Thursday, November 05, 2009

Family Tree Maker 2010 - My thoughts over the past month.

I finally sat down and installed FTM 2010 on October 5th.  My first impressions were not great.  It slaps me in the face almost instantly with the lack of quality control that the product has.  The agreement that you "agree to" is from 2007 and the splash screen still has a 2008 copyright on it.  Please guys, take a few minutes and update this stuff!

The install was pretty slow and my computer is fairly new and has lots of free memory.  The biggest annoyances is that the program is not a true upgrade but is yet another full copy of the program.  I now have five full versions of FTM on my computer...FTM16, 2006, 2008, 2009 and now 2010.  This program is starting to fill up my hard drive.  (UPDATE - 11/5/09, I deleted all of the old versions finally and with no problems).

All of that said, 2010 uses a new file format so your old files do not work and should be backed up before you start the upgrade.  That means more space taken up on your computer and the backup was pretty slow.  It took almost five minutes to make the backup file.

I see a few new things, a "web dashboard" that is basically an RSS feed of the Ancestry blog.  You can provide more detail about a location, GPS data, even a shorter name for printing purposes.  This is nice but how many times am I going to go back and update information over and over again.  It took me long enough to switch to their last location formatting change.

Pretty much everything else looks about the same to me.  I might be missing something but nothing jumps out. I used to be a huge FTM fan but it seems like their "updates" are becomign less and less revolutionary.  I have not gotten excited about anything they have added in awhile.

(UPDATE - 11/5/09)  After playing with the program for awhile, I actually do like it better than 2009.  I see a few things that I like but there are a few new/old problems.  The spell check is broken again - you can spell check and correct errors but it does not save the changes.  I also noticed if you try to print someone's photo album, large files come out blurred. 

I have used the program for a month and thought that I could report to you that I have never had a crash.  However, it finally crashed once yesterday.  Nothing major, but it did crap out the one time.

Overall, I am much more impressed than I had been with previous versions.  Nothing revolutionary but at least the program is running smoother.

Family Tree Maker 2010
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