Shrinking cameras December 12, 2005Posted by Michael McVey in Hardware.
The first of the replacement digital video cameras we ordered finally arrived today. Earlier in the month, we were told by the distributor that the ones we ordered at first had been discoed. Of course, I thought that had something to do with the disco era until it dawned on me that they had been discontinued. Same thing, I guess.
When the box first arrived I was sure it was a web cam that had arrived by mistake as it was so small. The whole camera could fit in my pocket. That is not necessarily a good thing. I will get to that in a moment. All the parts and ports that we needed most were there including an IEEE (Firewire) connection so we could drop digital video onto our computers. The problem was that the port for the cable was not on the camera itself but built into the side of the docking station. You would think the small size would be an advantage.
You may still not understand my anxiety about tiny easily transported pieces of technology. Coincidentally it was also today that I received notification from Risk Management that a transfer of insurance money had been made for five laptops stolen from the lab earlier this year. Here is a link to a photo of the laptops when they first arrived. Their theft is a story and a half but suffice it to say, every piece of equipment is bolted down or supervised now.
We also lost a camera just as the semester was beginning. As a reminder of the impermanence of our possessions, I purposefully keep a physical gap in our row of video cameras. For me, the bottom line is that computers, cameras, televisions, scanners, printers, all of them, are just things and all of these things will get old, become discoed, fall into disrepair, and eventually need to be replaced, but that is no reason to stick them into a knapsack and sneak off with them.
So, what to do with those tiny, pocket-sized cameras? Our Network Manager just sniffed at them and said it all, “Send ’em back. You’re just asking for trouble.”