Sunday, April 8, 2012

New and Improved

I'm impressed with the new version of Family Tree Maker software. I've used it for many years but never upgraded from the 2006 version until last year. This year when they released the 2012 version I didn't plan to buy it until I saw it allowed you to sync your database with an online copy automatically.

I've been careful to backup my personal data for years, after seeing too many problems at work because the IT guy didn't do it. With my old version of FTM I had to copy the data file to another computer in the house or a portable hard drive. Several times that backup copy saved me when the original file was corrupted. The idea of having to re-enter 50,000 names and personal information that I've accumulated in my data file over 25 years would end my genealogy hobby!

I bought a new laptop this year, with bigger faster insides, and decided to try out online backups with it for the FTM file.

The new FTM allows you to upload the data file to and then if you login to your ancestry account you have the complete file to work with via the web browser. This means I don't have to use my laptop to update something. Then when I do open FTM on my laptop it automatically syncs with the online file.

The only problem I found is that it doesn't sync all the photos I had in my data file. They are still there and attached to people, but they don't show up online. I guess they are using a new format to attach photos and I would have to re-attach them to my data file to sync online. Small sacrifice for the convenience of being able to work on research from either my laptop or any other computer, using a web browser. The sync process only takes about 15 seconds so this is much faster than trying to backup a 150mb data file. Since it is the complete file, it serves as a cloud backup. I don't trust ancestry completely, still using the backup drive here on the home network.

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