Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Comedians of the Late 80's Could Have Done a Routine About Grandparents Having This Problem

I used to think I was technically savvy. At least a little. I could program any device I bought and the end result would be pretty. Well, not pretty, but at least functional.

For example, being able to set up my television from the early 80's (it is cable ready but has no other input/output jacks) to two gaming systems, a DVD player (with surround sound), and a VCR proved to myself that I could understand the electronics that have taken over our world. Sure, it takes two adapters and the cables behind the entertainment system seem to snake out more than Medusa's head, but hey, it worked.

Or so I thought. The gaming systems work. The DVD player works. The surround sound is good (although kept quiet due to the fact I live in an apartment building and unlike my upstairs neighbors I have some respect for others). The television shows all the channels, including those I didn't realize I had. The VCR even plays old tapes. Or did the last time I actually tried to watch a VHS movie.

This setup seems absolutely ridiculous if you knew my personal habits. I rarely watch TV. I don't play many games. My addiction to watching movies has declined. Now that I live alone, I find myself a larger fan of music than of television and have gotten into the habit of listening to iTunes shuffle. The television shows I do watch are typically shown through the computer. Heck, the picture is usually better on the laptop screen. The TV is that old. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure it was a gift for my 8th birthday. That was over 20 years ago. The remote stopped working at least 5 years ago. I might still have it somewhere (because it is for the TV and it would feel odd to my pack rat personality to make it part with its master) and I've vaguely considered having the remote looked at. Maybe the bulb just failed in it. Who knows? Not I.

But back to the subject. I used to think I was technically savvy. That was until I decided to try and record something. That something would be LOST, one of three television shows I actually watch. Since my season pass for the show on iTunes has been allowing me to download episodes only after I leave for work on Thursdays and since the conversations about the show happen at karaoke Thursday nights, I thought it might be nice to be able to watch the show on Wednesday evening after work.

My VCR will play movies. But record? I cannot figure this thing out. The more I mess around with it, the more I'm coming to believe it is impossible. But I'm pretty sure a child of 6 could figure it out.

Which makes me feel incredibly old. At least I was able to set the clock on the VCR.