Sunday, April 20, 2008

Taking a Break

I am taking a planned break from writing prompts for two weeks. Although I have the ideas, I just haven't had the opportunity to write them. I was down to a computer-and-a-half these past two weeks. For some reason (and this happens every now and again), my laptop can't access anything at Google: Blogger, Gmail, Reader, etc. These are the features that I probably use 80% of the time I'm online. I could access most other websites, such as Ancestry, etc. but I mainly use my laptop for blogging while the family uses the desktop. Because my laptop is older and slower with a smaller monitor than my desktop, we use the desktop for online gaming (son - Runescape), offline gaming (daughter - Sims), and downloading music and videos (husband). Trying to compete for computer time on the desktop with the rest of the family, especially on the weekends when I try to get a lot of blogging done and schedule my posts, just did not work out.

Now my laptop is doing just fine again (I shake my head as I write this), I am crunched for time. My next online genealogy class begins Tuesday, I am working on a website for a genealogy friend, and I'll be making a presentation on researching military records for the Family History Conference held at the Colville, Washington Family History Center next weekend. Also, Scanfest will be next Sunday, and will take up a good deal of time that day. Additionally, I am in the middle of a daily post on my Civil War ancestors and relatives at my other blog, AnceStories, a blog that takes precedence over this one. I also write and maintain the blog for my local genealogical society.

As the school year wraps up, I may need to take other breaks, since my duties as a parent and a school district staff member intensify and increase. Please bear with me. Once my summer vacation begins (June 14th), I will have more time to be consistent again.

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Six: My Computer"

Thomas at Destination: Austin Family has written about his computer experiences at "My Computer," while Robert Lord left a few words about his first computer in the comments section of the post to the last journaling prompts. I have been wanting to write about my own early computer experiences and the evolution of the technology in our home, but ironically, my laptop was having some issues and so I was limited to the amount of time I could be online and blog! I still plan on writing about this later, and will update this post when I do.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week Thirty-Six: My Computer

If you're reading this, you're using a computer or a device that can connect to the Internet, such as a cell phone or other electronic device. And chances are, you own this device, unless you're reading from a public computer or work computer. Technology changes so quickly that it's not unusual to hear someone recall a computer they owned five years ago with the same sort of fondness that they would mention a favorite car from 30 years ago. Let's take a trip down memory lane and talk about your first personal computer, or perhaps your first experiences with computers (if you don't currently own one).

*Tell about your first experiences with a computer? Did you take a computer class in school or college, or perhaps as a part of work training? What kind of computer did you train on? What was the purpose of your learning or training?

*If you use computers at work, tell about the various types you've worked with.

*What was the first computer you ever owned (brand)? What type of operating system did it have? How much RAM did it have? How big was the hard drive and processor? Do you remember what type of backup it had (floppy disks, etc.)?

*What about its peripherals? What type of monitor (brand, pixels, size) did you have? What about the keyboard and mouse? Did it have speakers?

*Did you have a printer? What kind of ink did it use? Did it print on single sheets or use continuous feed?

*Tell about your first internet experience. Unless you've recently joined the technology age, you started out with dialup (and may still use it, depending upon what is available and affordable in your community). What was the first speed of dialup that you used? Who was/were your provider(s)? Do you use broadband now? What type (cable, DSL, etc.)?

*For what did you mainly use your first computer?

*What did you love about your first computer? What did you dislike? What about each of your consecutive computers?

*Tell about any crashes or hard drive failures you have experienced.

*How did you discard former computers?

*Share the progression of your first computer and internet experiences through your present ones. Compare and contrast.

*What is on your wish list for your current computer situation? Is it a whole new system? Some jazzy peripherals?

To read the favorite hardware, software, and websites/blogs that genealogists and family historians use, you may wish to read the 43rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Technology, which was posted 4 Mar 2008.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Five: Spring"

Take a look at Thomas' response at his blog, Destination: Austin Family, titled "Spring." I love the photo of the flowery hat, and he and I share a love of asparagus as one of our favorite spring foods.

Spring, alas, is not my favorite season for a myriad of reasons, which I explain in "Spring: Not My Favorite Season" over at my genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.

Stay tuned for "Week Thirty-Six: Computer Memories," which will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week Thirty-Five: Spring

Spring has finally sprung, despite the fact that Old Man Winter '07-'08 keeps trying to keep his hold on the Northern Hemisphere. For many, Spring is a favorite season, full of flowers, birds, butterflies, and bees. Some have favorite sports that begin in Spring. Others (like myself) are ambivalent toward Spring, because although the days are getting lighter, longer, and warmer, they are marked by mud, pollen allergies, and schizophrenic weather.

*How do you feel about Spring? Is it a favorite season of yours, or a least-favorite? Why?

*What are your favorite Spring activities? Do they include gardening and yardwork? House repairs or touch-ups?

*Do you have favorite Spring flowers or blossoming trees?

*What are your favorite Spring sports, either as a participant or as an observer? While basketball is wrapping up in March Madness, baseball, track and field, tennis, and golf are starting up in schools across the nation.

*Here in Spokane, Spring is welcomed with such community events as Bloomsday Run (one of the largest in the nation) and the Lilac Festival. Does your community have Spring events, and what is the extent of your participation?

*Do you have a regular Spring cleaning time? When is it and what does it include?

*What are your favorite Spring holidays? Easter or Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day are a few.

*What are some of your favorite foods that are in season during Spring?

*Ah-choo! What do you like least about Spring?

*Do you have favorite memories of Spring Break from your school or college years?

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the Spring? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during Spring?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Four: Holy Days of Spring"

Ever the faithful journal-keeper, Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family has posted his response to the last set of journal prompts, "Holy Days", on his blog.

I also did some browsing through some of my favorite genealogy blogs and came up with the following list of Easter memories and traditions. Even though they weren't written for the journal prompt, I think that by reading these, you may get even more ideas on how to share your Holy Days of Spring memories.
  • Jasia of Creative Gene wrote about attending this year's Easter Mass in "Polish Pride."
  • Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist highlighted an article from the Pittsburg (Pennsylvania) Post-Gazette about how the long-standing tradition of blessing Easter baskets is still being faithfully observed. She also shared her traditional Slovak Easter breakfast in "Happy Easter!"
  • And John Newmark, who often writes about his Jewish heritage, shared this sentimental post, "An Easter Bloom," about a flower his great-grandfather picked and gave his daughter (John's grandmother) on Easter Sunday in 1926.

It's always interesting to see the diverse ways in which holidays are celebrated within the same country by people of the same religion. Our culture, family history, and geographic location influence us all in many ways, and it is simply fascinating and fun to see that as we celebrate our holidays!

I realize it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a prompt. I've put together a new one that will post tomorrow and have already started working on next week's. Blogger in Draft's scheduling feature is a godsend, helping me to plan and work ahead!