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I took a picture of Iwo Jima veteran Ron “Rondo” Scharfe on Mt Suribachi and my camera locked with lens extended. An hour later coming off the black sands of the landing beaches I was locked out of my iPhone and the pictures there deleted.
The one trip I wanted everything to be smooth my tech melted down. Everything was charged, backup batteries were in tow. Dots, Lines & Destinations Episode 76 included a discussion on how many picture-taking devices is too many. Seth carries 5. I had 3 and was darn glad for the 3rd.
Also in this series:
- Packed for the Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary Charter
- Cabotage and Getting to Guam on a Delta Award
- Best Amenity Kit Ever – The United Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary
- Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary Symposium in Guam
- Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary Banquet in Guam
- Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary United Charter Flight
- Iwo Jima 70th Anniversary: The Island
My camera a Canon S100. A good pocket-size camera with GPS and manual controls that I have still not learned. I have used for several years with no issue. It turns out the S100 is plagued by a lens error problem that Canon repairs for free. After I snapped that picture on Mt Suribachi I heard the telltale error sound and the camera powered down with lens extended. No amount of jiggling, shaking and restarting would help. Next device up.
I was using my personal Moto X phone as I descended Mt Suribachi and walked the quiet eastern side of the island. As I looped around and headed to the landing beaches and commemoration ceremony I got the foolish idea to use my new corporate-issued iPhone 5S since that camera is reputed to be high-end for a phone.
It was foolish because I have never owned an Apple product and did not know the peculiarities of a device that assumes you know what to do and doesn’t bother explaining itself.
Since I received the phone a few weeks ago I had been using fingerprint ID. Coming of the beach my thumb was gritty from the sand and sweaty. After several failed attempts the iPhone demanded my 6-digit PIN. Uh-oh. I had only used it once and could not remember it in the heat of the day. I tried some likely combinations and none worked. As the attempts mounted it progressively locked me out longer. What I didn’t know is my company had enabled an iOS setting that does a security wipe after 10 failed PIN attempts. Never had heard of such a feature and wouldn’t have imagined a phone would do irreparable damage like that without warning. Again, my fault for not knowing my device.
I thought I had the right PIN when the device appeared to start. To my horror it went to device set-up which requires wi-fi. It was a nervous flight back to Guam to get wi-fi and confirm the inevitable that all my photos from that day had been lost. I tried several 3rd-party recovery programs to no avail. Fortunately most of the photos had been on my other devices and Apple can’t erase my memories of the beach.
Know your device before you rely on it. Don’t end up like me.