World Memory Project – Windows Only – WTH?

You may not know this factoid about me, but I’ve been researching my family history, doing the whole Genealogy thing. Ancestry.com is an almost ‘must have’ subscription to help speed along the research. You can do a lot with free web sites and lots of research, but Ancestry.com helps.

I received an email from them describing the World Archives Memory Project.

The World Memory Project uses software and processes developed by the Ancestry World Archives Project, an established community that has spent years helping to preserve historical documents and make them available online for free.
It starts with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum creating digital images of historical documents. Then, using special software developed by Ancestry.com, contributors like you help make these documents searchable online by typing or “keying” information from the digital images into a database.

Cool. I love to give back. I’d love to be able to help others research their forefathers, especially when it will be made available for free. I’m a good typist and I can code tags or whatever is needed. I’m ready to sign up and get more information on what I need to do…

The software is Windows only. Dang. Really? This is 2011. They describe that Mac users need to run this in a Virtual Machine. I’m a big Linux user and I could do the same thing but … dang. I know they’ve just lost a *LOT* of their contributors right there! A good number of their potential customers won’t know what a virtual machine is, even though Parallels is pretty easy.

I was hoping to be able to type in the information in OpenOffice (Libre Office) and then paste it into a web form, or even use some sort of AJAXy web application to enter the information. If I’ve got to start up a Virtual Machine, and probably one just to install this software on, and *then* hope it submits correctly to their service, well, that’s too much work.

I’m disappointed. I was hoping to be able to help some people out but I’m thinking this is too much work now. I’ve got a business to run, and I already volunteer a lot of my time to charity. I’m sorry customers of World Archives Project! It’s a darn shame.

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