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Cousin Russ

DearMYRTLE’s Basic Equipment List for Virtual Meetings

DearREADERS,
My previous post explains how Cousin Russ and I go about Managing an Online Study Group. This post explains the finer points of equipment we recommend for optimal video and sound quality. Over the years, we’ve tested all sorts of equipment, in a variety of configurations on both the Windows and Mac platforms. This post references Zoom, our current virtual meeting service of choice, but applies to most other service providers as well. NOTE: All links are non-affiliate links.

1. Wired Internet
2. A USB headset with mic (Microsoft Lifechat LX3000)
3. A full-HD quality webcam. (Logitech C920)



WIRED INTERNET
Although most virtual meeting platforms permit attending via mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, we recommend using a computer with wired internet access, particularly if you are the presenter. If your bandwidth is compromised by too many devices connected to the internet, you’ll notice your voice is skipping or lagging. Best practices include:
  • Reboot your computer and do not open unnecessary memory-resident programs.
  • Close programs that access the internet in the background, such as BackBlaze, Dropbox, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Ensure no one in the same network is live streaming something like an Amazon video or attending another virtual meeting.
  • Turn off ‘smart TVs‘ that as they ping the internet in the background.
A USB HEADSET
Cousin Russ and I experimented with our recommended headset/mic, the USB  Microsoft LifeChat LX3000, a laptop’s built-in mic, and an inline mic and ear buds all in the same webinar. The results were subtle during the live event, but the headset/mic wins hands down for best sound quality in the recording.

An alternative high quality, stand alone mic is the Blue Yeti Microphone used with a microphone arm like this. Do not place the Blue Yeti on your desk, as any typing will be picked up by the pic. Add good wireless earphones or external speakers so you can hear.

A FULL-HD QUALITY WEBCAM
That means 1080p. We currently use a Logitech C920, though there are newer models and much higher prices. This model sports a highly articulating base to clip on the top of monitors, and includes a female hookup for typical tripod mounts. Though my laptop has a built-in webcam, I use the external webcam for best quality video. It’s all about looking good!
MULTIPLE MONITORS
Genealogists are turning to two monitors to facilitate online research and having two also works well when attending virtual presentations. Since all elements of Zoom can be resized and rearranged, monitor 1 might be a full-screen view of the instructor’s slide deck. Monitor 2 would have the gallery view of participants and the chat dialog box displayed as shown below.
However, Zoom requires a setting change in the Zoom Client (App) shown below to permit dual monitors, shown below right. Click “Settings”, locate “Use dual monitors” option and click the box to the left to turn this on.
GREEN SCREEN
To provide a smart looking backdrop you don’t need a fancy green screen that pulls down from the ceiling. A good friend stapled green fabric to a simple 2×4 wood frame. Another draped a large green tablecloth over the bookcase behind her chair in the home office. The Zoom Client (app) provides some basic background pics. You may add your own favorite pics for a  backdrop by clicking the plus sign shown below by the red arrow and red box. If you do not yet ave a green screen, you can deselect the option “I have a green screen” shown by the yellow arrow below.

SUMMARY
As we have been staying home to be safe during the pandemic, we’ve noticed many genealogy societies, families, universities and workplaces are holding virtual meetings. Folks are beginning to see the benefits of the short commute to their virtual offices.
Now that virtual meetings have gone main stream, providing the best equipment is a must! 

—–

If you value the interactive genealogy education provided in DearMYRTLE webinars, please consider donating. THANK-YOU in advance.
paypal.me/DearMYRTLE

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE

Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

http://www.facebook.com/groups/DearMYRTLE
https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizedgenealogist

Myrt’s got CC

DearREADERS,
It is a red letter day over at DearMYRTLE. We announced something marvelous during today’s Mondays with Myrt Zoom Webinar. We are adding live closed captioning to our webinars. 

As our regulars know, DearMYRTLE webinars are all about conversation

  • We have a cadre of opinionated panelists from throughout the world. 
  • Cousin Russ spotlights attendees’ comments. 
  • We focus on diversity and inclusion, excited to learn new things together.
  • We don’t have lectures per se, but we enjoy informative conversation.

It takes a village of genealogists to decipher the GPS and improve our citations. Virtual meetings have been a Godsend for Ol’ Myrt here since this wheelchair is my nearly constant companion. But there is one segment of the greater genealogy community that cannot actively participate. We are going to fix that starting this week – as we are adding *live* closed captioning to our webinars. 

Yup! “Myrt’s got CC!”

By Wednesday, each panelist will be set up to participate, so that our Zoom API can tell our 3rd party service to automatically transcribe his voice to text during our live meetings. All attendees may view the CC – closed captions, as well as the transcript. 

Finally, our Deaf associates can share in the learning, share in the teaching, and revel in the camaraderie like never before. How cool is that?

Here’s what it will look like:

IMAGE: Our Zoom Webinar participants  may click the CC button
and the text will show up as shown in the screen shot above.
 

Watch the first few minutes of today’s Mondays with Myrt for the explanation of how this new CC option will work.

