Receiving Posts and Comments via RSS

For the benefit of those of you who were not at the November 3 Technology SIG meeting…

  • I announced that it is my hope that we will be able to figure out how to utilize the capabilities of the Blog to distribute information about the Technology SIG.
  • Until we get all of the kinks works out to everybody’s satisfaction I will continue to send everything in email.
  • I did demonstrate how to ‘subscribe’ to a RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook… this allows you to receive posts to the Blog as email.
  • We discussed the pro’s and con’s at the meeting.
    • One excellent comment was made about the desirability of being able to limit the feed of information from the blog to a specific category so you are not overwhelmed with posts on topics you do not care to receive.
    • We need to figure out how to get blog postings in the form of email for all of the other email packages in use

There have been a few developments since the meeting (thanks to Carolyn Davis and Barbara Ware)

  • I found a way to allow you to receive only the category or categories you want to receive.
  • It was pointed out to me that the URL I had provided was not providing feeds from comments… I have a partial solution for that below as well.

To receive every post from every category (but no comments) use this URL:

To receive every comment from every category use this URL:

So to receive all posts and comments from the blog you would need to add both URL’s to your list of RSS feeds.

I loaded a tool that allows you to subscribe to posts by category (see Category Specific RSS in the lower right hand part of the Blog home page). Clicking on the category displays all of the posts. Clicking on the RSS symbol to the left displays the URL and the articles using the RSS component of your browser.

So, for example, to receive all posts made in the Technology SIG category use this URL:

To subscribe to the Macintosh OS & Genealogy feed use this URL:

Unfortunately there does not appear to be a way to get the comments made to posts for a specific category.

I will be putting together a presentation showing how all this works as soon as I get more of it figured out… Please let me know if you figure out how do so something in your environment!

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A Dallas-New Zealand WWII Connection

The secretary of the Hutt Valley Branch of the New Zealand Genealogy Society has asked for our help.  He writes:

“During World War 2, the US Marines were based near Wellington, New Zealand, in preparation for the battles, and in recuperation from, those battles with the Japanese in the Pacific.  One of those Marines was befriended by my friend’s family.  They have ever since regarded the memory of that Marine with affection but they never heard of him after the war.  They would like to know what became of him.

“The information I have is: 
Robert Marvin McElvane, 
239 New Orleans Drive, Dallas, Texas.  He was with the “8th Marines”.  They were based at McKays Crossing and Camp Russell near Paekakariki, about 25 miles north of Wellington, the capital city.

“Marines’ camp sign returns home:’+camp+sign+returns+home.  There is talk of marking the 70 years somehow next year.”

I’m posting this request to our blog in the hopes that readers can suggest resources/a method of attack that I can use to help fulfill his request.

Posted in Ask the DGS | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

DGS Web Site Recognized by the TSGS

I am very pleased to announce that the DGS web site has been awarded First Place in the 2011 Texas State Genealogical Society’s ‘Partner Society Website Design’ competition. I believe that this is a great tribute to all of the members who have spent countless hours providing the great collection of material that we are able to offer, and to Barbara Ware who is responsible for the ‘back end’ of our web presence that manages our memberships, handles event registrations and the DGS store. Well done us!

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the other societies who were recognized by the TSGS: The Franklin County Genealogical Society (2nd place) and the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society (3rd place)!

Posted in DGS Web Site | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

November Technology SIG Meeting

The November Technology SIG meeting will be an open discussion loosely focused on the December “Show Your Project” competition. We discuss ideas for projects you might consider and will answer any questions you have on this or any other topic.

I’d also like to discuss ideas for topics (and speakers) for next year’s meetings.

  • When: Thursday, November 3 starting at 6:30 PM
  • Where: Downtown Dallas Public Library 3rd Floor – Studio (Directions)
Posted in Technology SIG | Tagged | 1 Comment

Cemetery Database Update

New records have been added to the DGS Cemetery Database for the following cemeteries: Trinity, Gravel Slough and Kleberg. They can be accessed from the Resources -> Cemeteries page.

Posted in DGS Web Site | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Technology SIG Contest

The December 1 meeting will be a chance for you to show off YOUR project and compete for the $25 Fry’s gift card that will be awarded for the “Best” presentation/project. Here are a few ideas for possible projects (Information on all of these topics is available on the Technology SIG web page).

  • Create a presentation in PowerPoint, Jing or Camtasia
  • Create a Blog
  • Create a Wiki (I have just added some new references to the web page)
  • Add some information to the Family Search wiki
  • Add information and pictures to Find a Grave
  • Create or enhance your own web site
  • Scan some genealogy related documents or pictures
  • Do something interesting with Google Tools
  • Participate in a Family Search scanning project
  • Enhance some pictures you took or images you scanned
  • Show off some genealogy-related images you photographed

The judging criteria include: the degree of difficulty, how much you learned and the quality of your presentation.

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Dennis Ritchie, father of Unix and C, dies

Dennis Ritchie died last week. While all the world knew and admired Steve Jobs the death of Dennis has gone by largely un-noticed. That should not be.

Dennis was part of the small group of visionaries at AT&T Bell labs who created the Unix operating system and the C programming language used to create much of what we now call the internet. Unix and its many variations (of which the Mac operating system is one) still run many (if not most) of the computers in use today.

I still have my copy of the The Bell System Technical Journal” (July/August 1978, Vol. 57, No 6, Part 2) dedicated to the “Unix Time-Sharing System”. The titles of the articles that Dennis authored or co-authored frame his place in history:

  • The UNIX Time Sharing System
  • The C Programming Language
  • Portability of C Programs and the UNIX System
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Photo Retouching Guide Available

Sandra Crowley made a fascinating and informative presentation on “Photo Retouching” at the Oct. 6 Technology SIG meeting. She has also provided a 4 page quick reference document for Photoshop Elements users… it is available on the Technology SIG page.

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Learn about Scanners and Scanning

The Dallas Genealogical Society Technology Special Interest Group will be meeting again this week:

  • When: Thursday evening from 6:30 pm to 8:00
  • Where: Studio room on the 3rd floor of theDallas Public Library

This week’s discussion will focus on Scanners and scanning technology. By the end of my presentation you will (hopefully!)

  • Understand how a scanner works
  • Be knowledgeable of key terms and concepts
  • Know the different scanning techniques available on most scanners
  • Understand that not all images contain the same level of detail
  • Understand the limitations of printers and monitors
  • Know which formats to use to save your files

I hope to see you there, but if you can’t join us this month please consider participating in an upcoming meeting:

  • October 6  – Digital Photography: Repair and Retouch by Sandra Crowley
  • November 3 – Tying it all together. This will be an open discussion on any of the topics we have covered in previous SIG presentations
  • December 1 – Show Your Project night. Make a brief presentation to the group about a project you have worked on that was inspired by something you learned at a Technology SIG meeting. Tell us what you have done with your Blog, Wiki, Web Site, Photography project, Scanning Project or whatever. The best/most entertaining presentation of the night will win a $25 gift certificate to Fry’s Electronics!
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Birth mother and her family

The Society recently received a request from a woman in East Texas whose husband (adopted soon after birth) had finally been able to find his original birth certificate in Dallas County. It provided the name and age of his biological mother, but little more data.

In addition to identifying his mother’s parents and grandparents, she and her husband want to develop a medical history of the family.  She is following several avenues of research, but particularly asked if there are any specialized groups/organizations that offer advice and tips to adoptees in their family history research.

I welcome comments and suggestions and will pass them along.

Thanks for helping.


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