Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Keeping up with Technology

I hate to admit it, but my husband and I are "technically challenged." I barely knew how to turn on a computer when I returned to college back in the 90's, then progressed to complete a year in desktop publishing. I spent all that time learning a program that now has been replaced by something more advanced. Just when you think you are getting the hang of something, they change it!

Now I hope this doesn't sound disrespectful, and he would be the first to tell you this, but my husband is not the "computer guy" of the family. He uses it to write prayer letters, send emails, check his bank statement, and occasionally plays a game with the girls. He is not real fond of it. So he comes to me when he needs help with the computer. The other day we needed to look for a new "cassette" player because ours finally quit working--and my husband has a collection of at least 300 sermon tapes from way back when, that he swears he is going to listen to someday (even though we usually download sermons from the Internet now). I wasn't sure if they still made them--but we found one with a CD player--"look, it plays MP3's," he points out to me but isn't really sure what they are because we haven't upgraded to that yet. I know it will be just a matter of time.

Likewise, we really don't know that much about DVDs, or the newest in TVs etc. because we really don't use them much except for our home school curriculum, or to watch creation seminars, Andy Griffith, or Little House on the Prairie shows. If we need to fast forward, search, or pause the program we hand the remote to our nine year old daughter Rebekah.

Recently my husband got the neat idea that we should copy the Creation Seminars, which this particular preacher does not copyright his material and openly allows people to copy his material so they can be used to spread the gospel, so my husband ordered the DVDs from the states in Spanish so we could give them to friends, college students, and people here in the Canary Islands who showed an interest in the subject. Next we needed a DVD recorder, so we went to several stores here and found one for a decent price and brought it home. Mission accomplished! Now all we needed to do is hook up a few cables; it should be simple, at least that is what they told us in the store. Several hours later, my husband decides to invite our neighbor up to take a look at it. After all, he is younger than we are and should be able to do it with no problem.

"I think you may have a problem with the signal here--it needs to be programmed into your DVD recorder," he tells us, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Also, you need a special adapter since your other DVD player is from the states. So we head off to the electronic store, and my husband runs in while the kids and I sit in the car--he returns 45 minutes later.

"The guy was showing me how to hook it up on his TV." I am relieved he now has some more advice on how to do this thing.

"But we may have a problem--the technician told me that DVDs in the states might not be compatible here on the European DVD players." Compatible? I can't really understand this because aren't they all made in Japan or China? We get the great idea that perhaps if we buy one of the Spanish TVs with a built in DVD player, we can hook our Spanish DVD player into that, and they will all agree with each other-- and be all set.

Off we go to the department store to find one for a good price; they think the one we want is in stock, but it will take half an hour for them to locate it. By this time we are tired and hungry and decide to go home. While we were stuck in a traffic jam on the highway it occurs to me that I read somewhere that there are different formats for DVDs in different parts of the world--something to do with region codes. Is it possible that this DVD that we are trying to copy won't even work in the Spanish players? I ask myself.

I am sure there is a very simple solution to this, and the answer is right in front of me. But I am too tired to look it up on the Internet and find the answer--my brain doesn't feel like learning any more technology. I am tired of reading instruction manuals. Not only do you have to program the DVD player, but you have to program the TV, as well as the remote with a code to match the TV!! Ughhhh--why can't they make things more simple. Meanwhile my husband is in the living room for another few hours trying different things to no avail.

Finally my husband calls it quits, but he brings me this dusty old relic he found in the TV cabinet.

"Whose is this?" handing me this clunky black camera. Lo and behold, it is our 35mm camera, with an undeveloped roll of film still in it. "Can you still get the film processed for these?" he asks.

"Yes, but why in the world would you want to use it when I have a digital camera?" I reply. He continues blowing the dust off it, and seems happy with his new discovery. "I am going to keep this and load a roll of film into it--he informs me. At least I know how to use it." He feels comfortable with it like an old friend.

1 comment:

Sara N. Smith said...

Oh dear - yes, technology brings so many dilemmas and woes sometimes!!! *smiles*