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Topics - arthurk

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The Common Room / Library remote access to Ancestry - not much longer
« on: Monday 05 April 21 11:33 BST (UK)  »
During the pandemic my local library (Cheshire East) has been allowing members to access the library version of Ancestry from home. However, when I went to use it yesterday I found the following:

Unfortunately, due to a change in supplier, at home access to Ancestry will not be available after April.
However, you will be able to use it again at your library when we re-open.

You might like to check your own library's site to see if the same will happen there. I'm not sure what is meant by 'supplier', though I see that the link provided by Cheshire East initially goes to a page at before redirecting to one at

Technical Help / Cloud storage - should the provider be able to access my files?
« on: Thursday 22 October 20 16:18 BST (UK)  »
I've been using cloud storage in a limited way for a few years for things like backups of GEDCOM files and sharing images that might be a bit too big for emailing. Now I'm trying to start using it as a more comprehensive way of backing up data, and have signed up with a company providing this service.

Unfortunately the program they provide as a way of accessing their cloud storage isn't displaying all my files, and I'm trying to resolve this with their technical support. Their latest message says they need to know the names of the files and folders affected; I've asked them to explain why, but it seems they are planning to look at what I've uploaded. There's nothing dodgy there, but I'm not too happy about this.

I've just had another look at the T&Cs, and apparently the company can delete, move, archive or edit content that breaches the various customer agreements etc. This suggests they do claim the right to access customers' files, but I'm not sure whether they need my explicit permission, or if this was implied when I signed up.

Anyway, based on other people's experience, have I inadvertently picked a bad 'un, or is this kind of thing pretty standard?

The Stay Safe Board / What not to use as a face mask
« on: Thursday 17 September 20 13:19 BST (UK)  »
"xxxxx used as face mask on bus"

If you haven't seen the story yet, think for a moment what it might be, then check to see if you were right  ;D

(I liked the comment from the bus company spokesman at the end.)

The Stay Safe Board / ONS data and maps of Covid-19 related deaths
« on: Sunday 14 June 20 19:38 BST (UK)  »
A while ago I read a post, probably here on RootsChat, with a link to the ONS data on Covid-19 as a cause of death, with mapping down to a district council basis - England and Wales only. This is available here:

Office for National Statistics:

More recently, someone was asking if more precise local information was available - sorry, I can't remember who it was, either for this or the link above.

A newsletter for where I live has just sent out a mailing with an embedded version of exactly that, so I've now found the original on the ONS site, which gives the information broken down into local government ward areas. This is at:

Office for National Statistics:

I think this is what was being asked for, but I don't know how useful the numbers are in isolation. For example, the ward where I live has quite a high number of deaths, whereas others nearby have far fewer. I don't think there's anything on the site to say why - my best guess is that my ward has a number of care homes, but it would be quite helpful to have a more authoritative explanation.

Moderator Comment: Links shrunk using RootsChat ShrinkLink

Technical Help / JavaScript - any need to disable?
« on: Wednesday 03 June 20 17:04 BST (UK)  »
For some years I've used a JavaScript on/off extension in Firefox. With this, JavaScript is enabled unless I specifically disable it for a particular site.

Today my bank's log-in page wouldn't load for me, and after checking through my extensions I discovered that this one was blocking it. I think (but am not certain) I must have accidentally clicked on the extension's icon and disabled JavaScript for that site, as when I made sure it was enabled the site worked again. (The issue was definitely with this add-on, as the site worked normally when it was fully disabled.)

This has got me wondering - how important or useful is it to be able to block JavaScript these days? I sometimes used to block it on a couple of news sites which had a lot of irritating adverts, but most of the time now I completely forget I even have the add-on and hardly ever use it on purpose.

If I do continue to use an add-on like this, I'm probably going to change to one with an easily accessible list of sites where JavaScript is disabled, which my current one doesn't have, but part of me wonders if it's actually worth bothering, and if I should just let my browser and security software look after things.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this, please?

The Common Room / Parish Chest
« on: Friday 08 May 20 14:03 BST (UK)  »
I haven't seen it mentioned, but I've noticed that the Parish Chest website is back, now part of the Family History Federation:

The Stay Safe Board / "One adult per household" in supermarkets
« on: Tuesday 31 March 20 16:03 BST (UK)  »
My wife and I have invisible health conditions, but do not come into any of the categories for which supermarkets have set aside priority times. Each of us, on our own, finds shopping difficult, but together we get by, and we try hard not to be a burden on other people or resources. We have therefore followed the supermarkets' advice to leave home delivery for those who can't visit their stores, and have avoided visiting the stores when particular groups are given priority.

