Friday, February 22, 2008

Next to My Husband, I Love My Scanner Best

Written for the 43rd Carnival of Genealogy:
What technology do you most rely on for your genealogy and family history research? Select one piece of hardware (besides your computer), one piece of software (besides your internet browser), and one web site/blog (besides your own) that are indispensable to you. . .

Most Relied Upon Hardware

"If it draws blood, it's hardware" - Anon

I cannot tell a lie... (Shhhh! Don't tell my husband!) I have been involved in a love affair with my scanner/printer: the Epson Stylus Photo RX500.

Well, perhaps the affair is a bit one-sided, but I can't help myself. At first, it was just fond bantering, and then I found myself relying on the relationship more and more. When I am not near my beloved scanner, I am anxious, even depressed. Oh, what joy it gives me! How else could I quickly and inexpensively share those old maps and treasured family photographs and insert them into documents? How else could I begin to take a tired, sepia 1886 photograph and turn it into a vibrant, purple, Warhol-style piece of art (sometimes by accident)? I will be forever enamored, even if I can't be completely faithful.

Most Relied Upon Software

"The softest thing cannot be snapped" - Bruce Lee

Outlook Express is my top choice. Where would I be in my research and genealogy/writing related activities if I couldn't keep in rapid contact with everyone via e-mail? I'll tell you where I'd be: ten years ago, in networking, learning, and researching.

Most Relied Upon Website/Blog

"The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom" - Jon Stewart

There are some excellent websites for Norwegian genealogical research, including online census records, but the one I keep returning to is: Norway Heritage: Hands Across the Sea. This site is a collaborative effort to accumulate information about early Norwegian passenger lists and emigrant ships, and it is in English! There is an exciting image gallery, and contributions are encouraged. There is also a forum where researchers can help one another.

Image of a bark-rigged sailing ship, just like the Norden--the ship my Johnson ancestors sailed on from Bergen to Quebec in 1866.

It was on this site that I found the 1866 Norden passenger list, including Baard and Thibertine Johnson and their children, and Gulbran Olsen Berge's sea voyage diary. Berge is also a g-g-grandparent, and the diary translation has been in my family for many years. So, when I discovered it had somehow gotten online, my first question was: how? I wrote to the web author, and he put me in contact with two "new" cousins. Oh, I love sites that offer connections, as well as information! Thank you, Norway Heritage.


  1. Mountain Girl:

    I love your writing and your sense of humor. And I really get your love for an Epson Scanner.

    How I enjoy stopping off at your place every morning and those frequent emails.

    The internet is a wonderful place!


  2. Ja, Maven, it sure is wonderful. Coffee, a cream cheese-topped muffin, and the internet in the morning, mmmmm... I'll bet there will be a lot of votes for scanners in this edition of the COG (though Terry's pens and pencils will "draw blood" equally as well) (And I hope Terry closes his eyes to my mention of cream cheese-topped muffins) - MG

  3. Being a first time visitor to your site I must say that I am impressed. I will have to check out your writings more often.

    On topic, I must say that Outlook Express was something I should have thought of! The first thing I do when I get on my computer is hit my Outlook Express button. I enjoy that I can retrieve my Gmail using Outlook Express also.

    Where would we be without our Outlook Express?

  4. I can definitely understand the sentiment of Outlook Express being your software choice! Although my answer would have been Firefox, I have to admit that I am horribly addicted to my email!

  5. Chery,

    I not only enjoyed your technical comments, but I chuckled my way through this article. One burning question, has your husband read it? lol

    Blog: Cow Hampshire

  6. I also love your writing and the way you draw a reading in by writing about having an affair with your scanner. The short quotes at the beginning of each section were also a nice touch.

    Professor Dru

  7. Ken, Amy, Janice & Prof. Dru: Thank you all for your supportive comments!