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Tag: Software

For quite a while, I have been using Family Tree Legends 5 as my main genealogy application to keep track of my family tree, but hit upon a bit a snag recently.

FTL just ceased to stop working, and doing a bit of web searching, discovered that this app does not like running on Windows XP and Vista. I suspect that some Windows update that ran installed something incompatible with FTL.

Well, that prompted me to look to find a new application to use, and after much searching, I settled on GRAMPS, which is a open source solution.

GRAMPS is built using Python, predominantly for Linux, but it also runs in Windows.

Some of the best features of GRAMPS is that it it supports plugins, so if it does not have a feature that you want in it, you can find a plugin for it, or if you are so inclined, you can write one yourself.

To be honest, capturing data is a bit slower than what I was used to in Family Tree Legends, but the other features in the application, such as the tree views more than make up for this.

Installing it in Windows was a bit of a hit and miss affair for me. It requires Python, and a few other dependencies to be installed before it will work. Despite what the GRAMPS 3.2.5 installer claims, I found that it needed specific versions of these dependencies to work.

These are:

I am sure it is possible to get other combinations of these libraries to work, but that would amount to much trial and error.

Once I got it up an running, it has worked like a charm, and I am pretty certain I will be sticking with GRAMPS for quite a while.


Gravity simulators are a great tool to use to play around with, and study how the universe works, and Universe Sandbox is undoubtedly one of the best that I have played with.

It has a very slick look and feel, which I absolutely love. And don’t think for a minute that it is just smoke and mirrors.

Universe Sandbox

Universe Sandbox

It has many, many feaures, and is built on realistic physics, and so can give very accurate simulations of things such as our solar system, and other astronomical objects. It also comes with a good selection of preset data and tutorials so that you can just dive in an play.

What makes this app really special though is that it is just so much fun to use.

This app gets two thumbs up from me.