Holi Special: Tips to avoid tech disasters

By Swapnil Mathur | Published 26 Mar 2013 17:19 IST
Holi Special: Tips to avoid tech disasters
  • So, Holi is here again, like every year and you're probably figuring out how to carry around your precious electronics, because let's face it, we just can't leave home without them.

It’s Holi, and there are rogue kids with ninja-like skills wielding water balloons instead of metal stars, with their sights set on you. There’s also probably a battalion of people on the streets armed with powdered colour, willing to toss it around like a grenadier hopped up on too much caffeine.

If you thought you weren’t safe, you have no idea how perilous this could be for your gadgets, but fear not! We have a guide here that should help you get through the day.

Camera Safety:
We all know how important it is to capture the madness of Holi at all costs. Some photographers we know spend hours layering their gear with plastic and tape seals to ensure no water seeps in, but you’re not a pro. All you have is a point and shoot and it needs to suffice. So here’s what you do to make sure it doesn’t go bad:

  1. If you absolutely must use a camera, make sure your hands are totally dry before lifting the camera or pressing any buttons.
  2. Water isn’t the only entity that can harm your camera, colours are too. So before pressing any buttons, make sure there isn’t granular residue on your hands.
  3. Avoid friends/relatives who are born with a penchant for tossing buckets of water at the drop of a hat.

In the event of a disaster, for example someone surprising you with a nice cold bucket of water while you were too busy making memories, keep the following in mind.

  1. Instead of wasting time yelling at said perpetrator, the first thing you much do is turn off the camera.
  2. Wipe camera down with a dry cloth and make sure to cover all nooks, crannies and crevices. Proceed to remove the batteries.
  3. Let the camera stand under the sun to dry for two days before turning it on again.

If you are lucky, the water would not have reached the sensor or the lens assembly. If you are luckier, then it would have just been clear water you got drenched with, not the kind mixed with colours. Particulate matter inside the camera tends to wreak havoc on the electronics inside, causing them to short circuit.

Lucky for us, there happen to be cameras that are built to withstand the abuse that Holi can bring on. There’s the Olympus’s Tough Series (TG-101, TG-201) and the Nikon Coolpix AW100. All these cameras can withstand not only being dunked in water, but can also survive drops from up to 6 feet.

Cell Phone Safety:
These are tricky little things. Cell phones are absolutely essential, as they can be quite handy in the time of a crisis or need, so leaving home without them can be near impossible for most of us. We recommend getting a zip-lock bag or two to always have your phone locked up in. If you thought that your phone doesn’t need protection because it is water resistant, think again. While the colour particles are enough to completely shatter your illusion, there’s also the possibility of accidentally leaving one of the ports unsealed, and we all know how much water loves to seep in through unprotected ports. So, you need to protect your phone and here is how you can do it:

  1. Store it in a zip-lock bag at all times.
  2. If you must use the phone, then prefer using it with a wired headset or a Bluetooth headset. Obviously, the headset should be taken off after the call is done. Do not play with the headset on.

In the event that your phone does encounter an unfortunate event of getting soaked, follow these steps to increase the chances of it surviving:

  1. Remove battery immediately. If your phone doesn’t have a removable battery, then shut it off. Don’t get caught up in sending one last message, or taking backups or what not. Just turn the damn thing off.
  2. Once the phone is off, remove whatever is removable from the phone.
  3. Leave the phone out in the sun to dry, screen side down.
  4. Once the phone has spent a couple of hours in the sun, transfer it to a bag full of rice. Rice bags have been known to absorb moisture from water-damaged phones, increasing chances of them working once the battery is plugged back in. Let phone marinate in said bag of rice for 3 days, at least.
  5. Pray.

Getting your electronics soaked is almost always a one-way street for your gadget. Ideally, we recommend leaving them all at home and not touching them till the colour carnage is over, but if you must insist, follow our tips above to have an enjoyable, destruction free Holi!

Swapnil Mathur
Swapnil Mathur

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About Me: Swapnil was Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor. Swapnil has moved-on to newer challenges. For any communication related to his stories, please mail us using the email id given here. Read More

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