"Weekend Chat" - All Members are Invited! (24-25 July 2015)

+29 votes


Welcome!  This is an ongoing "Chat" post that can be added to throughout the weekend.  All members of WikiTree are encouraged to join in, especially first-timers!

Say Hello and introduce yourself... where are you from and what are your interests?

Do you have any tips to share?

How can we improve WikiTree?

What do you enjoy most about WikiTree?

How do you spend your time when not online?

What's the weather like in your neck-of-the-woods today?

What did you do for fun when you were 18... music, cars, daring feats?

Do you have a unique pet?

Any great recipes to share?

... anything that you want to talk about!

Post answers here, comment on answers, up-vote things you like or agree with and have fun!  To receive notice when future Chats are posted, add Weekend_Chat to the list of Tags you follow.  You can edit your list by clicking on "My Feed" on G2G, then click to "add or edit".  Separate words with and underscore.

in The Tree House by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (599k points)
The thing I love most about wiktree is that I can add people who are peripheral to my own tree here and I know they won't be forgotten! Mostly they are the in-laws of biological people to me.
Hi Kathryn,

I like being able to add people other than my immediate family too.  I live in a rural area with many farms.  I made profiles for lots of the long-time farm families and other neighbors and connected them to the world-wide tree.  It's fun using the relationship-finder tool and seeking out all the connections.  It makes for good conversation when I see them and know all about their ancestry and can tell them we are distant cousins.  People are generally surprised and very interested.  I've had 2 such conversations this week.  Fun stuff.
Very cool, Keith.
I'd love to know what your favorite profiles are -- both those you've rimarily done yourself and those done by other people!!


15 Answers

+15 votes
Hello fellow WikiTree-ers,

I hope this weekend finds you all happy, healthy, and enjoying life :)

Something posted recently got me thinking about my first experiences with computers.  I'll bet many of you have similar memories.

When I was in grade-school my firend's father got a TRS-80 by Tandy/Radio-Shack.  It had a black-and-white display and a floppy-disc drive.  We stayed up for days on end trying to solve "adventure" games where the only thing on the screen was text that said "you are standing in a room".  We would type "look" and it would say "there is a table and one door to the north".  If you entered the exact right phrase you could get the next response.  We had notebooks full of drawings keeping track of where the "rooms" were.  At the time it was very exciting.  Eventually we discovered we could stop the program, change the variables, and start it again.  This enabled us to have as many gold peices or other items we wished.  Eventually we started programming in Basic and made tons of our own games.  Fun times.

My family's first home computer was called an ADAM.  It was a 40 pound portable computer like a suit-case.  The included printer used an ink ribbon and a metal ball with all the letters on it to smack the ribbon like a typewriter from 50 years earlier.  There was even a white strip for corrections.  It was a decent computer save for one major flaw... the data drive was tape-cassett.  We've all had music cassetts where our favorite song became worn out and sounded muffled, when it happened to the computer cassetts they suddenly became useless.  Sadly, the more you used the ADAM the quicker the tapes were corrupted and your information was lost.

Then Atari came out.

I worked my paper route all summer... five months, 32 houses, spread over 2 miles, all before 6 am.  Paper-delivery people know how hard it used to be to collect that money too; 50 cents from this guy, $1.10 from that guy, "I'll pay you next week", etc.  Finally I took my $130 and bought the Atari game system.  Included with it was one game called "Combat" where you could duel with tanks, planes, and jets.  For almost six months it was the only game I had (summer over and stone broke).  I became a Combat expert well before purchasing Yar's Revenge, Defender, or any other games.

What memories do you have of your first computers?
by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (599k points)
Well, that might be... water is important. Of course we seems to have forgotten how to really farm and use water wisely see dust bowl. And it seems we really didn't learn our lessons from that.

My bro was on a dig in the San Joaquin Valley. Its always been believed that the Europeans brought irrigation to the Americas. At least when I was in school, the Euros landing here was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well his team found that the irrigation system in this area predated the Spanish arriving in CA. Their report was over 500 pages and came out as an interoffice memo.
Gaile, is this how you normally describe yourself to strangers ??
No telling how many civilizations have come and gone.  Even as we speak the one in which we live seems to be hastening it's own demise! :D
Vincent, it's a settlement feature that's much older than the Romans too! Almost any movement of humans has been related in some way to a freshwater source for sustenance and salt water for travel or fishing. In Northern Europe the earliest settlements are along waterways, some of the archaeological sites are now sometimes nowhere near rivers or coast, but they were at the time the people lived there.

A great example is Doggerland. This is now actually under the North Sea but was served by two great rivers that nourished a fertile low-lying plain - the rivers were the Thames and the Rhine that fed a large freshwater lake between what is now Norway and Scotland. The waters then continued to the Atlantic Ocean. There have been loads of finds of human habitation and occupation there from before 10,000 years ago when the archipelago of the British Isles were separated from the rest of Europe by the inundation that created the English Channel and the North Sea. The most important sites were probably fishing villages on one or other of the rivers.

The most striking example of more recent human exploitation of waterways in Britain for purposes of colonisation came with the Vikings. The earliest permanent settlements that have yet been identified are all along navigable rivers or on the coastal plains. The Danes dominating the east and more southern sites, and the Norse the north and west.

Settlements need fresh water, the means to produce, catch or import food and the resources to secure an economic rationale. Settlements do not just happen anywhere, there is always a justifying reason, which needs to include the means to initially survive and later to develop successfully. I am always interested in settlements that have not survived as they can often signpost changes in the socio-economic, physical geographical or political circumstances of the then prevailing population. The archaeological evidence provides dateable material and the story begins to emerge.
That's right.  I hoped somebody would say it better than I could.  I like what they do in Bermuda for water.  Here's a video for water in Bermuda.

You sure know a lot about history Vincent, and current events.  It amazes me.

