Have you ever wanted to scan that perfect family photo for a family history project, but your Aunt Polly won’t let you borrow it? Jon Baker, founder of Family Plots – a family history publishing company – often encounters this with his work for clients. Jon explains how the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner can make everyone involved with the project happy:
I’ve recently started a company, Family Plots, that does family history publishing for clients. One of the first hurdles we’ve encountered is that potential clients don’t want their photographs, pictures, and scrapbooks to leave their homes. With Flip-Pal, I can scan on location without having to lug around a laptop and a scanner or set up a full digital photographic studio. I am also looking at the Flip-Pal for doing genealogical research; that is, I can take Flip-Pal into research libraries, for instance, and scan pages for my use later. I can see historic societies, family history libraries, and government agencies, such as courts, making use of Flip-Pal, too.
For many genealogists and family historians, the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner is the perfect answer to scanning photos and mementos that others aren’t willing to part with, even temporarily. The Flip-Pal is compact and fits in a purse, briefcase or backpack and is powerful enough to scan large photos and even 3-dimensional objects such as military medals and heirloom quilts! The Flip-Pal® mobile scanner – don’t leave home without it!
The tragedy of a natural disaster surrounds us this summer in our community of friends and neighbors here in Fort Collins, Colorado. This morning I awoke at 1:00 a.m. to the smell of smoke from the nearby wildfire. I got up, turned off the outside fans and closed the windows. When I saw this morning’s paper, tears flowed as I read about 57 more homes being destroyed by the fire.
The last two weeks in Fort Collins have been like living next to a fierce campfire. Daily, smoke and ash cover the skies, our cars and our yards. I can clearly see plumes of smoke from my front door as they rise above the surrounding foothills. The flames—which at times have reached 200 feet into the air—have destroyed more than 250 homes and burned over 80,000 acres. A single home with a family's memories burned to ash is difficult to imagine, let alone more than 250.
Wildfires, Hurricanes and Other Disasters
Besides the Fort Collins area, wildfires have been raging elsewhere in Colorado as well as in Utah, New Mexico and California. In addition to these fires, the hurricane season is barely under way in the Atlantic and there have already been four named storms—a record number for this early in the year. Flash floods, tornadoes and other disasters, both natural and man-made, are a common occurrence in areas of the U.S. and worldwide.
The Solution—Proactively Preserve Your Family Memories
Instead of risking the loss of your family memories, what if you digitally archived them and stored them in several places? You could digitally backup your photos and documents on a thumb drive and store it in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. You could digitized your photos and keep the originals in a safe place. You could even upload your digital images to the cloud via an online storage site.
A Backup Plan Using the Flip-Pal mobile scanner and the Picture Keeper
As the family historian, I have devised a backup strategy for all of my valuable photos and documents. First I scan my original documents and photos with my Flip-Pal mobile scanner and store the scanned images on my computer's hard drive. Then I plug the The Picture Keeper thumb drive into my computer’s USB port and it copies all of the scanned images onto the drive.
The Picture Keeper is an amazingly easy to use backup tool. The included software keeps track of previously copied images so that the next time you plug it into your computer it detects any new pictures you’ve scanned and copies them to the thumb drive!
I back up all my scans and photos to the Picture Keeper and then I put it in a safety deposit box at my bank. At the beginning of each month I get my Picture Keeper from my safety deposit box, plug it into my computer and backup any new scanned items.
Now is the Time to Create Your Back Up Plan!
Whatever your preferred method of digitally archiving your family memories—please make sure you regularly back them up and store them in a safe place.
Photo: "Elk Bath" – A wildfire in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, United States, August 6, 2000, by John McColgan, employed as a fire behavior analyst at the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Public domain via Elk Bath - Montana Wildfires.
Genealogy blogger Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy has come up with a great way to use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner to create fantastic photo borders and mats incorporating scans of fabric and other textures.
Does your family have a favorite chair or sofa with a unique fabric, one that brings back memories? What about a quilt or a tapestry that has special meaning to you and your family history? Now, with Lorine’s technique, you can create a unique “mash up” of family photos and those pieces of fabric.
Check out Lorine’s recent blog post entitled “Creating Photo Borders & Mats Using Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner” over at the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. Lorine shows you how you can scan both photos and fabrics in one step and create a unique way of preserving both photo and fabric in digital form.
A creative way to capture and share your family history which for many of us is the “fabric of our lives.” What creative uses have you come up with for your Flip-Pal® mobile scanner? Let us know in the comments!
When my mom passed away, I realized that I was the history keeper of my entire family. As my sister and brother and I collected pictures and stories for her eulogy, I not only had the most stories, but also the most pictures. At that point, I knew I was on a quest for more family information.
Through a genealogy website and program, I found mom’s side of the family from the 1600′s on the Isle of Man. What a find! Suddenly all the names she had spoken over the years were placed in their proper families.
Then I started to look for dad’s side. Not much. Maybe a ship manifest when he came to this country. No pictures. So I wrote to my cousins, asking if they had any pictures of dad when he was a little boy. Low and behold, they had bunches. Since they were so precious to all of us, I would not think of allowing them to pass through anyone else’s hands, the mail, or have the possibility of being lost or misplaced… so I arranged a date, to drive all the way to my cousin’s ranch in Montana with a full-sized computer and flatbed scanner in tow to capture these precious slices of light.
I drove more than 800 miles, many, many on gravel country roads to reach my cousin’s place. What an adventure! I hit pay dirt!!! Not only did they have pictures of grand dad when he was a teen, but elegant pictures of my young grandmother, my grandfather as a child, and even the house where he was born in Germany! The bonus of the trip, was discovering how my cousins and I share so many similarities. It was a treat to find those things to share.
Soon I will start using the Flip-Pal® Mobile Scanner for more projects like this… not only is it easy to use, it is compact, VERY portable (especially considering the alternative I had to use), and has high enough resolution to get great enlargeable copies of my family’s pictures.
… and the search continues for more good family stories.
Meet Diane ……
I “grew up” in the coulees of Montana, with two older brothers, one sister, breaking horses and riding Hell-bent-for-leather. I was born an artist. Received a B.A. in art then a M.S. in Computer Science. For more than 20 years did graphics software development, technical liaison, database design & maintenance, scientific computing, marketing, technical training and writing… some in the 16 years I was at a Fortune 100 Company and other at a small data analysis office in Bozeman, Montana.
The eight years since corporate life? Co-created two corporations, plus started a “New Paradigm” company that serves the employees; taught IT and computer security classes, facilitated authentic intimacy with couples, art and graphic design plus Reiki healing. My passion remains in the arts: digital creation through design and photography, stained glass, oil painting, CAD/CAM jewelry design, drawing, sculpture, website and CD cover and insert design for musicians.
Now you could say I am Electron Cowgirl!
If you are attending the 43rd Annual SCGS 2012 Jamboree starting Friday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10, 2012, please visit the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner team at Booth 505 in the SCGS Jamboree 2012.
You can learn more about the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner and accessories as well as see how easy it is to use the Flip-Pal to scan images of any size.
There will be exhibitors at Jamboree where you can purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner and accessories during the show! Just look for the red and white Flip-Pal® banners!