Packing again. But this time it's for a proper, long holiday! I'd hoped to get more actual stuffing of clothes into suitcases done this evening, but I've been fighting our CD-writer instead.
Our CD-writer (a Mitsumi CR-4802TE) has now gone from being an internal drive, to an external drive (in a USB enclosure), to an internal drive again. And every time I re-mount it, or re-install Windows on my PC, it's a struggle to get it working again. The key is usually to disable DMA on the device, and that turned out to work this time, too. The problem was finding where Windows 2000 hides this particular setting. In Win95/98 it's fairly near the surface, but in Win2K you have to go:
My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager -> IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers -> Secondary IDE Channel -> Properties -> Advanced Settings tab -> Device 1 -> Transfer Mode
At least it's working now, with Nero 5.5 as the burning software. Although I haven't been using it for very long, and haven't sat down to do a thorough side-by-side evaluation of it, it feels a bit nicer than the Adaptec (Roxio) EZ-CD Creator stuff.
The reason I have to get the CD writer up and running now is that we want to take all of our baby photos and movie files across to California with us. And we have taken over 2000 photos since Alex was born. Wow! Because we've created mid-sized and thumbnail versions of each photo, this means that we've got over 2Gb of data to haul with us--probably spanning 5 CDs. (Yes, we could get it down to fewer disks, but that would mean messing up the simple date-based directory structure we keep the files in. Prefer not to do that.)
All of the photos on Alex's pages...they're just the tip of the iceberg! We've only got around 175 baby photos up here on the Sunpig web site, so we really are talking about less than 10% of all the pictures we've taken since he was born. Wow.
But that does seem about right. The digital camera really encourages you to take lots of photographs. Without the cost of processing, you can just snap away, download, and start again. And the more photos you take, the better chance you have of catching a good one. Just think: we reckon that less than one in ten of our photos are worth showing to the world. That means that on a film camera, we'd only be getting 3, maybe 4 good shots out of a roll of 36 exposures.
The digital camera seemed expensive at the time, but I think it's probably paid for itself already in saved processing costs.
Oh yeah--I'm going to have to get myself a new hard disk when we get back. I've only got 300Mb left to play with. We'll probably take more photos than that in the first week we're in California...