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Putting Tech to the Test

LAS VEGAS - Those of you who have followed this blog for the week may have noticed that there really weren't many images the first day or so. There's a reason for that - and a few people to thank for making sure that my digital photos were transmitted from Vegas back to Washington.

I came to the show with a few technical shortcomings on the multimedia front. Namely, I failed to bring the docking station for my Casio camera. Also, Internet connectivity at this show is in short supply because bandwidth is in serious demand, as you can imagine. So uploading photos - and particularly video - has been a major challenge.

What's a blogger to do? On the other hand, where else but this show could one solve such a problem?

Enter Jon van Bronkhorst, Seagate Technology's product line manager (pictured on the right). His data storage company doesn't make the necessary goods to help me access the SanDisk memory card in my camera, but he was willing to take on my challenge. We decided the solution must exist right there on the show floor, using whatever technologies on display.

The biggest stumbling block was just accessing the photos on a laptop from the memory card. Seems so basic, right? Wrong.

Treo phones can read them, but the wireless connections aren't robust enough here to transmit such huge files. Two laptops I tried didn't have the ability to see the files. Besides, everyone we encountered used a BlackBerry.

Then we found Jeff Thomas, who was working a neighboring booth for Neatreciepts, a company that makes lightweight scanners. He happened to be toting a bag full of wires and things, including a SanDisk reader that connects to USB ports. We took this over to Steve Owens' booth. Owens (pictured on the left) is vice president of auto-backup company Memeo, which has a business relationship with Seagate. So van Bronkhorst cashed in a chip for me and asked Owens to loan his booth's laptop and high speed connection.

Access granted, email accessed, and files transfered, albeit slowly. It took the ingenuity and resources of three enterprising attendees, but I got my photos sent for the blog. Sure beats taking a late night cab to Kinkos to try the task, anyway.

Special thanks to van Bronkhorst, Owens, and Thomas's SanDisk reader.

By Yuki Noguchi  |  January 10, 2007; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  CES 2007 , Yuki Noguchi
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

You could have stopped by the Yahoo! Big Scoop tent where they had offered a multicard reader and instant web access though they wanted users to upload to Flicker. Plus you could get a scoop of free Stone Cold Creamery ice cream.

Posted by: Mike D | January 11, 2007 2:07 PM

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