Faraday Bags to Protect Your Digital Files from Solar Storms and EMPs

Or "That One Weird Thing I Do." In December, I blogged about my huge digitizing push before RootsTech. I'm only a third of the way through digitizing but I do have a tip to share with anyone who likes to prepare for all the unknowns.   Faraday bags for your backup drives. Faraday bags are specialized bags that can protect electronic devices from damaging Solar Storms and Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs).       What's a Solar Storm? If you Google an up-close image of our Sun, you'll see that it's one big explosive fusion reaction and that "Every so often, a patch of particles will burst from the sun in a solar flare, which can disrupt satellite communications and knock out power on Earth." In 1859, the largest recorded Solar Storm occurred that damaged telegraph lines and even shocked telegraph operators.  National Geographic has a nice article explaining the event and comparing the effects of a similar event in our present day and age. In 1989, th…
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To Do List for BEFORE you Scan

If you're planning to digitize photos or family history items anytime soon, there are plenty of things you can do now to get ready for your scanning project. Here's a Scanning To Do List you can start plugging away at now to make your digital family history goals achievable. Each of these steps takes time and will simplify the final scanning phase. To Do List Before You Scan   Gather items Think about every place you may have stored photos, letters, trinkets, etc. Set aside one place where you can pile all these items. If you're going to have to clean up this area daily, you should tackle the project in smaller doses, i.e., scrapbooks only; loose photos only; trinkets only; letters only, etc.   Decide your final goal for the items Friends introduced me to Clayton Christensen's Jobs-To-Be-Done Theory which I try to apply to my family history work. What job are you trying to accomplish? What product or service should you "hire" for the job? …
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How to Record Family Stories this Holiday Season

As we get together with family and friends, the holidays are a great time to record family stories and share them online with extended family. On Thanksgiving Day, we got together with my husband's mother and started talking about her ancestors from Norway. She's the oldest living relative on her side of the family and she was telling stories from her childhood no other living family would know or remember. We panicked and asked for a Thanksgiving Day redo. Would she please go home and come back with her family albums? Instead of playing Canasta on Thanksgiving Day, we went through my mother-in-law's old magnetic photo album, scanned photos, and uploaded them to FamilySearch with her memories of her ancestors. A great place to record and store family stories is FamilySearch. It's completely free and there's never a charge for storing photos, audio files, or stories. Even better, anyone who creates a free FamilySearch account can search the entire body of tagged photos/stor…
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