Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh's happening

I am starting to become one of those "older" people who is feeling overwhelmed by technology. This shouldn't be happening to me, because I work in the technology industry. I've been in the thick of it for many years. And yet here I am, letting something like a video camera get the better of me.

I got the Sony HandyCam for Christmas, and I was thrilled! I had been wanting a camera for quite some time, and I couldn't wait to use it. One of the first times I used it was to film my nephew's first Christmas, which we celebrated together as a family on the 26th. It went okay. I mean, anyone can point and shoot, right? I filled up a mini-DV disk and couldn't wait to put together the video. I envisioned myself going home and pulling the video into iMovie on my Mac, cutting the scenes into something fabulous and putting it all to music.

Problem 1: Couldn't get the video into the Mac. I don't know if I need a FireWire cable or what, but the Sony HandyCam, which hubby said the salesperson said was fully compatible with Mac, didn't talk to my Mac. I even updated my software to iLife 08 so that I had the latest version of iMovie. Nothin'. So I pulled it into the Windows partition. It was a conglomeration of files that I couldn't do much with.

Problem 2: The user manual was written by a non-English speaker. I tried to read the manual; I really did. I kept getting hung up while figuring out the grammar. As a technical writer, I was particularly bugged by all this. I wanted to write to the company and offer to fix their manual. BUT that would mean I'd have to understand the product!!! I don't understand why it is so difficult for a company to tell you how to take the videos, get the videos onto your computer, and make the videos into something usable with menus, titles, and music. It's a very common use case!

Problem 3: Me. I have become so frustrated with this one particular problem that I am falling into the belief that I'm not technologically relevant anymore. When my son (who, granted, is nearly 21) has to take over, figure things out, and explain them to me, it's embarrassing. I feel that a barrier has gone up in my mind, and I'm stubbornly fighting this new learning. I don't Twitter. I am falling behind in reading the latest, newest, coolest blogs, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. And? I'm not as creative as most of you. I see some amazing stuff out there that you all are doing. I'm more of a coloring book person. You provide the lines, I'll color inside them. Ok, I'm not even good at staying in the lines.

Problem 4: Need software. I realized yesterday that my version of Macromedia Studio MX is very outdated. It won't work on the Intel-based Mac I'm using with Leopard OS. Turns out it would take a $600 upgrade to Adobe CS3 to get moving again. The workaround is that my son is loading up Adobe Illustrator on his new Windows box (built from the ground up himself). I am also considering getting Photoshop Elements for my Mac so I can take care of retouching the photos (green eyes on the dogs, etc.).

I'm not sure what the answer is to this, but I'm going to try again this weekend to work with my son to get the video off the disks and into iMovie (or something similar on Windows). I don't want to let this problem beat me or continue to stress me out. I need to get past it so that I don't become like some older people I've known who refuse to learn anything new. When we stop learning, we truly do become irrelevant, and then we die.

I still have at least one leg kicking!

Peace - D


Akelamalu said...

You lost me with Problem 1 :#

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I wonder if it's an issue with Sony. All Sony products tend to be proprietary in nature. For example, I have a camera card reader that fits every camera card ever made... except those used in Sony cameras. Do an Internet/ search and see if any other Mac users have had this issue.

Sorry, hon. Sometimes I feel as you do when I have to get the husband to help. And? Photoshop Elements is pretty good.

SMS said...

Don't give up. It took me months to master the technology with my camera and video-editing software, but the sense of achievement makes it worthwhile. I hope you get there one day!

SandyCarlson said...

Computers can present a horror show. There's so much to know. But there's always someone who knows a little more who can help. I hope your son can help out!

Maggie May said...

No good me trying to help as you know that I'm a technophobe! It all went in one eye & out the other!
One of the older brigade!

Momma said...

Thanks all for your comments! I know I'll get the camera figured out, but boy has it been a pain in the tush. All I want to do is take great video and I feel like I need degrees in filmography and computer science to do so! :-/

Peace - D

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

OH dear, Momma...I'm afraid I'm fast becoming one of those people you mention at the end of your blog. You know, refusing (reluctant?) to learn anything new...guilty as charged! Our new computer came with the latest microsoft word (I think it is 2003 version) and I couldn't make head or tails of it. I literally could not do anything in it, including save and spell check. SO I had my brother in law remove it and re-install the old version, (2000, I think). How lame is that!?

I justify mystance by telling myself that all this new crap is just a giant moneymaking conspiracy...tee hee!!

Momma said...

Lavinia - So true, isn't it? We get used to a thing and it's hard to change.

By the way? I ran into an Apple support person last night at Best Buy. He told me how to workaround my problem with the camera and my Mac. So I'm going to give it a go this evening.

Peace - D