Monday, March 16, 2009

Barry Ewell at the St George Family History Expo

I have always said I learn more from the vendor's hall than I do from the classes at conferences. But I went into the last three conferences hoping to slip into a few classes to review here on my blog. I only got to one so far, however I'm going to keep trying. We are glad our vendor's booth has been so busy and my own teaching keeps me running too. It would probably help if I wasn't talking so much with the attendees and other speakers and lecturers but it is just too much fun to catch up with everyone.

I did get to catch Barry Ewell's class "Internet Security for the Genealogist" at the St. George Expo. Barry is a celebrity around here not only for his great classes but also because he so generously shares his knowledge and powerpoint slides. If you send a message to: and put in the subject line: "St.George_Send All" he will send you the .pdfs of all his powerpoint slides for his three lectures in St. George--1) Million Dollar Genealogy on a Slim-Pickens Budget, 2) How to Effectively Conduct Genealogy Research on the Internet, and 3) Internet Security for the Genealogist.

I went to his Internet Security class expecting a refresher on how to keep your genealogy information private, but instead got a class on how to keep your computer healthy--unexpected but well worth it. Genealogists do a large amount of surfing and downloading and can get into trouble with viruses and spyware. While we do our share of protecting around here, I jotted down a few notes that it might be good for you to review too:
  • Barry really likes Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. After my recent computer breakdown, I downloaded Firefox and I am quite loving it. Lots less glitches and it seems faster. I like the interface a little better too.
  • Barry also said to stay away from Norton Utilities--it has a large footprint (takes up too much memory) on your computer and often conflicts with other software. He likes the McAffee suite, Kaspersky suite, and WebRoot that you can get for $30 a year. Well worth it to protect yourself. He recommended the Internet Security Suites Software Review to check out which one is right for you.
  • He also reminded me to hit ctrl-W (or on an apple command-W) to close pop up windows. If you click on the x in the top right corner, it can still take that as a response and download something to your computer.
When you guard yourself against malicious internet problems, you end up guarding everyone else you work with too. Don't be the person to pass it on. There were lots of other suggestions in his lecture that you might need reminding of--write Barry for his slides to make sure you are following good internet protocol for protecting your computer and your files.

Barry is also in the process of launching, a website devoted to "learning, sharing, contemplating, collaboration or simply enjoying genealogy." It looks like it will be a great place to go for training. I'm looking forward to seeing what he has in store. You can sign up for his newsletter there so that you can be informed on what is coming.

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