Did I ever mention to you (I'm sure you don't remember) last year when I had not been a member very long you worked on some profiles that I had created including my grandmother's and her parents.  You were the first person that made any improvements on any profiles I managed.  I was stoked.  My wife and I watched every click and notification while you bettered their profiles for over 3 hours.  It was awesome.  I sent you a message while you were working on them offering a gallon of maple-syrup from Vermont if you could identify any of her four unknown great-grandparents for me.  Learning now how much you like food I'm surprised you didn't take me up on it.  Too sweet probably.  Would've been a lot in shipping too.  Maybe I need to study what you've written about your tastes and come up with a better bounty...
Thanks for the compliment.  Your great work yourself with the Wikitree is enough of a payback for me.  Thank YOU!
Vincent, you turned down free food???
Unfortunately, an amount less than whole container is way too expensive.  And by container I mean a shipping container where only one fits on an 18-wheeler.
I won my first PC from IBM for excellence in teaching.  I had to learn DOS or else buy DeskMate discs for word processing and spreadsheets, and all other tasks..
+15 votes
Happy Weekend to Everyone!


By the time I got my first computer, it was a Dell with a 3.1 operating system(I think?). I only used it for landscape architecture. I had a humongous 19" old school monitor that I think cost more than the computer. I never had games....my son certainly embraced games, though when he was old enough to know about them. He was & still is a wizard at Halo & World of Warcraft. Fortunately, he also likes sports so I didn't have to ban him from his computer for playing games all the time.

The first time I ever used a computer was in college. It was nothing like a PC. It had a strange punch system terminal linked to an offsite mainframe. I wasn't impressed.

On a different note, my cucumber plants are frustrating the heck out of me this year. It has been so hot, wet & humid this year that it would have been cheaper to buy cucumbers at the market rather than pay for fungicide. I also would have more to show for my efforts. I live very close to the Jamestown Settlement. Now I know why they all were starving!

Wikitree remains my favorite indulgence. I like the G2G forum improvements & the people I continue to meet here are great.

Have a great weekend.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
edited by Doug Lockwood
Plant tobacco next year and trade for cucumbers! :D
The state would probably tax me, but I like your thinking.
I recall seeing the photos of your nice backyard.  I grew-up in a neighborhood like that.  One of our neighbors, took out all his shrubbery (boxwoods, azaleas, etc.) and used all the places normally reserved for those things and "farmed" it.  He had rows of cabbages all around the house. turnip greens lining the walkways, circles of strawberries around several trees and for the fence around the backyard he had corn planted all the way around.  There was a lot more stuff but you get the idea.  This sounds a bit crazy but you would have had to have seen it to believe how perfect he had it.  The plants were all healthy, lined up within a millimeter of equal distance and the lawn looked like a golf course green as well.  Too bad there aren't any photos.  He sounds like he must have been a farmer but he was actually an executive officer of a corporation.  He had been a kid on a farm and growing vegetables was his hobby instead of golf, tennis, hunting or fishing or one of those typical Alabama pastimes.
Vincent - Your neighbor's lawn sounds cool to me.  You described it very well.  I had not considered that kind of layout before but now like the idea.

This is a video of the rather famous Keukenhof flower garden in Nederland.  His yard was that good.
I really like those flowering trees.
+14 votes
Great stories, Keith and Doug. The first home computer we had was a Mac SE 30 back in the early ‘90s. The kids used to play a game called Cosmic Osmo on it and we marveled at how you could point and click the character and he would move or a door would open. (The kids moved on but I’m still addicted to point-and-click games — Machinarium, Botanicula and The Room.) I had a contract to write a book at that time and my husband urged me to write it on the new computer. One morning the chapter I had just written disappeared. I called him at work in a complete panic. Sad to say, I still do that any time the computer “acts up.” Now, though, he’s upstairs, downstairs or out in the yard!

