Links 6.21.10

I see that somebody on Facebook declared a National Backup Day in 2008 (they picked Aug. 26). Good idea; ought to revisit it. This week is beginning with the apparent demise of our family’s oldest Mac laptop, an iBook G4 that is already on its second hard drive. The Archaeologist’s clever husband revived it briefly using some advice from an Apple user forum plus a strategically placed handful of outdated business cards (don’t ask). But this was only a temporary fix. Fortunately, it bought us time for one more quick backup. How long since your last backup? If you can’t remember, please do one!

Now on to the links.

Another apparent demise: Dick Eastman writes a thought-provoking essay about the decline of the desktop computer. Will computer use be completely portable in just a few years? Will everyone have a permanent squint from teeny-tiny monitor displays? As a matter of fact, will a new generation of mothers have a new warning: “Plug that thing into the external monitor, do you want to go BLIND”? Only time will tell, but according to Dick, the statistics are pretty clear that desktop use is fading.

Missing fathers: I see I wasn’t the only one with missing fathers on the brain this past weekend. Martin Rigby of the Liverpool Echo was thinking about them too, and the problems they pose in Victorian records of illegitimate births. A very useful overview.

More Irish records: First the 1901 census, now this; the Irish have been busy. The Irish Times reports that Ireland’s Minister for Culture has unveiled a new website containing more than 2 million records for Kerry, Cork, Dublin and Carlow. Many of the records are Church of Ireland, but there are also Roman Catholic records for Kerry as well as south and west Cork. Happy hunting.

Faster, but not fun: Springfield (Mass.) family historian John O’Connor writes an engaging account of the genealogy field trip that first hooked him onto family history research. He asks whether the explosion of online data has gained us speed but lost us the fun factor. In my usual rock-solid, decisive way, I find myself saying … yes and no. See what you think. And enjoy the week.


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