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E Wilcock

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  1. What to replace TMG

    I am glad to discover this Forum topic and to give feedback on an issue to which I gave much thought. Like most people on this Forum, I have not moved my TMG projects but, if I ever need to, I know I can import and open the TMG Project files directly either to Roots Magic 7 or Family Historian 6. I did however decide not to begin a new Project in TMG and instead began one in Family Historian which now amounts to about 800 people. While using Family Historian, and going through the learning curve involved, some things occurred to me which may not have received much attention. The valuable RootsWeb list for TMG Refugees and the associated webpages itemise the capabilities of TMG and compare them with features of potential successor software. Comparison charts assume genealogists use their packages as they come out of the box. Some TMG users use TMG at a basic level. But many of us do not. Over the years we have adapted it and customised it. Users like myself may know very little about computing, but we none the less use TMG with customisations that have been devised by expert users and made available via this Forum. I used a lay out with a custom tool bar providing buttons to instantly add selected Tags for data entry. I used compact pre-formatted charts. Unknown to myself, I had become dependent on customisations for entering data in TMG and when I used Family Historian, I looked to replicate them there. So the real life experience of my switching was far removed from any straight out of the box comparison. Family Historian like TMG has a wealth of additional facilities provided by expert users. The most important of these are the free Plug ins which facilitate many genealogical tasks but cannot be tried out with the free trial download of the program. Some Plug ins carry out tasks provided for by John Cardinal's TMG Utility. Companion software Ancestral Sources, allows for rapid data entry of family groups, somewhat similar to the spreadsheet data entry form which became part of the latest versions of TMG. So. as with TMG, Family Historian is far more than what is in the box from Calico Pie. And it can therefore provide more than is outlined on the comparison site. Trying to replicate one's use of TMG is not necessarilly the best way to embark on software that was designed with other priorities. I made a conscious decision not to use FH in the manner of a TMG relational database but to benefit as much as I could from using the things FH was designed to do - A text based programme allows for rapid opening, copying, cutting and pasting. And its graphics allow one to work directly from a visual representation of a family tree. Maps, document images and media are new experiences. I work on foreign sources and the foreign alphabets from unicode are what I need. By concentrating on what was new and different, I gave myself an incentive to persevere.The key is to find out what the enthusiasts like about a programme and do with it, and then copy them. But I still missed things I was used to. Things which drew me to TMG in the first place. I missed the layout which allows one to see at a glance the marriage partners and surnames of siblings and children. The expert users of FH are naturally annoyed at any suggestion that their software cannot replicate the things some of us liked so much in TMG. But one of them, Mike Tate rose to the challenge. He has designed a plug in (not just for myself) which with a couple of keystrokes opens a pane giving the information on siblings and children which is such a feature of TMG. Mike also helped me customise a data input Tab which more than replicates the tool bar buttons I used for rapid data entry in TMG. For a novice user, customising software paves the way for all sorts of errors. And guidance is definitely needed. Which is where the vexed question of Help comes in. People have mentioned the effort of changing to a new program in older age. Because FH has user-designed Plugins, it also inevitably has multiple sources of Help including a big on line User Knowledge base. I have found the FH vocabulary and the Help hard to master. Yet the same could be said of TMG. TMG itself relied on several sources of Help: Wholly Genes themselves plus this Forum, yet I also have books Getting the Most out of TMG edited by Lee Hoffman and A Primer for The Master Genealogist by Terry Riegel. We all do research in different ways and have different priorities, so perhaps using any software in the end relies on us finding the customisations that fit our work and with which we feel comfortable. To do that we may rely on the charity of resident enthusiasts and experts. I surely did that here in TMG. Thank you Theresa and Jim as well as many others. And in Family Historian too I am dependent on the patience of people who know it better than myself, who may not approve of the way I want to do things, but who have none the less helped me tailor the programme so I feel at home there. I began serious use of the new FH project on 30 October 2016 - that is two months ago - to give some idea of the time scale. The alterations/customisations I have made (been helped to make) have been recent when a massive task of data entry encouraged me to look for short cuts to speed the process. But using and enjoying new software does take a bit of time and in many ways my initiation into FH has replicated my early days in TMG. I guess it is more typical of what goes on between genealogists and their software than the idea that you simply open your old tree in a new format and go on from where you left off. We blunder in, get help, follow it and the new becomes normal. After 2 months data entry into FH, I found it counter intuitive to go back and enter data on TMG.
  2. I should be grateful for help. I have not made much use of the powerful filters on TMG. But today working from the pick list I encountered problems in filtering. This may be down to my inexperience. In the first line of the filter, asking for all people descended from a numbered individual I got the error message. "Alias SS2 is not found." If I added another condition the filter appeared to operate in as much as one could see on screen the number of individuals found, but there was then a further error message. 32 FRMSIMPLEPICKLIST.MCREATEGRID Other error messages were x Alias name is already in use and 55 FRMSIMPLE PICKLIST.INIT Plus if I do try a filter, the button to clear it is often greyed out and it is hard to clear and to get my full pick list backagain. I tried the same using a different project and the errors were present. But when I tried filtering within a report, a list of people (as described in a recent thread, since I too wanted to find people with no birth dates) the filter worked. I am using the latest edition of TMG on Windows 7 64 bit. I am not very good at copying out long error messages, but I hope someone may throw some light on what is happening?
  3. Unable to backup

