Friday, July 14, 2006

All These Upgrades Have Got Me Down

Every once in a while, a news report comes out promoting the latest technology. Some make sense, like, years ago, e-mail, and more recently the hybrid car. (Although I thought it made more sense when a group of college kids converted their vehicle to burn cooking oil--an energy source diners and fast food joints give away for free.)

But so many are just an expensive way to fix something that wasn't broken. Take dvds. What was wrong with VCR tapes? The big deal was that you could skip to scenes without pressing rewind or fast forward. I can just imagine consumers everywhere--in the old days--saying, "If I have to rewind to my favorite scene again, I'm going to go ballistic. I haaaaate rewiiiiiinding!@#$!"

The great thing about VCR tapes was they didn't get scratched. Every DVD Justin and I watch ends up breaking during a crucial scene.

First it was "Open Water," the movie about a scuba diving couple that gets left behind by their boat in shark infested waters. We watched them turn out the lights at their suburban home, tying up lose ends at work, complaining about their hotel room, trying on funny sunglasses, and finally petting fish while scuba diving. All this was excruciating, but we put up with it knowing that we'd soon see them fight off sharks.

The boat people miscounted the passengers and took off. One passenger commented that he saw a shark. The young couple emerged from underwater, took off their mask and asked, "Where'd our boat go?"

Then the movie broke.

"Noooooo!!!!" I cried. I felt like I was being attacked by sharks. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But it was disappointing.

Last night, we watched "The Closer" with no sound, relying entirely on Russian subtitles. Okay, they were English, but we didn't know who was saying what.

"What was wrong with VCR tapes?" Justin asked.

Nothing, except that people stopped renting them out.

Now, there's Tivo or whatever they call it in your neck of the woods. The technology that allows you to save T.V. shows for later. Newspapers asked if it was the end of serendipity, spontaneity, T.V. dinners, rushing home for your favorite show and discussing it at the water cooler the next day. As far as I'm concerned, it was only the end of taping shows on your VCR tape. I don't see what's new about it.

The same thing happened with my e-mail account. It used to keep a separate folder for my spam. You know, so that I could buy my xanax and give my bank account number out to the nigerian politico when it was convenient for me. No more. The new upgraded e-mail package offers spam protection, but not my old e-mail account, which was just fine. Until it stopped screening for spam.

I'll never know what happened to that poor couple at sea. But I know that their airconditioner was broken in their hotel room. They should have upgraded.


Anonymous Mom said...

Very cute!!! What happens is that they were both eaten by sharks and never missed! It ended with a question? I hate those endings!

6:32 AM  
Anonymous PVandyke said...

MAybe the two people ate the shark and survided using his carcass as a boat...think about it

7:30 AM  
Anonymous lexi said...

copy and paste this link for the real skinny on what happened.

personally, i thought the movie was stupid so i think you're lucky that the dvd stopped. and i wish i had tivo. but then i would watch way too much tv that way. i think when the world upgraded to CABLE, nevermind vcrs, that's when things went terribly wrong.

6:26 PM  
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6:29 AM  

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