Geelong and District Database – nearly there!

Nearly ThereI’m absolutely awe-struck with the support from friends and strangers alike – it has been amazing and humbling.  There are less than FIVE days left for the Pozible crowd funding project to help recover the Geelong and District web site and database and we are SO close.

Although technically there’s still a LONG way to go, we’ve recovered most of the web site – the really hard work is getting the database back up and bomb proofed – not just for the short-term but for the long haul!

We’re 71% of the way there – so close – but until we reach the target amount and deadline the effort could all be wasted.  The project ends and all pledges are lost if we don’t make that target.

I have my fingers and toes crossed and I’m really hoping that some people have left it until close to the end to pledge funds to this project.

Please help us achieve the target!

I even have more records to add to the database – once we can get it back up and running.

Now I really need your help!

Really really sadRemember when I said the Geelong and District web site and database really needed your help?

In early January, 25 years of work was wiped off the web by ‘Company F’ – the web site and database at www.zades.com.au was removed.

You were just wonderful with your responses.

So now it’s time to move from really really sad to getting close to happy.

If the number of people who responded last time offering assistance come to the party again, we’ll be making real progress.  I can’t do it without financial help so I’ve set up a crowd-funding project where you can contribute.

With the input from a wonderful ‘knight in shining armour’, he has PROVEN that we can get the web site and database back up and running.  So this isn’t ‘Pie in the sky’ or fantasy time – this is REAL.

BUT, it really needs some funding to make it happen – obviously the sooner the better!

From 7.30 am Wednesday 8th February, the funding project will be open … visit and pledge your support.

luvyouHelp turn that really really sad face into a smiling one – please help?

I really want other local and family history researchers to again have free access to more than 1.7 million entries in my database!

It’s not just me that you will be helping – over the years many other volunteers have contributed to the database – they deserve your support as well.

Any funds raised in excess of the target will kickstart Stage 2 of the overall project.

Geelong and District database – you’re wonderful!

Source: http://likesuccess.com/topics/18193/knight-in-shining-armorI’m blown away with the number of offers of help, suggestions and encouragement – you are all truly wonderful.  I may need some other help and definitely some financial assistance but things are heading in the right direction.  There were so many great offers but at this stage I’ve chosen a local ‘Knight in shining armour‘ who already has some of my files and is working on recovering my web site and my database.

And no, I haven’t got my USB back from Company F yet – waiting!

I feel like I can breathe again and my respect for my fellow researchers is way up there.

Thank you all – I’ll keep you posted.

Geelong and District web site – need your help!

Really really sadThis is how I feel at the moment with 25 years of work wiped off the Internet through no fault of my own.

It could be worse – I have the complete database – more than 1.7 million records – on my desktop and backed up off site.  And I have a reasonably recent backup of the Joomla web site – I say reasonably because that’s when the problem started – back in March 2016.  The company that had been hosting my web site was bought out in 2015 by another company.  The current one I call Company F for the time being.  Since I started my database back in 1992 there has been a progression of companies – the first went bust, the second (B) bought out by (C) and so on until the current – Company F.

My current urgent requirement:

  • Recommendation of web hosting company for a Joomla web site (older version).
  • Transfer my Domain Name to the new web host.
  • Set up my Joomla web site complete with SQL database on the new web host.

My secondary requirement

  • Convert the old Joomla web site to the latest version.

I’m not expecting this for nothing but I will need to set up some crowd funding to pay for it.  And I can’t do that until I can get a realistic quote to do it!

I’ve sent out emails to some contacts who might know someone who might know someone who can help.

I’m waiting for Company F to return the USB to me – with a complete copy of my web site and database etc.

Why am I not still using Company F?  NO CHOICE!

