Of digital imaging and digital photos

Mark your calendars for Friday, June 15, 2001 at 9 a.m. Coffee and Computers at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 South 'C' Street, will have Roberto Segura of MicroCenter speak about digital imaging hardware and software. Learn about digital still and video cameras and computer software for image editing. With the summer vacation season starting, this should be a very timely and interesting presentation.

Rosalie and I just returned from vacation. I was surprised at the number of digital cameras and videos being used by fellow cruisers. In fact, more people were using video than still cameras. I'm going to be very interested in hearing how all these videos are edited to make a coherent presentation.

I still do not own a digital camera. My major concern is image safety. When we go away, we take a dozen rolls of print film with us and have them processed locally when we return. We then scan whatever prints we want to use on the Internet. It's reassuring to have the rolls of film safely tucked away in our luggage. Unfortunately, digital cameras still use a number of different storage media including smart cards, compact flash cards, memory sticks, floppy disks and cd's. The number of pictures that each stores depends upon the resolution set in the camera, and extra media are expensive.

One passenger carried a neat device that may make safety and cost a moot issue. It is a small, portable hard drive that can be connected to the camera. Images are transferred to this device from the camera and can be retrieved later. Being a hard drive, the device holds many more images than the camera, so the whole vacation can be stored for later editing and viewing. I'm not sure who makes this equipment but since it makes so much sense, I am sure that it, or similar devices, will soon start to appear in the stores.

Internet access was another fun thing on this vacation. Interestingly, our vessel offered unlimited Internet access for a flat fee of $99 for the ten days, or $1 per minute. They had a beautifully appointed cabin set aside that contained six computers and one server that made the Internet connection. A technician was available to offer assistance if needed. Obviously, the connection was via satellite. Thirty-seven guests signed up for this service, which probably means thirty-seven couples, or 74 out of 684 total passengers. Not a bad percentage.

Since we were interested only in checking email, we chose to use cybercafes ashore. We found one in a small building on Moorea and another in a coffee shop on Bora Bora. It cost us about three U.S. dollars for 15 minutes. The connections were reasonably fast and smooth. By the way, we used our Hotmail email account on this trip and had it set to check Hotmail as well as our normal Netcom account. It worked flawlessly.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing Roberto explain the many options available for taking and editing home or vacation images. Maybe I will be convinced to purchase a digital camera.

If you want to hear more about our recent adventures, or have computer questions, visit "Coffee and Computers" at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. 'C' Street, this Friday morning, June 8, starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit. And remember to join us next Friday, June 15, to visit with Roberto Segura of MicroCenter and learn all about digital imaging.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing.


Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at:

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