Monday, 17 August 2015

I've upgraded to a new computer

Apologies for the brief gaps in posting, but I took the plunge over the weekend to upgrade to a new computer. For several years my old trusty PC has been running on Windows XP, an operating system I have been loathe to leave behind (even though it is no longer supported by Microsoft), but several other factors have finally led me to buy a new PC, this time one operating on Windows 8.1. I had the option to upgrade immediately to Windows 10, but figured I would see how the ground lies with that first, as I have been getting mixed messages about how good an idea that may or may not be.

Up until now I have been using XP on my PC and Vista on my laptop, so was very wary about upgrading. My wife has 8.1, and the screen on her laptop has been terrifying me every time I have looked at it! In fact, the move has been relatively painless. The one major loss that I am feeling is the absence of Outlook Express, I'm still not a big fan of the replacement, though I have established that to access that I  am much better simply going online to look at my emails - the set up there is much more like that of Outlook Express, and I think easier to use.

My real joy though was to discover that I can in fact run Family Tree Maker 2006 on Windows 8.1. Although I use the latest incarnation of Family Tree Maker for my own personal research, FTM 2006 is still my programme of choice for client research, as it has no bells and whistles, and simply does the basic things I need it to. There was a message flagged up saying there was a compatibility issue, but you can choose to run it anyway, and when I do, it works fine (something I have found from lots of online testimonials from other users).

I've kept my old PC, however, because it is a useful hard drive for another back up, and there are a few other older programmes and things I can do on it that I would be scared to try on the new stack - not least the continued upgrade of my family history website, which runs on Tripod (Trellix), which now only allows users to make changes using an older version of Internet Explorer.

So far the user experience has not been at all traumatic - there is a wee bit of a learning curve, but it's more of a gradual slope to climb than a mountain!


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit


  1. Chris, on my laptop, I've made the jump from 8.1 to 10 and FTM2006 works fine.

  2. Thunderbird ( is an alternative email client you might like to try.