When all else fails, do the simple

We finally had a break in the weather today, so Howie and I went out picture taking with Angie. My long-awaited Microdrive from Burkhart Distributors still hadn’t arrived as of Saturday, so I had to make do with the puny 16mb CompactFlash card which came with the camera.


So I could enjoy taking more than a dozen shots, we brought the laptop and USB card reader with us, figuring I could just dump pictures and take more. Before we pulled away from the house, I plugged the card reader in to be sure Windows XP would recognize it. The little new hardware alert bubble popped up above the system tray, and I assumed everything would be fine.

We went by Longaberger’s giant basket office building first, then went out into the country for a little while.

When my card was full, we pulled over and I popped my card into the card reader. Oh, no. XP saw the hardware, but didn’t assign a drive letter to the card reader. The Device Manager showed several entries beneath the USB storage device, one for each type of card the device reads, I suppose. But it didn’t provide any way of accessing cards in it. The card reader’s documentation indicated no driver was necessary with XP, so I hadn’t brought the driver CD with us.

Howie, definitely the head geek in our household, switched to plan B, running Knoppix (a version of Linux that runs completely off a CD). Knoppix recognized the card reader and let us view the pictures, but for some reason it prohibited his creating any directories on his hard drive or copy any of the files over to it. It locked up when he tried setting permissions for the hard drive.

He and Angie tried different things with command lines in the VI Editor (kind of like running DOS from Windows). Unix terminology flowed like milk at a cookie convention.

Nothing worked. The laptop’s battery power was quickly depleting, and I still had no way to dump the pictures and take more. Oh, the pain! I switched it back to XP while Howie drove and kept fiddling. It was all in vain.

It’s possible I’d have been less distracted had the Biggie Diet Coke not been coursing straight through my kidneys and collecting heavily in my bladder. I might have thought, as Angie suggested once we’d reached the sweet oasis of Wendy’s public restrooms, “why don’t you try plugging the camera into the computer?”

As soon as I plugged the camera into the USB port, XP happily saw the camera, told me it was a Minolta DiMAGE, and installed the driver needed. Then it came up with its image wizard and asked me what I wanted to do with the pictures it found on the camera.

Sheesh. Since I couldn’t tell it to put the pictures on Angie’s golden crown, I just said to copy them into a folder for me.

We drove a little more and I managed to dump five or so card’s worth onto computer before the battery died. Pictures from today are posted in my journal if you’d like to visit.

3 thoughts on “When all else fails, do the simple

  1. Glad you figured it out. Now all you need is a power converter for the van so you can keep the lap top from running out of power.

  2. Thanks, Tami. It was a pretty sunset, but nothing like some of them we’ve seen from that hill. It’s one of our favorite places. 🙂

    Brenda — Yes, we definitely want a power inverter for the van! We want one of those power strips that plugs into the cigarette lighter. That way we can plug multiple devices in without having to have a bunch of separate adapters for various electronics.

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