Thanks, Keith, for taking my mind off the fact that the toilet isn’t working and we’re waiting for the plumber $$$$$$$  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
by Laurie Cruthers G2G6 Pilot (125k points)
My mother went to China in the 80s. The toilets are basically like that. TP is stiff and rough. And bath towels are thin.
The Chinese probably also have a good laugh when a tourist goes into one of those places.
Actually it was the hotel they were in. they didn't have the porcelain thrones we have here. the hotel wasn't much more then a commune. In fact that's exactly what it was. they visited alot of pagodas and communes and orphanages. they went to the interior. It had just been opened to western tourism. They ate in the communes, fish soup for breakfast, fish soup for lunch and fish soup for dinner. And mama didn't even like fish and definately not 2 or 3 meals a day of it. But before that trip she didn't drink beer either. She discovered San Pauli girl beer.
Sometimes in the army a piece of plywood with half-a dozen holes in it sat 6 with spectators waiting.
We were on a tour bus owned by perhaps the cheapest owner in existence.  He got mad about the third day in because some one put the wrong kind (nondecomposable) paper in the bus toilet and he locked the doors.  After that he stopped about every six hours and we had to use toilets where ever he parked.  We were parked in a lot above a famous spring in Delphi, Italy and he pulled the plug on his holding tank, instead of paying to use a drain.  A lot of tourists drink water from a famous spring directly down hill from where the slop went.  Needless to say I "didn't drink the water."  In retrospect, we should have revolted, but how does one lead a revolt when they don't speak the language?
I've made countless mistakes traveling due to just not knowing better.  My biggest recommendation would be to say try to go somewhere where you know someone and maybe can stay in their house.  If not, stick to 3-star or better accommodations. Also, try to travel in the off season and avoid the weekends. (Of course, there's always a flip-side to that, London for instance is more of a business city than a tourist city and hotel rooms are discounted on weekends often). Also, in the UK there are some great B & Bs that aren't even listed.
Once I had a job helping the Chinese develop an aircraft.  There were Taiwanese citizens working with us.  We discovered that the women would squat on the toilet seats to "use" them. Kept the cleaning people working.
Virginia, was this in the late 80s early 90s for Boeing? I worked at Vought and we subcontracted horizontal and vertical stabilizers for 747, 757, and 767. I know that boeing sent the 737 to China about then and several prime- and sub contractors sent people there to see how they were supposedly kicking our butts making a better plane cheaper.  My department's superintendent had to go for a while too.
Lynette, Right decade.  Wrong company.  I worked for Lockheed (as it was then).  We were building the IDF(ighter) for Taiwan.  It was a 2-seater trainer.  Quite a few of our people went over there - short trips and long term assignments.
Familiar with Lockheed, we subbed on the B2 and Stealth Fighter. don't remember the actual name for that fighter.  They did do a roll out at Vought (Grand Prairie Jefferson street plant) of the bomber so we could see what we actually made when the contract was finished.  When giving us the specs on the plane, we get the outer overall dimensions, Range "Classified", payload, "classified", speed "classified" but By god we would pat ourselves on the back for building it. Vought was also as it was known then. About the time Lockheed bought the Marshall street plant, with Martin Marietta. The Jefferson street plant became Northrup-Grumman-Vought. And there was a 3rd part, the Bagdad street plant, but I don't know what happened to it. I quit in 1994 not too long after the buyout.
+15 votes
Our first home computer had an incredible amount of 85 Mb harddrive that you would never be able to fill ... When I wanted to put in a 200 Mb harddrive a while later I found out that the CPU didn't support that big of a drive or that many partitions that would be needed, but I could get a CPU upgrade and do it myself. Nowadays, looking into a PC I feel the same as looking under the hood of a car where you can't even change a spark plug anymore because everything is so crammed that you can't get at it anymore.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (490k points)
My first computer was a dual-floppy Zenith.  When I expanded its capability, I bought that same $400 40Mb hard drive.  I was excited that HD prices had come down to $10/Mb!  I was teaching w/o secretarial support at a community college and that Zenith saved me. I've since had PCs, built my own very good computer, and finally bought a Mac a couple of years ago.  I love the Apple world and its linkages between phone, pad, and computer.  I do keep Parallels on it for the several PC programs I don't want to completely give up. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Gaile, was the XT the 8086 and 8088? Or were they before the XT?

Lynette, I believe it was the 8086, however, being a girl, what do I know from numbers?

In those early days of the PC, I was mostly using mainframes at work, but more as an engineering tool than as a computer geek.  At home was where I played - I was more interested in what makes it all tick than in using it for any kind of productivity or entertainment back then.

I remember playing a prank on my boss in the mid-80's ... I may have been one of the earliest hackers!  I tweaked DOS ... I think it was version 1 ... and put my "version" of it on his XT.  At a random time, his screen would suddenly go black and a box of flashing asterisks would appear with the message inside saying:

ERROR #5870987761378650189

Replace User and Try Again!

That number is not necessarily the one I used - I just cascaded my fingers over the number keys for a while to make the number.

The first time, my boss was terrified that he had lost his work that had not yet been saved, but all he had to do was press any key and the display returned, exactly as it had been before.  The "error" continued to occur at random times.

My boss, fortunately (for both him and me), had a great sense of humor and absolutely adored that.  He was never able to prove who had done it, but made it plain that he had his suspicions that it was me.  He also made sure that everyone knew that he did NOT want his original operating system restored!!!

Gaile, I've been doing genealogy since '79. I wrote letters and made phone calls and haunted census microfilm and index books. I copied anything that everything that suggested Jester in any known variant spelling. The old Dallas library had an index of books without indices that contained a references to names, knowing that genealogists wanted to look in the index before having to read a book. A lot of work went into that book they made. I would copy what I found, then go home and assimilate the data. People sent me their research in hard copy, I could assimilate that and put families together. And I stored over 2000 names, dates and family data in my head. then when I started my newsletter I would put the data I thought belonged together and make suggestions that this could be a match. And I was rarely wrong.  I could name a couple of times when I was wrong. But I'm also the first to change my db if someone can actually prove me wrong. But I listen to that nagging voice in my head that tells me I'm on the right trail or not.  Now, insisting to convince myself that computers were the way to store data, my memory has also failed quite a bit. I need more trigger points to access my internal harddrive. And how do I know I had 2000 names in my head, I compared it to a friends db. We exchanged data, she used a db at the time and she had 2000 Jester names with spouses and I knew who they all were.
That is truly amazing, Lynette.  It is astonishing to me - I remember when I first joined WikiTree and saw something about limiting my watchlist to something like 5,000 names ... I couldn't fathom having that many relatives - that number absolutely overwhelmed me - I thought a couple of hundred was probably all there would ever be ... and this was in September, 2014.  Although I have come a very long way since then, I still often feel totally clueless about stuff I'm doing.  I am sooooooo thankful for all the wonderful people here who have helped me learn so much and are still here to pick me up as I continue to fall down often.
Lynette, I am always amazed at minds that remember things like that. My mother could rattle off her family genealogy also. Me... If I didn't have the database, I wouldn't remember past my great grandparents. Heck.. sometimes I can't remember my children's names. Ask them.
Gaile, I now have 12,000 names in my db and still adding. My mother and sister left me their research. I was disappointed that I didn't get my aunt's, but she had shared everything with my mother. Its rare to have 4 researchers in the same family, as close as we were. My eldest brother has a Ph.D. in social-cultural anthropology. He used my research for his social networking (not facebook type). I'm a hs dropout. He said the work didn't have to be proven bloodlines. and I replied with "GIGO." I may not be able to actually prove the genealogy, but I can definitely provide a preponderance of evidence. But Mom really did a number on me. 5 notebooks of her family and 2 or 3 on my Dad's. She retyped Everything into family group sheets and removed all her documentation. So if I want to put it on WT, I'm having to duplicate all her work. And I don't even have all of her work in my DB.

