Monday, March 10, 2008

Time-saving Technology

I am not a very technical person. I understand the things I absolutely need to know (like how to turn the computer on) and not much else. We don't have lots of fancy gadgets here at Chez Necessity, but we do keep the basics around to document children doing/saying/wearing silly things.

Unfortunately, said basic items have been falling apart. The video camera was the first to go. Last Christmas (not this past one, the one before - did I mention I'm a procrastinator?) I went to video the kids opening their presents and thought I had the lens cap on; I was recording the thrilling sounds of presents being opened, but unless they were in a blackout of some sort, something was wrong. Sadly, when I went to remove the offending lens cover, I couldn't, because it had already been removed (in itself an unusual turn of events). Using my wealth of technological knowledge, I turned it off and then on again. Oddly, this didn't fix the problem. I then went to my backup and whacked the thing on the top, but strangely, this also didn't work.

Several months later, I decided to give it another go (ever the optimist - maybe it just needed to rest) and try to film Big Trouble's dance recital. This time, the whacking on the top did the trick and we got video of him, but when it came time for Miss Serious' recital, we had no such luck. I haven't taken it in to be fixed, because I know in my heart that they will tell me that it will cost buckets of money, and as it's several years old, it doesn't make sense to pour all those dollars into it.

Fast forward to last week, and the digital camera starts being wonky. It started with little problems, and finally ended up that it would only take one picture; it then had to be shut off and turned on again before it would agree to take a second picture. (I may have also dropped it at this point). So, we decided this would be a good time to replace both items with a digital camera that takes video. Simple, right? Just go on the web, read some reviews, and buy a new camera - easy-peasy!

Unfortunately, I hadn't had the forethought to realize that unlike 6 years ago when we purchased our first camera, there are now 7 bajillion kinds of cameras on the market. And now you can read 8 million customer reviews which are all contradicting each other. And when we finally pick a camera after countless hours logged on the computer by both The Professor and me, we discover that we will need to purchase a memory card. No problem - but when we look up memory cards, there are 9 billion kinds (also with ratings) and called different things, and costing wildly different amounts of money (leading to the inevitable questions about why, and more computer searching). At this point, my head begins to hurt, and I decide that both coffee and knitting are the solution, as I am no longer formulating coherent thoughts. Luckily The Professor slogged on, made the necessary decisions, and ordered the camera.

It should be here in 3-5 business days, which is remarkably similar to the amount of time we've spent on the computer hunting for it.

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