Sunday, July 01, 2007

Camera, Phone Home

My digital camera has developed clickitis...when I turn it on, it clicks a few times, gives me a "dead battery" signal despite the fact that I've just fed it new batteries, and then shuts itself off. The warranty expired a few months ago, and I didn't go for the extension because it cost almost as much as a newer, better camera.

I Google'd "Camera Repairs NYC" and got a few names. They're of places that close by five and have no weekend hours during the summer. And depending on what's wrong with it, it may actually be cheaper to get a new camera.

My cell phone contract was due for renewal, and with two years you get a free upgrade to a camera phone. It arrived, I snapped a few pictures, and then happily went to my computer to upload them to my blog. Whereupon I discovered that the camera phone company provided me no way to do that.

"You won't be able to do it," my sister-in-law advised. "I spent two hundred dollars on cables and they were the wrong cables and then they sold me this chip that goes into the phone, and you're supposed to take it out and put it in something but I haven't figured out how yet."

She had also asserted a couple of weeks ago that if you have digital cable you can't tape anything on your VCR, so I went to Radio Shack this afternoon and asked their advice.

The girl behind the counter opened the phone.

"This model doesn't take a chip. You have to go to your cell phone provider and get a cable."

I went to Best Buy for a second opinion.

"You have to go to your cell phone provider and get a cable. T-Mobile has a store on 21st."

"Twenty-first?" her co-worker said. "Isn't it twenty-third?" I thanked them and hurried out the door as they debated the point. I went into the store on 22nd Street and tagged the first helpful soul.

"There's no cable for this unless you want to go to Samsung's site and order one for $30. And that one only works with the PC, not the Mac. You'll have to e-mail the pictures to yourself with the phone. I'll show you how."

"What are you going to charge me?"

"I'm not gonna charge you anything."

"What's T-Mobile gonna charge me?"

"Twenty-five cents each."

So we set up the phone and when I got home tonight, the above pic was awaiting me in my e-mail. I also found out that you can send by Bluetooth. The new Macs have it, and I'm in the market for a new MacBook. Meanwhile, I can scrape up a few bucks out of the budget to blog any pictures that are Truly Important until I become Bluetooth-enabled...or until I can get to the camera repair place and find out what's what.

What you need is a dongle. No, it's not nearly as fun as it sounds. It's a little bluetooth device you plug into a USB port. That's all you need to interface your cell phone with your computer. Costs $10-20.
Thanks! I'll check it out when I get the chance.
Hey funky cold one.... Does your digital camera take AA batteries? If so, mine does the same clickity thing even with fresh batteries. My theory -- which works so far (plus shelling out a kidney for a new dSLR) -- is that the camera drains the batteries even when it's off. Try putting in fresh ones and if it works the second you put them in, take them out when the camera is off and only put them in when you want to take a picture. Not so good if there's an amazing Chico moment, but it can get you through until you decide to replace the digital camera. --Jenn
Hi, Jenn!

The problem with the digital camera wasn't the camera, it was the crappy battery recharger that came with the camera. I bought a new recharger and now everything seems to be working, for now.
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