If you've ever used a 35mm film camera, you know it means buying film and having it processed with special equipment. The typical roll of 35mm film lets you take two or three dozen photos, which are permanently exposed onto the film. When you're ready to see how your photos turned out, you take the roll to a lab for processing, which takes less than an hour. With the time, cost and uncertainty about how the pictures will turn out, you might limit taking photos with a film camera to special occasions.

With today's digital cameras, though, you can take hundreds of photos, and you can see immediately if you like them or not. You can delete the ones you don't like, and save only the ones you want to save or print. Digital cameras continue to improve in quality and durability, making it convenient to take great photos anywhere any time. In fact, one of the most common places you'll find digital cameras today is built into mobile phones.

If you use the Internet, especially social networking Web sites, then you know you can post photos from your digital camera to share with your friends online. But how to you get them to your computer in the first place? If you had the 35mm film camera, you would have to use a digital scanner to scan each print and create a digital copy. With the digital camera, though, you make the transfer by connecting your camera to your computer or by moving the flash memory card itself from your camera to a peripheral attached to your computer.

How do you make that connection? How is it different if you're using Mac, Windows or Linux? How do you organize those photos and prepare them for printing or posting online? This article helps you answer these questions and more for a variety of digital camera and computer combinations.