Friday, February 14, 2014

Thoughts on technology...

I was working on a computer in the early 80s when a portable computer was the size of a sewing machine and weighed more than a box of bowling balls and "reboot your computer" was the best fix when it broke down.  We programmed in DOS so I'm fairly comfortable with computers.  I've learned a ton of software over the years and still use a lot of it now that I'm retired.  I have a good 17" Dell laptop for editing photos in Corel and Elements.  When my husband has problems with his computer he always calls me first and I'm usually able to figure out what's happened and can get it fixed.

I have an electronic cutter that combined with my computer and software, allows me to design files to cut in paper, card stock and vinyl.

I have a home recording set-up that allows me to transfer all of our VHS tapes (we had hundreds) to DVDs because we ran out of storage.  I have a VCR that probably won't be around much longer, a BluRay DVD player so I can watch DVDs in my craft room, a DVD recorder for recording from the VHS player, a gizmo to stabilize video to make old tapes look a little better, a splitter so I can choose either the VHS player or the BluRay player to watch - and a Samsung TV.  And I hooked it all up myself.

I spend a lot of time in my craft room so I can pop in a VHS tape and hit record on the DVD recorder, pop out the DVD, put it in a case in the DVD cabinet and place the VHS tape in a box for storage.  Pays to have a backup of tapes that deteriorate every time you watch them.  Finding a good new DVD recorder without a VHS player in it is virtually impossible in the U.S.  The movie industry in their zeal to keep people from duplicating their DVDs have stopped the electronics industry from selling them individually.  When you buy a DVD recorder with a VHS player in it, you double your chances that something is going to break on you, one side or the other.  Electronics are designed to be thrown away, they are too expensive to have them repaired compared to the cost of buying new.  But that's the way of the United States, we're a disposable society.

I am in that position now.  My Panasonic DVD recorder is on the fritz.  I was unable to record Justified on Tuesday night (oh, the pain!) and finding someone to fix a Panasonic DVD Recorder was a treat. referred me to three companies, two in Illinois and one in McAllen, Texas.  One company in Illinois had six reviews, almost all negative - too expensive, took too long and finally couldn't repair.  One is over an hour away but no bad reviews so I guess we'll try to get the Recorder repaired there.  I'm amazed at how lost I am without it.  In the meantime (thank goodness for e-bay) I purchased another Recorder like mine as a spare and to use until my original one is repaired.  I will edit this post to add information about the shop we're going to, their prices, and what electronics you can have repaired there.

BTW, I still don't have a cell phone.  

Updated:  The shop in Abingdon, IL, Bradshaw's Repair Service was reasonable in price and the time it took to repair the DVD recorder.  And the upside, The Packing House in Galesburg serves a primo burger. 

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