One of the things in the social network academic community is relinking. How many times do families re-marry back into each other. In France its called re-engaging. In America its relinking. Straight from the Ph.D.'s mouth. And WT is doing the same thing in its 1 family tree, how this family is connected to that family and how many times do they connect over the centuries.   

An example of the relinking is the first 5 presidents. They are all related thru a marriage network. And then look int the genealogies of the rest, they all network thru marriage one way or another.

So while I collect not just my Jester's and everyone else's Jester's, I'm collecting everyone who married into the Jesters and my family network. I descend from a  Colonial era Rogers. In 1968, I married a Rogers. Common enough name... but what if my x is also descended from that same Colonial and other descendents from that Colonial also have married into other people related to me? Of course my daughter is having a conniption I may have married a cousin and had a child.

While I may not have ALL my profiles completely sourced yet, not one that I added myself has a link back to ancestrytrees. Some of those I adopted do, but I'm working on those.
Anne, I answered to anything when Mama started yelling. And not just her, but Daddy and all my aunts and uncles went thru the three older kids before they got to me. It didn't help that my sister and I looked identical even tho we were 13 years apart and the only thing making us look a bit different was the age difference. There were 2 boys between us and I still got called Ben and Ken.

Replace User and Try Again!

Gaile, when I read that message, I laughed so hard that it hurt.

That error message made me smile ear-to-ear too :)
+13 votes
Our first computer was a TI-99 4A. Hooked up to the TV as a monitor, 16k RAM, and no disk drive (used a cassette player for storage). I loved it and that's what got me into a career of programming computers. At least I never had to deal with punch cards for storage.

This weekend I'm dealing with storing old photos (after I've scanned them in). I've decided on some albums which are similar to the 20 my dad used (stay kind of consistent) but I'm baffled that the refill pages are more expensive than buying the albums. The albums (JPF-46) run about $9 each and have 12 pages (about 75 cents a page). The refill packets come in sets of 5 pages and cost about $4.50 a set (90 cents a page). I guess I'll just buy more albums and no refill pages.
by Peter Whalen G2G6 Mach 2 (24.4k points)
The punch cards weren't that bad, but the long piece of paper tape, with the entire program on it and an error in the first few characters, drove me crazy. By the time I'd typed my first computer program correctly (bad typist me), I'd decided that although I loved the programming, I hated the typing, and did something else instead for a while.
Hi Peter, thanks for posting!

I do not like at all how they price things these days.  It's always tricky.  I saw a show once on something like that where a reputable world-wide company who makes products for eye-care had the same exact saline solution in 6 different size and shape bottles with labels all indicating different uses.  One was for eye pain relief, one for washing contacts, storing contacts, I don't remember them all.  The thing was the price didn't reflect the amount of the product, rather it was based on the maximum people would pay to solve their issue.  They could be tricked into buying a 1 ounce bottle for $6 instead of buying the 8 ounce bottle for $4.

I loved the years I spent making little game programs for myself in basic.  I've been trying to find a similar version I can now teach my children but I have had no luck.  I downloaded a couple but they are not like what I used.  I'd really like to find a version that has the old line numbers and goto commands.  If anyone has one please send it my way.

Good luck with your scanning!
Keith, I used gosub more than goto because you could write a subroutine and just reuse it many times, it also made the code easier to read with it's structured style.  I have not used Basic in many years but most of the versions I have seen you could still add the line numbers, they are just not used for anything.  For the last 20 years of my working career I was working with programs that read like

M1 S1000 G0 X1.0 Z.5

G1 X0 Z0 f.005

and so on.

I was hoping to find a version that looked something like:

10 x=1

20 print x

30 x=x+1

40 if x<100 goto 20 else print "done"
Keith, There are a lot of version of the programming language BASIC out there and I am even sure that if you look hard enough you will find one that will allow the use of line numbers.  I have drifted far from BASIC after learning COBOL, FORTRAN, and several machine specific languages codes heck I even had to program a robot using HEX and lets not forget BINARY.  In the example I used above that would move a machine tool in rapid movement to a point closer to the workpiece and then feed to the front edge of the material.  It does not have line numbers but I could have added them for my own benefit, the computer would just ignore them in the end.
I think only very old compilers/interpreters would still support line numbers. Luckily, emulators seem to be available for many, even TI99/4A which used line numbers just like you specify. I haven't tried any of these emulators, but there seems to be one at: http://www.99er.net/win994a.shtml which may help you out.
+12 votes
My first personal Computer was a Timex/Sinclair TS-1000.  For $99 you got a membrane keyboard on a small plastic box with 2K RAM, but I went all out and got the 16K RAM Pack for an additional cost, The display was a TV and the only way other input was a cassette player.  I was constantly doing things that my brother in law said were impossible to do with a cassette based system, but just like now I never let people tell me that something could not be done with it.  I advanced to a Tandy 1000 system next and then started building my own after that. I did work on a variety of computers around the same time I had my TS-1000 including a VAX 11-730 Mini computer tied into the Kent State University network.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
I think I saw one of those TS-1000s on Antiques Roadshow.

Oh how the times change. This is a 5 megabyte hard drive being shipped out, IBM 1956...

this reminds me of an old Hepburn and Tracy movie The Desk Set.
That was IBM, all right. Look at all the men in suits and ties.
Henry, this is even before your time with IBM isn't it?  I remember reading a story about IBM and sock garters.
Lynette, I think Henry was still in college when this photo was taken, and I was still in kindergarten.
I was 2 yo in 1956.
Neat picture. I want the thumbs up button back.
Can you imagine the size of the building it would take to house enough of those to equal my 444GB drive on my laptop?
there is more computing power in our cell phone or home laptop than was in the world when Houston had a problem.
+13 votes
Mine is not a first computer story, but a reflection on the wisdom of college admissions.  I started college in 1964 - no computer requirement to graduate as an accounting major (hard to imagine, right).  As many are, I stalled along the way, married and had two kids.  I went back to school in 1976, still an accounting major.  The wise university admin had not noticed the change in computers and business during the 12 year break.  So, I was allowed to graduate under the 1964 catalogue - no computer classes.

