Friday, February 26, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games - Final Day of Competition

Today was the final day for the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games. I was not good at reporting my efforts the last few days, but I have been busy.

My primary focus has been on obtaining a Platinum medal in the Category 3 - Organize Your Research.
  • Task A: Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate.
  • Task B: Organize at least 20 digital files into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
  • Task C: Organize at least 20 photos into photo albums, scrapbooks, collages, protective holders, boxes, etc.
  • Task D: Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
  • Task E: Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents.
  • Task F: Create a master list of your files and notify your family members of where it is stored.
If you completed five or more tasks you would win a Platinum Medal.  I finished 5 and have been busy this week on the 6th Task F.  I wanted to make a spreadsheet list of where my files are located with hyperlinks to various documents. These hyperlinks are similar to the hyperlinks you find on the web. Instead of linking to other websites my hyperlinks would link to files on my computer.

Thinking long term and with the need for flexibility I wanted to make ensure that my master list with hyperlinks would grow with me.  If I wanted to work from my XP Desktop or my Vista Laptop and use the master list I would have issues with the paths not being the same to the files, causing the hyperlinks to break.  Using the C Drive on the computer was not going to allow me flexibility. The answer was to make my WD Passport portable external hard drive my primary drive that I read and write to.

Now when you use an external the drive letter can change when you plug it in to different ports or computers. I wanted to assign my portable external the drive letter Z - for Zamora.  Its also better to assign externals letters M through Z if you want to insure they stick. For a Windows XP Computer you can change the drive letter from the Disk Management console (Control Panel|Admin Tools|Computer Management|Storage|Disk Management) Right click the drive in the list at the bottom and select "change drive letter and paths" and then "change" and select the letter from the dropdown.

It's important to remember that this meant the external was only assigned the letter "Z" while using my desktop. The external will not carry an assigned Drive letter, it's only the computer that it's connected to that will.  I will set up the external to be assigned the same drive letter on my Vista laptop too.

Changing the location for my primary records effected my backup arrangements. I had to make changes in my SyncBack software settings so it would automatically backup correctly. I still have three copies, my primary on the portable external and two backups, one on the desktop and the other on my WD MyBook external hard drive.

My off-site backup is with Mozy. I needed to changed what files were backup off my computer.  The changes caused Mozy to backup all my files over again because they were on the Z Drive now.  It took a while, but it has completed. Before the GB Games began I already had a Gold Medal in the "Backup Your Data" category. Now I've earned it all over again.

My master list creation was not completed.  I've only actually played with various versions of what I might want. The GB Games have given me a good push in "Organizing My Research".   I promise I will write more about my master list creation as I progress on it.

This is my medals standings for the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games.

Backup Your Data - Gold Medal!
Organize Your Research - Platinum Medal!

It's been great participating in the GB Games. I appreciate the opportunity this has motivated me in making changes that have needed to take place.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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