NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2006
President's Corner
by Bill Moeller, President
(click to email author)

“In baseball the franchise player is the one that if he leaves the club the franchise is lost. Today we saw an example of the franchise player for the NWAPCUG.  It is Bill Shook and his work on the newsletter. Without Bill's efforts in generating a quality publication I believe the club would go down the drain just like a ball club when it looses its franchise player. All the rest of us who work for the club really do nothing compared to what Bill does.”

John Clark was perhaps being a bit too modest when he penned these words, but there is truth in what he says. Although this was not his intent, Bill Shook in his June presentation on the newsletter painted a clear picture of the effort and dedication that he brings to the task of producing twelve great newsletters a year, year in and year out, for our club. We all owe a great deal to these two gentlemen.

Shift gears. New Subject.

This past month I had an experience with one of the major players in electronics and digital photography that I would like to pass on for whatever it’s worth. Sony, as I’m sure you know, received a lot of bad press this past year for various reasons, so much so that it was chosen Worst Company of the Year by PC World. Here is my countervailing story.

Two and one-half years ago I bought what might be the best camera I have ever owned—a Sony DSC-F717. Last month, when I grabbed it from its place in the sun to record some construction details on my daughter’s new house, it was useless. The images were completely washed out, and no adjustments I could make, either before or after the exposure, did anything to make things better.

After checking available options, I fired the camera off to Sony for repair along with my check for two hundred thirty dollars, flat rate for the repair plus taxes. Nine days later, I received it back, good as new, along with my voided check. The invoice showed that parts had been replaced and the repair charged to one of Sony’s marketing units. Net cost to me, twenty dollars for shipping to the repair site.

What happened here? I will never know for sure, but I suspect some combination of my leaving the camera in its gadget bag in a hot car parked in the sun, and one or more overly heat-sensitive components in the camera. Admittedly, there was a known problem with this model camera which Sony had agreed to correct for anyone who asked, but it was in the movie mode of operation, not the still mode. My movie mode worked fine, it was the still mode which had failed, so I did not ask for any special consideration.

Whatever, this experience paints for me a different picture of Sony than all the bad press and negative awards they have received during the past year.

See you at the JCF on the 15th.

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