Luckily I had been working in the field and 'grew up' with computers in accounting. Near the end of my public accounting career all my work was done keyboard/screen/printer - no pencils! I taught accounting at the same university and was required to incorporate use of software in to all business classes.
by Kristina Adams G2G6 Pilot (171k points)
WOW - more power to you, Kristina, for being able to stay with it all, without the original background!!!

My son is also an accountant, but in college he had a double major - accounting and computer science (he graduated in 1984).  I saw how well he managed to integrate the two when he showed me an Excel file he had made.  It included a macro that played Jingle Bells!
+13 votes

We were all glued to the Atari and/or the Tandy.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
edited by Anne B

Hi Anne!

(I can't see your image... when I posted a pic a couple weeks ago mine didn't show until I connected it to an open profile and none that were private)

I'll fix it.
Does the photo show now
It sure does.... great picture!
Is that you on the counter?


Me and my brother :D

I'm considerably older than the one on the counter. They're my sons. They both still play computer games, as do I and my daughter. My husband just surfs the internet.
Gee Eowyn, Did he ever win at that age?
His controller wasn't even plugged in!
I kept my first computer upstairs and when it would get quiet we would call out to see where the kids were.  My son who was about 3 at the time would shout out "Me Playin Puter".  Even at that age he could actually get the cassette based system working by himself.
I remember the ritual of blowing into the game-cartridges to remove dust before putting them into the console, "Pffffffffffffff!"
+16 votes
Being relatively ancient, I graduated college with a BS in 1959. Since I was studying electrical engineering, we learned about computers: how to build them and how to program them. The university had an IBM 704, which filled a large room and, since time-sharing had not been invented yet, it was operated in batch mode. You wrote a program in Fortran, created a stack of punched cards, and submitted them to be run by the computer operators. Some time later you got a printout of the results, almost always with programming errors. Then you puzzled out what the problem was and resubmitted the stack of cards. This went on until you finally got the result you wanted.

Later, in 1966, I was working on my Ph D thesis and worked with an IBM 360, the first of its kind. (IBM released new designs to universities first and let the students work the bugs out.} I was doing a computer simulation, but every time I ran it, with identical input data, I would get a different result. I had a hard time convincing the IBM folks that this was not supposed to happen, but eventually they admitted that it was a problem and went back to the lab to find a solution. I was out of luck for a few weeks, but they did find the problem and fixed it. I got my degree. Later on, I ended up working for IBM for 30 years.

My wife and I had four sons, and by the early 80's we bought them a VIC-20. They took to it like leaches. They fought over who would use it all the time. We went through the Commodore-64, then, when IBM brought out the first PC and offered an employee discount, various XT's, PC-Jr's, and PS/2's. I once cleared out our basement and loaded up my car with old PC hardware that I donated to a charity. The car was quite full. Now all of my sons are fluent in Unix and C++ and things like that and two of them do it for a living. They think I am a living fossil, but I still know how to put together my own computer.
by Henry Chadwick G2G6 Mach 4 (47.5k points)
Oh and for Gaile, Henry, and anyone else on here I did not even graduate from high school until 1969 and even with still thinking I can do things that a 20 something can do I have 8 grandchildren, the oldest one just received her Associate's Degree in June.
So does that mean I have to throw away my ' People I want to Bully ' list ?
We do try to keep it polite on G2G for the most part, but on weekend chat we cut loose a bit.  As long as it is kept clean and done in a friendly way we can put up with a few jabs.
That depends on who you want to bully and for what reason.  If its about profiles, there are much more devious and WT legal ways of doing it.  but if you want to come here and do a rant without getting too personal, I'm sure someone will pop up with something to make you laugh about it. They did me.
Ermm, to say there are ' much more devious.....ways of doing it ' wasn't exactly the answer I was hoping for.
don't forget the AND. Maybe you should tell us what's really on your mind?
G'morning y'all ... looks like I missed a lot of action here late yesterday while I was sanding an antique table I just bought that I'm going to refinish.

David - it's a delight to meet you and I hope you understand that we (at least some of us) enjoy indulging in some good clean fun here by joking and teasing each other.  I'm a binary kind of person - either so totally focused on work that I'm not even aware of the whole world around me or I'm totally irreverent and love to lock into a battle of wits about practically anything, as long as it is totally meaningless.  Vincent and I often exchange digs about the fact that I hate vegetables and he's a regular gourmet and talented cook.  Let's see now ... what can you and I jab each other about???

PS  I don't think anything devious ever goes on at WikiTree.  There is a huge emphasis placed on being not only polite, but supportive, encouraging, and - most of all - collaborative to/with everyone else here.  I am totally in LUV with this environment!!!
As you may have noticed from the other post a bit further down the list, I only joined the community a few days ago, and so its a bit like starting  a new job and then having someone you have never met come up to you and start saying all these things. It kind of dillutes the community spirit I was expecting.
Oh, David, I am so, so sorry you received that impression.  It is the absolute antithesis of the reality here, as I see it.  This looks like a totally unintended result of either the mis-communication that can take place because of the lack of visual and/or audible cues when you're face to face with someone or perhaps it's a sort of culture shock for people not accustomed to the no-holds-barred style of joking that we brash Americans tend to engage in.

