Melizzard’s Favorite Things: My new Eye-Fi Card

images[1]Someone tell me, how is it I am just now buying one of these? Seriously! ‘Cause pretty much, it’s awesome.

I decided to look into as a something to purchase for my parents for Christmas because downloading pictures off their camera seems to be a 2 man job for them… Cards get full, or forgotten and drama ensues.

So this little gadget is awesome. It transfers pictures from your camera to your computer automatically when both are in range of your home wi-fi (or a public one if you let it). No more remembering to periodically remove the card and dump the pictures. No more forgetting to put the card back in!  I bought the $49.99 4GB at BestBuy to see how it worked and if I liked it but I can definitely see me putting the 8 GB one with geo-tagging on my own Christmas list now!

Installation was pretty easy but I did have a small hiccup. You put the card in your reader and it downloads and installs software via the net. It goes through a setup process where you go through your configuration the card to your network and your uploading preferences. All of that went totally fine. Then you take the card out, put it in your camera and take a test pictures. This is where I hit a hang-up.

The pictures wouldn’t transfer back. So I called their tech-support – which I am very happy to say – was very fast, friendly, and helpful. The fellow talked to me … didn’t follow a script … he asked me what was going on and tried a few things, when that didn’t work he asked someone else there for suggestions. We tried their idea, it worked. Turns out I just needed to reboot my router. No big deal.  But seriously – as far as customer support goes – just talking to a friendly, knowledgeable, likeable person how seemed sincerely interested in helping me was awesome and set the company apart. Why is that such a shock these days? image

Anyway – once that was settled the card worked like a charm. I have a Nikon D5000, fast moving kids, a heavy shutter finger so I was concerned about cycle time on the card but the new ones all have Class 6 read/write speeds – I haven’t really had a chance to fully put it to the test in that aspect but I’m optimistic that it will be fine.

The picture management software it downloads into is highly configurable. I was glad to see I could adjust it to fit into my “system.” I have over 27,000 photos and I didn’t want to have to go re-inventing the wheel after all this time so I have the photos hitting a folder on my drive and will move, tag, sort and upload them from there in batches the way I always have.  You can have it automatically upload to Flickr and I seriously considered that but I know I’d never go back and tag if I did that and I don’t want to loose that discipline after all this time. You can also have it automatically send to Facebook, flirted with this idea to but let’s face it, as many pics as I take that would get annoying. Maybe I’ll set that up and turn it on and off depending on the event.

So that’s it – I’m officially their new fan girl.  Cool gadget, totally lived up to expectations, great customer service: What more can you ask? Did mention the iPhone App?

Proposed name for iphone 4 chapter of the Apple Book: Shattered Glass

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Last night my 5 year old accidently bumped my iphone off the counter by the sink in the bathroom – a typical household accident. This is the result. The glass back on the phone is completely shattered.

Several deep breaths and a small panic attack later, the two of us headed off to the Apple store  – me to beg, her to look cute and pitifully sad.

Much to my surprise the “Genius” looked at it and simply said “Oh no, another one. I’ll check to see if we have the replacement parts left of I’ll need to order them for you.”

She came back and said they were out. She would order them and they’d be in again in about 3 days and the repair would cost…. wait for it….. $31.00 (with tax)

What?!!? That’s less than the cost of the case that you (Apple) have as yet to send me!

Not that I’m not grateful but seriously!? Since when does anything at the Apple store cost $31.00? I quickly signed on the dotted line in agreement.

Before I left I asked if I needed to worry about the glass falling out, she said no but that it did have sharp edges and I should careful when handling it. She said they didn’t have still did not have cases in stock but that there was a kiosk cart down the mall that had some if I wanted to go get a case to keep the sharp edges and glass chips contained. Umm yeah.

Off I went. When I got home I started Googling and found that shattered back glass has been an ongoing problem pretty much since the launch of the phone but that the antenna story had overshadowed it. Since Apple has been quietly and inexpensively been repairing them no one has raised a ruckus over the fragile back glass.  Even more interesting is that they seem to be correcting both issues in the Verizon version still rumored to come out in 2011, it’s supposed to have a forged metal back that has an integrated antennae.

So I’m choosing to look at the whole thing this way  … Collector’s Edition!

**Edited Update*** – When the new glass for the back came in and I went in to get them to fix it – it took 5 minutes tops – seriously when did the Apple Store get efficient? And they didn’t charge me at all! Seriously $0.00!