  • After agreeing to become a Company F Customer – for supposedly less than I was being charged by Company E which they have now owned for almost 2 years – I had a Company F Customer Number.
  • After pulling the plug on the server I was on, they promised to have it all up and running in the middle of January.  DIDN’T HAPPEN.
  • After promising to send me an email confirming they had done this – DIDN’T HAPPEN.
  • Then Company F had the nerve to tell me I needed to find another web hosting company because this wasn’t their core business and they weren’t going to get my site up and running.
  • Then they had the nerve to send me an invoice – to be taken directly out of my account – for a LARGE amount of money – for hosting my site!

multicrysadThis is how I feel now and I really do need your help – find me the right person who can help!

And never trust companies, who buy out others, to tell the truth and honour any existing agreements!

History Week – did you know?

2000 - close finish.  Image source: downunder exposuresEven a lot of Ocean Grove people don’t know this part of our history!  It was unique in Australia and therefore unique in Victoria AND our region – the Ocean Grove Races featuring the Ocean Grove Cup.

As the photo shows – it was a close thing at the finish line with the horses – it was also a close call to see if they finished the race before the tide came in much further.

Read ALL about the famous Ocean Grove Races as well as seeing all the of race books – fully digitised and available for download.

RootsWeb alternative for Geelong and District

Red British post boxI know many of you will be frustrated with the technical problems that RootsWeb are having with their Mailing Lists although some of you may just think that Mailing Lists have lost their appeal and aren’t being used any more!  Just like the old fashioned letter box has lost its popularity and falling into decline.

Well, I can assure you that a number of people are missing the assistance they used to get from the Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List.

I came to the conclusion that you could:

  • read all the complaints and contradictory suggestions on the RootsWeb Listowners Mailing List (for admins of RootsWeb Mailing Lists)
  • get cross
  • join the tirade – unfortunately many of us couldn’t as a HUGE number of email addresses / domains were not getting through to the list so that wasn’t an option for many
  • do nothing
  • do SOMETHING !

I opted for the latter as subscribers from my Mailing Lists were contacting me directly and asking what was happening and what could be done.

I know I could create a new Yahoo Mailing List but I didn’t want to “replace” the existing ones – just offer an alternative until the Mailing Lists were fixed.  The Alternative could continue with a life of its own if users wished (although I intend to post “new messages” to the old list once it recovers).

I know many people are not comfortable with Facebook and I wanted something relatively easy – so I’ve created a pseudo Blog Mailing List.

It’s called the Geelong and District Mailing List and although you can click on that link it’s really easy to remember because you just need to type in:

geelonganddistrictmailinglist.com

and you’ll find it!  Although its called the Geelong and District Mailing List it also caters for the Bellarine Peninsula.

Make sure you read the tabs: About, and Guidelines for some more information but basically:

  • Click on FOLLOW BLOG / FOLLOW THIS MAILING LIST VIA EMAIL
  • Follow the instructions to enter your email address etc.

That means you’ll get an email when a new Message / Post is added.  The email will include a COMMENT button – click on that and you’ll be taken to the Comments area for THAT Message.  Type in your comment.

That’s as hard as it gets!

Now, a brief word of warning – I’ve tested it as much as I can and I’m 99.999% certain that’s how it will work.  I may need to do a little more tweaking as people post messages but it should be good.

A couple of important things / benefits of this pseudo Mailing List:

  • Your email address does NOT appear anywhere on the Blog / Mailing List
  • I can add photos to Posts / Messages

How do you post a message?  Just click on the POST A MESSAGE tab near the top right and fill in the fields.

Initially ALL Messages Posted and Comments on Messages will be held for approval – just to make sure you are legitimate – once someone has been approved to Comment on a Message they will be able to Comment without waiting for another round of approvals.  BUT if anyone thinks this is a way to get in and cause problems, I can suspend / remove you so you don’t annoy our legitimate Mailing List users – the same sort of option the List Admin had on our RootsWeb Mailing Lists.

Posted Messages at this stage will require me to copy and paste to the Mailing List Blog – again making sure things are legitimate.  Once things have started moving, I will invite Posters to become Authors on the Mailing List Blog – ONLY if you’re comfortable to do that.  Becoming an Author will allow you to create your own Mailing List Blog on this site, edit it and add photos however it won’t allow you to edit or change anyone else’s Mailing List Blog.  It means you can post a Message without using the Post a Message form.