To everybody else - it looks like we are going to have to try to stifle our normal style a bit to ensure that new members, who have not yet had the benefit of purposeful interactions with us, don't get a totally perverted impression of us.  I don't know about the rest of you, but it's going to be very hard for me - I like to brag that I am 100% WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) - but I will try to only let "some of it" (instead of "it all") hang out from now on.
Hard for me too, but I guess I'll put the old perverted hag back in the closet. too many irons in the fire with a merge of 2 db's, making sure all my db people have their wiki ids attached, and then re-writing most of the profiles. And working on the ones I adopted.
+10 votes
What is the street like in front of where you live?  I live on a very busy street.  When I leave my house I take care and look both ways to avoid being struck, struck by a bicycle that is.  Sometimes at "rush hour" it might take a half minute or so before you can cross.  Automobiles can use my street and there are a few parked on it but there are but a few parking spaces and it is not a very convenient street to drive on so there aren't many autos.  I'm not sure but I think I've read there are about 15,000 bicycles go past my door everyday. That's a whole lot of bicycles.
by Vincent Piazza G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
I love it "I have to hang up now - I'm going into a canyon".  I need to use that, our service is so spotty here, I need all the great location reasons I can get.  

Where in southwest Colorado?  Used to travel those Rockies and plains frequently to visit New Mexico family.
How quaint.  I also remember back in the "olden days" before there were cell phone transmitters in tunnels. :D
In the last 3 hours not a single vehicle has driven by house.

Our 3 mile long dead-end road follows the shore of a freshwater bay a couple of miles across.  At night there are few enough vehicles that when I was young I could watch for my father driving home from his 2nd shift job at 1:15 am and get a good heads-up before he arrived home.  I could see his headlights across the bay when he still had 6 miles to drive.  That was usually plenty of time to straighten out whatever I was doing that I shouldn't have been.

Vermont doesn't really have tunnels that I know of.
We had a refrigerator delivered yesterday and we saw the truck with enough time to have the old one emptied, unplugged, and moved out of the way before they got to our house.
That's funny... I picture you with jars of pickles and everything else stacked all over the kitchen during the crossover.
We even had the sink full with all of the cans of soda and Ice tea.  We were expecting the change over so we did not keep it as full as normal, it helps that we have another refrigerator at our RV and that is not too far away.
I have a great early warning system for anyone arriving at my house - 2 100-pound dogs who think someone is coming to play with them.  We have a very long driveway, but the dogs start alerting even before a car turns up it - in fact, they warn us about anyone going to or leaving any of our neighbors,  It's not just barking - they start jumping at the door (one almost touches the 9 foot ceiling when he jumps) and running around in circles.  Fortunately, they do understand and respond to words like "quiet" and "down" but don't seem to understand that those words mean "for more than a millisecond".
Zeus and Apollo?

We should have thought of those when we got them ... actually, it's SAM (spelled all upper case - it's an acronym for surface to air missile) and Renny (nickname for Renaissance because he's the everything dog).  Before Renny, we had an ankle biter who appeared to be a purebred Shih Tzu (all our pets come from rescue groups so we really don't know anything about their genealogy - we believe in rescue).  All we knew about her was that she was picked up by Animal Control walking on the street, so we named her Floozie.  Based on our assessment of appearance, SAM is a yellow lab crossed with a Great Dane and Renny is a pointer crossed with a Saint Bernard.  Here's the whole family (Renny was still a puppy there and Annie, the cat, is also big - almost 20 pounds and then there's all the hair on top of that)

I have those dog alarms also, two at 110 and one at 70.  Dogs bark and then my herd alerts, so there are 36 eyes looking down toward any intruder.  That should stop anyone.
+11 votes
Would just like to introduce myself to everyone in the community, having previously commented on the 'first computer' discussion...where are my manners??

I am David Sutherby, an Electronic engineer in his mid-forties, living in Manchester, England (or UK if you prefer). I have previously produced a wide family history GEDCOM file with around 2500 members but this was with a company who dealt solely with UK history.Having looked for my name through a search engine (something I'm sure a lot of us have done) , I noticed a lot of families in North  America, particularly on the East coast with my name and so have decided to join this community in order to try and connect with these families if possible.
by David Sutherby G2G Crew (550 points)
Hi David! Welcome to the Tree House and you are certainly welcome to join the rest of the nuts here. I had a friend in Manchester, I think it was Manchester. Baz Smith, had a guitar shop.
Welcome David,  You will enjoy being here and finding all the Sutherbys and other cousins.  You already found G2G which is a great place to ask questions and get help any time of day and any time zone.
Nice to meet you David.  I hope you make some connections with relatives here.  Have a super day!
+10 votes
A somewhat wet start to Saturday in Brightlingsea, Essex, England. I decided to spend the morning in catching up with some  personal paperwork that really needed attention. not exactly short of things to do. Also have photographs to sort out from my cruise in April to Spain.

Day did brighten up later and was able to do some gardening, well more like clearing weeds after lunch with family.

Thought i ought to write something on here as I missed last week. Always interesting to read what other people are doing weekends.

Has been quite quiet on the family history front. But had a chat to my cousin Lynn who got me into researching family history and I find its a case of you get an answer to one question and creates even more questions. More to do, but that for another day.
by Chris Burrow G2G6 Mach 8 (87k points)
I think that's part of the fun of genealogy: one answer frequently leads to more questions.
I'll bet the cruise was nice.  I was all set to go on one once; even paid $2800 for tickets and we were packed.  Less than a week before it was to be the whole thing fell through due to the company who arranged it.  They went bankrupt and cancelled the cruise.  Those who paid by credit card got their money back, those who paid cash like I had did not.  We lost every cent.  The only traveling that became of it was that my wife had to fly to Texas (from Vermont) to testify in court for the FBI's case for a couple of days.

We still hope to try again someday even though that loss stung.  I'm quite sure we will pay with a credit-card next time.
Ouch, Keith!

My husband and I like cruises, which is weird, because we're more the cheap bike and hike types than the midnight buffet people. We tend to go for shore excursions with sea kayaking, snorkeling, pyramid climbing, etc., then go back to our cabins and pass out by 9 pm.

