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June 13, 2000
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Moving Outside the Box
This past month I bought an Agfa Click 30. It was a couple of weeks before I even took it out of the box to look at it. I shot a few photos to get used to this new camera, then I loaded the software that comes with the system. I already had a scanner and a Zip drive on the system I use for multimedia so I wasn't sure how to approach this.
What I finally did was load the software, disconnect the Zip drive and plug the USB jack into the camera. When I turned the camera to "play" and "PC" I discovered that my computer thought my camera was a Click drive. This brings up a really interesting twist in thinking.
Everybody is saying that the Click 30 is a camera with a Click drive. I say that it is a Click drive with a lens.
Although you might be thinking I am saying "six-one-way, half-a-dozen the other," I may be able to convince you that I'm not. if you'll consider how we use digital cameras. Typically, we shoot a group of photos pull the disk out of the camera, stick it into the computer and copy it over (Sony), or we'll have a camera with hardwired memory that just plugs into the computer, or we'll have some kind of memory stick or something similar. What we have here is a drive with a disk in it. The camera can write to the disk, but so can the computer. I am saving this file on the Click drive in my camera. Word sees the drive as "removable disk," but my Explorer sees it as a Click drive.
This is a place we can begin thinking out of the box. If I go somewhere with my laptop, I no longer need to carry a traditional drive. I can carry my camera with its built-in lens. Remember what I said about Leggo sets? Here is an example of how a good idea can grow. I can shoot a photo of a page of paper and my "camera" becomes a "scanner." If I shoot a photo and port it to a printer I have invented a color copier for the road. I now have "Kinkos in a can."
Now imagine the following commercial:
A professional woman is on the phone lamenting that her subordinate did not get all of the overhead slides she needs for her project. She pulls the drapes in her motel room back and sees a copy center a couple of blocks down the road, but it is raining and there are some really rough looking characters between her and the copy center. She slams the phone down in frustration and turns toward her work, spread out on the motel room table�-papers, overhead slides, her computer, a color printer, and her click camera. Focus moves to the camera.
As she looks, she gets an interesting expression on her face. She leans over to more closely to examine the camera. Picks it up thoughtfully. Suddenly and excitedly, she rummages through her papers grabs a sheet, drags the table lamp closer and shoots a careful shot of the page �- scene shift, a new overhead slide is rolling out of her printer �- she has a scanner. Now she is ruffling some blank pages (like you do when you are loading a copier), and now pages are rolling out of the printer like out of a copier.
The narrator has been following her progress and is now trying to describe what the camera is,
"Agfa, ePhoto CL30 Click, your camera, copier, scanner, hard drive thing all in one. . . (trails off)
"It's like I had an whole copy center in my room." She says dreamily to nobody in particular as she drifts off to sleep.
"Yeah," the narrator whispers, It's like having a whole copy center in your room."
By the way, I have tested these features and they all really work.
The computer treats the camera like a removable drive. (There I just saved this page to my disk again.) I'll leave the even more exciting potentials (adding these to other IOM products -� sound etc) to your imaginations.
But I need to add just one small thing. I went to a friend's wedding yesterday PM. I shot 50 pretty good pictures at high resolution. If I had used a floppy, I would have been able to get no more than 5 photos per disk at the highest resolution �- with this camera I could have still put another 50 or so on the disk.
When I got home, I plugged the camera into the computer, opened the photos in PhotoShop, edited them slightly, saved them back into the camera. I stuck a CD-R into the burner and copied the photos to CD from the camera. I made three copies and made labels from one of the better photos (in combination with a scanned image taken from the invitation).
It all looked really good, very professional. An hour-and-a-half after we got home, we wrapped two copies of the CDs in bubble-wrap and mailed them to the parents of the groom and to the newly weds�an extra gift for our friends. The gifts will be waiting for our friends when they get back to Albuquerque.
Ain't it a kick what you can do with some good Leggos and a bit of imagination if you are prepared to think out of the box?
It's like I said, If you look at them right, a house can become a castle or a dragon or a dinosaur or a rocket ship �- if you just move your thinking out of the assumption that we are talking about a camera, you will discover that this is the foundation of more opportunities for IOM than we can imagine. These infinite opportunities (and its willingness to exploit them) are the strength of the company that the shorters are bashing so furiously right now. The shorters are doing it because they are losing control of IOM. The more they lose control the more outrageously they will bash IOM. If they can push it into bankruptcy they win. If IOM survives, they either have to get out or they loose big time.
Dave PS: I don't have a USB port on my computer at work, so I have disconnected the Click and reconnected the Zip. I haven't looked yet, but I'll bet anything that the Zip will be there waiting. (Yup, it was waiting.)
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