Saturday 24 January 2015

Find files at a glance

Where is it? Do I have it?

I've been reading dozens of posts from the Genealogy Do-Over about file naming conventions and file organisation methods. The latest post from Randy Seaver on digital file organisation touches on how quickly he is able to locate his files through consistent naming methods. He does comment
The downside is that there's a lot of clicking to go through the file folder hierarchy to get to the right file folder, but once I'm there it is organized and useful.
The addition of tags and other metadata to files is of course useful for searching for files but for years I have been using this quick shortcut to view and quickly navigate to a file embedded several folders deep.

My hint is to turn on the Desktop Toolbar in the bottom task bar in Windows. Simply right click in a blank space on the bottom task bar and tick the Desktop option. The word Desktop will now appear on the bottom task bar.

Now one can simply click on the two small arrows that appear next to the word Desktop on the task bar and use mouse to slide across the folders until reaching the required file. The folders continue to open to the left, then back over to the right if the files are deeply embedded. This is a quick way to see if you have a file or indeed to show where files may have been mistakenly saved, moved or lost!

And then there were two

Another option is to add  New Toolbar, just choose the folder you want to see. The alternative is to add a shortcut to any folder to the Desktop itself but doing this can very quickly result in a cluttered desktop. Beware too many new toolbars.

This is only useful for viewing the contents of folders and for opening individual files. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

This post first appeared on

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Graphics goodness

Made with Photofunia

Generating images

I enjoy playing around with graphics programs whether it be on computer, ipad or phone. Recently I introduced some folks to Canva a powerful design tool for posters and web graphics. Today I am highlighting a couple of other favourites.

Photofunia is just that, a place to have fun with photos and images. choose from a wide range of backgrounds, posters and situations to add your own text or photos.

No, I've not really been doing enough research to write these impressive tomes, all I've done is add a title and author to the already existing picture.
Insert your own picture at Photofunia

Next I took an early photo of two of my siblings and inserted them in this book. No authoritative sources here, but fun to lighten up your blog or presentations. Photofunia is also available as an app on all platforms.

Another on my list is PicMonkey the easy to use shape cut-outs and multiple banners provide a quick method of producing graphics for posts. No particular skills needed but if you prefer some tutorials, there are plenty of useful hints.
This is a graphic for a story that had a particularly rocky ending when some little girls were not allowed near a fast flowing creek again for quite a while.

These ones have been around for a long time. All four are useful for to generating signs or titles.
Big Huge labs for billboards, magazine covers and badges
RedKid sign generator
Spell with Flickr
Meanwhile back to my research!
Make a quick logo in PicMonkey

This post first appeared on

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Killed by clothes - Trove Tuesday

celluloid collars
Image courtesy Boston Public Library

Hidden Killers

The BBC TV program More Hidden Killers of the Victorian Age revealed fascinating discoveries of the era along with attendant dangers. Of particular interest to me was the invention of celluloid and the many products manufactured with this new compound.

The program revealed that ladies' celluloid hair combs would catch on fire. The celluloid cuffs worn by clerks so that they could write on them to do calculations were a danger near fire, as indeed were the long dresses enhanced with celluloid.

A quick Trove search indeed revealed that celluloid in clothes was a potential death trap. Here's a section of an aptly named article  "Killed by Clothes" detailing the dangers of clothing of 1903.


1903 'KILLED BY CLOTHES.', The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), 31 January, p. 18, viewed 30 December, 2014,

First cousin twice removed

On a more relevant note, this reminded me of a sad story found while searching Trove for ancestors and relations. In 1917 this poor woman, Mary Kitschke, a first cousin twice removed, i.e. first cousin of a grandfather was wearing a hessian apron while attending the clothes in the copper.


Canowie Belt, December 19.

Mrs. Anthony Kitschke, of Canowie Belt, was washing, and was wearing a hessian apron. Whilst she was at the copper the hessian ignited, and her other clothing caught fire. She tried to roll a table cover round herself, but this also caught fire.Except for a small portion about her shoulders, her clothing was all burnt off. She had no one near to aid her. When Mr.Kitschke came home shortly afterwards he found her on the verandah, terribly burnt. Strange as it may seem, after the burning she got water from the tank and put out the burning fragments lying about the verandah. A neighbor did what she could to relieve the poor sufferer, who lived for 48 hours and was conscious to the last. Possessed of a cheerful, generous disposition, she was highly respected by all.

A sad ending to life. I well remember my father and uncle fighting grass fires using dampened hessian bags. Old grain bags were put to many uses around the farm.

This post first appeared on

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