A Little History
I worked for Lockheed starting in the late 60s and from 1978 to my retirement in 2007, for Kaiser Permanente. I've developed some competitive skills playing duplicate bridge, becoming an ACBL Ruby Life Master in Unit 500 of District 21 in 2005. I've enjoyed exploring personal computers and the Internet, trying to absorb it all. When my mom passed away in 1998, I was elected by my siblings to receive family history documents and continue with genealogy research she started. I was married to Diane Louise Silva from Feb 14, 1982 until her death on May 30, 2018. She did some amazing research into her Azores ancestry and explained how to do it in a Power Point Presentation (in zip format) and a list of links. Diane also made an amazing collection of Alvarado, Alameda County, historical information from early newspaper clipping by Anthony Gualco available at https://alvarado-history.wdgeo.com.
Stuff I'm working on
Socalled ChatGPT, (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is sweeping the tech world. This very useful computerized tool has rivals popping up e.g. https://bard.google.com and the ChatGPT-enabled https://bing.com). It became known world-wide in early 2023 when eye-popping results of it's use appeared in popular media. Useful in such human endeavors as poetry, story telling and term paper writing, the skill needed to make it useful is *prompt" creation. Prompts are questions or chats submitted to ChatGPT or its competitors, that cause it to produce a chat-like text-based response. It can write computer programs, recipes, novels, proposals and Term Papers. The skill of writing prompts is the next discipline we need to master. It's a brave new world!
I've become interested in the web building app, RapidWeaver for the Macintosh. It has hundreds of add-on "tools" (called Stacks) that produce various looks on web pages. It's quite addicting and I'm enjoying acquiring and experimenting with each stack. If you use RapidWeaver (and a Macintosh) I would appreciate being contacted so we could compare notes.
Zoom: I'm impressed with Zoom as is the rest of the world. I got up to speed watching Steve Dotto Channel videos especially his introductory one at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5VU8cmEnTs. I use Zoom for family, computer club and genealogy group Zoom sessions, multiple times per week. It is the greatest thing to come out of the Pandemic.
Photography. When digital cameras appeared in the middle 1990s I jumped in, purchasing an affordale Olympus digital camera capable of 320x240 pixel photos. Over several years I upgraded to Olympus models capable of 640x480 photos, ultimately 1280x960. Then I graduated to a Nikon D70 3000x2000, but a very easy to use Casio EX-Z750 (3072x2304) was my preferred camera for many years. After the iPhone came out in 2007, I found its camera very convenient, and the current iPhone 12 Pro Max takes such spectacular photos, with great resolution (4032x3024), anti-shake, and many features, that it's what I use now.
Web Hosting Services. I started out in 1996, with web hosting from Netcom https://ix.netcom.com/˜bgeorge This is where my early PCC website lived. I experimented with using my own wired network, @home, attbi and comcast.com to contain my experiments with HTML pages. I settled on https://Westhost.com service using the bdgeorge.com domain for many years. I moved on to using two hosts, https://Webhostinghub.com for my WDGEO.COM domain and https://dreamhost.com for my COMPUGEN.ORG domain. I currently have 3 years of SSL hosting service for both through August 2024.
Photo album creation. With all the photos, one must have a way of displaying them online. Early on, I used Adobe's Fireworks program that created web-based photo albums for Dreamweaver. I also used Mac's iPhoto program to produce a couple photo books and web-based photo albums until 2021. In October, 2021 I discovered jAlbum, a web photo album program that does just what I want; Mass photo import, rearrange photos, easy comments and great HTML-based photo albums with many "skins" to choose from. After all these years, finding the perfect Web Photo Album program (both PC and Mac versions are available) was worth the $59.95 price. They also have a 30 day full-functioning version to try out. I didn't subscribe to their hosting service https://williamcgeorge.jalbum.net as I have plenty of my own.
Started maintaining the Indiana County U.S. Pennsylvania, Genweb Web Site on August 20, 2012 (the birthplace of my 2nd GGF Samuel George. Added Santa Cruz County (the county where I was born), California on Sept. 20, 2015, added Mendocino County, California (The county my paternal Grandparents retired to), in 2017 and as assistant coordinator, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, (the county my 2nd GGS Samuel George retired to) in January, 2021. In 2022 I began maintaining the Elkhart County Genweb site http://ingenweb.org/inelkhart/, the place where my grandfather George was born. I also maintain https://sites.rootsweb.com/~billgeorge/, personal website space provided by Rootsweb. However it's going away soon according to Ancestry.com, so I transferred the information here https://billgeorge.com/usgenweb/.
