December 2005, V4#12: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Retrieving Data on Thermal Paper
By Alice Syman in Saint Augustine, Florida, USA

I have some old files containing faxes on that old fax [thermal] paper that eventually fades. I heard that there was some type of light that would restore them, but couldn’t find out the name and probably couldn’t have afforded it anyway. I wondered, what is it that restores them — light or heat or a combination of both and possibly with something else.

I turned on a burner on my gas stove and began running the paper, print side down, back and forth over the flame. When I saw a strip of paper turning dark I looked and eureka! I could read almost every word of the print, typed and handwritten. A miracle. I was able to send an adopted person information about his adoption that he had lost long ago.

This has to be done slowly and carefully and the flame shouldn’t be too high because one can get a nasty burn. I placed the restored copies in clear sheets. How long they will be legible, I don’t know. But they’ll last at least until one can transcribe the information from them.

I sent this bit of info to many other researchers. To date none have said they knew about it already. I would be interested to know from your readers if I was just way behind the times on this valuable (to me) secret.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 12 October 2005, Vol. 8, No. 41

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November 2002: V1#3: Computer Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

So many pages/sites you will visit have lots of photos and/or music, etc. (bells & whistles) that they take forever to load.  If you are on a search for text and don’t care about photos, music and the like, turn them off to speed your load time.

Here’s what you do:  Load Explorer and then click the pull down menu “tools”, next click “(internet) options” (wording may be different for different software versions).  Once a box pops up, you will click the “advanced” tab at the top of the box.  This brings up a long list of things you can have work or disabled.  You want to scroll down the list until you find the “multimedia” section.  Several items in this section are checked.  For fastest download, click each checkmark to de-select all “play” options. Next click the “OK” button at the bottom of the box.  To check, hit the refresh button (button with white sheet with 2 green arrows circling each other). Please note that this may be done in reverse to get photos, etc back.  Any type of multimedia you want to see, click the blank box (which will check it), click “OK” and then the refresh button.