Utilities for your FHC - They're Free? and Clear?
A wonderful array of programs, services, and utilities is now available for Family History Centers, and a great deal of it is free. Not all of it requires an Internet Connection, so if you’re an FHC volunteer still patiently waiting for your Center to get online, here are some utilities to consider acquiring right now.
Here’s what may be FREE (if you qualify and get the permission/license, etc):
GENViewer. $19.95 USD. Special FHC Version is Free but requires a license.
This program, true to its name, is a read-only program. It allows you to look at your database in new ways, to see what you have, and what’s missing, what’s disconnected, etc. See a Dick Eastman review of version.1.08 and find links to earlier reviews at http://www.eogn.com/archives/news0205.htm. (GENViewer is now at version 1.16.)
Contact the company with the information and a valid mailing address and you should either receive a CD from them or a license number that will permit you to download the software.
Don Snow’s 4-page class notes for GENViewer are online at http://www.familyhistorycenter.org under Descriptions of Courses. There are lots of comments, uses, and helps posted there. Don and Diane have taught a GENViewer class in St. George.
PAF Insight: $20.00
Synchronize, merge, & trim. According to the review in Eastman’s of April 7th, these are the three things PAF Insight does better than PAF does. For FHC patrons who don’t want to switch from PAF to another database program such as Legacy this is a helpful utility. It also lets you assign RINS the way you want. See the full (favorable) review at http://www.eogn.com/archives/news0314.htm
John Vilburn, Ohana president, says To receive a license for the computers at your FHC, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
Name of the Family History Center.
Name, email address, and phone number for the FHC director.
Name, email address, and phone number for the FHC technical contact or computer specialist
You can also contact Ohana Software LLC, 3173 Thistlebrook Circle, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126?7832, Phone: 303 478?5744, Fax: 508 464?8492, for details.
U.S. Cities Galore: $29.95
Contact Frustration Solutions, Inc., 140 W 2nd South #79, Rexburg, Idaho 83440, Telephone: (925) 827?3062, Email: email@example.com
A review is found in Eastman’s Online at http://www.eogn.com/archives/news026.htm The idea is to harmonize place names in your database so that getting lists & reports will work better. Like AniMap’s Place Finder, it will show you counties for U.S. towns & cities. This program seemed to do a better job of handling the problem of independent cities than PlaceFinder did. For example: searching under Baltimore & Maryland returned;
“Baltimore, Anne Arundel, MD
Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Baltimore, Baltimore city, MD”
This means that Baltimore was originally in Anne Arundel County, then Baltimore County, and then became an independent city. No dates were given (at least not on line) for the changes.
You must use the precise name for the city. Salt Lake and Utah returned a message “Unable to locate City, State match.” Typing Salt Lake City and Utah returned “Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.”
PAF Pal: $18.00
Not available for download or online purchase. The program was mentioned in Progeny Software’s PAF Page and said “PAF Pal is available for $18.00 (plus tax if shipped to Utah) from Pal Software, 1065 West 10210 South, South Jordan, UT 84095.” Don Snow suggests “email Steve Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org (The FHC has to buy one copy and they can receive a letter authorizing it to be put on all their computers)”
PAF Pal can:
- Search & replace parts of names
- Search & replace LDS temple codes
- Remove Submitted or Sub from LDS date fields
- Clear Custom ID fields, Ancestral File Numbers or all LDS fields
- Create reports of which fields have been changed in a Search & Replace action.
- Enable additional Internet searches.
- Show four views (instead of just one) on the Family View screen of PAF 5.
- Remove forgotton passwords from PAF 5
- Abbreviate USA states, Canadian provinces and/or Great Britain county names in a single step. (There are some reported bugs in the GB names, so proofread results.)
- Expand abbreviations for USA, etc.
- Automatically add or remove USA or U.S.A.
- Display or print statistics about the people in the file.
- Print a list, by date, of records that have been changed or records that have been submitted to Ancestral File
- Play the Genealogy Songs
Now here’s the part that should be made CLEAR: The person who has installation rights to the computers has to be sure no “pirated” programs are installed. What’s more, no priesthood supervisor should have to guess what’s “okay” and what’s not. Just as soon as the freebies get to be a problem, a rule will come down from on high that the Family History Centers can only install those programs & utilities that are approved in Salt Lake. Keep a detailed record of all utilities, their source & function, the documented permissions from the developers for these programs to be installed & any passwords, license numbers, license agreements & so on. Verbal permission is not enough. (This article is not “enough,” either. The PAF Users Group is not the legal owner of any of this software & therefore can’t give you the legal rights to anything.) Keep all these records in a notebook that will be handy if there is a question—ever.
It should also be CLEAR that patrons should be cautioned to back up their files before trying out ANY utilities.
Return to Selected Articles
Return to UVTAGG Home Page