Is Family Tree Maker for Mac Too Expensive?

“Why is the Mac version of Family Tree more expensive than the Windows version?” I’ve read the question in the comments here and on Twitter. Here’s the scoop and thanks to GenealogyTools member Roger, the secret to a significant discount:

The Mac version price is higher because in bringing Family Tree Maker back to the Mac, Ancestry have had to pay to convert the program (a process called porting). They’ve got to pay for this expense and let’s face facts, Mac using genealogists are a tiny minority. That means the cost is spread across a much smaller group so the price will be higher.

We can complain, but it won’t do any good. We can refuse to buy it in protest, but that may simply lead to them leaving the market again. I think it’s better for us to have more competition. That’s why I welcome Family Tree Maker to the Mac.

On to the secret to a greater discount.
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The Dangers of Judging Reliability by Source Presence

Relying on sources as a soundness indicator in genealogy is like trying to understand a court case, but only having the witness list and the verdict. Sure you’ll know the outcome and you’ll know who was called to testify, but you won’t be able to understand why the decision was made. You won’t know what was asked nor what answers were given by whom. You won’t have a sense of the veracity of the testimony. And you won’t be able to get your own sense of whether the right decision was made. It’s the same thing with genealogy.
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Genealogy Virus Continues to Spread

I was disappointed yesterday to hear of another outbreak of the virus that’s sweeping through genealogy. A new GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data COMmunication) file sharing site sprang up. I’m disappointed because this nonsense undermines the practice of genealogy. Mostly this is because many (if not most) GEDCOMs being shared contain incorrect conclusions. Sharing incorrect conclusions is the single biggest threat to our hobby. It wastes an incredible amount of research time.

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Is the Virtual Globe Bloat?

I’ve been working on a MacFamilyTree screencast this evening. It’s related to geocoding which is related to the “virtual globe” feature. As is usual for me when I explore features, I asked myself, “What value does this offer genealogists?” I’m having a hard time coming up with something nice to say about this one.

Yes, I get that you can see points on a globe for events in your database. And, that lines indicating the direction of movement connect the points. So, what? How can this help you with the fundamental activities a genealogist undertakes? Does it help you plan or carry out research? No. Can it help you identify or locate sources? No. Can you turn evidence into sound conclusions with it? No. Does it make preserving information more efficient or effective? No. I can’t imagine a single way that this “feature” improves, in a material way, what you can do already. [Read more…]