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Hi there! Make sure the SD card is not locked. There is a tiny slider on the side. If is in the "down" position, the card cannot have new files saved to it. Move the slide to the "up" position, then reinsert the card.
If the slider is very loose, it's possible that inserting it into the camera slides it down, essentially making it useless. I have one like that. You could try a touch of superglue to make the slider harder to move, but I have never tried this and you would need to be very careful not to use too much, and to make sure it's entirely dry before putting it in your camera. Perhaps try a different memory card?
The best way to download pictures from your camera to your computer involves removing the memory card from the camera and plugging it into a card reader (either built-in to the computer or connected via USB or FireWire). This is likely to be faster than connecting the camera to the computer, and won't run down your camera's batteries.
Once the card is plugged in, it will appear to your computer as a removable drive. You can use the operating system's drag&drop facility to copy pictures from the card to the computer's hard drive, the same way you copy any other files. Or you can use any photo cataloging program, such as Picasa ( http://picasa.google.com ).