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Like most contemporary family tree historians, I use genealogical software to help me with my research. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to organize the tens of thousands of data-bits that constitute my family tree. My first solution was an MS-DOS program called Brothers Keeper. That was a good solution until my database reached several hundred people. From there I moved to The Master Genealogist (TMG), and my database grew to almost 20,000 people. My current dilemma is that TMG hasn’t kept pace with my research needs. For one, it only works on Windows (I prefer the Ubuntu Linux and Mac OSes). Secondly, it doesn’t support Unicode characters, because the designers seem locked into an outdated (and unsupported) MS-FoxPro architecture. The TMG designers frown on people even mentioning the Unicode problem on their forums. While migrating is a scary proposition (e.g., what will happen to my: thousands of sources, customized tags, flags, roles, and sentences), the alternative isn’t much better, i.e., cling to an outdated system and the Microsoft OS *shudder*. I’m currently looking at GRAMPS, a cross-platform open source family tree solution that looks like a good candidate. It has a good deal of online community support. I’ve played with it some, but there’s an entry level learning curve that I’m butting my head against. Maybe I should read the manual? If anyone has any other ideas for software, drop me a line! Thanks.

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