    Terry.I am sorry to say that I am still having the problem. Using 64 bit Windows 7. It could well be that changing the destination file as an option by clicking on the dots at the moment when one actually does a back up, is not preserved for the next time. Today I made several attempts and no success. I have just made the alteration as recommended in your website article on changing paths. http://tmg.reigelridge.com/new-computer-version.htm#paths using preferences, advanced. And then managed to make a back up. Since the path looks no different from what was there before, I really dint know what is going on. Particularly as the error message is to a zip file that cant be accessed, or trying to use the option results in a note that a file cannot be found. Since there will never again be a new release of TMG, I wonder whether one really needs to back up with sqz files these days? I keep each of my TMG Projects in a separate folder. Might not just copying the Project folders be sufficient for back up?
  4. Unable to backup

    Thank you Terry. The path did look the same and often I sort things just as I did here - at random. I am really much happier to have the explanation. So thank you for taking the time.
  5. Unable to backup

    I have now duplicated this problem on the Lap top running Windows 10. I backed up with a sqz file on the Windows 7 desk top. Took it (used Drop box) to the new lap top so as to install my custom lay out and toolbar settings. All of which was fine. But when closing the project in Windows 10, I got the same message and on checking I found no back up was made to the designated TMG default back up directory on C:/ drive. At a bit of a loss, I did as described above. Went to the preferences and clicked on the dots alongside the chosen (correct path). That opens up a side window with the bar in the correct directory. I clicked apply and then OK. After that I made problem free back ups of the two projects now on the lap top. Since the problem cropped up for me on two different computers with two different installations of TMG - I can offer no explanation. Nor do I know how it was fixed.
  6. Unable to backup

    Please note - it is not good to ignore this message. Using Windows 7, I just tried to back up a Project with all my settings to take to the laptop computer. I have to say that I normally back up only for safety. I dont use back ups on a daily basis for transfering info to a lap top - I copy the whole folder containing the project. Then copy it back to the large computer when I get back from the archive. It now turns out that I have no recent back ups at all,not the one I thought I had just made nor any since last year, presumably because I ignored this message. I was not backing up to an external drive. I checked the options under file project advanced and the back up preference was correct - the back up folder in the TMG 9 folder. Since I could think of nothing else to do, I clicked on this and then on select. After doing that I made a back up successfully and with no error message. As this is an option specific to a project, I guess those of us who use multiple projects will need to do this more than once.But I dont know why the problem appeared. Just need to report that I too had it -
  7. Just for the record I will add that four days ago Just after hopefully fixing the registration problem, I received the Microsoft notification to upgrade the lap top from Windows 8 to Windows 10. The upgrade is automatic and was problem free. All software is reinstalled along with their registration numbers or keys. TMG still had its Serial Number and has not lost it since - I have opened it every day to check. I was worried about this upgrade but thanks to Jim and this thread, the Registration in Windows 10 now looks fixed.
  8. Unable to backup

    I regularly get this same message. Sometimes on opening too. I am not backing up to an external drive. As I never understood it, I just ignored it. But after reading this thread, it is possible that a back up or other path set in the TMG options is a hang over from long ago and cant be found on either of our current computers. I never reattached my images so they are indeed unfindable and I assumed the message referred to that.
  9. Thank you so much Jim. Both for the explanation and the kind offer of help. That is a load off my mind. I just booted up the lap top (2 days after last use) and am very pleased to report that the TMG registration number is still there. So I am hoping it is now fixed. Evelyn
  10. Please dont be annoyed - But I may still be struggling with this Windows 8 and unlock key problem. Ed Ball is not the only person to struggle. In March 2015 we bought a new Lenovo lap top with Windows 8.1. This lap top is used only occasionaly with TMG - I take it to libraries and archives. Back in March I installed the final version of TMG. There never was any former installation of TMG on the computer. The Windows 8.1 is up to date and I am the only user - and am Administrator. Today preparing for a trip, I was again asked for an unlock key, which I entered but testing it by several times closing TMG and rebooting, I failed to get TMG to remember it. That included right click on the ikon and running TMG as Administrator. I followed Terry's site guidance to no avail. I do not understand the difference between using the computer as an Administrator and then running a particular programme as an administrator? I then looked at Jim's instructions above for deleting registry files. My problem then was that I dont fully understand Windows 8. I have a Run prompt, I have no "hidden" files, but I hadnt a clue how to find or delete the examples given by Jim. I could also go to a C:/ drive screen and type in REGEDIT - but then didnt know what to do. Would it be possible please for someone to lay out very simply and clearly how the average TMG user can delete the file that is causing the problems in Windows 8. In the end I did a search of the C drive for anything with TMG in the title and deleted something called TMG updater ini which appeared to be reporting that it could find no user key. I have no idea whether this was or was not a good idea. But for the time being, I can get in and out of TMG. If the problem occurs again, I will remember to close TMG and right click to run as administrator before re-entering my key. But I am not quite convinced I have this solved. And I dont know whether the updater I deleted is needed - Please be patient with me, for this it has had me driven to despair this afternoon. I do not want to travel to a distant archive and to be wrestling with my TMG registration. Evelyn Wilcock = London
  11. Back up of data on paper?