You can get some great super-last-minute deals for cruises out of Boston. I think they go to Quebec (which might be kind of silly for you), Bermuda, and some repositioning cruises to the Caribbean (which might be fantastic).
+10 votes

My name is Rachel Hiles. I live in Kansas City, MO and I started my genealogy search about 3 years ago.  I have five complete generations done and I have about half of my sixth generation filled in.  My main goal is to go back as far as I can and find out as much about my ancestors but I really want to find living family members on either of my sides because a) I'm an only child and b) from a very small family (at least here locally).

Do you have any tips to share?

Find a local genealogy library so you can access paid records for free.  However, familysearch.org has been incredibly helpfult o me in finding public records (they may not have the actual record but they have a transcription that contains all the same information).

How can we improve WikiTree?

I really wish there was a chart that showed siblings in a family like on ancestry.com and familysearch.org. Other than that, it's the main place I have kept my tree.

What do you enjoy most about WikiTree?

I like the ability I have to see my tree information in many different ways. Except visually with siblings (:(). 

How do you spend your time when not online?

Outside with my dogs, spending time with family and friends, cooking or working on crafts.

What's the weather like in your neck-of-the-woods today?

SUPER unbearably hot.

What did you do for fun when you were 18... music, cars, daring feats?

That was ten years ago and I spent any extra time I had outside of school working or cruising town or listening to music.


by Rachel Hiles G2G Crew (900 points)
edited by Rachel Hiles
Welcome to Wikitree Rachel

I think what your looking for (showing siblings) is called a family group sheet. Go to any profile. Using the drop down menus on the top right corner - in the menu with the wikitree ID (the second menu) look for Family Group Sheet. It's not very traditional looking, but it does list siblings attached to both parents (they have to be attached to both parents.)

Is there a special food or meal in Kansas City?
Come on Vincent, yu never heard of KC BBQ?   

Welcome Rachel You found a great place
No.  ....only heard of Kansas City mentioned in a serious way, like.."the last thing you want me to do is to have to send in the boys from Kansas City to take care of this mess"...That always quietens down the room. :D
You never hear this ... ???? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9O8XjZTrp4
I know Kansas City just not any food associated with it.  I've seen enough "Shoot 'em ups" where the cowhands talk about "When they get back to Kansas City" they're gonna bring Tillie and the chillen out to the new homestead.

Now you've got me listening to Fats Domino for the near foreseeable next few hours! :D
BBQ is definitely what everyone likes to eat here... We're also famous for our jazz history.

@Anne I've seen the Family Group sheet but what I want to see is my entire tree, both sides of the family all laid out. Being able to see the whole thing makes me feel like I've accomplished something... And helps me see where I fit in in the grand scheme of things. I ultimately ended up designing my own trees

Paternal side http://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/1/17/Hiles-64.png
Maternal side http://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/5/5d/Hiles-64-1.png
Rachel, if you click on Family Tree and Tools, you'll see the tree, And there there is the Dynamic view, that kind of moves around a bit.
+11 votes
Hello from Northern Ohio!

I'm not new to genealogy, but both my husband and I are new to Wikitree. We feel a bit slow starting with this because the format is still a little confusing, but it's getting easier.

We began our research back in the mid-1990's by taking journeys through old cemeteries in areas where we knew family had lived. We were kind of made fun of by family and friends who though our pastime was a bit morbid, but cemeteries are fascinating because of what you can learn just by reading headstones! We found family members we never knew existed, especially those with infants who had died in their first year -- somehow records weren't readily available for the little ones. Sad, but true in many instances.

Anyway, when we got our first computer (IBM is all I remember with about 250mb hard drive that one of the guys at work built for us), my husband began putting all our data into Family Tree Maker and within the next few years had compiled a database of more than 50K names. There was a stubborn brick wall which continues even today -- his grandfather. We know he existed (obviously), but other than varying stories about his age, birthplace, occupation, date and cause of death, we've found nothing solid to go on.

My husband had his DNA tested through FTDNA (37-Marker) a few years ago but we're still learning how to read it. I recently had mine tested to see where I could get with my biological family since I was adopted; I've been able to prove ancestry back to the Revolutionary War, learn when and where my bio-father passed away, and help piece in some of the misinformation I'd been given about his family circumstances. Since I've had fairly good results with Ancestry.com's DNA testing, my husband has just submitted his sample for testing to hopefully help us understand his results better.

So, here we are almost 20 years since our quest for family history began. We've made great strides, but some of the most important information to us is still missing. That's why we're here ... hopeful, full of anticipation, and excited to learn more.

By the way, my husband (Ron "Ross-8350") lost about half of his left index finger a few years ago which prevents him from successfully handling a keyboard with any efficiency. So, I'm working on filling in his family profile and mine at the same time. He's reading, but he's not doing much of the work. It's a lot of work for me!!

Anyway, we're thankful for the warm welcome we've received. We both hope that by filling in our blanks, others will be able to make connections they've been waiting for as well. If we can answer any questions, we'll do our best. It's the least we can do when so many have graciously helped us along the way.

