July 16, 2004

Tale of an old VCR

Mum got a copy of "daddy day-care", on VHS today. Naturally I was then called upon to setup the required AV appliances to get it playing on our TV. Now normally this isn't much of a problem, except the VCR and our new TV haven't met yet, so configuration was required on my part.

Fine, I said to myself. Piece of cake, you have done much harder stuff. So in I come into the living room, VCR under my arm, expecting to be on my merry away in around 5 minutes.

Boy was I in for a surprise.

Firstly, when I said old, I mean OLD. As in, no AV outputs. The VCR sits between the aerial and the TV, and inserts its pictures into an unused channel. The trick to get it working is to find that channel. I brought up the TV's menu, located the proper setting, and told it to "auto tune" after setting the VCR to play so I know when the right channel comes up.

First pass from 40-800Mhz... nothing.
Second pass... nothing.
Third pass... nothing.

At this point I was about to give up. It takes 6 minutes for the TV to scan its entire range, and auto tune didn't find anything. Bah!

One more scan I thought. Just one more. I sat myself down in front the brain-killer, and set auto tune to work, watching the snowflake patterns as a fish would watch a lava lamp. At 592Mhz, my then bleeding eyes picked up the distinctive image of Eddy Murphy (sp?)! Aha, found it I thought, and waited with glee for auto tune to realise it has found a signal it doesn't already have and stablise. Only that didn't happen. Auto tune kept sat on 592Mhz, then kept going.

The world tripped over and fell on its face.

I stopped auto tune, after some choice swear words under my breath due to proximity of my mother, and manually tune the frequency to 592Mhz. My mother finally took notice and made appreciative noises, then called out for my cousin to join her.

I was given a lolli-pop for my troubles.

Wasn't that exciting? I thought so, you wished you were there, totally. To add to your growing excitement, here is a list of things I picked up today:
  • middle click on a tab in fluxbox allows you to group windows by dropping it onto another window.
  • aterm's transparency option doesn't work with qiv any more. One needs to use something like feh to set background
  • nestle is pronounced ne-sle, silent t, not l, hence, not nes-le

This informative blog entry was brought to you by a credit in ma1001, a distinction in ma1002, in conjunction with another distinction in phy1901.

Cheers,
Steve