OpenAI has provided a chat bot called ChatGPT that you really should try

ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI November 30, 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 family of large language models, and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. ChatGPT answers complex questions conversationally.  It’s a revolutionary technology because it’s trained to learn what humans mean when they ask a question.

The use of ChatGPT is currently free during the “research preview” time. There are no advertisements, no fees. Try it while you can.

To use the program, go to

You will need to create an account. It will need your email address, a password, your name and a phone # for text verification. Once you are in, type your comment or questions in the bottom line. Think of a session as a conversation. ChatGPT will remember what you previously said during this session. You can refine your question, “prime the pump” as it were. So far, I have been impressed! This might be as revolutionary as Google!

During my first session, I gave it this question: What are the benefits of a DNA special interest group? ChatGPT replied with the following text.

A DNA special interest group (SIG) is a group of individuals who have a shared interest in using DNA testing for genealogy and family history research. DNA SIGs typically provide a forum for members to share information, resources, and expertise related to DNA testing and genealogy.

Some potential benefits of joining a DNA SIG may include:

  1. Access to information and resources: DNA SIGs often have a wealth of information and resources related to DNA testing and genealogy, including educational materials, case studies, and links to relevant websites and databases.
  2. Opportunities for networking and collaboration: DNA SIGs provide a platform for members to connect with others who have similar interests and to collaborate on research projects.
  3. Expertise and support: DNA SIGs often have members with a wide range of expertise and experience in DNA testing and genealogy. These individuals can provide support and guidance to other members who are new to the field or who have specific questions or challenges.
  4. Community involvement: DNA SIGs can be a great way to get involved in the genealogy community and to contribute to the advancement of DNA testing and genealogy research.

Try it now. Some folks are using it to write papers in college! Some are using it to impress. Some are using it for research. This type of “bot” will be with us into the future. You can say that you were part of the “early days”. OMG

The Moral Machine

Take a short 13 item “test” to see how you would program AI cars to choose between unavoidable scenarios involving who lives and who dies. There are no right or wrong responses. The quiz has been taken by 3-4 million people already from 233 countries. Your responses will be displayed as compared to the totals.

The current results have just been published in Nature Magazine 1 Nov 2018. Take the test here, go to bottom and “Start Judging”.

Some items are tough… 5 old people in a car vs. 5 mixed age pedestrians. Some are easy… people vs. animals.

The research article itself is behind a pay wall at If you have a subscription, you can find it here:

The applied results will be driving past your house soon. But the programming will be changeable. Help the programmer near you make ethical choices.

“Before you travel, do not forget to sit on your luggage in silence for a few minutes before leaving home.” – A Russian superstition

Windows Support Dates

Should Windows users take the plunge and move to Windows 10?  I can’t answer for you.  We are using Windows 7 in our house and are quite happy.  Of course, the new Surface 4 machines are sounding quite tempting, and perhaps when one of our laptops die, we could buy a Surface and then upgrade everything in the house!

Meanwhile, there is support.  How long will Microsoft support our aging software?  That may be important to our decision making process.  The local computer user group MBUG just published a list of support dates.


Windows 7 has 4 more years!  But, Windows 10 will only be a free upgrade until July 2016. Decisions, decisions…

My Toolbar

Windows can have a confusing array of folders that can make it hard to find files when one is in a hurry; especially when you can’t remember the name of the file nor where it is located.  (I refuse to use the Desktop as a file storage folder!) When there are multiple users on a computer it can be even more difficult to locate files across other user’s folders.  Even though the folders in My Documents are well organized, I still misplace things.  Sure, I could search by name, but sometimes I forget what I named it!  I created this little set of shortcut folders to save me time.

Common Pointers

Create a folder directly in the C: drive called “My Toolbar”.  By putting this within the root of C:, it can be reached by all users on the machine.

Add this folder into the Taskbar of your computer.  That makes it easily accessible from anywhere.  See this picture of the right side of my own Taskbar.

Populate the folder with shortcut pointers to your most popular main programs or files.  I put sub-folders within the My Toolbar folder for groups of like software, such as MS Office programs.

For example, the folder “My Scans” points to the place that our sheet scanner puts the images it has scanner.  I added this pointer here because I was always forgetting where it is located!  The list of programs and folders can easily be reached simply by clicking into “My Toolbar” from the bottom of the screen in the Taskbar.


Personal Pointers

The folder “My Toolbar” is common to all users of this machine. To get personal pointers per user, we build a second folder of pointers within the “My Documents” folder of each user called “Pointers”.  The icon named Pointers that look like a beach ball is a pointer to these unique folders, except that this link is customized to only point to the currently active user!

The properties of the Pointers icon contains this within the Target field:

“%userprofile%\My Documents\Pointers”

In this scenario, each user would populate their own private pointers within each their own “My Documents” folder.

By the way, the beach ball icon is found within the file:


The original pointer was a shortcut to a folder that I then modified the icon to stand out, to be easier to see quickly.

If, perhaps, you only want one “Pointers” folder for everyone to use (or if there is only one user on your machine), then you could easily put the folder into the Public Documents area:



Normally, I only include shortcuts within these folders. The actual files are scattered all over our computer in different folders.  Obviously, I can change the contents of this folder whenever I wish, as it is just full of shortcuts! The real files are well organized by category, subject, etc. elsewhere, as they should be!  These shortcuts are just for regularly used files, such as my health database, my checkbook Excel file, my cookie cleaner, etc..  You get the picture.  My Desktop is neat and tidy!

Save Audio from Youtube

YouTube has been around a long time.  I am just now learning how to grab the audio part of a YouTube video so I can play it on my computer or iPad.  I do not profess to be smart about this subject, but for my own memories sake, and because I like to share, here is what I have found.

There are 2 websites that will grab the sound file for you and then download it to your computer as a MP3 file.  They are Peggo and TheYouMP3.  Both work fine, are free, and do not require registration.  I am not an expert on MP3 files, and so cannot tell if one site is producing higher quality than the other.  But I have opted to use Peggo.

You do not need to install any software.  Simply open both YouTube and the other site, say Peggo.  Find the video you like, copy it’s URL and then paste it into Peggo.  Then click the Download button, and in a few seconds you will have the MP3 file.  Simple stuff.