It has been a good day in the Geneablogger Winter Games. I’ve seen many other geneathletes competing all over the Internet. The level of competition has been very high, and there are already many geneabloggers winning medals.
Here is my summary for today:
Event 2: Back up your data – Being a software engineer, I couldn’t just settle for your average data backup solution. Oh no, I had to write a program to do it for me. The program is simple, but effective.
Basically, you just supply the source folder and the destination folder, then click the “Backup” button. The reason I did this is that normally when backing up your files, Windows will warn you that you will be overwriting files and folders. This can get rather annoying. The program I wrote will just overwrite the files without asking, except for a general warning at the beginning.
The program also warns you if you are backing up files to a location that is on the same drive as the source folder. It doesn’t make sense to back up to the same drive, because if that drive fails, you lose both sets of your files.
My backup solution consists of 2 external hard drives, 1 internal hard drive in my computer, and an offsite redundant backup. This is mostly for convenience. If one of my backup drives goes bad and my computer’s hard drive also kicks the bucket (unlikely, but you never know), I can still restore my files without waiting hours (or more likely: days) to download the files to my computer from the offsite backup. I have written a windows service that automatically sends new files on my hard drive to the offsite backup as they are created. So basically, I will never lose more than the last few seconds’ worth of saved files if disaster strikes. Pretty nifty, huh?
What medal does that qualify me for? Well, either Gold, Diamond, or Platinum. I don’t have all of my photos scanned yet, which is required for Platinum, but I have the offsite redundant backup and the redundant local backup, which is part of the qualification for Platinum. Basically, I will never lose the data I have digitized, but I have a long road ahead of me in scanning pictures. I guess I will have to leave that one up to the judges.
Event 3: Organize your research – I spent a couple of hours today working on this and the other events in the competition. For task A, I spent about 20 minutes sifting through some old documents I had been given by my parents. I scanned and saved these to my redundant storage mentioned above. I then added them to my filing cabinet next to my desk. There were dozens of files, so I easily completed the 20 necessary for task A, though the process will continue for some time, probably months. I will be writing later about the interesting solution I found for task B. It of course involves a custom-created software program that I began writing today. It isn’t finished yet, so I’ll save it for a future post in these games. Medal earned: Bronze thus far, but I will be doing a lot more work on this one.
Event 4: Expand Your Knowledge – This is probably my favorite category. I went after task D, and read the article “Lazy Days Organizing Tips for the Family Historian” (http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/article.aspx?id=7720) at Ancestry.com. This earned me a bronze for today, but I will continue working at this one.
Event 5: Write, Write, Write – nothing yet, but I’ll be revisiting this one soon.
Event 6: Reach out and perform genealogical acts of kindness – This one was fun. I commented on 3 blogs:
CAMBRIA CO – Folks, stop by and provide a smile for Shawn, as I am sure she could use one now. She is grieving her grandmother, who just passed away.
I am now following a handful of new blogs, including the ones above. This qualifies me for tasks A and G, which gives me a silver medal at this point.
So all told, I am looking at 2 bronze medals, 1 silver, and either a gold, diamond, or platinum. All in all, it was a great Saturday for me in terms of genealogy.