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Copyright © 2005, Hearthside Software LLC and its licensors.
All rights reserved.   Updated 17-Apr-2007.


Hearthside Family Records®
Frequently Asked Questions -

1. How easy is Hearthside Family Records® to use?

2. How safe and secure is Hearthside Family Records®?

3. Why do I need Hearthside Family Records® in case of emergency or disaster?

4. What is the difference between the Basic, Standard and Investor editions of Hearthside Family Records®?

5. Can I print my information in some kind of book form so I can send it to my children?

6. Can I save my information as a computer file so I can email it to my children?

7. What kind of reports can I generate?


1. How easy is Hearthside Family Records® to use?

Hearthside Family Records® was designed to be easy and fun to use. That was one of the key design standards. We demonstrated it to the heads of one company and one of the managers asked if he could take a CD home to let his mother try it out. He said that she had to ask how to turn the computer on. The company said that would influence their decision as to whether to market the product or not. Within a few days, they came back to add Hearthside Family Records® to their product line. It is easy and fun.

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2. How safe and secure is Hearthside Family Records®?

Hearthside Family Records® is completely safe and secure to use. If you are concerned with security, it is reassuring to know that your information will be completely safe with three levels of password protection security as well as complete physical security.

Full Security - The first level of security is password protection for your complete information. Without knowledge of the password you set up, no one can gain access to your information.

Read-Only Security - If you share your Full Security password, you can also set up a Read-Only password. With this level of protection, you can allow someone to open your information and see it, but they will not be able to change any of the information.

PINs and Password Security - Your PIN numbers and passwords may be protected with their own password. Each member of the family can set up a password to protect their PINs and passwords from all viewers.

Mix 'n Match Security - You can use all or any combination of the three levels of security listed above. Set the security to match your concerns and your desire for ease of use. Safe and secure is in your control.

Physical Security - It is most comforting to know that your information will never be stored on the internet where it might be available for hackers. It is even more comforting to know that you have complete control over where your information is stored. If you have a computer that is never connected to the internet and is physically secure, you can store your infomation on your computer and work on it there. If you are concerned about physical security, you can create your database of information on a flash drive and work directly on the flash drive. When you are done, you can remove your flash drive from you computer and lock it away where it will be safe from theft.

With all of these levels of security, we are happy to be able to say that Hearthside Family Records® is safe and secure and ready for your use.

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3. Why do I need Hearthside Family Records® in case of emergency or disaster?

The American Red Cross has recommended that each family create and store a CD having all of their important family information on it. When Katrina hit New Orleans, many of the people lost all of their family records including deeds to their properties and possessions and all other important financial, medical, and personal records. The Red Cross recommends that current photos of each family member and even of pets be kept on the CD ready for evacuation at a moment's notice. Hearthside Family Records® provides the means to create and store this information for your family. When you need it, it is irreplacible.

During the fire season in the western United States, we have seen a family's home and all of their possessions destroyed in just a few minutes. Being able to produce an inventory of your home furnishings complete with digital photographs and an easy to use inventory list will enable you to pursue your insurance claims confidently and successfully. Preparation and Hearthside Family Records® paves the way to your recovery.

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4. What is the difference between the Basic, Standard and Investor editions of Hearthside Family Records®?

The Basic edition provides tracking for most of your family records, investments, and information on your home(s) and inventories. There are screens available for tracking checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mutual funds and savings bonds in all editions. There is also a screen for Other Investments where you can track different types of investments in a generic fashion.

The difference between the Basic and Standard editions is that five screens have been added to the Standard edition to track additional investments and information. The added screens include the following:

  • Memberships
  • Money Markets
  • Annuities
  • Other Real Estate
  • Other Insurance

Thus the Standard Edition provides all the capability of the Basic edition plus the tracking of club memberships, money market accounts, annuities, other real estate beyond your home for limited holdings, and other inurance beyond the normal car, health, and life insurance.

The difference between the Standard and Investor editions is that ten screens have been added to the Investor edition in order to provide extensive tracking of investments and real estate. The added screens include the following:

  • Investment Strategy - Contains a statement of the investment strategy for the owner.
  • Bonds
  • Brokerage Accounts
  • Stocks
  • Treasury Notes
  • Agricultural Land - For real estate holdings.
  • Business Site - For real estate holdings.
  • Rentals - If you have houses that you rent out.
  • Undeveloped Land - Real estate again.
  • Umbrella Insurance

So, if you have extensive investments or real estate holdings, the Investor edition will fit you best.

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5. Can I print my information in some kind of book form so I can send it to my children?

Yes. You can print the information from your screens either one at a time or all screens of a given type as a group. Just click the Print or PrintAll menu items listed under Options on the menu bar at the top of the screen or you can click on the button showing a printer (Print) or the button showing a printer with an 'A' on it (PrintAll) toward the top of the screen.

You can also print a title page for your book or report by clicking on the Cover Page menu item listed under File on the menu bar.

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6. Can I save my information as a computer file so I can email it to my children?

Yes. You can save the information from your screens either one at a time or all screens of a given type as a group as an ASCII text file. Just click the Save or SaveAll menu items listed under Options on the menu bar at the top of the screen or you can click on the button showing a brown diskette (Save) or the button showing a turquoise diskette with an 'A' on it (SaveAll) toward the top of the screen. The information in your screens will be saved to a file that you specify. Incidentally, the saved file and the printed file both have the same format. So you accomplish the same thing whether you mail the printed file to your children or email the text file.

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7. What kind of reports can I generate?

You can create several kinds of reports with Hearthside Family Records®. First, you can print the information from the screen that you are currently on or save that information to a file. If you would like to generate reports for multiple categories quickly, you can go to the Reports screen and select all of the category reports that you want and run them all at once. These reports are the same as would be generated from the category screen. They are printed one page per screen and saved to a file the same way.

There are also special reports that are particularly useful for insurance claims. These reports are generated from the Reports (Inventory/Improvements) screen. These reports can be generated in the same page format as the standard reports or they can be generated in a list format that will give you all of the report information in a grid with multiple entries per page. With the reports, an attachments folder can be created that will save all of the attachments for the report items plus a Contents.txt file that is a directory linking the attachments to their items. In case of an insurance claim, the folder can be zipped up and sent to the insurance company to establish your possession and the condition of all of your household or business inventory items. The Improvements report works the same way to document improvements you have made on your home or business across the years for income tax purposes. The Outbuildings report is good for both insurance claims and income tax purposes.

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