Happy hunting!!!
by Jan Ross G2G1 (1.5k points)
Thank you Jan and Ron for joining Wikitree. After a while it gets to be second nature, and I can Wikitree while I'm asleep. At least that's what I tell my husband, when he catches me sleeping at the keyboard.
Anne, I get my best work done on here when I am asleep because that is when these old bones don't hurt as much.  Jan and Ron welcome to WikiTree from another resident of Northern Ohio, I started with making a family tree in the early 1980's and when my grandmother saw that I was starting to store my work on my computer she gave me all of her research.  I am still working on that but I have been working on sources for all of the profiles I am related to as a priority and have not added all of the possible relatives that she documented yet.
Welcome to WT!! Learning Wiki-code was a challenge for me. I'm still learning it. Even tho I joined last year I didn't get started till Feb.  and its nearly Aug and I'm no where near done with either learning wiki-code or entering all my lines. I was fortunate to find some of my family lines entered and some were abandoned that I was able to adopt. And I'm still working on it.  Teh abandoned profiles talk to me like you find a lost kitten or puppy that just says "take me home with you!!"
I can sure identify with the abandoned profiles analogy ... I just found my 2nd gr-grandmother's profile that had been abandoned! It was like we were long lost friends although I only learned of her existence yesterday!  Ha!  As for falling asleep, I can identify with that as well. It hasn't been that long ago that I was typing a biography and dozed off while the news was on in the background. When I opened my eyes, I had actually typed what the reporter was talking about -- it was hilarious!  I have a cousin who is sending me a book her mom (my aunt) put together with family history in it. I hope to receive it in the next few days; even moreso, I hope it answers a lot of questions I have about the family history and how everyone fits together. Since I was adopted and I'm tracing my biological family, it's like discovering new people who have had a part in my own biological make-up just about every day. Suddenly, I'm connecting with a family that was only in my imagination. Kinda neat at nearly 65 years of age!
Jan, one of my Davis cousins is adopted. She has worked not only on the Davis-Shipp lines, but she also found her bio-mother and worked on those her bio lines as well. She tried to join DAR. She found her adopted Mother's ancestor was hung in Alamance NC as a traitor to the crown. And on her bio side, she found another RW soldier/hero. DAR turned her wouldn't let her join, 1. she was adopted. 2 she was illegitimate. She was denied membership because of the actions of her parents, both bio and adopted that she had absolutely no control over. And I feel that is just WRONG! Adoptees are supposed to have full rights as natural borns, except in the Societies. I can join on 8 different surnames and I refuse to.

Working while asleep...  while I had a real world job, I started a newsletter for Jester researchers. After 8-12 hours of sheetmetal work, I came home to write. Numerous times I fell asleep at my desk only to wake up and find pages written. And better written except for some spelling errors than I could have done awake. Some of it was from copy that people had sent me. No idea how it got written.  One of my favorites was taking a nap on the sofa, getting tapped on the head and hearing someone say, "time to go back to work".  I lived alone.
The situation with the DAR is what I'm just now learning. My 4th gr-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War (I learned this yesterday) and it's proven by DNA match on ancestry.com and I can also trace the lineage with proof. However, like your cousin, my parents weren't married. Although my 4th gr-grandfather was apparently rewarded for his bravery when the US government granted him land that now makes up Barbour County, WV., I'm not so sure they will agree to allow me to join because my father, married to another woman, had two children with someone else. I've heard stories like this before but never figured I'd be caught in the middle of one!  I guess it won't hurt to try, but I'm not holding my hopes too high because of my bio father's indiscretions. Such is life! :)

Well, if I don't get to bed, I'll be working in my sleep! Been nice chatting with you. Glad to know other people are sleep-writers, too! I was beginning to think I was crazy ... my husband had pretty much convinced me I am!  Ha!  

I really like the fact that land was granted to those who served in the revolution.  The new US stepped up to the plate with grants, pensions, and the honorable title "Patriot".
Well, the New Gov kinda had to give land as a pension, it didn't have any money in the treasury. But look at the cost of that land and to whom. And then gold was discovered in the Smokeys which compounded the issue for the Native Peoples.  How many died for greed?
One would be too many.

I hadn't thought about how broke they were, but that makes perfect sense.

I live on land that one of my patriot ancestors first owned.  I appreciate very much that I did not personally have to fight for it.
Sadly, many never even consider the price paid for the land on which they live. The blood shed. Loved ones lost. Countless tears. We look at land grants as a big prize, but it came with a price most today would be unwilling to pay. Really puts things into perspective.
If not for greed, the Trail of Tears and Little Big Horn would never have happened. Look at what happened in OK when oil was discovered there and more recently AZ and NM when uranium was found. In OK and AZ, again greed attempted to drive the Native Peoples off Treaty Lands. The Smokeys were also Treaty Lands, till gold was discovered.

Keith, has the land always been in your family since the RW? If so, consider yourself fortunate. if it was Southern land, there was a "Panic" in 1835 when lands were lost and slaves sold on the auction block and crops rotted in the fields, then the CW carpetbaggers and such, the Long Depression of the 1890s, the Panic of 1913, the Great Depression and the Dust Bow of of the 1930s.  And if you follow those dates, you'll find western migration.

Lynette - It's been in our family since the area was first settled, circa 1785.  It's very north; formerly the Independent Republic of Vermont.  Vermonters fought in the revolution, joined the US shortly afterwards, and were granted land like others.  My ancestor also did some wheeling and dealing and ended up at one point with one strip over 35 miles long.  They write in our town history that it couldn't be walked in a day.  In the end he had significantly less but fortunately for us he retained a property that we still live on.  It's a point of land jutting into a lake.  Our shoreline is 1.72* miles.  

We're water people as well as mountain folk :)

* corrected typo

this was a bit different then the land lotteries of GA? I know IN was also Indian Territory was opened to RW or 1812 pensioners. Yeah, Vermont is a bit north. I wasn't thinking about your offer of syrup to Vincent when I wrote that. 35 miles? thats a chunk of land.

35 miles is indeed quite a chunk.

He bought and sold the towns that became our county.  He made one purchase that was for 500,000 +/- acres.  He sold areas up to 20,000 acres in a wack.  Independent Republic and frontier area being a couple of the key points.  He was heavy into land speculation and politics.

+9 votes
Hi Everyone!

I am excited to say that using the anniversary date system, I was able to clean up 48 GEDCOM profiles this month.  : D
by Amy McAndrews G2G6 Mach 2 (29.8k points)
That's awesome Amy!

Thank you for sharing your success and excitement :)
A Big Thank You for doing that.  I makes it that much better for everyone.
Thats a great idea!! I have my watchlist in a spreadsheet and was colorizing the ones I had cleaned up. But the anniversary date thing is a better idea.  Thank you!!
I know its monday. I took a page frm Amy and worked on my Unknowns. Only 4, but found their marriages, or their kids data like some DCs that was missing which gave parents names,  AND their parents! And additional census data on them.

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+28 votes
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