RTFM

I was well and truly backed into a corner.

Some folks may recall my having complained last August about having had my camera slightly mis-set so that the first half of the pics that i took during Edward’s wonderful Amsterdam by Boat tour were sent to internal memory in the camera and thus could not be accessed while i was in Amsterdam because i didn’t have the cable with me. Ummm, yes, and then returning to the States and discovering that even with the cable i couldn’t get to those pics.

But i got distracted and didn’t pursue this issue. And then yesterday i accidentally got the camera slightly mis-set in the same way as last August and discovered 94 pics hidden in the camera that i could see. So seething with curiosity i managed with a great deal of thrashing around and gnashing of teeth to get them copied onto the hard disk of my computer.

But then i was unable to delete them from my camera, and the camera’s internal memory was full. Oh, and i examined every menu on the camera and looked at every button and switch. What if i suddenly need that internal memory?

And then i sat here weeping bitter tears because i knew i was beaten, crushed, utterly defeated. And even though it is common knowledge among the documentation community that all technical writers, working or retired, enjoy a lifetime exemption from the RTFM rule, the little Lumix had me by whatever it took until the end of our lives, whichever came first, and that i was going to have to RTFM.

To quote Ivan Ilyich’s widow, “You cannot imagine how i suffered.”

Actually, the suffering started when i began hunting for the manual. I mean i knew it was in a safe place. And sure enough, one of my file drawers had a folder labled “Lumix”, where i found manuals for my big DMC FZ50 and the little DMC-ZS1 that i’d fumbled, dropped onto the concrete in front of me, and run over with the Segway, from which i’d been able to salvage only the memory card, the battery, and the carrying strap. But no manual for its replacement, the DMC-ZS6.

After a frantic search i discovered that someone had copied onto the Desktop of my PC, an online user manual for the ZS6. Wonder when that happened.

So then all i had to do was penetrate the brambled thicket of exposition defending the secrets of the camera’s internal memory operation from outsiders, and i finally did. And while i was in there i also read a bit about taking closeups. Like this Euphorbia buplurifolia blossom. And this is just my first attempt, but to give you an idea, the wingspan of the outer green bracts there is about a centimeter.

Euphorbia buplurifolia

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