Monday, January 1, 2007

The Fat Camera

An “early adopter” I am not. The last thing I want is to be the first on the block to own the latest electronic object of desire. But I was seduced recently by a shiny piece of goods with a high-concept feature.

It was a camera that promises to make you look thinner. The HP Photosmart R927 has other attributes as well, but that is the one that caught my attention. In an absurd way, it makes perfect sense. The camera adds ten pounds, we are always told, so why not invent one that subtracts them too? And with the holiday season coming on, who wouldn’t want a little painless slimming? If the thing actually works you could make everyone at your New Year’s Eve party look very fetching.

Candy, who is this Skeptic’s Skeptic, told me she was planning to buy one of these cameras for TeeBeeDee and I would get to be the first to try it. I was intrigued, but uneasy. “Technology reviewer” is not on my resume for a reason. I extracted a promise from Candy that she would have present the official TeeBeeDee dweeb to help me get started.

First, though, I had to get the thing charged. When the carton arrived holding the new digital camera, I promised myself that this time it would be different. But at the last minute, I broke down: I did not read the instruction manual, nor did I watch the explanatory CD. I dumped the contents of the box onto the bed and proceeded to behave like an intelligent chimpanzee.

I tried poking this piece into that piece until I found two that seemed to fit. I put the wafer-like bit into the wafer-like slot. I plugged together the two parts of the power cord. Then I experimented with inserting the little prong on the end of the power cord into the body of the camera, trying this orifice and that. Nothing. Then I rose to the level of a super intelligent chimpanzee. I looked at the picture on the box and compared it with the rest of the parts strewn across the bed. Eureka! The black plastic thing was a dock. The prong went into that. But what about the clear plastic thing? How did that come into it? And why couldn’t I get the camera to nestle nicely onto the dock?

Time to move beyond higher primate functioning. I asked my husband. And that is how my new HP Photosmart R927 camera came to be tucked snugly into its dock for its first overnight charge. I’d have to wait at least 24 hours before finding out if the slimming feature actually worked or if we were looking at a case of the Emperor’s New Midriff.

Next: The dweeb and I try out the camera.

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