paf-les.htm Mother Lode Genealogy & Computer User Group
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The Mother Lode Genealogy & Computer User Group

NOTE: For Year 2000 readers, these are some of our older lessons, but we know users of the older genealogy programs will have an interest in them. Please watch for updated lessons.

Lessons of the Month for 1998

by Patricia Rowell

Nov 1998, #2-Protecting Our Data from Viruses

This lesson was given by Larry Cole at the Nov 1998 Mother Lode PAFUG meeting./pjr

Our discussion tonight will be on ways to protect our data and files from viruses, and the lesson starts on page 30 of the PAF3 User's Guide. As most of you know, computer viruses are actually programs that can destroy information in your computer. It is difficult to guarantee that your computer will never "catch" a virus. You can, however, take some precautions:

  1. Use only legal copies of software from reputable dealers!
  2. Check the boxes - if damaged or the seal is broken, don't use!
  3. Have a good virus protection program installed on your computer, making sure it is kept up to date!
  4. Before using any disks that were not made in your computer, check them through your virus checker program! (Disks you used at a FHC/library/work/school to download data, or disks sent to you by a new cousin or "friend" should all be checked!)
  5. If your virus checking program finds a disk with a virus, REMOVE IT from your computer immediately! Do Not try to use it!
  6. After a disk has been identified as "dirty" with a virus, do not attempt to use any programs on your computer until you have used your virus checking program on all hard disk drives (or removable disks that were in use after the infected disk was used). Do Not try to re-format or re-use the infected disk!
  7. In conclusion, we talked in class about what to do with an infected or "dirty" disk. (1)Be sure to track down the person who gave you the disk and tell them it was infected. (2)Try to get their help in learning "where" the disk originated, if not by them. (3) If you took a personal disk to the FHC/library/work/school and later found it was infected after downloading data, notify the person in charge of the place you visited. By completing this task, you will possibly be saving many others from the ravages of a computer virus.

By diligence, we can stop computer viruses in their tracks!

Nov 1998 #1-Duplicate Sources in PAF3

Recently our favorite "How-to-PAF-author" Joan Lowrey of southern California, responded to an online query about a PAF3 situation, and it is printed here with her permission.
Question sent in by a subscriber: When I want to use a source for more than one person in my PAF3 database, I click on [F8=ditto], then click on the source I want to use. If the source I want to use isn't in the ditto list, I click on [F6=source list], find the correct source in the list of sources, click on it, and then press [Enter].
When doing either of the above tasks, I get a duplicate entry into my list of sources! After a while my list of sources gets so long I have to manually merge the entries, which takes a long time. Surely I am doing something wrong. Can anyone tell me what?

Answer by Joan Lowrey: Do not "ditto" [F8] source titles. Always do [F6] and select an existing source from the list. You won't get duplicates that way.

Oct 1998, PAF Companion 2.0 Lesson

PAFCompanion 2.0 is an entirely new program, not just an update of the previously issued PAFCompanion. It automatically captures the "submitter" information you defined in your PAF 3.0 program. Now, however, PAFCompanion 2.0 allows you to make changes to the personal information that prints in the footers of your reports. Any changes you make in the PAFCompanion 2.0 submitter personal information area will not change the submitter personal information you have specified in your PAF 3.0 program.

Example: In PAF 3.0 you might have specified your full name along with your spouse's name to appear at the bottom of of all reports; but in PAF Companion 2.0 you might only want your name (or your spouse's name) to appear at the bottom of reports, especially if the information on the report(s) you are printing pertains only to you (or only to your spouse). This is now easily changed, depending on reports being printed.

Aug-Sep 1998, Improved File Management

Managing our genealogy files has suddenly become easier! We owe it all to Version PAF3m. Each database now consists of one family file. No more flexing back and forth to DOS (or Directory) to find all our databases. And NOW we can store more than one database in the PAF File Management directory, as they are each displayed on the "Select File to Open" screen.

When we open PAF3m, we receive the "Select File to Open" screen that allows us to select the database (family file) we want to work on by highlighting it. Then, pressing [ENTER] opens that family file. For example, we may want to open a file named
C:\PAF3\KINGERY.paf - a PAF3.0 file - - or - -
C:\PAF\COLE.indiv2.dat - a PAF2.31 file (or earlier); - - or - -
C:\PAF\DAVIS.paf - a PAF3.0 file (file originally from a GEDCOM)
Note different suffex ".paf" and ".dat" are shown. Or, if you want to start a new family file, press [C] (to create new file).

