Archive for December, 2011

RescuePro’s Amazing Customer Service

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

When we came back from South Africa and Botswana, I seemed to have an issue with one of my many SanDisk memory cards: On that card all the content seemed to be gone, but the file system seemed to be intact, and the card was working as designed; I could access the card without problems. I was completely puzzled as I never had that before. I was looking for help on the Web, and I came across LC-Tech, the company that offers RescuePro, PhotoRecovery, and FileRecovery – state-of-the art file recovery software for anyone experiencing file corruption. I downloaded the trial version, and I used it trying to recover the data.

Guess what? I have been able to recover the files fine, albeit not using the RecuePro tool (which I tried on other cards and it worked like a charm). In the end, it turned out to be all my fault. The card that was giving me the problems was a properly formatted, empty card I had never used before (purchased solely for this trip), and it turned out that I just believed that the data had been lost. In fact it was just the wrong card. Huh? Yes: One of the memory cards with the images had slipped deep into the camera bag into one of those dark corners of the bag, completely out of sight, and I found it only after emptying the bag. When I found that card, it was the card with all the missing images, and no need for rescue software!

The most amazing moment, however, happened long after that: Ray from LC-Tech called me (and left a voice mail) to check whether I had been able to successfully recover the data using RescuePro. That’s amazing, truly outstanding customer service. Just think of it – when was the last time a company actually cared about whether a user has been able to reach his/her goals? Must be a loooong time ago. Well, for me anyway.

Many many thanks to Ray and the entire RescuePro team! Both thumbs up! Should I ever come across a real loss of data, RescuePro will be my very first choice to recover my data.

Back from South Africa and Botswana

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

We’re back from our three-week-trip to South Africa and Botswana – a trip of a lifetime!

We rented a 4×4 at Johannesburg Airport and went to Hoedspruit, a town close to the western border of the Kruger National Park. Here we visited my sister-in-law, Ulla, and her friend Stefan, who both successfully completed the FGASA field guiding course  (Congrats again!). They may now officially work as “field guides” in National Parks and game reserves.

Then we stayed directly in the Kruger National Park for four nights, at the Letaba and Punda Maria rest camps, where we saw plenty of wild animals in the field: Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, Giraffes, Hyenas, Hippos, Zebras, Warthogs, Crocodiles, plenty of birds, and of course the ubiquitous Impalas. From there we drove up to Mapungubwe National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and crossed the border to Botswana to stay for a night in the bush. Then we traveled back to Johannesburg with stops in Polokwane and Pretoria.

After returning the rental car at the airport we flew to Maun (Botswana) and further on to Gunn’s Camp, an eco-friendly tent camp situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta that can only be accessed by boat or by aircraft – just one word: wow! Again, we saw plenty of animals enjoying the water streams of the Delta. After three refreshing days, with elephants feeding in front of the main lodge and Hippos walking through the camp (at night), we concluded our trip with a couple of days at the Chobe National Park, including a sidetrip to the impressive Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

I had brought the combo of EOS 1D mark III, the 24-70/2.8L and 100-400/4.5-5.6L which offers a very good compromise between image quality and weight. Together with Petra (and her beautiful Ricoh CX-1) I shot about 4,000 images. These will take some time to sort and edit, so I selected just a couple of random shots for you to enjoy in the meantime… :-)

Female Lion at Kruger National Park, South Africa

Hyena Pup at Kruger National Park, South Africa

Sunset at Okavango Delta, Botswana

Elephant feeding in the water at the Okavango Delta, Botswana

African Fish Eagle at the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Scenic Flight across the Okavango Delta, Botswana

A female lion attacks a Greater Kudu, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Female lion at Chobe National Park, Botswana

Oxpecker sitting on a Greater Kudu, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Fight between a male and a female Hippo, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Spoor of a lion, Makalali Private Game Reserve, South Africa

All images © Mark Zanzig/zettpress