02 May 2015

My Genealogy Laptop

Like most of us I wanted something digital to work on when I go to libraries, courthouses, museums, family history centers, conferences, society meetings, etc.

I thought about a Chromebook.  But I just could not be sure I would have WiFi everywhere I go.  I have an ASUS Transformer Tablet with attachable keyboard, and that is what I started with.  But the keyboard is tiny and I have fat fingers.  Everytime I went to hit the space bar I would miss and hit the touchpad, closing the window I was working in.  And if I wanted to use my flatbed scanner it would not work because the tablet was Android.

Here is my compromise, and old 14.1 inch Dell, with five-year old technology.  It can be had for $100 on the refurb market.  A slower quad-core processor and a smaller hard drive.  It came with Vista loaded, but I put Windows 7 on it.  I am going to do one thing and one thing only with it -- genealogy.  It has WiFi.  My flat-bed scanner will work with it.  And I will only keep a working family file on it, not my perfectly researched and sourced one I keep at home.

(Click image to enlarge.)

I went ahead and customized it with custom decals, including the principle surnames I am researching.  It looks cool, but I am not sure it is a good idea?  The possibility is I will run into others researching the same surnames.  But with false leads distracting me from my work, that could be bad more than good.   We will see.

Anyway, if you see this computer when you are out and about where family historians and genealogists congregate, come up and say hi.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

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