22 Jul 2008

Take a picture. Don't get taken.

So our neighbor has just got back from a trip to France. And she had a whole bunch of photos on her new digital camera. Well, she had...

Thing about digital cameras is there's not often a lot of difference between "delete this one photo" and "delete all photos in the camera, leaving nothing but a black screen and my empty, broken heart". Even with all my mad tech skills, I've been caught before.

So as the friendly neighbourhood computer geek, I took it upon myself to see if I couldn't undelete those pictures off the memory stick. Apparently the people in the camera store would do it for, oh, about fifty bucks. But I figured there had to be some free utility out there on the Internet to do it, right?

Oh my.

A pox, a pox, I say on all those opportunistic bastards who will sell you an undelete utility when you're really stuck. I downloaded a couple. One didn't work at all. One showed me the photos, but wanted me to pay to actually retrieve them. Then when I uninstalled, left some nasty spyware on my computer so Internet Explorer is popping up with dodgy foreign exchange deals every ten minutes. I'll be killing that one soon.

For an hour, I got to feel what it's like out there in inexperienced userland, where the Internet is a cesspool of links and advertising and programs that just don't work and mess you up when they fail. It wasn't cool.

I figured there had to be an open source solution. Someone must have an open source undelete, right? And those camera memory sticks are just hard drives far as the computer is concerned.

Brothers and sisters, I have found the answer to your prayers.

PhotoRec is an open source app for Windows, Mac and Linux. No spyware and it works a treat. And it's free. Works so well in fact that I ended up getting a nice bottle of wine for my troubles.

A big d1sc0r0b0t goat throw to the PhotoRec team. This one's for you: \m/

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