The NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society



A Summary of Events and Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 13 No. 4--November 1, 2008


compiled by Luther Olson



NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy [NEOCAG] serves Eastern Cuyahoga,

Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage & Summit Counties.


Regular meetings 2nd Saturday of each month


St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church

435 S.O.M. Road, Mayfield Village, OH.


Jerry Kliot—President




> News and Views

> Microsoft Installs XP, Office On Cheap Portuguese Laptops

> Workout For Brain Just A Few Clicks Away (Reuters)

> Genealogy Lectures Available on CD ROM
> FamilySearch Update: 9 Million New Records Plus New Indexing Projects

> How to get and keep Windows XP after June 30

> XP Service Pack 3: Not Yet Ready For Prime Time

> Family History Library Catalog Online--How To Use It Effectively

> Computer Virus Goes Into Orbit 

> Familybuilder Announces Low-Cost DNA Tests; Global Network





> News and Views


Some of you who notice things like this have probably wondered why recent editions of the Quarterly, while always coming through, are often late. Such is the case again with this edition, by a whole month. If you aren’t aware, the past two years have not been good in the Olson house—first Margaret, who spent half of 2007 in the hospital or nursing home doing rehab, and almost before she was released last November 1, I began having problems and have been on a down hill course ever since.


Thanks goodness she has regained her strength, energy, and ability to keep our house running in an orderly way. This in spite of the fact that I have been getting weaker, much slower, and generally unable to do all the things I have done for years. It now appears that we are finally getting a correct diagnoses and there is reason to feel that eventually I will be back to my old self. Time will tell. After seeing a number of doctors and having eye surgery (of no benefit), they have discovered a rare autoimmune disease. While hard to diagnose (a web site says that it sometimes takes two years to get a correct diagnoses), I have hopes that treatment will be much easier and quicker. In addition, I am presently doing outpatient physical therapy and my recent tests indicated good results, so the outlook is positive.


All of this is to let you know that the immediate future of this publication is a bit dubious, depending on my progress. President Jerry Kliot was kind to say at a recent council meeting that I should feel free to drop this project until I feel better. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but certainly I could send out a smaller edition. AND—if anyone would enjoy helping out on this I would be delighted.


I close with that good old Norwegian exclamation—UFF-DA!…..LO




For almost three years I have been including information about something I consider to be one of the major events of recent years. I’m speaking, of course, about the idea that all the information in the world’s great libraries should be made available to all third world inhabitants through the wonders of the internet.


First it was the decision by Google to scan all the millions of books, both new and old, and make them readily available for our research into any topic. This project has been going on for some time and is a tremendous success.


Next, a couple of years ago, we began to hear of various countries which were manufacturing simple laptops that could be sold for about $100, and therefore available to school children in the most remote places. And now, though we love to hate MS and complain about some of their practices, we find out that they are completing this enormous project by providing an inexpensive version of their XP operating system and their Office suite that will be appropriate for this stripped down hardware. Bravo, Microsoft!


Whoever would have thought that a project of this scope which required the efforts and cooperation of major corporations in many countries would come to fruition in such a short time. It’s sort of reminds us of the decision to send humans to the moon within ten years……LO


> Microsoft Installs XP, Office On Cheap Portuguese Laptops


Reporting by Axel Bugge; Editing by Sharon Lindores/Andrew Callus)

Yahoo! News, Fri Oct 3, 2008


LISBON (Reuters) - Microsoft launched on Friday a software package for a Portuguese ultra-cheap laptop for school children that the government hopes will boost the country's technological edge in education.  Portugal started rolling out the "Magellan" computer at schools last month. It aims to hand out a total 500,000 of the laptops, which cost just 50 euros ($69.29) for school children, at home and export it to countries in Latin America and Africa.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the software package called "Magellan Learning Suite" to go with the laptops, which will include Windows XP and Office in addition to development applications, free email and instant messaging.

"This is a unique, amazing and wonderful program on a global scale," Ballmer said at the presentation. "It's a great example to show how the private and public sectors can work together to create new opportunities."


Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates has made boosting poor education standards and technology at schools a priority of his government. "We all know that one of the fundamental keys for the country to progress lies in technology," he said. "We all know that the presence of computers in schools boosts education."


The government hopes the Magellan project, named after the 16th century Portuguese explorer, will raise computer access at schools to two students per computer by 2010, up from five now. Portugal has developed a fledgling software industry in the past few years and in June Microsoft bought Portuguese mobile software company MobiComp.


