California Mennonite Historical Society

GRANDMA CD-ROM Project: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Will GRANDMA work with Macintosh or Linux operating systems?

The GRANDMA data files are designed to be accessed using third-party genealogy software. For Windows computers, we recommend Brother's Keeper 6. There are no Mac or Linux versions of Brother's Keeper, so users of these systems must find other genealogy software capable of importing the GRANDMA data files. We know of only two Macintosh programs capable of importing such large files: GEDitCOM and Reunion 8.04 (or later). You can download a free demo version of Geditcom; the fully functional version costs $64.99. The cost for Reunion is $99.00. Please note that versions of Reunion earlier than 8.04 are not able to import the GRANDMA files.

Another solution for Mac users is to purchase a program that allows Windows programs to run on a Mac computer, such as Parallels Desktop for Mac. These programs will allow you to install Brother's Keeper and the GRANDMA data just as though you were working on a Windows-based computer.

For Linux operating systems, we have been told that the LifeLines program can import the GRANDMA data and that Brother's Keeper can be run on a Linux-based Windows emulator called Wine.

Mac or Linux users may also simply wish to order GRANDMA Online. The online version does not include data on living people and cannot generate many of the reports available on the CD version. It will, however, be regularly updated, and so will allow users to see the newest information added to the database before they appear on a new CD release. The cost is $20 for a two-year subscription.

To import the GRANDMA data files using any program other than Brother's Keeper, it is necessary to use the Gedcom version of the data, a zipped version of which may be found in the /data/ folder of the GRANDMA CD. Given the large size of this Gedcom file, the initial import process may take 12-24 hours to complete, depending on the speed of your computer. When that one-time process is complete, the file will then open normally in the Mac or Linux program you have chosen.

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Last modified: 11/8/2012