Friday, January 13, 2012

Electronic Dementia

This has been a tough week - watching one of my loved ones slipping deeper and deeper into senility, and helpless to prevent it.  Which loved one, you ask?  My cable box.

First it started to forget to record my regular programs.  Then it started wiping out already recorded shows well before their expiration date.  Next it prematurely terminated recordings I'd manually programmed, stopping halfway through the plot.  Finally it denied knowing how to access live TV.  For most of the week I was able to bring it back by rebooting, but last night even that didn't work.  My little buddy had apparently stroked out.

I called my cable provider, worked through the automated menu (which told me to do all the things I'd already done), and finally got a live person, who rebooted the box remotely.  No improvement.

Today a repair person came to check out the situation and confirmed my diagnosis - the box had lost a good portion of its tiny mind.  She left a new box and took my old friend away.

I'm devastated.  It wasn't just a cable box - it was a cable box containing Ratatouille, Up, the latest Masterpiece Classic, and 40 episodes of French in Action.  Maybe it's time to invest in an external hard drive for backup.

"Defect-free software does not exist."  ~Wietse Venema

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