I am the sole provider of TV and movie watching equipment in my apartment. However, most of that equipment has been acquired through garage sales or sales at discount stores. Needless to say, it’s not the most up-to-date.Recent complications have made me realize just how old they are.
For the past two years we have had my average size television in the living room along with my Wii and my combo VCR/DVD player. The latter was given to me by my mother about 3 years ago as a birthday present. She purchased at a local department store for about $30 because it was “on sale.” And now I know it was discounted for good reason. It’s a terrible piece of machinery.
I still haven’t transitioned into the Tivo/DVR world so I use a VCR to record must watch television programs. Yesterday, my roommate asked if I would record the last half hour of Oprah for her. (Okay, so maybe I wanted to watch the rest too.) I said I would and proceeded to press record. I then tried to turn the VCR off but it wouldn’t do anything. I got frustrated and shrugged the incident off, thinking I would figure it out later. Unfortunately, time did not heal this problem. A few hours ago my friend and I went to go watch the just released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 which I had pre-ordered just for the occasion, and I realized the VCR/DVD player would not turn on. It also would not eject the VCR tape or DVD. It just did nothing. I went into troubleshooting mode: Is it plugged in? Are the cords connected correctly? Did a setting get changed? Everything was exactly as it had been the past two years that we’ve used it, but it just didn’t turn on.
Do you ever wish you had a hammer to smash something to pieces with? I did. I also had thoughts on destruction by window tossing. I did neither. Instead I went to the internet for help. Unfortunately, my model had been out of circulation for quite some time, hence the aforementioned sale price. I found no help online. By this time I just came to terms with the fact that my cheap VCR/DVD player was dead.
As my roommate dismantled the VCR/DVD player to retrieve a DVD left inside, I started moving my DVD player from my room to the living room only to realize that the two were not cable compatible. Now the frustration really set in. After a few calming breaths I came to the conclusion that we would just have to watch movies on my tiny bedroom television and my Wii would have to go back to my mom’s house. It was a sad realization but one I had to accept.
Anybody who has had technology problems can probably relate to my difficulties and frustration. It seems like technology should just work no matter what. Now the question is: Do I replace the antiquated VCR? It’s all I’ve known, but quickly becoming extinct. Whatever I decide, one thing is for sure: My mom will not be buying me anymore electronic devices.