Saturday, August 14, 2010

My trip to town.....

...sounds like a year 4 essay topic!

I have been a member of SAG for quite a while and had never made the trip to town to collect my membership card. After visiting the Hawkesbury Family History fair last week and meeting TMG enthusiasts, Carole Riley, Bruce Fairhall and Linda ?  I thought that it was about time I attended a meeting of the TMGSydney User Group at SAG. Having heard Bruce talk at the Fair I realised that, although I am a longtime TMG user, I am somewhat of a novice.

I didn't want to blot my copybook by arriving without my membership card so I first collected it from the SAG Library at 379 Kent Street before heading to the seminar room at historic Richmond Villa for the TMG meeting.

Kerry Farmer the leader of the group was absent today but the other five new attendees (three of whom travelled from Lithgow) and I got a very warm welcome from the members assembling for the  meeting. Graham Grant greeted us all personally and gave us a 2 page handout with information on the group, the software and resources to support its use. Bruce Fairhall, on opening the meeting, asked us all to introduce ourselves.

Barb Toohey and one of her charts
Today's meeting featured a guest speaker, Barb Toohey, who demonstrated how to make charts of all shapes and sizes using Visual Chartform the charting software that is integrated into the TMG package. As I have only produced simple reports to email to relatives I had not explored this part of the  package. I have thought of printing charts for members of the family but as I never stop researching I can't seem to draw a line in the sand and say "This is it - I'll print a pretty chart." Maybe those relos who have everything will get a pretty chart for Christmas this year.

Barb was an enthusiastic presenter who, after giving a short introductory presentation, did a live demonstration using the software to develop a range of charts. She shared useful many tips and tricks. I admire people who give live demos - demonstrating software with screenshots is like teaching someone to swim from a series of diagrams! Thank you, Barb.

Barb, who hails from the ACT, has a business, Eezy Charts, where she will produce and print TMG charts. She had an impressive range of samples with her today. She can be contacted via her email address

Attending the meeting with a group of knowledgeable enthusiasts has spurred me on to look at my database and add some more bells and whistles. Since  arriving home I have added flags for Convicts, Immigrants and the 2,617 People Born in Australia. In the peripheral chit-chat that went on in the room I learnt of a few more tweaks that I will apply to my database. I would suggest that one of the criteria for selecting a genealogy package is the availability of support from other users.

TMG is one of the most powerful and customisable software packages on the market; with the support of the TMGSydney User Group through its Yahoo Group, blog and user group and the busier international lists the program's value  is enhanced.

1 comment:

Carole Riley said...

Thanks Jill, we look forward to seeing you at future meetings!


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