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Dec 11, 2009


 It's that time of year again. I find myself rushing around with lists of things to do. I need to get the Christmas cards written and sent out to my list of friends and family. This year, we decided to send a family photo, which is what a lot of people do in this area. The photo is sometimes a Winter scene of the family next to some trees covered with snow. Or, you might get a family holiday picture that was taken in the Summer. These types of Christmas photos can be designed and printed very easily in places like Walmart. Well, there is a Walmart just around the corner from us, so I find myself there every two or three days. I went there yesterday to get the Christmas cards done. I took a little, plastic device called a 'Cruzer' which stores pictures or other information from your computer. I went to the photo area of the store and waited in line to use one of the machines. I must say, these machines are very cool. You can plug in one of many different storage devices, and print out photos, documents, calendars, key chains, and even permanent stickers for your cups. If you want to give Grandma a coffee mug with a picture of her grandchildren on it, then, that is the machine that you need to use. The lady in front of me finished and I touched the screen to start the process, putting in the Cruzer at the same time. I waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing happened. I examined the Cruzer and realized that it's edges were too big. The part of it that inserts could not go in properly. Hmmm. My only option was to buy another storage device. 

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary and expressions: a scene, a device, to find oneself...


The artist's new picture was a Western scene of cowboys and horses.

The calculator is such a useful device. I can add up my expenses so quickly!

I find myself dreaming of a beach holiday quite often.

They found themselves lost in the cave and without a flashlight.

He found himself locked out of his house.


Okay, so I needed to buy another small storage device so I could download my photos onto it, go back to Walmart, and upload them into the printing machine. At least I was in the right place to buy a storage device. I either needed to buy something similar to a Cruzer, which is, wait for this, a flash memory data storage with a USB interface, or, more simply, a USB flash drive. Or, I could opt for a memory chip. So, I bought the latter. Gosh, I really need to learn more about computers; the vocabulary seems to be from another planet! Let's just look at the USB flash drive and try to understand it's title. USB is short for Universal Serial Bus; it is the standard connection between a computer and other devices, such as a mouse, or a digital camera. Okay, so what does flash memory mean? It means computer storage that you can erase and reprogram. It replaces a floppy disc, which, as you probably remember, was a disc just like a CD. Flash drives are tiny and can be carried conveniently, even in your pocket. I came back to Walmart after downloading my pictures, and slipped the memory chip into the machine without any problems. I scanned through the photos, chose the one I wanted, added a Christmas message, and printed out thirty of them. Simple! The next time I will know which storage device to use.

Grammar notes.

Practice of computer vocabulary:


I uploaded my photos and documents onto the website; now everyone can see them.

I downloaded a new photo editing program from the internet for free.

We don't use floppy discs anymore; we use flash drives.

My computer is full of viruses; I need to buy an antivirus software.

My computer's hard drive has lots of space for programs and games of all sorts.