Ballmer said the Magellan project could help create a platform for the computer industry development in Portugal. "This is an important step forward for Portugal's high-tech industry," Ballmer said.


While the computer will be assembled in Portugal by a company called JP Sa Couto, it is based on Intel's Classmate PC, a cheap computer that has been adopted in various formats in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed an agreement to buy 1 million Magellan laptops for Venezuelan schools. The computers also went on public sale in Portugal last week for 285 euros ($394).




While having nothing at all to do with genealogy or computing, I felt that because many of us could relate to this information you would enjoy knowing this wonderful bit of news, and it should be brought to our attention. So often it appears that anything the least bit enjoyable is bad—but now we can enjoy at least one of our pleasures knowing that it is healthful…..LO


> Workout For Brain Just A Few Clicks Away (Reuters)


(Editing by Will Dunham and John O'Callaghan)

Posted on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:02AM EDT


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Searching the Internet may help middle-aged and older adults keep their memories sharp, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles studied people doing Web searches while their brain activity was recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging scans.


"What we saw was people who had Internet experience used more of their brain during the search," Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA expert on aging, said in a telephone interview.


"This suggests that just searching on the Internet may train the brain -- that it may keep it active and healthy," said Small, whose research appears in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.


Many studies have found that challenging mental activities such as puzzles can help preserve brain function, but few have looked at what role the Internet might play. "This is the first time anyone has simulated an Internet search task while scanning the brain," Small said.


His team studied 24 normal volunteers between the ages of 55 and 76. Half were experienced at searching the Internet and the other half had no Web experience. Otherwise, the groups were similar in age, gender and education. Both groups were asked to do Internet searches and book reading tasks while their brain activity was monitored.


"We found that in reading the book task, the visual cortex -- the part of the brain that controls reading and language -- was activated," Small said.


"In doing the Internet search task, there was much greater activity, but only in the Internet-savvy group." He said it appears that people who are familiar with the Internet can engage in a much deeper level of brain activity.


"There is something about Internet searching where we can gauge it to a level that we find challenging," Small said.


In the aging brain, atrophy and reduced cell activity can take a toll on cognitive function. Activities that keep the brain engaged can preserve brain health and thinking ability. Small thinks learning to do Internet searches may be one of those activities.


"It tells us we probably can teach an old brain new Internet tricks," he said.




> Genealogy Lectures Available on CD ROM

UpFront with NGS--The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society
Volume 9, Number 9-1 September 2008 

If you were unable to attend the NGS conference in Kansas City, 14-17 May 2008, you will be happy to know that over 120 lectures were recorded and can be purchased on CD ROM for $12 each plus shipping. Lectures are available via a link, "Lectures from NGS Conference in Kansas City available for purchase on CD ROM," on the NGS website at by scrolling down the home page to "2008 NGS CONFERENCE." This is an opportunity to hear genealogical experts discuss topics that will help you in your family research. Listed on the website is each speaker by last name, as well as the lecture track and title of each talk.

Optionally, you may access the JAMB-Inc. website directly at Also included on the website are over 100 lectures from the 2007 NGS Conference in the States held in Richmond, Virginia. The tracks and topics vary for each conference.





> FamilySearch Update: 9 Million New Records Plus New Indexing Projects


FamilySearch has updated or added three new free databases this week to its online pilot program at The new additions represent over 9 million new names.  There are now over 477 million searchable names on the pilot site.


Current indexing projects include the 1920 U.S Census, 1869 Argentina Census, 1930 Mexico Census, 1945 Florida State Census, Louisiana Deaths, German Church Records, Italy Church Records, Spain Church Records, Venezuela Church Records, and Nicaragua Civil Registration Records.


Newly-added records include:


1870 U.S. Federal Census

 Thirteen  new states and almost 9 million names were added to the free 1870 U.S. Census index online. Indexes are now available for Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. Digital images can be searched for all states except Kentucky, Vermont, and Virginia.


West Virginia Births Index

 A searchable name index for West Virginia Births for 1853 to 1930 has been added. This project includes 220,000 names and is 76% complete. For a list of counties indexed in the collection to-date, see the project description at  No images currently.

 West Virginia Deaths Index

 The West Virginia Deaths Index 1853 to 1870 is now available online. Over 266,00 names were added, and it is 80% complete. This is an index of both statewide and county death records. A link to digital images on the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website is provided from the index.




