Family Photos – Arggggh!

Everyone knows that I love photographs of our ancestors. Seeing the
family resemblance in a photograph taken a hundred years ago sends
chills up my back. Once, in wondering if a branch of the family was
really mine, I stumbled across a photo of a civil war soldier and
there, as if looking me straight in the eye, was the spitting image
of my kid brother Shane. Wow. I had no doubt, we had to be related.
Recently, however, they’ve been testing my patience. The photos, not
the ancestors.
During the last couple of times I have tried exporting the Heycuz 
database into web pages, one of the photographs has caused my system 
to crash. Each time I attempted to export the files, it would go for 
15 hours and 23 minutes and right at that point, bam, everything 
would fail. I’d have to rebuild the file, another couple of hours and 
try again.
I use Reunion, a Macintosh computer application for genealogy. 
Normally, I can’t say enough about this software. I’ve used a lot of 
the different programs but Reunion stands so high above the others 
that its no question that this is the program of choice. I do keep a 
copy of Family Tree Maker installed on my son’s PC, but I’ve used it 
maybe twice this year and only to convert submitted FTM files into 
gedcoms and opening them up in Reunion.
So, I posted my problem on the Reunion Talk board hoping someone had 
similar problems and solved it, but I didn’t get one reply. Come on! 
You’re telling me I’m the only lucky one to have such a problem? So, 
I tried again and noticed that it crashed right about the point that 
it started to export the photographs. It must be a rogue photograph 
then, I assumed. So, I tried to export only the people that had 
photographs to test the theory. That was only about 6,000 files, 
compared to the 90,000+ people on heycuz. Halfway through the 15 
hours it still took to export the file–Why so long?–I realized that 
if it crashed it still wouldn’t solve the problem. Even so, I waited, 
and sure enough it got to the “exporting images” sequence and 
crashed. After rebuilding the file for the umpteenth time, I decided 
to export only a few files with photographs and see if that would 
help. This time the export went much faster, exporting 300 people, 
but it still crashed. So, I tried turning off all photos and it worked.
So, I knew it was a photo. Then, I went back and exported only 50 
people with photos. Drum roll, please….Tada! It exported with no 
problems. So, I tried 100. It went. I tried 200, it didn’t go. I 
theorized that it must be one photo and if I could just narrow it 
down to that one photo I could take it out or fix it and then solve 
the problem. So, I went through the entire database and exported 
every one, 100 people at a time. It took a week. However, it still 
didn’t solve the problem. If I exported the files in 100 increments, 
it would work every time. Unfortunately, if you do export the family 
file in 100s, the links no longer work and the result is a useless 
bunch of html pages. The good news is the photo files do export. So, 
what I ended up doing, eager to get the updates uploaded, is exported 
all the files as though there were no problem. Of course, when it 
came to the exporting images it crashed, but then I just merged all 
the photo files from my 100-people experiment into their correct 
folders and checked to make sure that the correct photos linked to 
the right people. I believe it worked. I know its a temporary fix, 
but at least I got the updates done.
After spending a week uploading all the files of course, I’m still 
left to resolve the problem. Anyone with a bit of computer knowledge, 
is probably thinking that the problem has an obvious cause. Memory. 
Well, I have twice the amount the software requirements call for. I 
have a processor that is three times the minimum speed recommended. 
The photographs are all small jpgs. Well, I did notice that there 
were a couple of .tiff formatted photos so I converted them to jpgs 
but that didn’t solve it. Besides, it had always worked before the 
last few months. The only thing that changed is of course, 
corrections, and there was a software update. Unfortunately, I can’t 
back track and use the older version of software because then it will 
no longer open my file. Since my system isn’t the most up to date I’m 
hoping that if I finally upgrade the Computer system software it will 
fix the problem. If not, at least I know that I can export the pages, 
100 people at a time, but that means I will be doing updates less 
often as it takes such a long time to update. So, if you’re wondering 
why your corrections take so long to get up on the web, now you know.
On a semi-related note: Apple recently switched its server to “The 
Cloud” and, once again, lucky me, I was one of the 1 percent of 
people who lost email service. So any one who tried to write to my 
Mac address, which is the address I use for Heycuz members, didn’t 
get through. I have other email addresses, so for the first week I 
didn’t notice it. Then, someone forwarded a note that my email was 
undeliverable and checking with Mac’s website, I found out why. It 
would take another week for Mac to get its act together and get mail 
service back. I can’t believe they could do that and still run 
commercials about how much better everything is.
Anyway, with “The Cloud” and the problems with my software, I will be 
down once again, hopefully not for too long, while I do a clean 
install of Mac OS Leopard. Wish me luck!

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