21 December 2012 ~ The End of the World

The “Countdown to the Next Millennium” clock in my office is still running with themillennium_clock2 original battery.  The clock was originally given to me as a gag gift at a Christmas party in 1999.  The massive failure of computers and software predicted for 1 Jan 2000 didn’t happen.

Here we are now on a day long reported as the end of the earth based on the end date in a Mayan calendar.  Of course, the would keeps spinning, people keep living an dying but life goes on.   The Mayans didn’t predict the end of the world, they just said it was time to hang a new one on the wall and start the count again.

I’ve thought about this date for a while and wondered what other expected failures haven’t occurred either.

The GEDCOM structure still survives all of these years since I heard that a new ‘standard’ was being developed by a collection of smart folks.   Talking and agreeing and then having the time and resources to create a standard have apparently exceeded the expectation of a relatively quick development of a new genealogy file sharing file structure.

New FamilySearch continues to live with it numerous issues that were created by submitters adding information to the database that wasn’t sourced or even researched in many cases, let alone including duplicate records over and over again.   The clock is ticking for new FamilySearch though.  I’m confidant that there is a ‘Kill’ switch for it and that the hand the will throw it has been chose and put on notice.

The lady who continues to merge the records of every William Bennett in Pennsylvania is still with us.  I don’t know if she has an expiration date or not but hope that her errant merging ways will soon come to a halt.  I’d love to see her work on resolving the massive issues she has caused in the new FamilySearch database in the last few years.  Well, maybe I just mean that I’d like her to feel the pain and stress that those of us working to undo her work have enjoyed for a long time.  We don’t need or want any more of her ‘help’.

Hard copies of documents and certificates are still with us.  Even though I have terabytes of their scanned images, my bookcases are full of storage binders with hardcopies of the same document.  I’m a nerd and a proponent of almost all things digital but probably never will actually divorce myself from wanting hard copies of these documents to touch and feel and admire as they fill the shelves.  It isn’t like I even look at them except when the scanned image doesn’t clearly show those few lines of handwritten squiggles.

The hard drives I was certain would fail long ago are still spinning, yet the new ones are failing at an astonishing rate.  I’m sure you are seeing this too.  Of course, I know that if the power goes out for long, some of them won’t spin up again as their bearing finally seize to the shaft.  The operational life of the drives has failed on both sides of expectations both longer and shorter than projected.   I wonder how long my cloud storage will last?  Will it fail to a new technology or just when I can’t afford to pay for it any longer?

I have time to continue to ponder these things because the world didn’t end.   That’s good.  I’ve just started making some progress on that brick wall.  Maybe my extended calendar time will last long enough to see it fall.

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2012-12-21 08:00:00
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Family history research is a favored avenue of relaxation. It is a Sherlock-like activity that can continue almost anywhere at any time. By leveraging a lifetime involvement in technology, my research efforts have resulted in terabytes of ancestral data, earning me the moniker of Lineagekeeper. And yes - We are all related to Royalty.