> How to get and keep Windows XP after June 30


Preston Gralla

 Yahoo News—InfoWorld

San Francisco


Windows XP is dead ... long live Windows XP. You may have heard that as of June 30, you're no longer able to buy the operating system or obtain support for it. But that isn't quite the case. In fact, you'll be able to buy XP on certain mainstream PCs at least until January 31, 2009, and possibly beyond. The cutoff date is even later for some ultra-low-cost notebooks such as those made by Asus: They'll sell with XP until June 2010. As for technical support, that has a lot of life left as well --officially, Microsoft will provide at least some forms of support until 2014.

[ It's not too late to  make your voice heard: Join the more than 200,000 other people who have signed the petition demanding that Microsoft keep XP for sale beyond June 30. And find out why XP is so worth saving. ]


Given the confusion about XP's future, we decided to lay out your options for buying XP and getting support for it beyond the official sunset date for the OS.


Not Dead Yet

Microsoft's public statement seems to leave no wiggle room. It reads, "Windows XP will no longer be available for purchase from Microsoft for general retail and OEM partners as of June 30, 2008."


But that simple statement hides plenty of loopholes. First, retailers and PC makers can still sell the Windows XP software, and Windows XP PCs, after that date, as long as they purchased the products before June 30. If a retailer stocked up on copies of XP before June 30, it can sell XP for as long as those supplies hold out. The same holds true for PC manufacturers.


An even bigger loophole -- something called downgrade rights -- will allow people to get Windows XP on new PCs, even after computer makers' stock of Windows XP licenses runs out. An OEM such as Dell can sell you a PC that starts out with Vista Business or Vista Ultimate on it, and then downgrade the operating system to Windows XP Professional before shipping the machine out to you. In the box, you will receive discs for Vista, XP, Vista drivers, and XP drivers. That way, if you decide you'd prefer Vista, you can use the installation disc and drivers to upgrade to that OS.


You can do this only with Vista PCs for which the OEM has decided to offer downgrade rights, however. A Dell spokesperson says that Dell will provide the option for its XPS line of gaming PCs (the XPS M1730 laptop, XPS 630 gaming desktop, and XPS 730 gaming desktop), for its line of Vostro small-business PCs, and for enterprise customers. Dell won't offer the choice indefinitely, though -- only through January 31, 2009.


HP also offers a downgrade option on its business desktops, notebooks, and workstations, and will continue to do so until at least July 30, 2009, says a company spokesperson. As with Dell PCs, when someone buys a system, it will have XP Pro installed, and will come with discs for both XP and Vista.


January 31 of next year is also the last date you'll be able to buy XP on a machine from a "system builder" -- a company that builds no-brand custom PCs from components and purchases Microsoft software from a distributor rather than directly from Microsoft itself.


If you buy an ultra-low-cost PC -- which Microsoft describes as a notebook with "limited hardware capabilities" intended for entry-level buyers or people seeking an inexpensive second system -- you're in luck. Such laptops, including the popular Asus Eee PC, can be sold with Windows XP until June 2010. The notebooks must have small screens and low-powered CPUs to qualify.


How to Get Support, Post-Cutoff

Obtaining support for XP after June 30 will be easier than trying to buy XP after that date. For starters, you have access to what Microsoft calls "mainstream support" for XP until April 14, 2009. Mainstream support includes the release of bug fixes and security patches, so you'll still be receiving updates for the operating system. You can pay Microsoft for help, as well, and the company will also honor all warranty claims until then.


After that date, and until April 8, 2014, Microsoft will offer what it calls "extended support" for XP. During that time, Microsoft will continue to issue security patches but won't release public bug fixes. Businesses that signed support contracts with Microsoft will be able to get bug fixes, but no one else will. Paid support will still be available, but warranty claims won't be honored. Microsoft says Windows XP customers will have to take up such claims -- even if they relate to software -- with the PC manufacturer at that point.


Whether you can obtain support from your PC's manufacturer may depend on the way in which XP was installed on your system. For example, Dell will support XP on your system as long as Dell installed it -- perhaps via the downgrade option -- or prior to June 30. But if you bought a Windows Vista PC and then installed XP yourself, Dell won't support it.


Where to Find More Details:

If you're looking for more information about support for XP, check out Microsoft's Windows Life-Cycle Policy pages and the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Blog.


PC World is an InfoWorld affiliate.





> XP Service Pack 3: Not Yet Ready For Prime Time


By Susan Bradley LLC    June 5, 2008


The growing list of XP SP3-related glitches being encountered by users should give pause to anyone thinking of downloading and installing the update. If you've kept XP patched from week to week, there's presently no clear advantage to implementing the OS's latest service pack, though you'll want to do so eventually.