    Thank you Virginia.
  12. At some point this autumn, a user provided useful details of regularly outputting a report to serve as a back up of all TMG data. I would like to recover these instructions and to ask more guidance. But at the time I was away and not subscribed to lists. I have failed to locate the post on TMG and TMG-Refugees lists on Roots web or on this Forum. To the best of my memory the suggestion was to output to pdf a Person Report showing Everything for Everyone. Please could someone tell me how one should set up such a report to make sure one has everything about everyone from a TMG project - I do not think this is the default for a Person Report. I am not concerned with the screen appearance nor outside exhibits, only data I have entered in TMG. I should also welcome other suggestions - if anyone has a better idea. But I am worried that I cannot retrieve this personal account from one user which seemed to me extremely useful. With apologies for my own failure over this.
  13. 9.01 to 9.04 guidance sought

    Panic over - I used Windows 7 to uninstall TMG, then reinstalled version 4.01 because I knew that was what you Jim would tell me to do next - and behaviour looks normal. A project has been opened, backed up and updated. My custom layout and tool bar are indeed there - Thank you both. However it seems a bit of an understatement to say some people find it more reassuring to uninstall completely and then reinstall! Some people are driven out of their minds when their software doesnt work.
  14. 9.01 to 9.04 guidance sought

    Jim, I am now in big trouble. I made a copy of the documents folder with all my version 9 projects - as a precaution. I then ran the download for 4.09 and I am unable to open a Project. When I select a project to open, the screen is looking for a file type other than pjc - (sorry I did not make a note of this) and although I can see all the component files of the project, I cant select anything that will open the project. Meanwhile TMG froze and when using Alt Control and Delete I also have a screen open for the sample project with nothing showing. This problem may have hit me because the UK sample project which was overwritten in the installation has somehow opened as a default and is blocking something. After reading other posts, I was really anxious about moving from 9.01 and it seems I have messed it up. Am going to try and uninstall it. Now.
  15. 9.01 to 9.04 guidance sought

    Michael - Thank you so much for the trouble you have taken to help me. I am sorry that I was not more exact in setting out the questions. In my original post, I used the word backup specifically to mean creating (and later restoring) a ****.sqz file with data and customisations. I didnt use it in the sense of backing up (regularly copying) my projects to an external drive. Creating and restoring a sqz file for each project was is what I was helpfully advised to do when changing from one full version of TMG to the next as moving from 8 to 9. I think you have reassured me that moving from 9.01 to 9.04 will not require this. Project files already used in Version 9, will be recognised complete with the customisations, regardless of whether 9.04 is installed over the earlier version or after uninstalling the earlier one? Unfortunately I am unclear which customisations reside within projects and which reside within the overall TMG program. I have both Terry Riegal (2008) and Lee Hoffman's (2003) invaluable books, if you care to give me a page reference. But I have not been able to discover which customisations are to Projects and which are there in the TMG program itself. My customisations have been to my work space with custom tool bar and layout. When I upgraded to Version 9, I lost these and with help of this Forum, retrieved them from a back up of my C drive luckily made when I had to wipe the hard disc. If I were to uninstall 9.01, I assume I will lose them again so need to take some steps first? Or would you advise me not to bother with this unless the other method reveals problems? If I simply run the new version 9.04 without uninstalling the old, will these lay out and tool bar files be preserved? I ask this because I read that the update facility had been removed - I have previously updated without any worry, using Check for an update - and the .****.exe file downloaded with a complete version number. But this time I have had to download 9.04 UK as a complete program (thanks Virginia, from your reply on another thread I now have the full reference number) and if it installs itself with identical directories, it could wipe the settings files already in them? I apologise for asking these questions - I purchased TMG years back because of the way it allows me to handle and to accumulate biographical data for an individual, in the context of his family relationships. I have always used family relationships within my historical research and TMG does exactly what I want. However, I regularly lost custom settings on an upgrade and when I have needed technical insight, I have turned to this Forum.