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My technology keeps getting cleaner

My technology just keeps getting cleaner. Not intentionally, but accidentally. As my high-tech marvels get smaller, they fit more easily into my pants or sweatshirt pockets, which means it’s just one quick toss into the washing machine. Thankfully my BlackBerry and iPhone haven’t made this spin-cycle journey — yet.

Lets take a tally of my spotless and shiny tech items: I’ve had multiple compact cards run through the wash, rinse and spin cycles and even the dryer. The compact flash cards are really durable; I’ve dropped a few and haven’t lost a picture yet. They just become obsolete as photo file sizes get larger and as larger-capacity cards get cheaper. I just don’t have much use for my old 320-MB cards. That’s megabytes, not gigabytes.

Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

Add to the list my Sony ear buds: After multiple washes, they’re really pristine. After listening to music or a podcast while taking the dog for a walk, my sweatshirt pocket always seems like the perfect storage location. Maybe I should rethink my routine.

Of course, how can I forget my tiny Bluetooth headset? The only words that come to mind are “squeaky clean.” This product seemed to take a slight hit, but it still works.

You can start to realize why my last Framework post talked about tough, waterproof and shockproof cameras.

I took an unscientific poll at work and found that about 25% of the photographers have dropped one of their cards into the wash. Please don’t mention this to my boss. Losing, dropping or washing and drying your equipment isn’t considered too responsible.

Those compact flash cards fit perfectly in a pocket, after you fill one up and put a new one in the camera. They are so sturdy and seem to be impervious to a quick spin, but I don’t recommend it. Just use the recommended format option on the camera when you want to erase photos from the cards.

Nothing can top the story of naturalist and photographer Markus Thompson. He found a Canon Rebel while diving during a biological survey in Deep Bay, Canada. The camera was lost on the ocean floor for 440 days. After examining the data on the SanDisk Extreme III 2-GB card, he used Google+, which is similar to Facebook, to find the camera’s owner.

Here is Thompson’s original Google+ post trying to find the owner of the camera.

For Sale: Canon EOS 1000D
Description: only used underwater once, in the Pacific Ocean, for approximately one year.

“Actual story: found off the end of a wharf in Deep Bay, BC while I was diving (completing a biological survey) in the harbor. I removed the SD card, cleaned it up, stuck it in a card reader and after being underwater in a corroding camera since August 2010 – it works! Approximately 50 pictures on the card from a family vacation. If you know a fire fighter from British Columbia whose team won the Pacific Regional Firefighter competition, has a lovely wife and (now) 2 year old daughter – let me know. I would love to get them their vacation photos.”

Talk about a great use of the Internet — the camera, card and photographs were returned to their owner. I’m not sure there’s much chance of salvaging the camera, though.

The Canon Rebel camera that spent more than 400 days at underwater in Deep Bay, Canada. Credit: Markus Thompson

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman


  1. January 7, 2012, 5:58 pm

    I'm speechless.

    By: Curtis Plumb
  2. January 7, 2012, 8:13 pm

    that camera is toast ! video production san francisco

    By: tkffilms
  3. January 9, 2012, 5:55 am

    Wow, that is great advertisement for Canon gear! Who knew it was water proof?

    By: Deb P

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