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View Full Version : Help me save my marriage!


bkwal
09 September 2006, 09:23 AM
OK -- attention grabbing title, but it's partly true.
Here's the story -- my wife is an amateur genealogist (as I assume most of you are). She's heavily into it. We spend some of our spare time haunting old cemeteries or (worse) the records areas of municipalities or old cemeteries. She's amassed a pretty impressive family tree for both of our families and she's still working on it. It grows weekly.
She uses Family Tree Maker.
BUT... I recently decided to make the big switch from PC to Mac and I inadequately researched my ability to transfer the Family Tree Maker stuff to Mac.
I saw some advice posted previously on a similar question, but it sounded like he was either a temporary holder of the family tree or wasn't going to really have it for several years.
So here's the question:
Should or can I convert the file from FTM to Reunion? Will I lose data? I've heard discussion of a gedcom file -- is that what both Reunion and FTM use?
Does Reunion have an interface with Genealogy.com?
Should I simply run FTM using Bootcamp? If I do that, will I be able to convert it at some later date?
What is my best option here?
Please help -- my wife is pretty upset about this.

ttl
09 September 2006, 11:21 AM
I'm sure some folks will help with your technical issues, but from a philosophical viewpoint, I'd suggest you not make your wife use a different program until she wants to herself. There shouldn't be any problem running FTM in Bootcamp or Parallels until she feels like making the switch. Make sure you get a copy of Reunion (or at least the demo version) for her to play with on the Mac side so she can get used to it and comfortable that it'll be even better for her than FTM. But don't worry, the data can be transferred.

Welcome to the Mac! :cool:

msdebbiep
10 September 2006, 05:38 PM
I just bought a MAC and went into panic mode when I realized that all of my family tree was on the old computer on Family Tree Maker. sigh.
I saved it as a GED file onto a CD; popped the CD into the MAC and imported the data.
Now, I'm a "newbie" to al this research stuff but it seems like all of my information made it over safe and sound .
The hard part was getting used to the new format/process.

Bob White
10 September 2006, 06:18 PM
Change is a scary thing to some people. If your wife is not a "computer person" but has learned and is comfortable with how and what she does on that PC AND you have sufficient room for two computers..... The best way to keep peace and let her continue to be productive is to let her keep doing what she is doing on the equipment that she is used to using. For now!

Get used to using the Mac yourself! Build a small Reunion file. Start showing her how nice things work on the Mac. Ease it over time; don't use a hammer. Honey always works better than vinegar! :)

marnen
10 September 2006, 11:04 PM
Others have answered the interpersonal questions; let me provide a few more technical notes.

Should or can I convert the file from FTM to Reunion? Will I lose data?
Conversion is possible, and many people on these forums have done it. I have not, so I can't provide detailed information.
I've heard discussion of a gedcom file -- is that what both Reunion and FTM use?
Sort of. Reunion and FTM both have proprietary native file formats, but both can read and write GEDCOM files, so that's what you'd use as an intermediate format. GEDCOM is an open file format for genealogical data exchange; most genealogy programs understand it. (See this brief description (http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Home/FAQ/faq_gedcom.asp?color=green), or the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEDCOM).)

Basically, then, you export from FTM to a GEDCOM file, then import that GEDCOM file into Reunion.
Does Reunion have an interface with Genealogy.com?
Reunion does not have an interface with any genealogy website; this has been discussed elsewhere on these forums. However, most genealogy websites can create GEDCOM files with the data you want, so easy importation is still possible.

The lack of a direct Web interface is probably a good thing. I've heard horror stories of FTM users making wholesale imports of data that was not relevant or accurate. Reunion's approach kind of forces you to be more picky about what you include -- which you should be doing anyway, I think.
Should I simply run FTM using Bootcamp?
Well, you could, although Parallels (http://www.parallels.com) is probably a better option -- that way, you don't have to reboot to switch between Mac OS and Windows. The best option of all, however, would be to swich to Reunion when convenient.
If I do that, will I be able to convert it at some later date?
Of course. Conceptually, it's as if you'd just kept your Windows machine.

BTW, you might want to point your wife to Apple's resources for people switching from Windows, such as http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/ and http://www.apple.com/getamac .

Karen Peters
10 September 2006, 11:10 PM
So here's the question:
Should or can I convert the file from FTM to Reunion? Will I lose data? I've heard discussion of a gedcom file -- is that what both Reunion and FTM use?

When I switched from FTM to Reunion I did not lose data. From FTM, I made a GEDCOM file, copied that onto my Mac and imported that into Reunion. The only issue was that I had a few events whose titles changed (such as *New [OCCU] for Occupation). Someone who knows better correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that GEDCOM standards have not been updated in years so there are a few differences between Reunion and FTM. My information was not lost and it was easy enough to search for those changes, and fix them.

