A Tale Told by an Idiot, Full of Sound and Fury,
Digitizing Nothing

Disclaimer: This is an overwordy uninteresting story that you most likely won't even bother to read. Sorry bout that.


For a while now I've been trying to gather up my freelance work that went on the TV and put it on the website. I have a bunch of things on VHS that I need to somehow convert to digital for the web or whatever. Somehow. Anyway, weeks ago I decide to actually get started on this project and I bought this Samsung thing at Circuit City that can record VHS to DVD to do the job. I schlep this thing home and it sits there unopened for two weeks mocking and staring at me. It knows I don't know what I'm doing. It knows I'm not even sure I even bought the right thing. It knows that I'm procrastinating.

I know stuff about computers but when it comes down to VCRs and DVDs and wires and 'VIDEO IN' or 'AUDIO OUT' hookups with the red white and yellow wires I'm pretty much lost. S-Video? What? I really dislike going behind my tv to do things because I'm totally on the hunt and peck hookup method. Basically I keep plugging stuff in here and there until something connects right. Plus everything is pre-tangled up knotty which makes me mental.

Finally I rip it open the box and start looking at this new fangled gizmo and dive into the wily wirey nightmare world. Of course, reading the instructions was out of the question because I'm too dumb to realize I'm not too smart as I think I am.

I finally get it hooked up ok and take out a box of newly purchased DVD-RW discs. I was psyched. I was finally going to make digital copies! I popped a disc in the drive. But there was a problem. The stupid thing apparently wasn't able to read the discs I bought. I didn't understand. Disc Error it keeps telling me. I kept popping it out and sticking it back in. I pop it out, clean off the brand new disc and put it back in. Nothing. Error. Finally I rip open the directions to see what's up and find out that there are actually two types of DVD RW discs. There are DVD-RW and DVD+RW. WHAT? SINCE WHEN? + and -! what? My unit could only read +RW! I had the wrong kind!

After a few days of procrastinating I headed down to the Radio Shack to buy new discs. I get to the disc section, and stare at it. Brainfarting loudly. Umm...  Did I need to buy +RW or -RW? Which one did I have again? I totally forgot what I had... and what I tried.... and what I needed. (I suspect the mad cow is kicking in finally.) I ended up flipping it all upsidedown in my head and ended up buying ANOTHER box of -RW discs! The kind I had that didn't work. I get home and see what I did and punch myself in the face mentally then immediately head back and get the right kind.

I get home and open up the disc eject and put in a +RW disc in there bouncing up and down like I have to pee. I was excited. But something was wrong. It can't read these discs either. I try another. Nope. Disc Error. Again! Just like the other discs! I doublecheck to make sure I have exactly the right kind. I do. DVD+RW! F**K! This thing is broken! It can't read any discs! My eye twitched. I tried everything. Nothing. I finally pack the stupid thing up and schelp it back to the Circuit City and return this thing. After waiting on a line a mile long (because there was only one person taking returns who was obviously pissed about being the only person there so she seemed to be intentionally taking her time) I got my money back and headed home.

A week or so later I pull myself together to order another one of these VHS/DVD. This time I buy a Sylvania from somewhere online. I've never bought anything from Sylvania before. Sylvania always struck me as a company that seems like it would be better off making toasters and blenders. Something about the name. Anyway, the thing arrives and it sits for a week because I don't want to get started with the wires again. Last time, I hooked up that Samsung unit, I made it happen strictly by luck. I didn't really learn how to do it so I was starting from scratch on the hookup level again.

I finally rip the box open and try to hook the new one again. This time I cannot get the thing to work at all. No matter what I did it couldn't seem to grab the signal from the TV. Over and over 'No Signal'. For days I'd dabble in fixing the problem on and off. No signal. No signal. No signal. Eventually, I wanted to pick up the whole entertainment unit and huck it thru the wall like Hulk. Instead of doing that, I called up a friend of mine (the one who leaves messes but knows alot about electronics) and I demand he come over at once to hook this up. I bribe him with the offer of buying beers afterwards. He comes over and hooks it up in 5 minutes (which annoyed me to know end). Plus he wouldn't tell me how he did it just to be a dick.

The next day I finally finally am ready to record the stuff off VHS to digitize it up. I have the right discs (I had both kinds after all) and I press Eject on the DVD side of the unit. Nothing happens. It says 'HOLD' on the TV screen. I tilt my head like a dog. I press Eject again. It tells me 'HOLD'. I take a deep breath and press EJECT. Then I press EJECT 500 more times. HOLD HOLD HOLD! Out of my mind, I call Sylvania customer service and am put on HOLD. I finally get someone and ask if there was something in particularly fancy I needed to do to eject the DVD drive. She told me no. It's pretty straight forward. It should open up. She told me it was broken and to return it. My eye twitched like nuts. I packed up the thing yesterday and dragged it down to the UPS store to send it back.

So I'm back to stage one. Gonna take another week off from this non-project before I get started again. I'm being punished for something I'm sure of it! The gods of electronics are totally against me! I know it! Maybe because I got a puppy the electronics are feeling neglected? Am I spending too much time with puppy and not enough with electronics? Maybe?

Just to be safe I'm gonna go pet my tv and give it scritchy scratch on the sides to try and set things right.

ok bye!