You will note that the CC worked today for only what Cousin Russ and DearMYRTLE said, because we have not yet activated this option with our other panelists. By this week’s WACKY Wednesday, all panelists will be part of the CC.

Click here to view the embedded video on YouTube, where you may turn on YouTube’s CC.
I’m thrilled that we can offer CC for our attendees from this point on. YAY!

REGISTRATION
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE

Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

http://www.facebook.com/groups/DearMYRTLE
https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizedgenealogist

Detailed Version: Registration for DearMYRTLE’s 2020 Webinars and Meetings

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This is the “Detailed” version about how to register for our new 2020 Zoom Webinars and Meetings. If you’d like to skip to the “Quick and Dirty” registration info, you’ll find it here:  https://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2020/04/quick-and-dirty-registration-for.html


DearREADERS,
Cousin Russ and I are happy to present a spiffy new set of DearMYRTLE Webinars and DearMYRTLE Meetings for 2020. This post includes detailed instructions.

  • Best practices when attending any online event.
  • Links to helpful Zoom and DearMYRTLE recordings
  • Registration links for DearMYRTLE’s 2020 Webinars and Meetings.

During the past few years, we’ve relied on recurring virtual events, but wish to update these with the latest Zoom enhancements. As with any computer software and operating system, it is advisable to use the most recently reliable version. Upgrades provide new bug fixes, the latest security measures and new features.

BEST PRACTICES

  1. Sign up for a free Zoom Account and download the app for your device  here.
    https://zoom.us/pricing
  2. Under Settings, add your profile picture. See How to use Zoom’s Desktop App.
  3. When you register for a webinar or meeting, add it to your calendar.
  4. Be sure your  headset/mic are plugged in, then reboot your computer 15 minutes before attending any online event.
  5. Turn off memory-resident programs like Dropbox, MS Outlook, and Backblaze as these take up extra bandwidth.
  6. Ask other members of the household to refrain from accessing the internet. Turn off smart TVs, and other unused devices that may compromise bandwidth. This includes online games, streaming video and music.
  7. Keep your operating system, web browser and Zoom app up-to-date.

For more information see: 

NEW! 2020 REGISTRATION LINKS

MONDAYS WITH MYRT where we meet in webinar format for 90 minutes most Mondays throughout the year, providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians. We talk about anything and everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the past week. Powerful breakthroughs happen during our interactive live webinars.

How
We have a dedicated set of panelists, and you will appear without a webcam or mic as an attendee and can participate in the typed chat. Cousin Russ brings your comments to the panelists’ attention and may elect to turn on your mic if needed.


NEW! 2020 Mondays with Myrt Registration linkhttps://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-XHFjdHrTwGW4aejM7pCww

When
Most Mondays each month.
Noon Eastern US (New York)
11am Central US (Chicago)
10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City)
9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)

If you need a time zone converter, this is the one DearMYRTLE recommends: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Reminder Emails
Currently Zoom Webinar technology provides registrants one confirmation email and 3 reminder emails. Reminders arrive 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour prior to a scheduled webinar. These will include your personal link and the password to enter the webinar.

Fee
This DearMYRTLE Webinar is presented at no cost. If you find the information useful, consider the Pay What You Want business model Ol’ Myrt employs. We use the donated funds to pay for our Zoom webinar membership. https://paypal.me/DearMYRTLE

Recorded Webinars
Archived webinars will show up on DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel. Most links we mention will appear in the description box under the video. See the list of videos with the most recent on top as well categorized in “playlists” of videos in categories. https://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE/

WACKY Wednesday where we take one topic from Mondays with Myrt and explore it in detail during this 60-minute Zoom webinar, usually hosted by one of DearMYRTLE’s *very distant* cousins.

How

We have a dedicated set of panelists, and you will appear as an attendee without a webcam or mic and can participate in the typed chat. Cousin Russ brings your comments to the panelists’ attention and may elect to turn on your mic if needed.

NEW! 2020 WACKY Wednesday Registration Linkhttps://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c1I5_Qc6QMSFV1axgWcSyw WhenMost Wednesdays each month. 9pm Eastern US (New York) 8pm Central US (Chicago) 7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City) 6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles) If you need a time zone converter, this is the one DearMYRTLE recommends: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Reminder Emails
Currently Zoom Webinar technology provides registrants one confirmation email and 3 reminder emails. Reminders arrive 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour prior to a scheduled webinar. These will include your personal link and the password to enter the webinar.

Fee
This DearMYRTLE Webinar is presented at no cost. If you find the information useful, consider the Pay What You Want business model Ol’ Myrt employs. We use the donated funds to pay for our Zoom webinar membership. https://paypal.me/DearMYRTLE

Recorded Webinars

Archived webinars will show up on DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel. Most links we mention will appear in the description box under the video. See the list of videos with the most recent on top as well categorized in “playlists” of videos in categories. https://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE/

MINI-MYRT MEETINGS are held for a quick 20 minutes most Tuesdays through Saturdays using Zoom Meeting (less formal, more conversation). YAY! Our goals?
  • PROVIDE an upbeat diversion during the pandemic isolation period.
  • DEMONSTRATE how easy it is to use Zoom Meetings.
  • ENCOURAGE others to use free Zoom technology to keep in contact with their FAN club.
HOW
The host and co-host arrive first, while attendees remain in the waiting room. This is a perfect time to test your headset/mic and webcam. It is not necessary to have a webcam to participate, but it is a lot more fun. The host will admit you to the Zoom Meeting, and both your mic and webcam will be automatically turned off. Look to the lower left side of the Zoom control bar to turn on your mic and/or webcam. Courtesy dictates the dress code is business casual and you should ensure there will be no unnecessary noise or unwanted visitors in the background. Otherwise you will be removed from the meeting. Come join the fun!


