FREE ONLINE STORAGE
February 21, 2010
Google has enriched another feature I use and enjoyed in the past. Now it is much better. They just announced the ability to upload any type of document. I was interested in using the storage for my documents. I had to try it out. I knew it would be easy to upload my files because Google has never been difficult to use. Certainly, you do not have to be a brain surgeon to use it. All you need is a free Google account. I meet those requirements since I have a Gmail account, a couple of Google Sites, and a previous Google Doc account.
I wanted to save the book I am writing online to insure that I would not lose it in case of a computer problem. I previously formatted it and selected the print and template I wanted to use. The series of patents owned by this person are in a PDF format so now it is possible to upload those for safekeeping.
I opened my Gmail and found the red-lettered “New! Upload any file” notice was already on the toolbar on the top right. Clicking on it led me to my home page where it asked if I wanted to name a file or make a new folder. I chose to add a new folder, gave it a name, and uploaded the file from my computer in less than five seconds. It kept all my formatting including keeping the pictures where they were on my computer file. Next, I uploaded the patents in PDF format. These uploaded perfectly. The pictures, drawings, and text did not change.
The Google Docs is a hit with me, but it will be for you too because it is a free service up to one gigabyte of file space. If you go over that then you are only charged 25¢ per gigabyte per year. Alternatively, you can delete some of the space. Remember to delete the trash also because it takes up part of your allotted document storage.
It is secure so that only you have access to the folders. If you want to share or collaborate with a colleague then you have only to select that feature. If you want to share one folder and keep the others private, you have that choice.
I see this being helpful for genealogists to upload family files, Gedcom files, client spreadsheets, and photo albums. There is a selection of free templates for these if you so choose.
I know a genealogist in Salt Lake who owns only an old computer but he likes to use the bells and whistles but does not want to spend the money to buy these. He uses the Family History Library’s computers to store and access information on Google sites and Google. He keeps his bookkeeping and his client’s genealogy information there, and anything else he finds necessary. With the password, the client accesses the progress reports when it is convenient. I suspect others use the computers for the same reason. You can access your email from any computer, too. I have heard storing files in the Ethernet referred to as ‘cloud computing.’
This is a wonderful way for Genealogy teachers, speakers, and genealogy groups to store information. Teachers and speakers would use the in-house computer to show their Power Point presentations rather than carrying their own. Genealogy groups could change the password each year allowing only members to access private information and membership lists.
Google Docs and Google Sites are free, and so is Gmail. Even if you exceed the one gigabyte and have to pay 25¢ a year for each additional gigabyte of space, it is worth it. Read more at http://docs.google.com.
GENEALOGY CLASSES, Collin College: "Writing for Genealogists" will be offered on Tuesday nights from 6/8 to 7/27 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Courtyard Campus of Collin College (formerly CCCCD), under genealogist, Barbara Coakley. The class will cover various ways to write your family history. Why not do something with all the information you have collected on your family? Don’t wait until you’ve found everything on your family to write your book. There are other ways to share your research.
"Online Research" will also be offered, dates haven’t been determined yet. Instructor for both classes is Barbara Coakley. To register visit the college’s web site http://www.ccccd.edu/ce/index.html or call 972-985- 3711—CRN 74043.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunions announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.