Costco Photo Centre, part II

So I got the photos back today. The service is pretty quick; I sent the order at 16:45, and had a ready-for-collection confirmation at 10:41 the next day. After braving the lines at Costco (no fun), I had a look at them.

The prints are pretty good; colour’s bright, everything’s sharp, and there’s no obvious digital artefacts. But I got a bunch of dupes (maybe those failed uploads didn’t really fail at all). If I needed pictures again in a hurry and cheaply, I might go for Costco, as long as it wasn’t for anything really important.

I’ll still thinking about a networkable photo-printer, though. CompuSmart had a demo HP Photosmart 8450 for cheap, but it had no cables or PSU, so was pretty useless.

Costco Photo Centre: cheap, but stupid

So I’ve got the holiday photos, and want to print them for those that like that. I’d used Future Shop in the past, but Costco is offering such cheap prints, I thought I’d give them a try.

Probably a mistake:

  • Their drag and drop uploader is an ActiveX control that only works under IE on Windows. Use any other browser, and you get presented with an old-school HTML form. For 94 pictures, that would get dull quickly.
  • The uploader transmits several images at once. It seems that if any of the uploads should fail, all the files uploading at that time also fail. Uploading a few at a time doesn’t seem to help much; around one in ten files will fail randomly.
  • While the uploader does warn you when an upload fails, it’s up to you to remember which files haven’t worked. Clicking Retry just takes you back to the uploader, and since it’s an embedded applet, there’s no browser history to take you back to note your failed uploads.
  • The albums store files in the order uploaded, and can’t be changed.
  • Long file names get truncated, and then get uselessly used as the title on the back.

Still, I’ll let you know how it all went when I get the prints in a couple of days.