We were considerably shocked this morning to be confronted by a supermarket employee who said they now only allowed one member of a household into their store at once, and pointed to a rather scrappy and not very official-looking notice which said the same. She said it was "government policy", which I disputed, and in the end she reluctantly let us in, but said we had to keep 2 metres apart - even though I pointed out that members of the same household were not required to do this.

We had looked at the store's website before setting out to re-check that we would be avoiding their priority times, and there was nothing about this new policy. Doing a search for the phrase/terms I have used as title to this thread brings up a number of stories which suggest it is now fairly widespread, and in more than one supermarket chain. However, there are several reports that single parents have been told they have to go in by themselves and leave young children waiting alone outside.

I can understand that they want to reduce the number of people in their store (though this morning there was no queue and the woman at the door told the customer ahead of us that it was very quiet), but can anyone suggest a way in which my wife and I would be able to continue shopping together, please. I am still very upset at the way we were treated this morning (we were made to feel like criminals), and the only options I can see are (a) further arguments at the door, (b) disclosing personal medical history to the staff and/or in front of other customers, or (c) not eating.

Technical Help / Windows Update problem (W10 Pro v1903)
« on: Wednesday 16 October 19 16:58 BST (UK)  »
I have a laptop with Windows 10 Pro, but since I updated to version 1903 I haven't been getting Windows updates as they have been released, but generally about a month or more afterwards. When updates are eventually found, Windows Update is working normally to download and install them, and the troubleshooter isn't finding any errors.

Windows Update is currently set to update and download updates automatically, and updates are not deferred. I did a manual catch-up on cumulative updates in mid-September (downloading them from the website rather than with Windows Update), but am currently still awaiting the 2019-10 Cumulative Update for Windows. If I do a manual check with Windows Update it still doesn't find things in a timely fashion.

I rang my PC manufacturer's helpline, and after getting cut off a few times was told they couldn't help with software issues and put me through to Microsoft. After an initial triage I was put on hold for ages, then the agent I got through to was cut off in mid-sentence. I can't face all that again, so I wonder if anyone has any ideas what might be happening, and how I can fix it. (NB - I'm not confident about doing stuff in the Registry.)


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Mystery Photos
« on: Friday 11 October 19 16:52 BST (UK)  »
For the benefit of any recent members, and to remind others of the fun(?) we had, I thought I'd repost the lists of some of the photos which have resisted all efforts to be identified. It's about 18 months now since these lists were last posted, and in that time we've solved a couple and added some more.

This isn't a complete list of all the unsolved ones, so feel free to add others if you'd like us to take another look.

If you can help to solve any of the mysteries, please post on the appropriate thread, not here.

12 Not yet identified (house with tower)

19 Not yet identified (Mock Tudor House)

20 Not yet identified (Thatched farm)

39 Not yet identified  (quirky chapel)

158 Not yet identified - church

176 Not yet identified

193 Not yet identified

I've struck through the two in this list that have been identified:

Where Am I series:

226 - Building (a rather fine country house)

228 - Church (rather unusual site layout, new extension at right-angles to old? with old tower)

234 - Another one of those houses (country house)

Where is this series:

4 - Church with spire; palm trees, hillside and ?caravans

6 - Chapel in the woods

7 - Big ol' house (looks Scottish)

9 - Manor House (grander than WAI 226 & 234)


Ruins - But Where? (possibly Scotland?)

Old photograph - is it a hotel? Where is it? (possibly Sheffield area?)

Village Street Scene - Hillside, buildings

Old Church in Cumberland, perhaps Workington area

Cycle Race

Location, Location...But Where? (park with pavilion-type building, hills behind)

Manor House, possibly in Northumberland?

Identify Location? (inside a building - some kind of institution/hotel/masonic hall??)

And two paintings:

Where might this be? (riverbank scene)

Signature and scene for recognition please (canal scene, probably Low Countries)

More recent ones:
(bringing it right up to date - the last two in particular might be thought to be still current)

Where Am I? No 221 (children in a play/pageant - "St Mary's - 1909 - Mrs Richards")

Entertainers & crowd on a beach

Lovely view but where? (from a hill, looking over a wide valley)

Brighton Rock Ales Pub

Who is the Dutch artist?

Unidentified Church / Possibly South Wales

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