No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Question #41469 posted on 12/14/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I hope this isn't considered a computer problem question because I'm really desperate! I took a few videos on my digital camera, and they look fine when I watch them on my camera, but when I put them on my computer (as .mov quicktime files) they are totally black and you can't see anything. Is there any way to increase the exposure so I can see what's going on in them on the computer? I know you can do it with pictures, so is there a way to do it with videos, too?

- Drucilda

A: Dear Drucilda,

Sorry, but this is pretty much the prototypical computer support question. The problem is that there are just so many possible things that could be going wrong; it's nearly impossible for us to correctly diagnose the problem. (Is Quicktime installed on your computer? Did the files transfer correctly? Is there audio but no video, or is the file entirely blank? Does the black video seem to be the correct length? Is your monitor's brightness somehow turned down?)

And even once we've diagnosed the problem, the solution is going to depend largely on your particular configuration. (What kind of camera? Windows, OS X, or Linux? Do you need a hardware-specific driver in order to correctly transfer the files? Do you need a certain codec? And if you just want to increase the exposure without actually fixing the root problem, what software do you have available?)

Sorry, but as anyone who works with computers can tell you, it is very difficult to diagnose and solve a computer problem without being physically present at the computer. You wouldn't trust your health to a doctor who wanted to make all diagnoses by remote, hand-written letter. Your computer is no different.