Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The (soon to be) lost art of VCR taping

In the era of Tivo and PVRs, programming a VCR to tape something is quickly becoming a lost art. Luckily, I won't have to suffer through the pain of discovering I have lost the skill, as I never had it in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I am indeed capable of recording things. I've even done it from time to time, and am usually successful. Especially when it's for something like recording a whole season of 24.

However, with disturbing frequency, I eventually make some sort of mistake with the recording. It might be leaving the tape not-rewound three weeks in a row, and thus only getting part of the fourth 24 episode. Or, setting the start time to 7:58 and the end time to 8:02, instead of 9:02, thus recording only the first two minutes of my show.

So, why suddenly confess my ineptness at the seemingly simple task of programming a VCR to record a show? Well, I discovered some old 'Sent Items' e-mails that I have dutifully been importing into every MUA I've used over the years. One of the e-mails that struck me as funny tonight was from 1999 or 2000, when I had obviously apparently been directed to record something for Brenden:

Well...

I used to think that there were three important steps that needed to be completed before you could tape something with your VCR.

1) Insert a recordable tape, rewound to the appropriate position -- Check
2) Program the VCR to record the proper channel at the proper time -- Check
3) Turn off power to VCR before said proper time -- Check

I'm adding a fourth:

4) Make sure VCR actually has a connection to the cable. -- No check

Whoops. It dutifully record 40 minutes of static from 8:55-9:35 on saturday night to my inserted recordable tape. Sorry man. I sat down this morning to watch the episode, and was like "What the hell, why is this just static" "Uh-oh...Brenden's gonna kill me"


The moral of this post is "Don't ask Steve to record anything on the VCR without a suitable backup plan".

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