NEW PRODUCTS FOR GENEALHOLICS
By H. David Morrow FuzzyGem@worldnet.att.net
© H. David Morrow ~ October 21, 2004
I've just returned from a convention which showed a whole bunch of products that, frankly, I can't see how genealogists have lived without.
Take the new computer software, for example. (Well, you can't actually take it... you have to pay for it.)
Called "Find Your Kin or Else" this program does everything you need to fill out the branches on your family tree. After collecting all the data you have in your current program, FYKE analyzes what you have and finds everyone that's missing.
For example, according to family lore, Aunt Sophie was supposed to have had five children, but you can only document three. No Problem! FYKE automatically looks for the last name and probable date in all the birth records of every county in the United States. It then chooses the most likely person and automatically fills in the holes in your existing data.
FYKE even looks at the dates you entered data to find all your brick walls. It provides a listing of all these walls and tells you where to look for other ancestors.
FYKE can be quickly downloaded to your computer (desk or laptop), your PDA, even your cell phone and satellite radio. It works with all known genealogy programs even those not yet invented.
Is there a downside to FYKE? Isn't there one for EVERY program? Undoubtedly! For one thing there's the cost: $387,426.32. If you think this a bit much, remember that no other program does what this one can do. Besides, each program you buy has a teeny, tiny commission for me which I'll be using to help defray the costs of my new island home off the South American east coast.
Upon hearing the price, GW (Geneaholic Wife) immediately began changing dinner plans. Instead of mac 'n' cheese, I'm going to get treated to flavored water and unsalted saltine crackers. She says the cost differential will be used to save money to buy the program. (Of course, she won't have to pay the same as you, 'cause she's my wife and entitled to a discount: $26.32!)
Other useful items at the convention included a special device like a heart defibrillator. Geneaholic care-givers, like me, know the helpless feeling when a spouse has been doing so much research on a computer that his or her eyes are completely glazed over and the body has stiffened for so long that it is impossible to get the Geneaholic out of the chair in front of the computer desk. With the GRU (Geneaholic Restoration Unit) the care-giver merely applies the electrified paddles to any part of the Geneaholic's body that is available, usually the hands.
The application of variable voltage (10,000-68,000) will usually straighten out the subject's body and the resulting ash can be removed from the computer chair with a whisk broom and dustpan.
The price of this 'must-have' device is only $172,567.46 and comes complete with an alibi and a new name with full documentation. It even has a kit to change your fingerprints to that of one of your departed ancestors. That'll drive your local CSI's nuts.
The final item I saw is called the WilCem; that's short for Wilderness Cemetery Finder. This neat device looks at all the aerial pictures of the United States and finds every cemetery, public or private, NOT located within 45 miles of civilization as we know it.
I'm particularly impressed with the WilCem because GW always says she has to find headstones that currently are located in the middle of cattle grazing fields. WilCem also warns of the location of nasty bulls that guard the graves. In addition, WilCem automatically figures how much gas you'll need to get from the cemetery to the nearest filling station.
Finally, WilCem comes with the newest camping accessories in case the geneaholic spends so much time looking for headstones that the sun goes down and the roads back are closed for the night.
There's also a check-off list of things to pack on such an expedition. You know, like water, flashlights, flare gun and a handy dictionary so you can communicate with the farmer who finds you sleeping in his field at 2 AM.
All of these items, and more, will be available through my new, on-line catalogue. It's called Goodies for Geneaholics. (Neat name, huh?) Note: Because I can't afford the credit card fees, all payments must be 'cash-on-the-head-stone'.