05 September 2012

Adding contact information to digital storage media

Following my own year-old post about backing up digital contents (pictures/videos) while on the go, I want to share a simple idea against the physical loss of digital storage media.

Unlike a mobile phone, when a digital (video)camera is forgotten somewhere, there is usually little or no means of getting it back to the owner. While the electronic device itself can be easily replaced, it is not the case for the digital content that has been stored on it. So, how about adding your own contact information to your digital storage media? If it falls in friendly hands then there are good chances it will be returned.

I came up with these ways of making our digital belongings:
  • handwrite an email address on the storage card (SD/SDHC, CF, TF, xD, ...) with a permanent marker, if there's room for it [your mobile phone may have been lost/stolen together with the camera, so just a phone number is not a safe idea]
  • create a README.txt or OWNER-INFO.txt file in the root folder of the storage card containing contact information, return info, reward, ...
  • create a digital picture containing contact information (the same of the README.txt file) and place it amongst your other pictures
The latter suggestion comes in handy if who rescues your lost device decides to browse through the content instead of plugging it to a computer. Imagine this: you find a digital camera on a bench, you check the content and find a picture showing owner's phone number, you call/text that number and return the device right away.
Oh, by the way, you don't have to edit the picture on the computer: write everyting on a large piece of paper and take a picture of it ;-)

Writing your details on the digital camera may make it less attractive for a future sale, but it can work as well as long as the card is not removed (i.e. for a sale). Remember that your main concern is to recover your memories, not the device itself.

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