In that same "Select File to Open" screen, we can show databases from others (from GEDCOMs) so that all we need to do is highlight one, then press [ENTER] to open the file we want to work with. We can do the same with the PAF2.31 "indiv2.dat" file but when we open that file it will automatically be converted to a PAF3.0 file (or PAF3.0m).

The "Select File to Open" screen allows us to:
[ENTER] = The highlighted file will open.
[C] = Create a new family file.
[O] = Open a file not shown, i.e., a new GEDCOM file.
[U] = Update the file list.
[D] = Delete the highlighted file from the list. (USE CAUTION HERE!)
[R] = Restore data from your backup disk (to a new computer or following a computer crash).
[ALT]+[H] = Call up the Help Menu.
[ESC] = Begin Exit procedure out of PAF.

Even better, we are now allowed to store up to one million people in a single file (if we have the necessary space on our hard drive)! Have fun arranging your family files.

July 1998, Transferring FS Records to PAF

FamilySearch® can be a valuable source of family history information. Rather than retyping information you find in FamilySearch®, (herein FS), you can copy it onto a floppy disk at your local Family History Center or the Salt Lake City Family History Library, and then import it into your Personal Ancestral File (PAF)® (herein PAF) database.

Appendix D, PAF 3.0 User's Guide, pgs 198-199, displays charts that tell what information you can get from each part of FS, and any concerns you should be aware of.   I do not see in this Section, advice that downloaded information should be "source checked for accuracy" as names of submitters are not included. Note also the information in a separate part of this web page under the title: "Known Bugs in PAF 3.0" regarding problems with the Automatic Match / Manual Merge function.

It is now possible to download records from the Ancestral File® (AF); International Genealogical Index® (IGI); the Scottish Church Records and Other Resource files; the Social Security Death Index (SSDI); and the Military Index (death records from American military forces serving in the Korean or Viet Nam wars/insurgences). Different types of information are available from each file.

The concerns posted above are mostly about getting duplicate records into your database from individual(s) you recognize as the same person already in your database, or individual(s) with the same AFNs who appear on the pedigree more than once, as from cousins marrying cousins. So, take your time "merging" and/or "deleting" unneeded individual records from a Temporary File, before you dump them into your database. Also be careful with "Notes" as there have been problems posted in genealogy email lists about merging individuals with notes included, as many times the notes are lost durimg the merge procedure!

After you safely get the new records merged into your database, run the Change Names to Upper and Lower Case Letters from the PAF 3.0 Utility Menu, as names in files downloaded from the AF will be in all caps, and will need to be changed to comply with the PAF Program & Printing Preferences you chose after you installed PAF 3.0.

Any problems? Double check your User's Guide for excellent step-by-step directions and explanations!

June 1998, Designing & Printing Custom Reports

In the last two or three mini-classes, we have been discussing and comparing many of the different PAF and PAF COMPANION program reports and charts. PAF and PAF COMPANION programs already have several custom reports built-in: (1)Name Sorted List; (2)Family Group Sorted List; (3)RIN Sorted List; (4)MRIN Sorted List; (5)Ancestor Chart variations; (6)Register report; and (7)Fan Charts.

We felt it was time to learn how to design and print custom reports, to help us with our individual needs.

Designing and Printing a Custom Report for any special need is not difficult. You need only to get brave and open your PAF 3.0 User's Guide for help, which recommends you first print one of the custom reports that has already been included in the PAF 3.0 program. Study it's design on the screen and compare it to how the information appears on the printed report. Next, modify the report you printed. Compare how the changes you make to the screen affect the printed report. Lastly, design and print your own custom reports.

Ideas and instructions can be found in your PAF 3.0 User's Guide, on pages 115, 116 and 117, covering Designing a Custom Report; Modifying a Custom Report; Printing a Custom Report; and Deleting a Custom Report. Why do you need to know how to delete a custom report?

Sample designs and "tips" are plentiful. The report shown in the PAF 3.0 User's Guide is based on Ancestral File Numbers (AFNs), and will help you determine which records in your database came from the Ancestral File. Why is this information beneficial?


Page Organized & Started 25 Jun 1998
Last Update: 20 Nov 1998

Page Moved to ROOTSWEB.COM: 20 Jan 2000

Patricia J. Rowell, WebMaster / Lake Wildwood CA /

Although believed to be correct as presented, if you note any corrections, changes, additions, or find that any links provided on this page are not functioning properly please contact the WebMaster for prompt attention to the matter.

This web page was formatted and encoded by Patricia Rowell using the HotDogPRO HTML Editor Program and Netscape Navigator 4.4/4.5. All links worked using this browser - other browsers may have varied results. Thank you for visiting!

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