Does Reunion have an interface with Genealogy.com?
No, but I found that a big plus. I would prefer to enter my data myself. I have a lot more control and I can always leave out the real howlers. Besides, FTM drove me buggy. It was always prompting me to submit my file. I didn't want to give up control of my work. If you make a mistake, you can't go back and change it. They've burned it on a CD.

Should I simply run FTM using Bootcamp? If I do that, will I be able to convert it at some later date?
What is my best option here?
Please help -- my wife is pretty upset about this.

In this case, running Bootcamp or Parallels or just keeping the PC might be a winner. I don't have any experience with Bootcamp or Parallels, but I've heard good things. And I still have the old PC that I ran FTM on, just in case.

If you can get your wife to experiment with the Reunion demo, she might end up liking it. I really, really hated the FTM interface. I found that Reunion is sooo much easier to use.

Good luck and remember, if all else fails, try roses. ;)

Karen

Terry Medlar
13 September 2006, 10:35 AM
I have imported all my FTM data to Reunion with no problem whatsoever. The only hitch is that gedcom files do not include photos. I have attached a photo to every person in the family (where a photo exists) and now I have to re-attach each photo. This is extremely time consuming, but when it is finished it will be a job worth having done. The second drawback to Reunion is the inability to create a book as easily as one can in FTM. Again, once the initial book is created the hard work is done. Either ipages or WORD will do the job.

marnen
13 September 2006, 04:07 PM
GEDCOM files actually can include links to photos, from what I understand; it's just that Reunion doesn't understand the links.

theKiwi
13 September 2006, 06:53 PM
GEDCOM files actually can include links to photos, from what I understand; it's just that Reunion doesn't understand the links.

Some genealogy software will include the image in the GEDCOM file - I think it's MIME encoded into the GEDCOM file. So that as long as the recipient software understood this, the images would be transferred along with the genealogy data.

Some software will include the path to the image in the GEDCOM as an OBJE tag, so as long as the path remained the same between computers and the photos were all there this would work.

The former is less common than the latter. I've posted about this before here

http://www.reuniontalk.com/showthread.php?p=6025&#post6025

Roger

fraserprincess
14 September 2006, 10:56 PM
easiest way is to export a gedcom file from FTM and then import to Reunion easy peasy and having used both I am sure your wife will love Reunion
the downside is that most cds are windows for genealogical data that are for sale
but you can run Virtual PC on mac works better than bootcamp I think as you can have both windows open at the same time I think in bootcamp you can have one at a time
I do not yet have VPC for my intel iMac as not avail yet but still using it on old G4
Its also a good idea to save a gedcom from time to time just in case saves a lot of grief

marnen
15 September 2006, 12:49 AM
From everything I've heard about virtualization on Intel Macs, Parallels (http://www.parallels.com) is the way to go. I believe it's cheaper than VPC too.

But I've never needed VPC on my PPC Macs, and I doubt extremely that I'll need Parallels when I get an Intel Mac...

Bob White
15 September 2006, 04:05 AM
...............but you can run Virtual PC on mac works better than bootcamp I think as you can have both windows open at the same time I think in bootcamp you can have one at a time I do not yet have VPC for my intel iMac as not avail yet...........

Microsoft recently announced that it would no longer be developing VPC (e.g. for the Intel Macs). When you get your Intel based Mac, the most prominent choices will be BootCamp or Parallels. Either one of them several times faster than VPC. I am running XP Pro in Parallels on an Intel iMac 2.0 Ghz. The performance is roughly equivalent to about a 2.5 or so Ghz Pentium 4. (That's by seat of the pants measurement!) :)

fraserprincess
16 September 2006, 01:31 AM
Thank You very much Bob I did not know about Parallel Desktop sounds excellent.... I am not really keen on bootcamp ...
the shared folders is a great feature in parallels and for doing family history much better to be able to search windows data for census /trade directories ect cds and put data directly into Reunion ..at the moment I am running VPC on my G4 and going back and forth from that to my Intel iMac not that its any drama..... I will have good look at parallel desktop and most likely install it
I have been a Mac user since day one and love the machine
again Thanks for your input

SteveMarinaccio
09 November 2006, 07:05 PM
I have done this a bunch of times and it is not a big deal so long as you
prepare your data properly and include all of your notes into acceptable fields
before exporting the gedcom. I will say this. There are some versions of Family tree maker that are friendlier than others but lets not forget they are only so friendly ........

I make it a point to stay away from FTM as much as possible and have used Reunion for years on both Mac and PC when it was being written for that beast. It is a far superior product to FTM in so many ways. It has however been a long time since there has been an upgrade and I and everyone else is anxiously awaiting this to happen.