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Friday, December 08, 2006

What will we do without DOS?

To clarify the melt down that happened yesterday at our house (see the P.S. at the end of Nava's blog), when Nava's new digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 (need to figure out how to get paid for raving about that camera, like I did in comments on Nava's Who Needs Santa post), wouldn't download photo's for a while...

  1. The problem was created by Nava
  2. The problem had nothing to do with the camera
  3. The length of time Nava spent trying to download is more a reflection of her tech savy than anything else
  4. Scary thing is she's moderately computer literate, compared to her family and friends!

Anyway - turns out that while trying to initially download the pictures, she stopped the process in the middle. And, she wasn't copying the files from the camera to the computer, but did a cut and paste. So - when one file was done copying, and was getting removed from the camera is when she stopped the process, corrupting that file on the memory card.

Nava remembered what picture it was on when she interrupted things, and put check on the camera itself. Camera said "Bad picture - file read error", which is pretty descriptive of the whole problem.

But, then you've come to the wonders of modern technology. To make things to user friendly and idiot proof, the camera refused to allow you to select the picture, as it was corrupted. But, you can't delete the file without selecting it. Only option the camera would give you is to re-format the memory card.

Similar issue with Windows XP. You can't "delete" the file. You can select it - no problems there, but in Windows XP, you no longer really delete files, you just move them from their current folder into a trash folder. But, if you have a file who's pointers in the FAT table are corrupted, how can you move it? And without a true "delete", what can you do?

LexieV was quicker to the solution than I was (I was thinking of what software I might have to allow me to delete files "outside of Windows"), and suggested I try doing it in DOS.

Beautiful thing - launch the "Command Prompt" (aka DOS shell for people who started using computers after Windows came around), CD to the memory card and picture folder, DIR to list the file names so I can get it right, and then DEL P0000123.JPG. Gone in 1 second.

Camera was happy, and we could copy the other 200 pictures off memory card and onto the computer.

What did I learn?

  1. Nava's stubborn. She thinks it's more efficient to Cut & Paste the pictures from the camera to the computer. Even after the incident, when I tried telling her it was more dangerous (since if you interrupt it while copying, you may corrupt the copy of the picture, but shouldn't harm the original), she wasn't thrilled about changing her ways.
  2. Nava's stubborn. She can spend 4-5hrs trying to copy the pictures over and over the same way.
  3. Nava's stubborn. She considers herself computer literate, and a bit of a hacker. Mostly because she can help her computer illiterate family and friends out. So when she runs into bigger problems, she keeps plugging away at what she knows. Which explains how she can spend 4hrs doing the same thing.

And, probably more importantly - what will we do if / when Microsoft finally removes all vestiges of DOS.

Oh yeah - there's Linux.

3 comments:

Nava said...


I am sure your loyal readers expect me to come up with a defense speech like none before.

Well, no.

I'm above it.

I shall gracefully and daintily step to the side. Well, kinda.

The couch, so I hear, is very comfy...

MB said...

Heheheh... Yous toos is FUNny. {-;

Oh, though;

you no longer really delete files, you just move them from their current folder into a trash folder

While that is true, the get-around is that, if you hold down the shift key while deleting files in Windows, they'll be completely gone. No Rec Bin.

Just learned that about 6 months ago, and now I use it all the time.

JohnnyB said...

Michael - thanks for the "Shift-DEL" tip. I'll keep that in mind for next time to try before resorting to DOS.