What now seems an age ago in the summer of 2010, a party of members formed a small group(s) and have met most Thursdays ever since at the Palgrave Research Centre . We call ourselves the ‘Computer Group’, but if that sounds as if we are experts, then think again. Whilst there are some well informed members amongst us, we also have those who are almost beginners. The whole idea was to be a ‘self help’ group, who would learn from one another and set one another challenges to solve or work through. We were fortunate to start under the leadership of George Hiley, who set us off on the right track but who is now concentrating on other things. Since the start of 2011 we have led ourselves.
Over the months we have been meeting we have looked at a variety of subjects from internet suppliers (or ISP’s), to investigating the pros and cons of family history programmes to use in our family research. Jim, one of our more experienced but never the less largely self taught members, has helped us with a variety of subjects from label making, maintaining our computers to maximise space, photo manipulation (a subject to which we will return again), record filing and a whole host of subjects. We are all becoming better equipped to enable us to start and maximise the benefits and capabilities of our computers as a result of the interchange of ideas and knowledge.
During more recent mornings at the Palgrave Research Centre we have been contributing toward the production of courses for members and at the same time learning how to put together Powerpoint presentations. These sessions will, we hope, better equip both the Society to put over it’s message to new members, volunteers and fellow researchers whilst at the same time enabling us to work on our own stories within family history. We intend over future issues to put together little articles that may help you to use your computer better, for both everyday items, as well as more specific family history work. There are a few places left at our meetings, held on a Thursday morning, so why not join us and not only a chat, a coffee and usually a laugh, but also learn a bit more about how to use that box sitting on your desk, or even get some guidance before buying one. It may not really be the frightening piece of technology you think it is but something you can really use to your benefit in so many ways. Remember though this is a self help group and not a computer course.
Hopefully, you will put into the group almost as much as you get out of it, even if it is by asking a lot of questions and reliving experiences.
Dave Valentine, Member
Source: Doncaster Ancestor, Autumn 2011