Sunday, July 13, 2008 pictures are safe

Did you know that our family went on vacation?

"Vacation?" you say. "I haven't seen any pictures of your vacation. I remember vaguely reading something about your coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, followed by a statement that was to the effect of there being lots of pictures soon....but nothing ever came of that."

The idea put forth in the above mentioned paragraph has been making me slightly crazy for the last two weeks. I have been working the entire time we have been home--no, no, not putting together a cute 'vacation pictures slide show', or working on a super long post with 147 pictures on it--oh no, I have been working just to get my vacation pictures off of my new camera.

It has been a REAL mess.

Our camera broke about three days before we left for our family vacation, so of course, what did I do? Freak out.

We were getting ready to spend almost a week with family that I see once, maybe twice, a year, and I had no camera?

This was not acceptable.

So, once we arrived in Wisconsin, we went to the local Wal-Mart, and I sent Shane on the hunt for a camera. I didn't care what kind it was--I just needed something for the week. This particular camera that we were buying didn't have to be our 'official' new camera, it just had to be a decent one that would get me through vacation picture-taking!

After talking to the salesman, we decided to get one that was a bit on the pricey side. He said, if we didn't like it, we could just use it for the week ("you know, try it out") and then return it. He assured us there would be no problem bringing it back--we would be able to "take full advantage of Wal-Mart's unbeatable 30-day return policy on all electronics!" Then, we could do some research on the features that we really wanted and purchase the one that we would keep for (hopefully) the next several years.

So, we picked one. A Kodak z1285 Easy Share camera.

(I tell you the name so that in case you ever decide to check out new cameras, you will run for the hills--screaming--AWAY from this one.)

I took over 1,000 pictures while in Wisconsin for the week. Now, I'm not crazy or anything....I weeded through them at the end of every day, and deleted the ones I wasn't absolutely crazy about. I managed, by the end of the trip, to have gotten the number of 'keepers' to around 420.

Then, I got home, and prepared for the joy of plugging in the little wire to the back of my computer...then to my camera....then seeing the pictures download one-by-one onto my screen, so I could look through each of them closer and in more detail and blown-up the entire size of my screen. (I love this process, can you tell?)

That's when the trouble started.

The pictures would NOT come off of my camera. No way, no how.

The camera had done I-don't-know-what to my memory card (which I had never had any problems with before), and no matter what I did, my pictures would not download. They wouldn't even show a preview on the screen.....just an error message, saying the picture could not be copied.

I called my computer genius of a brother in law begging for help asking for tips; I googled; I fiddled with different programs on the software, and with different buttons on the camera; I went on to the online support center; I took the memory card to TWO different places that had a card reader machine--CVS and Walgreens; I even broke down and called the help number (which was NOT toll-free, by the way) and waited for an operator for forever. I finally got one, told him my problem, and he was just beginning the process of helping me when the battery on my phone went dead and we got disconnected. Great.

Nothing was working.

By this point, about a week after we had come home, I was in a downright panic was starting to become really concerned.

I don't even know how I came to figure it out, but I discovered that the pictures that were saved on the actual hard drive of the camera (like, the favorites, or the ones that were taken before I put the memory card in) were coming back off the camera. It was the ones on the memory card that were 'unavailable.'

Thus became the process of saving each picture to the 'favorites' section of the camera. Individually, of course--when I would try to save more than one at a time, it would randomly leave some out, and then I would have to go back and check which ones I had, and which ones I didn't....that was an even more ridiculous process.

Me, holding camera:

  • Select picture.
  • Save picture to favorites.
  • Wait while camera saved picture.
  • Exit favorites.
  • Click on next picture.
  • Repeat this process 419 more times.

Once I was up to about 20 favorites saved(all the drive would hold), I had to transfer the pics to the Kodak program on the computer; individually save each one and transfer it to the 'My Pictures' folder (this process also would not work any other way but one-by-one); delete them all from the Kodak program folder; delete them all from the favorites section on the camera; and start the whole process again.

I don't think, best as I am trying, that I can possibly relate the level of frustration that this whole nightmare has caused. *sigh.*

But, the good news: they are all off now. The only loss is the videos, four of them, which would not save to the favorites section (Aim, you seriously lucked out on that one *giggle*).

I'm still trying to get over that: video--GONE--of the boy's first 'beach' experience, of me and Shane on the teeter-totter *giggle*, of the cousins playing together, etc...but I'll deal. I'm thankful that I at least got the pictures. I will post them soon.

And, boy, you better believe that I'll be taking FULL advantage of that "amazing 30-day money back guarantee."


. said...

Oh man, I feel for you! Seriously I was all tense reading your post and I can relate to your frustration!! I am glad you were able to save the pictures...

Now I need to back up all the pictures on my computer... you have me all freaked out about losing them now!!