NEW! 2020 Mini-Myrt  Meeting Registration
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYrcu-tqTwpG9Z8dYf49XNhRWo7CHapxkzl

When

Noon Eastern US (New York)
11am Central US (Chicago)
10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City)
9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)

Reminder Emails
Currently Zoom Meeting technology does *not* provide reminder emails. You must therefore *save* your confirmation email with your personal URL and password for admittance to Mini-Myrt.


Fee
This Mini-Myrt Meeting is presented at no cost.

Recording
We do not plan to record these Mini-Myrt Meetings.



THE ARCHIVE LADY 
Melissa LeMaster Barker, a Certified Archives Manager in Houston County, Tennessee, guides us through what to expect with visiting an archive as well as how to preserve the original documents and family heirlooms we father in our research.

How

We have a dedicated set of panelists, and you will appear as an attendee without a webcam or mic and can participate in the typed chat. Cousin Russ brings your comments to the panelists’ attention and may elect to turn on your mic if needed.


NEW! 2020 The Archive Lady Registration Link
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QYGmJREkQ1-zLHqokL9Lzw

When
4th Wednesday most months
9pm Eastern US (New York)
8pm Central US (Chicago)
7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City)
6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles)

If you need a time zone converter, this is the one DearMYRTLE recommends: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Reminder Emails
Currently Zoom Webinar technology provides confirmation and 3 reminder emails to registrants. Reminders arrive 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour prior to a scheduled webinar.

Fee
This DearMYRTLE Webinar is presented at no cost. If you find the information useful, consider the Pay What You Want business model Ol’ Myrt. We use the donated funds to pay for our Zoom webinar membership. https://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE/

Recording
Archived webinars will show up on DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel. Most links we mention will appear in the description box under the video. See the list of videos most recent on top as well as the “playlists” of videos in categories.

https://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE/


If you value the interactive genealogy education provided in DearMYRTLE Webinars and Meetings, please consider donating. THANK-YOU in advance. https://paypal.me/DearMYRTLE

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE

Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

http://www.facebook.com/groups/DearMYRTLE
https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizedgenealogist

That was THEN, this is NOW


DearREADERS,
Last summer, Ol’ Myrt here moved to a different blogging platform. It was a matter of Blogger posts not transferring well to WordPress. I certainly did not want to break hyperlinks and spend weeks attempting to clean things up, so I created Myrt’s Musings.

Here’s where you will find DearMYRTLE:

Practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians. It’s all about sharing the latest info for finding documents providing evidence of those elusive ancestors.

DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ recognize the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. We reach out to all regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.

DearMYRTLE’s Calendar
http://bit.ly/DearMYRTLEcalendar

DearMYRTLE’s Facebook Group 
(Where most of my content curation occurs.)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DearMYRTLE

DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Community on Google+
(Where we continue the discussion after our live webinars.)
http://bit.ly/DearMYRTLEonGoogle

Myrt’s Musings
(
DearMYRTLE’s NEW Genealogy Blog)
http://dearmyrtle.com/blog2/index.php/blog/

DearMYRTLE on Twitter
@DearMYRTLE

Second Life
Clarise Beaumont, owner
Just Genealogy Fire Pit
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wollah/47/68/68

The Organized Genealogist
(Where I serve with other admins)


YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE

Yes, I do have a Pinterest account, and one on Instagram, but I rarely use them.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

Announcing: DearMYRTLE’s new blog "Myrt’s Musings"

DearREADERS,

Yup! I’ve taken the plunge and designed a new blog called Myrt’s Musings. It will include all the news, hangouts announcements and opinionated moderating my DearREADERS have come to expect.

So head on over to


Frankly, I’ve had a ball experimenting with Wordpress. After consulting with 3 experts, we realize its impossible to import my old DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog posts over without a ton of broken links. It had something to do with a custom domain redirect. Yikes!


Yes, I love Blogger, but I’m loving Wordpress, too. 

That sounds like a line from a country western song.


P.S. Genea-friend and fellow GeneaBloggerTRIBE member Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings said it’s ok if Ol’ Myrt here uses the word “musings.” I’m guessing he doesn’t have a copyright on the use of that word.

P. P. S. – I’ve got a whole new color scheme. Wonder if that means I’ll need to make a new quilt backdrop for our upcoming hangouts? Hmmmm.

Happy family tree climbing!

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it’s simple. If you value the work Ol’ Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you’ll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and
tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.