If you live and breathe Microsoft Office and/or Outlook and OneNote (and Publisher even) when it comes to correspondence, notes, presentations, biographies, etc., for your genealogy work, and you are a Windows user (or Mac with the appropriate Windows virtualization software) and interested in where Office is going, Microsoft has made the Office 2007 Beta 2 available for public users.
You can get it (and the free license keys) here: www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx
It’s got a radical new interface, and quite a few other things have changed. It runs okay if you are using it under a Mac setup with Parallels Desktop for Mac.
It expires on February 1st, 2007. Keep in mind, it’s highly recommended you don’t use this for “production” work, i.e., don’t install over your old Office, and don’t load and save documents you have created with older versions of Office without first backing all of them up. That said, it’s interesting to see where they are going with this – obviously they are going after more online-collaboration and business, but still, it’s interesting to look at it. Personally, it doesn’t offer me anything that I absolutely need – I’ve been using other word processors for my normal word processing, and for publishing newsletters, etc., I’ve been using Apple’s Pages, but I do like to check things out.
If you don’t want to go through with downloading it or ordering it by mail, you can read eWeek’s review of it.
I haven’t been paying attention – one of my favorite genealogy applications, Clooz, has left it’s 2.0 beta testing and has now been formally released. The author refers to it as an “electronic filing cabinet ” for genealogy documents and files, and that’s pretty much an apt description.
The 2.0 series had a complete rewrite – in “.Net”, meaning it requires Windows XP unfortunately. Among the significant updates – new templates, census substitutions (for those times you can’t find somebody in the census, this is a good way to document where they were around then), and map tracking/information/storage, and most importantly, GEDCOM importing.
One thing I thought was pretty cool, they’ve added what is basically a building history area to track buildings and land that were important to your ancestors – I’ve mentioned before that people are starting to get into doing research on places and structures.
Yesterday saw the release of Apple’s MacBook. I have one in my hands (and am in fact typing this from it). I got one of the last half dozen in the store, I believe.
This is sort of a review. I know, you are thinking what does this have to do with genealogy, but this is going to be my genealogy platform of choice for the next few (hopfeully several) years, and I’ll explain why in a moment (if you are interested in Macs, but have some Windows-only applications, read on, you’re in luck).
Yesterday I mentioned Google Notebook – looks like it’s available (if you have a Gmail account).
You can access it at www.google.com/notebook.
For those of you who use Yahoo! Notepad to store genealogy information online or when traveling, Google announced last week something similar, although with a few more features. It’s called Google Notebook, and CNet explained that it can do quite a bit more – including grabbing text and pictures, as well as going full screen, with drag and drop item placement/organization, as well as emailng the information to others. It does require a Google account and will be available sometime this week through Google Labs.