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The Jefferson Project

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Jon and Loretta Shupe are fascinated by family history. One of their recent projects was a 275-page hardbound book, complete with more than 1,000 photographs. Of course, Jon and Loretta wanted all of their relatives to have a copy of that family jewel. Consequently, Jon put all of the information on a CD. When he finished, he gave copies of the CD to friends and family. Unfortunately, not all of them were familiar with computers and the CD version of the book was just too complicated for them to view. The Shupes told me that they needed something more, something that would make the project accessible to everyone.

When they couldn't find any existing software that fit their needs, they enlisted the help of their son, Jefferson. Jefferson worked his magic and created a customized, interactive CD-ROM. When inserted into the computer, the CD automatically displayed a front page with directions for viewing options. Furthermore, all of the Shupes' documents, photographs and even video clips were available in an easy-to-use format that even the most Neanderthal-like computer user could understand and follow.

Jefferson told me that when people saw what he had created, word spread. Soon friends and acquaintances of the Shupe family wanted to make a CD of their own. Consequently, Jefferson and his father, Jon, went to work designing a software that would enable other people to make their own customized CD-ROM. Jon and Jefferson's creation, "Family History CD," entered the market last February. Since Jefferson did most of the programming work, they aptly named the company The Jefferson Project.

Since February, the Shupes say that response to the Jefferson project has been terrific. They've set up a Web site at and have sold their software to customers around the world. In addition, the Family History CD is available at select bookstores in Utah.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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