH
1 hour ago, Drake said:

My thought is to renew the domain name for 10 years

Good idea... if your version 13.1 of TNG will always work with the version 15.9 of PHP...

For each problem, a solution...

For each solution, a new problem...

 

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