Confused?  Don’t worry – you can sit back and read other messages and comments just like you did on the RootsWeb Mailing List and do nothing more.  Then if you feel the urge to get involved you just need to click on the comment button in the email you received with each message.  Remember you do have to click on FOLLOW BLOG / FOLLOW THIS MAILING LIST VIA EMAIL to get the messages as emails from the list.

Let’s give it a try and see how it goes.

If you want to comment to me privately, just you the CONTACT US button in the menu at the top of this blog, or use the POST A MESSAGE button on the Mailing List Blog – both options ONLY come to me and I will get back to you personally to answer your questions.

I hope this all works – it depends on YOU – it’s frustrating not being able to use our normal Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List, so in the meantime try the new GEELONG AND DISTRICT MAILING LIST.

DIFFERENT free Victorian records to search!

Australia DayBy now everyone knows that Findmypast and Ancestry have offered free access to some of their Australian records in celebration of Australia Day.

More than 40,000 entries from a myriad of different sources have just been added to the Geelong & District Database.

Big bonus:

  • You DON’T have to give any credit card details
  • It’s ALWAYS free to search
  • That offer doesn’t end after Australia Day!

The Geelong & District Database now contains more than 1,689,267 entries from more than 9,811 sources!

Have fun!

Reminder – Geelong Heritage Centre closes TOMORROW

New Geelong Library & Heritage CentreTomorrow = Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at 5.00 pm – that’s the last chance you’ll have for a month or two to access the services, library, microform, and archives of the Geelong Heritage Centre.  The next access you’ll have will be in the wonderful new Geelong Library & Heritage Centre in Little Malop Street.

Don’t sit back and think you can email the centre to order copies – it won’t be happening as they have a massive job moving the collection [and items currently stored remotely] into the wonderful new building.

And if there’s something you just must have – why not visit some of the local history and family history societies?  They have wonderful collections – documents, manuscripts, images, oral histories – an absolute treasure trove and you probably have no idea of their extensive collections!

Have a look at these societies – you might be surprised at just how many there are!  And they’re open at different times on different days.  For example – you can visit the Bellarine Historical Society on Sunday 4th October and search their wonderful collection or just browse and absorb the terrific museum collection.

And of course don’t forget the Geelong & District Database – more than 1.63 million entries for people and places in our region.  There may be page references in local books that you can access through your local library or inter-library loan.

And while we’re talking about the library – if you use the new Geelong Library Catalogue you can search through the 2,471 Heritage Centre images online!

Hotels of Geelong and District

Bay View Hotel Portarlington [courtesy Naomi Henry]New lists and images for Hotels of Geelong and District.  They are also available on one of my Pinterest Boards. This has been a huge project and still has a long way to go, but rather than making you wait until I’ve finished adding all the photos and details I thought I’d let you enjoy it sooner.  Why are old hotel photos so enjoyable? There is now a Pinterest Board for a number of Geelong and District categories. Of course there are plenty more entries that could be added for the different categories and I encourage you to help me find images for them – please let me know!

Schools of Geelong and District

Winchelsea Wesleyan Mission SchoolNew lists and images for Schools of Geelong and District.  They are also available on one of my Pinterest Boards.

Things have been very quiet on my blogs due to intense study and assignments for my Diploma of Library and Information Services but I haven’t been quiet on my web site.  Pinterest was part of one of my assignments and when you HAVE to use something, you learn more about it and appropriate uses.  In fact Pinterest made me realise some of the work I had to do on my web site!

I’ve updated lists and images on my web site for:

There is a Pinterest Board for each of those as well as extra ones for Geelong & District Architecture and Old Geelong & District.

Of course there are plenty more entries that could be added for the different categories and I encourage you to help me find images for them – please let me know!