Nice when things just plain work

I’ve been lamenting the loss of my camera for quite a while. Lisa took pity on me and long-term-loaned me her Sony Cybershot DSC-P30 camera. It’s a simple 1.3megapixel camera, with an optical zoom, 128meg memory stick, and 1280×960 resolution. Fine enough for most of what I want to do, and will hold me over until I can really get my true dream camera.

Anyway, one of the things I was worried about was that the Sony uses a “Memory Stick” – a proprietary format that only Sony manufacturs. They’re not any different from any other small medium, but making anything that reads or writes from them requires some sort of unholy legal contract with Sony, so the number of public readers for these devices is somewhat limited.

But lo, on the side of the camera is a normal mini-USB port. “I have USB”, sez I. So I plug a spare cable into the camera, jack it into my little mini-hub, and watch to see what happens.

I had tried this once before with an older camera, and wasn’t pleased with the results. This time, however, things Just Plain Worked. Linux happily recognized the camera as a ‘mass storage device’, and brought up the active device:

USB Mass Storage device found at 4
usb 1-1: USB disconnect, address 4
usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using address 5
scsi3 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Vendor: Sony      Model: Sony DSC          Rev: 3.28
Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
SCSI device sda: 253696 512-byte hdwr sectors (130 MB)
sda: assuming Write Enabled
sda: assuming drive cache: write through
/dev/scsi/host3/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi3, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured

This is the message that normally comes up when a USB mass storage device is added to the system (the USB stack uses the SCSI driver for block device access).

A quick filesystem mount, and I was able to read and write files to the memory stick (which, btw, was still inside the camera) just like it was another drive on the system. This is identical to the way my Sandisk pen drive is used, so this was all familiar territory.

I copied off a few sets of pictures, and finally, after almost a year away from it, I’m populating my picture archive again. Of course, one of the first pictures had to be a pic of the snowstorm we had last weekend. This particular one is after our second snowfall yesterday, which dropped another 5″ of snow or so. The unfortunate vehicle here is my mothers Subaru station wagon, which lives here over the winter while she’s away in Florida. Hi mom!


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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