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Mocavo

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Apple Genealogy

Apparently, I was not specific enough in my last post about Apple Genealogy. John Newmark in his TransylvanianDutch Genealogy & Family History blog had a lot of comments. All of his comments, as usual, are very good and to the point. I do agree with his conclusion about my post that Apple genealogy programs are not as feature filled as those on the PC. I attribute this to a lack of competition on the Apple platform. One example will suffice. Many PC/Windows based programs have direct look-up capabilities with online databases. Of course, Family Tree Maker from Ancestry.com is closely tied to the online database. But many of the other programs also tie into online databases, like RootsMagic 4 and Legacy Family Tree. Legacy Family Tree has a very extensive research guidance function. Now, admittedly, this is a function you may not need or ever use, but the PC programs have many functions that you can get really used to using all the time.

Now, back to John's comments. He apparently thought I was saying that "the best option for Mac users being to run Windows using Parallels Desktop." I guess I would clarify that to say, one option for Mac users is to run Windows using Parallels Desktop. I do not suggest Parallels Desktop or any other dual (or even triple) operating system environment unless you are a pretty sophisticated user of both (or all) operating systems. If not, stay with the Mac or PC but not both. But if you are a very sophisticated user and you own a Macintosh, you can use the PC programs if you need to do so.

Almost every time I talk about programs on either the Mac or PC computers, I am asked which is the "best" program. There is no best program. John points out the virtues of the iFamily program. I immediately downloaded a copy and began using it. I am not in a position to comment on the program but it does appear to have some really good features. What I say over and over to answer the question about the best program is this:

1. All of the supported commercial programs have good features and which program you chose is largely a matter of your own individual preference.

2. I like a lot of programs and have yet to find the perfect program for doing genealogy, but right now, I have on my computer the following programs, loaded with my own huge database:

Reunion for the Macintosh
RootMagic 4
Legacy Family Tree
Ancestral Quest
Personal Ancestral File
Family Tree Maker 2010
MacFamily Tree
and now, iFamily

I have used The Master Genealogist in the past and many, many other PC and Mac based programs. Do I have to choose? Can't I use them all? I will certainly run out of time and may run out of money trying them all. By the way, I have tried some programs that I think are really dreadful and have erased them from my computer.

Thanks again to John Newmark for his insightful comments.

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