Genealogy: My mother's genealogy... starting with Henry Austin Snider, my mother's maternal grandfather, born in Ohio in 1868. He has descendants in the west (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, California, etc). I'm also working on my George line, but it's slow going. I've identified Samuel George b. 1815 (Indiana County, Pennsylvania), d. 1889 (Mercer County, Pennsylvania), m. 1842, my 2nd great grandfather and am attempting to confirm his father who was Irish according to the 1880 census (of Samuel and Emily George, residing in Sandy Lake, Mercer County, PA since 1871). I think I found him, a William George, father of Isabella and Samuel George. My father's mother was an only child, so descendant research is the same as my grandfather.
Membership in several local Genealogy groups... San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society https://srvgensoc.org (SIG Coordinator and Co-Webmaster), East Bay Genealogical Society currently inactive due to Covid-19 and located at https://caebaygs.wdgeo.com (webmaster), Hayward Area Genealogical Society (inactive) currently located at https://cahags.wdgeo.com (webmaster), Livermore Amador Valley Genealogical Society https://l-ags.org, Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group https://svcgg.org in Santa Clara, San Diego Genealogical Society https://casdgs.org and the Elkhart County Genealogical Society http://ingenweb.org/inelkhart/.
Castro Valley Library twice-monthly Genealogy Study Group meeting, helped my wife to conduct this meeting. The class is held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 10:30am - 12:30pm. Wayne Ainsworth took over the class in May, 2018. However, with the Pandemic its future is not clear. The library has a list of events on their web site and https://cacvgg.wdgeo.com, that I maintain, supports that class.
A Macintosh Genealogy Society I started in 2009 that had a 2nd Wed. 7pm, monthly meetings at the Oakland FamilySearch Library. It began meeting on Zoom in June, 2021 (2nd Wed., 7pm) after stopping in-person meetings at the beginning of the Pandemic.
Started working on my vacation cruise web site https://cruise.wdgeo.com in Dec. 2017. Originally created with DreamWeaver in 2007, I started using iWeb (example Mexico Cruise) when I converted to Apple computers in 2007. Apple discontinued iWeb a number of years ago, so I returned to Dreamweaver. Decided to try another product in 2017, RapidWeaver 7 (now version 8), I redid the top Cruise webpage.
Attend occasional computer group meetings, PC Community https://pcc.org, San Leandro Macintosh User Group https://slmug.org, Diablo Valley Macintosh User Group https://dvmug.org, San Leandro Computer Club https://slcc.wdgeo.com for Atari Computers and The Nybblers (TRS-80). Sad to note that the Tri-Valley Mac User Group, of which I was a member, folded shop in November, 2015. All computer group meetings since 2020 have been on Zoom. It may be that many meetings that involve technology will remain on Zoom for the foreseeable future.
Participate in a local seniors group, created and maintain their website https://soireeseniors.com.
I play ACBL duplicate bridge in the Southern Alameda County, ACBL Unit 500 and have advanced to the Ruby Life Master category (between 1500-2500 master points). Helped manage the Unit 499, 500 and 501 websites back in "the day". Haven't played duplicate since the Pandemic in March, 2020.
Photography, stamp collecting, keyboard playing.
I've accumulated many of my favorite genealogy links on my personal Genealogy web page. One link that's really cool is Zillow that lets you be very nosy and see what home prices are. I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They are easy to set up, and are FREE, as are Blogspot blogs. FYI, Facebook allows you to create free personal Facebook pages in addition to your own Facebook News Feed. Also, Facebook allows creation of open and members-only Facebook groups. There are thousands and thousands of Facebook groups on every topic you can think of.
Not So Active
I've helped to start several computer user groups beginning in 1979. All continue to exist (July, 2023).
1979 - TRS-Nybblers - for TRS-80 Computers, Windows and DOS. Rebranded as "The Nybblers", at 7:30 pm a meeting was held the 3rd Friday of each month at Ron Ring's house. Currently meeting monthly on Zoom. Request information by sending me an e-mail.
1983 - San Leandro Computer Club - For Atari Computers, SLCC meets on the first Tues. of the month, 7pm at the San Leandro Community Library on Estudillo. Contact [Robbie Bridges at (510) 797-5636 or email@example.com. Currently meeting weekly on Zoom.
2009 - MacGen for Mac computer users who are interested in Genealogy.