When should you install XP Service Pack 3?

Since its initial release a little over a month ago — as I reported in last week's special news update — XP Service Pack 3 has been plagued with reports of problems among early adopters. Considering that the service pack's most important enhancements relate to computers on corporate networks, you may be wondering whether you need XP SP3 at all.


It comes down to a question of support: Microsoft supports each service pack for two years following the release of its successor. Thus in the spring of 2010, XP SP3 will be the only XP service pack that Microsoft will support. In addition, Microsoft has stated it will offer free support for those facing XP SP3 installation issues through April 2009.


If you have already installed XP SP3 and haven't experienced any problems related to AMD processors, Norton AntiVirus's SystemProtect, or any other service-pack glitch, you don't need to remove SP3. However, if you haven't yet installed XP SP3, hold off.


Instead, scroll down the Windows Update page each Patch Watch Tuesday and choose to install updates that do not include XP SP3. I'm starting to hear more reports of SP3-related driver problems. For example, Microsoft's Knowledge Base article 951822 describes a free hotfix for a problem encountered when using certain models of Citizen or Alps printers after XP SP3 is installed.


Bottom line: if you've installed XP SP3 and your PC is working fine, leave it alone. However, if you suspect SP3 has caused your system to act up, remove it via XP's Add or Remove Programs applet. Finally, if you haven't installed SP3, it's perfectly okay to wait until all the wrinkles are ironed out.


A fix for constant XP reboots

 If your Windows XP machine keeps rebooting after you install SP3 and it's not due to the problem with AMD-based systems I reported on earlier, you have a couple of options.


Press F8 just as the system starts and check "Disable automatic restart on System Failure." If this option isn't available, reboot, press F8 again, and select the Safe mode option, which loads Windows without certain drivers.


Once Windows opens in Safe Mode, go to the Add or Remove Programs applet in Control Panel and remove XP Service Pack 3. If that stops the reboots, you know your issue is SP3 related and you need to contact Microsoft about it via the links I list below.


If you have one of the offending AMD machines and you're unable to enter Safe Mode, return to the startup menu by pressing F8 as the system starts and choose the Recovery Console option. Detailed instructions can be found here. When the Recovery Console opens, enter the commands as listed in Jesper Johansson's blog post on XP SP3.


To get help from Microsoft for problems related to XP SP3, follow one of these links:


US Support

Canada Support

UK Support

AU Support

Other Locations


Once you're on one of the above pages, click Select a Product, choose Windows XP, and click one of the options for Windows XP Service Pack 3.


Just remember, there's no rush to deploy this service pack. Readers report their own XP SP3-related problems


Following last week's special edition of the newsletter, Windows Secrets technical editor Dennis O'Reilly heard from many readers who have experienced their own XP SP3 headaches. R. Fraile's problems were related to his antivirus program:


"Threatfire caused problems for me. Crashed during the update, but I was able to uninstall it. Tried again without Threatfire and [XP SP3] installed fine. However, when I reinstalled Threatfire, Explorer and Firefox would crash after working for a few minutes, taking the system down and requiring physically pulling the power cord."


Reader John E. Mrochek wasn't as lucky in tracking down the source of his XP SP3 woes: "I attempted to install SP3 on a Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop with XP Media Center. Four install [attempts] failed on a fully updated XP SP2. No new software was installed previous to the update, disabled AVG antivirus and Zone Alarm."


Finally, Connie Smith wrote to tell us about the problems she experienced using Microsoft Office 2000 and Internet Explorer 7 after installing XP SP3: "At home, Word would only open part way and no documents could be retrieved. I fought it for a week and finally bought Office 2003, which I had planned to do some time this summer anyway. [I] removed Office 2000, installed Office 2003, and all works fine.


 "At work, IE 7 won't close and locks everything up. The only way around it is to minimize [the program] and close down. Task Manager has been no help, as it shows IE is not running when the screen shows a partial image or full page but [is] locked up. I haven't found an answer for that yet."





> Family History Library Catalog Online--How To Use It Effectively


Kimberly's Genealogy Blog Guide to Genealogy since 2000

Thursday May 15, 2008


I've always been a huge fan of the Family History Library Catalog online at - a finding aid to over 2 million rolls of microfilm and hundreds of thousands of books, maps, and other printed sources relating to family history from more than 100 countries. As useful as it is, however, there are so many online genealogists who either don't know it exists or how to use it effectively. That's why the announcement this week of a new "Web 2.0" version of the Family History Library Catalog is so exciting!


