Sunday, December 6, 2009

Roots Magic Shareable CD - My Impressions

I've been posting about the process that I went through to make a shareable CD using Roots Magic 4 (RM4). I have already discussed how to make a shareable CD and export a GEDCOM. Today I'm going to discuss my own impressions with the CD.

I really like the opening screen of the CD. It gives a title, photo and menu. In the menu, you have:
  • View Family Tree (Opens the tree)
  • About this Disc (The introduction that you wrote.)
  • Contact the Author (Can include address, website, email and more)
  • Rootsmagic.com (Takes you to the website for RM4.)
The CD is read-only, meaning that a person can see everything, but can't make any changes. You can search the database, view the media and sources, and print reports.

The CD is slow compared to running the RM4 from your computer. But this has to do with the CD drive and not the program itself. I found that it showed the profile image on my home person (my grandfather) but did not display other images on its own. It would show a file image so you would know something was there, but you would have to click on it to see it.

For the sources, it left the main part of the source and text I had entered from the source, but did not keep the source details (for example, it give the source as 1930 census, but does not give the city, county, page, etc.). I'm not sure why this would not be in the CD, but it is a major disadvantage to me. I want someone who sees this CD to know exactly where I got the data and how to get it themselves (even if they have no intention of doing so).

I also wonder how easy it is for people who have never used RM4 to find the source media. How many people are going to go to each fact, find the source, then find the media. It seems like it would be hidden to people who have never touched the software. I am interested in what my dad will be able to find when I give him the CD.

I didn't spend a lot of time with the CD. I know what's in my database and would never use it to copy my own information. It's also not something that I would give to a fellow researcher. They can handle the GEDCOM and media files on their own (at least I think). I think that the shareable CD is for sharing your research with non-genealogists, but I am not sure how well they will be able to figure it all out on their own. After I give my shareable CD to my dad, I will report back on how easy or hard it was for him to figure out on his own and how much I had to explain. So stay tuned.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of RootsMagic. Just a happy user.

1 comment:

  1. Tina, the shareable CD should be an exact copy of the database on your computer (RM just copies the file over to the CD), so the sources should be / look exactly like they do in your own personal database.

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