Thursday, December 11, 2008

Something's Lost, What's Been Gained?

It used to be that if there was something electronic to hook up, then I did it.
I could see in my mind how things were supposed to be. I kept the instructions close by to refer to, but even then it was afterward and only for confirmation that I’d done it properly.
For reasons I do not yet fathom this has all changed. Hooking up multiple recording machines is now beyond me. Granted things have changed since the old, glory days of two VCRs and a simple patch cord (coaxial cable).
DVD-Rs have three color-coded cords to worry about and they have to be hooked into the television.
Mr. Goat got me a second DVD-R for my birthday and I’m very pleased about it. Many favorite programs are on at the same time. Some went to the VCR and some to the DVD-R.
Now we can record even more. The annoying wrinkle is DVD-Rs can’t be hooked up together. They can be sent through a video selector which is also hooked to the TV. But they won’t record together, so we were told.
The only way we could do it was to get a second VCR to use as host for the new DVD-R. This involved splitters and a switcher and this is where it all left me. I could not see it in my mind. Mr. Goat drew a picture and took it to the store where he was told that he’d gotten it right, but also needed some additional bits.
Eventually he got it set up. The old and new VCRs are the same and the TV brand is made by the same co. Because the VCR had been unplugged the circuit was disrupted and the remote functionally dead. The new VCR’s remote and the TV remote operated the old VCR. Fixing this was easy. We unplugged the old VCR for about 10 seconds and re-disrupted the circuit. It’s fine.
The DVD-Rs are the same brand so the remotes work on both. This takes a bit of recoding. The instructions are provided. The display code that was supposed to come up for the new remote showed on the old DVD-R. Once Mr. Goat sorted it out it worked fine.
I still can’t get through my mind how everything is connected, but it doesn’t matter. I hit two buttons when I want to view things on the old machines if I’m currently using the new ones.
Everything records as it should. Everything works.
But I wonder why it has to be so complicated. Why can’t it be that we can simply patch one DVD-R into the other? Why must they have a parasitic relationship to a VCR?
What possible good does that do the DVD-R makers?
All that said I am really quite pleased to have a second VCR, too. I have things on tape, like all but two episodes of the real Star Trek series, that I want to watch again and again and again.
I also wonder why I can’t fathom electronic connections like this anymore. Surely something wonderful has taken its place, but it hasn’t shown up yet.
On the good side, that’s something to look forward to.


Hilary said...

I'm so surprised! You're the last blogger I'd have imagined who would want to record and view enough television to require two setups. I'm still in the VCR era myself, but don't we Canucks have something similar to the Amurikan's TiVo by now? Pretty sure we do.

Tom Rooney said...


Again, welcom to 50. What you've just been through is a reflection of age. I'm an IT person and still go to my kids to make sure I got things right on my cell phone. I'm sure this is a plot to keep us in our place.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary, it's the fault of network programmers who put all the good shows up against one another. We wouldn't need anything if they'd co-operate instead of battle.
I think we have TiVo or the like available. Not sure I can cope with it.

Tom, I feel somewhat better now. It's difficult to accept this loss graciously, but of all the things that could go, I can be okay with this one.

the Bag Lady said...

Well, hell's bell's, cousin, you lost me with the first DVD-R!! I, too, have always been the one in charge of the electronics, but I don't record much television, so when our old VCR died, I cheated and bought a DVD/VCR combination that will record either way. I've had it almost a year now and still haven't figured out all the things it's capable of.....

Leah J. Utas said...

dfBag Lady, the combos sound convenient, but if one side needs work the whole thing goes to the shop.
And I still find our set up confusing as hell.

Mark said...

Ahh yes technology! I am with Tom..check with the kids. They know best! :)

Leah J. Utas said...

If we had kids we'd never have to worry about tech problems again.
Of course, we'd have all those other worries...

Thomma Lyn said...

Ai yi yi! I understand, Leah. I'm in the same boat. I'm glad my hubby is a techno-whiz! :-D

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, TL. It was tough to see that ability go. It's good to have someone around to get it done.

Missicat said...

My head asploded just reading that...Just got a new Blackberry Bold (as a gift!) and have figured out the camera part! yay me!

Reb said...

When I switched to the new provider, I have to have two for the vcr, and one to watch from. Of course, one remote works both, so there is lots of getting up and changing channels manually...can't wait for the contract to be over so I can switch back.

Leah J. Utas said...

Missicat, good for you. What you've done is beyond me.

Reb, it'll be over soon. I remember the Ancient Times before remotes. I often think of them now when as I have to switch the selector boxes manually.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Congrats to you and Mr. Goat for muddling through. I am not the primary hooker-upper of things, but we tag team when the Lobster gets frustrated.

This sounds beyond either of us, however.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Crabby. I am so happy it works.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

Like df Bag lady, you lost me at DVD-R, but at least now we know who to call. ;)


Leah J. Utas said...

df Terrie, LOL.