Please send me your data

Today the TMG Sydney User Group had a workshop on ‘What to do when someone asks you to send them information’. I am calling it a workshop because it was more of a discussion than the usual presentation with one person doing all the talking at the front.

Rather than use a whiteboard to record all the ideas that the group came up with I used PowerPoint,and typed in the responses as we went along. I can now publish the slides so that everyone has a record of what we came up with.

Topics of discussion were:

  • What do you ask when you get a request?
  • How do you decide whether to comply?
  • What do you share?
  • What format do you send?
  • How do you ask them for more information?

Here are the slides:

After this discussion we looked at how to extract data or reports on TMG, and I can’t reproduce that here.


On This Day

It’s Australia Day, and I was inspired by a blog post to find out what happened on this day in my family’s past.

I’m sure I used to have a program called On This Day to use with my TMG project to tell me just this, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I didn’t actually buy it, or maybe I didn’t install it on my current laptop.

So I went looking for another way to find this out. The Events List (under Tools) sorts by date, as you would expect, but that’s not what I need.

I ran a List report of all events, with output as a csv file. There are 12359 events to list.

When this file opened in Excel, the date column was first, in general format. That is, the contents were not recognised as dates. Perfect! When I sorted the file by this column, I got all the years first, then all the ‘befores’, then all the ‘circas’, then all the months and years, then all the dates, starting with 1. When I got down to 26, the months were in alphabetic order.

There were 11 events for 26 January, including the founding of the Colony of New South Wales in 1788 and the deposing of Governor Bligh in 1808.

Unfortunately, I didn’t look at the output columns before I ran it, and I can’t be bothered running it again, so I’ll just have to check each person listed to see what happened on the 26th January. Here are the highlights:

1616 – Eleanor Nicholas, my 9th great grandmother, was baptised in St Keverne, Cornwall.

1823 – Martha Miles, my 3rd great-grandmother, was baptised in the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Towcester, Northamptonshire. She married George Goode from Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire and they migrated to New South Wales with their two young daughters.

1840 – James Pascoe, baby brother of my 3rd great-grandfather Henry Pascoe of St Keverne, Cornwall, was baptised. He died unmarried  when he was only 31.

1865 – Grace Pascoe nee Oates, my 3rd great-grandmother, her daughter Bessie, and her mother Elizabeth Oates nee Williams arrived in Sydney on the Hornet from Plymouth as assisted immigrants, eventually joining their brothers and sons in the Millthorpe area of New South Wales.

2008 – dear Uncle Ray passed away after a long illness.

For all but the last one there was no ‘Australia’, let alone Australia Day.