As announced at the National Genealogical Society conference this past week, and are partnering to publish the Family History Library Catalog as an interactive online tool. New functionality and enhancements to the catalog will make it searchable by major online search engines (meaning many more genealogists will discover and use this valuable resource) and will allow users to annotate item descriptions to make them more useful. This could mean anything from adding better record descriptions, tips for searching and using the record, or links to an online digitized or transcribed version of the record. will also be adding links to the online source for each record, when available, whether it's on; on other genealogical sites such as,,,, USGenWeb and WorldGenWeb; or on government, archival or library sites. Users will also be able to add or suggest a new source, and rate or review a source based on its usefulness.


New search functionality will also be added to the catalog, with guided searches to help beginners identify what they want to learn about their families, point them to relevant records, help them obtain and search the records, and assist them with applying the new information to their family history research. Users will also be able to browse the catalog as usual, with extra enhancements such as the ability to sort results by popularity, relevance, most used,etc.


For more details, check out CEO Paul Allen's great blog post on his exciting plans for the new Family History Library Catalog 2.0.





Another little article that has nothing to do with genealogy, but one I found amusing knowing that having your computer attacked also happens to the “big boys.” 


> Computer Virus Goes Into Orbit 


ATT Yahoo



NASA confirmed on Wednesday that a computer virus sneaked aboard the International Space Station only to be tossed into quarantine on July 25 by security software.

A "worm type" virus was found on laptop computers that astronauts use to send and receive email from the station by relaying messages through a mission control center in Texas, according to NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries.

The virus is reported to be malicious software that logs keystrokes in order to steal passwords or other sensitive data by sending the information to hackers via the Internet.


The laptop "The bottom line is it is a nuisance for us," Humphries told AFP. "The crew is working with teams on the ground to eradicate the virus and look for actions to prevent that from happening in the future." The virus had no adverse effect on space station operations, according to Humphries.


The space station orbits Earth once every 90 minutes at an altitude of about 350 kilometers (217 miles). NASA is reportedly looking into whether the virus got into the computers by hiding in a memory drive used to store music, video or other digital files.


Humphries said this is not the first computer virus stowaway on the Space Station. "This is not a frequent occurrence but it has happened before," Humphries said.






> Familybuilder Announces Low-Cost DNA Tests; Global Network


Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine, Genealogy Insider

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Two big announcements from Familybuilder, the company that created the Family Tree genealogy application for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.


First, Familybuilder’s new Global Network brings the Family Tree application outside of social networking sites. Anyone can create a Family Tree profile on Familybuilder and link it to Family Tree profiles on social networking sites. (More than 20 million Family Tree profiles exist on such sites.) You’ll need a free registration to build a tree or access existing ones.


Second, starting Oct. 15, Familybuilder will offer low-cost DNA tests, focusing on the social networking market. According to a written announcement, “No genealogy service caters to the 300 to 400 million people who use social networks to research their family trees.” The offerings include a 17-marker Y-DNA test and a mitochondrial (mt) DNA test; both cost $59.95.


FamilyBuilder does have others beat: Compare its 17-marker test with FamilyTreeDNA’s 12-marker test ($149); DNA Testing Systems’ 13-marker test ($200); Chromosomal Labs’ 19-marker test is $260.


A 17-marker test is usually enough to tell you if you’re related to someone, but higher-resolution tests (those that test more markers) are more accurate. For example, it’s possible a 17-marker test may match on 15 of the 17 markers, where a 45-marker test of the same two people might match on 30 out of the 45 markers.


Note that a Y-DNA test doesn’t tell you how you’re related to someone; but it estimates how long ago a common ancestor may have lived.


Many genealogists go straight for the higher-marker tests (my guess is that's the market most traditional genetic genealogy companies concentrate on). Familybuilder says it plans to expand its DNA lineup and is “committed to continuously driving the costs of these tests down over time.”




When you come across something you think would be of interest to others who are involved in genealogy, whether it be about genealogy, software, or hardware, please send it to our editor, Marcy Milota at <>.

Please include your name and all credits of author and publication.  Information from online genealogy newsletters can be used with these credits.



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Permission to reprint articles from RootsWeb Review is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, provided: (1) the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and (2) the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 5, No. 40, 2 October 2002.



This electronic newsletter is published with the intent to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods, as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library.  We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.



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