Scanner rage

Road rage is old news. I suffer from scanner rage.

In the typical way of mothers, I came up with a terrific idea for a project to add to my holiday madness. Yeah, right there you smell trouble.

My plan was to make a slide-show video for each of my children and do a surprise “This is your Life.” It all seemed fairly straightforward and the folks at the local drugstore assured me their photo machines would do what I needed at a very affordable price. So in October, I dragged out the two drawers filled with old-school printed photos that dated back 27 years.

I spent a couple of nights sorting them into her pile, his pile and a both-of-them pile, then divvied them up equally. Each pile had 180 photos and that was after maximum “oh, but this one’s so cute!” editing.

Suddenly it’s December and I finally make time to get up to the drugstore to scan my piles of photos.

I start with my daughter’s, spending two-and-a-half hours scanning every last picture. When I go to create the DVD, it blandly informs me that the disc can only hold 60. It did not mention this before and “No,” Kodak says, I cannot retrieve the other 120 and put them on a different disc. Don’t be silly.

I pitched a restrained but royal fit, but I don’t blame the drugstore employees. Kodak does not pay to train them on these machines. If you use a thumb drive, it will tell you early on if you have too many photos to fit, but not if you are carving in stone by scanning each photo by hand. Oh, that makes perfect sense.

I go back the next night and manage to screw up some more simply by pushing the wrong buttons, but I persevere and three hours later, I have made three DVDs for my girl-child, with copies for me. The cheap $7.50 per DVD price is now times six, and it will take that many again for my son’s photos.

I march back over on my next free afternoon, and am told that they don’t have six more of those DVDs because they have been discontinued. Just scan the photos in, the clerk assures me. It will work just like a slide show. It doesn’t, so I import them all into Power Point.

After I scan the remaining 60 pictures, I get home to find there are no photos on either CD. None. In a true fit of pique, I decide to take my business elsewhere. I discover that both elsewhere’s machines are slower and have people lined up to use them. I grit my teeth and head back to the drugstore. Better the devil you know.

This time, finally … finally, they all go on (we double checked). They are safely ensconced on Power Point and, dare I think it? It is done.

Will it ruin the mood if I tell my children what a screaming pain in the neck this whole project turned out to be?

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who will be all digital, all the time, henceforth. Contact her a




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