Saturday, May 29, 2004

Hard-knock life

I am now the proud owner of a new digital camera. (Note that I paid roughly 80USD less than the estimated retail price... or I will have, once I receive my rebate, and I got a free extra 64MB memory card, in addition to the 16MB one that comes with the camera. Good things happen when you stumble in on the beginning of a 4-hour sale at CompUSA.)

I'm also seriously considering a new notebook computer, which has a built-in 6-in-1 memory card reader. I now have two xD-Picture Cards for my camera, so I wrote to the computer company to ask if this type of memory will work in their reader. The owner (it's a small company) wrote back: "I have never heard of memory media by that name. I wonder if it is really SD memory, but with an Olympus twist."

So I check the back of the package containing the 64MB card to see if it offers any new information.

Compact and durable, the Olympus xD-Picture Card is the ultimate reusable digital media ... offering compatibility with any manufacturer's xD-compatible device... (emphasis mine).

Thoroughly unhelpful.

Talking about this with the Shambly Hermit earlier, I remembered a similar feeling of frustration I had at Best Buy. I wanted to upgrade the operating system (Windows ME) on Mom's old/my new desktop, so I was checking out the Windows XP versions, trying to decide if XP Pro was worth the extra $100. An employee came by. "Can I help you with anything?"
"Yeah, what's the extra hundred dollars for?" I asked, gesturing toward the XP Pro box.
"Well," he said, "This is XP Home, and this is XP Pro."
Not to be deterred, I said, "I know that. I'm just wondering what the real differences are."
He picked up the Pro box. "Well, it says here..." he proceeded to read. I was really hoping for a human interpretation to the back-of-the-box information, but it seems that day I was out of luck.

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