GSE341 Getting Started with Genealogy

pocket watch with old black and white photograph of a young man
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

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Have you ever wanted to research genealogy and learn about your family history, but weren’t sure where to start? Then episode 341 of Geekiest Show Ever is just for you! Elisa walks us through how to get started using the free and paid versions of as well as other tools like MacFamilyTree and more. Melissa shares a quick check-in on Distance Learning with the ways she’s flexing her geekery at home to get through another day. Elisa gives us even more tips for using watchOS 7 for sleep tracking and shopping — though not at the same time — we’ll save that for another show!

Apps & Tips:

Use an app on your computer or mobile device in addition to an tree. There are facts, stories, or photos you may not want made publicly available online for various reasons.

app: Ancestry Family History

MacFamilyTree by Synium Software GmbH
This goes on sale at least once per year so you might be able to get it at a discounted price. The macOS app is currently $59.99. They offer a free demo version. There is also a version for iPhone and iPad that currently costs $29.99

MacFamilyTree app icon

app: MacFamilyTree for macOS

app: MobileFamilyTree 9 for iOS and iPadOS

Currently, Heredis 2021 is on sale for $23.99 until October 6. It normally costs $50.00. There are other platforms besides Mac and iOS.

app: Heredis 2021

Reunion used to be the app everyone used on the Mac. It’s now it’s up to version 12 and priced at $99.00. The web site is very dated and it doesn’t reflect when the software was updated, but it seems like the message boards are current. It may be worth checking out to see if it has the features you want or need.

You’ve probably heard phrases like “first cousin once removed” or “second great uncle.” It’s quite confusing to figure out the relationships of distant family. A nice feature of Ancestry is that it discloses the relationship of a person to you. For example, when you enter info for your mother’s sister, underneath the death date it will say Aunt. Sadly, there’s no way to figure out how one person is related to another automatically.

You don’t need a membership or account to look at these articles. It gives a nice overview of how to research, then what to do with records once you find them: for Free? 7 Ways to Research With No Subscription

Kindly consider using Elisa’s Ancestry referral link if you decide to try Ancestry. She’ll get a gift card from Amazon if you decide to use the service.

Do you have questions about what you heard in this episode? Please send us your feedback. We’d like to hear from you. Let us know about a tech topic that interests you.

Elisa can be found at or
Melissa can be found at or
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from links on this site.

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GSE338 What’s in YOUR Keyboard?

tools for cleaning a mechanical keyboard

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We have a new email address! Listen to the show to find out where you can send us feedback about our episodes. We would love to hear from you!
In episode 338 of Geekiest Show Ever, we discuss surviving the first full week of distance learning with some observations and tips. These days, we find ourselves doing a lot more cleaning and disinfecting. Now that more kids are learning from home, all those keyboards are bound to get icky! Melissa shares her hack for how to clean a mechanical keyboard.

Distance Learning Tips & Observations

• Setting up a workstation is crucial whether you’re a teacher, parent, or guardian helping to prepare a child for distance learning.
• Minimize distractions with over-the-ear headphones, preferably with noise cancellation for smaller kiddos who have ears too small for earbuds.
• Over the weekend, take some time to test out your child’s audio input and output settings. Make sure their mic isn’t turned all the way up or all the way down. Teach them how to use the keyboard shortcut for muting themselves.
• Use a decorative sheet or green screen as a backdrop to create a private space.
• Make sure the work area has plenty of light.
• Keep an eye on the thermostat and make accommodations. Children may get sleepy or irritable if it’s too hot or too cold in their workspace. Try adding a fan or a cuddly blanket.
• Take breaks up and away from the workstation and computer to do physical activities.
• Try to replicate your child’s bell schedule with an egg timer, watch, or smartphone app that makes a sound or vibration.
• Remember that you won’t be able to replicate all things that pertain to on-site learning, but you can get creative when teaching skills like staying on a schedule. A routine is good for mental health during these uncertain times.
• Check out your local communities or estate sales and ask around for tech supplies.

Look for wired keyboards, headphones, printers, and other “last year” models that people may want to discard. Many consumers want wireless these days, but going back to wired for kids can be a bit more tried and true. It also negates the need for replacing batteries or negotiating Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections in what could be an already strained network.

Learn Something New

If your child is using a mechanical keyboard and has trouble typing despite being skillful, it may be time to deep-clean that keyboard. Perhaps you just need to inspect under the keys for a foreign object like a loose staple, piece of paper, or potato chip. You can take apart a mechanical keyboard by making your own key cap puller out of florist wire. Here is what a key cap puller looks like. This is a video that shows how to twist the wire into shape. Using florist wire you can skip the step of stripping the coating.

homemade key cap puller tool

Elisa can be found at or
Melissa can be found at or
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from links on this site.)

Audio Link

GSE337 Preparing for Distance Learning

Photo by John Barkiple on Unsplash

Listen on Apple Podcasts
This week Melissa is focused on retrofitting her home in preparation for distance learning. She has many thoughts and questions about what to expect when entire households are all online all at the same time.

Elisa can be found at or
Melissa can be found at or
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from links on this site.)

Audio Link