Sunday, February 1, 2009

SUCCESS!! Thanks everyone!

I am very happy to let everyone know that the camera's owner has bee
n found!

This evening, a mere eight days after setting up this blog, I received the email that I--and lots of other folks here--was hoping for!  I will be sending the family's photos and movie clips back to them this week.  I will leave this blog site up until the end of February, just for folks that might be checking back in to see the great news!

Thanks, everyone, for all of your help in making this little project a great big success!  As I mentioned in my comments earlier today, the outpouring of great ideas and encouragement, both here and received via email, was absolutely amazing.  Thanks for helping to spread the word via other blogs, Craigslist, Reddit, Digg, Twitter and beyond. Working together, we used the internet to reunite someone with their lost family photos and, in the end, that's all that mattered. As somebody posted on Twitter, it was "one nerd's attempt at establishing humanity on the Internet". Well, this one nerd truly could not have done it without all of you!  Thanks! :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Found a Camera!

Here's the story...

This past summer, while hiking at The Basin in New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park, I spotted a shiny object at the bottom of the rapidly-flowing river, near the footbridge going to the Basin.  With some help, I was able to reach out far enough to retrieve it.  It was a Sony digital camera,
completely rusted out and totally destroyed, from months of sitting in the cold river.

Being the geek that I am, I decided to take it home.  I thought that, since memory cards are solid state (no moving parts), there might be a very slight chance that the photos could be somehow recovered, even though the camera had been submerged for months.  Plus, I thought, if I lost my camera and another geek found it, I would want them to at least try, right?

When I got home later that week, I took it out to my workshop and, using a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers, I carefully took the camera apart, trying to pull out the memory chip.  Since the camera was so corroded, I needed to literally remove the chip from the inside guts of the camera, being careful not to damage it.

The contacts on the chip itself were very corroded too, so I cleaned them up with some fine steel wool and contact cleaner.

Next, since I did not have any way to read a Sony MemoryStick, I took the chip down to my local photo center, to see if their card reader could find anything at all on the chip.
I was amazed to find 244 photos and 25 movie clips on the card! 

The next day, I borrowed a card reader, plugged it into my Mac, and successfully copied all 269 files off of the memory chip.


Below are a few of the 244 photos recovered from the memory chip.  In looking through all the photos, I believe these photos will be the most helpful in locating the camera's owner.

In order to prove the you are the owner of the camera, please email me ( the answers to the following questions.  These questions are directly related to the other photos on the camera (not seen here) and should be very easy to answer, if you are the rightful owner:


1. Name of the newborn baby and their date of birth?  (There were a few baby pictures on the memory chip and they were named with the baby's name.  I can guess when he/she was born based upon the date the photo was taken.)

2. Describe for me the school classroom.  (This should be very easy if you took the photos.)

3. Who's birthday cake was it?  (The name on the birthday cake in the photo and in the movie of the birthday cake.  Hint: February)


IMPORTANT:  I will not be answering any questions sent to this email address, or using it for any other reason but to reunite these photos with their rightful owner.

Again, the sole purpose of this blog is to locate the camera's owner and return their photos to them.  I do not want anything whatsoever in return other than the satisfaction of reuniting someone with their family photos.


UPDATE (2/1/2009): To keep this article at the top of this page, I will be adding comments to it, instead of creating new blog entries. Please check this article's comment section for the latest updates. Thanks!

The Photos...