Tag Archives: UK

Missing the Meego Conference 2011

I won’t be at the Meego Conference in San Francisco this year. It would just mean too much time away when I should be taking care of my small children.

However, several Openismus people will be there to represent us: Ekaterina Gerasimova (Kat), Michael Hasselmann, David King, André Klapper, and Chris Kühl.

I will instead be taking my family to visit my side of the family in North Berwick, Scotland, where I’ll meet my nephew from New Zealand for the first time.


Gramps for Geneology

My father has become slightly obsessed with tracking his family tree. He’s done lots of research going back around six generations. He uses a Windows application (called “Generations”, I think, but I’m not sure now), which is very awkward, though he manages.

When his grandson Liam arrived, he wanted to put Liam’s family tree in his system too. Germans tend to have quite good family records, backed up by Church archives, so we had some data.

I exported the result as a GEDCOM file and was really pleased at how well the open source GRAMPS application imported this file on Ubuntu Linux. For some reason I didn’t have high expectations, but this application is obviously well maintained.

And Gramps seems to be a better application anyway. It has a more sensible UI even though it is as feature-packed as these applications needs to be. Gramps also creates more compact ancestor graphs, so you don’t need to tape so many pages together. But it could still theoretically squeeze more on to the page at a readable size. This might already be possible but it’s hard to achieve with the awkward printing options.

Scanning Old Photographic Slides

While I was in North Berwick, we went through my fathers stash of photos and found lots of slides made by my grandfather showing my father as a teenager and me and my sister as babies and young kids.

I bought my father a Plustek OpticFilm 35mm slide scanner and a Flickr Pro account. He’s using Windows XP (I don’t think this model works on Linux). The results are pretty good, though the Plustek OpticFilm scanner should make it easier to get better colors in its QuickScan mode. Its full scan mode can do better but its UI is incomprehensible to mortals. It can scan 35mm negatives too. He’s scanning a few each day, adding to his Flickr photostream.

We should remove this old 35mm slide from the glass to get better results, of course.

The older slides are glass-mounted 120mm (also known as three and a half inch) slides. I took those to Pyramid Imaging in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, who did a great job.

Some links to notable pictures so far:

Back from North Berwick

I’m back from North Berwick where Liam met his grandfather and aunt. We’ll try to visit once a year.

The 2 hour flight wasn’t too stressful but my sister is moving to New Zealand which will be a little more difficult to visit.