Sunday, September 06, 2009

Home Tech

Low tech first. My remedial attention to the paper shredder worked ok for a wee while, but as I thought, it was broke. Dickie Smith had one for $30 on special. We bought it. It is already giving bother. How hard is it to make a paper shredder that works? Well at least more than a year or so.

We have a dual tuner digital recorder machine in the lounge room, the Topfield as it is known generally, or the Toppy we call it when is working ok, connected to the big tv. While it does amazing things, it is a problematic machine. R got the point about once I told him that it was like a computer. It must load once turned on, it has a hard drive, and it must shut down too. It gets befuzzled too, just like a computer. Switch off, restart and all is well.

But R bemoans that technology has gone backwards. Why can't something be recorded on this machine and then he could later watch it in his room, as he used to with a vcr. I mentioned about portable hard drives etc etc, but I did not really want to go to the effort of working all this out.

Again at Dick Smith's we spied a single tuner Topfield recorder at a good price. You cannot watch one tv show while recording another, but it is ok for his bedroom.

The good news is that in the year or so since we bought the first one, technology has improved muchly. It starts and shuts down quickly. The electronic on screen progamme listing loads quickly. So far it has not missed a beat. It is not a Freeview model, so it has the thirty second skip forward or backwards buttons, which bashes through ads and makes watching recorded commercial tv bearable. And rather than being at the mercy of a salesperson talking you into an expensive HDMI cable to connect the machine to your tv, it came with one. Full marks to Topfield with this model.


  1. Anonymous11:41 pm

    If your into techy things, Google on Topfield hacks - its an open operating system, lots of people have written stuff for it....worth a look.

  2. You're talking tech, you've lost me! I'm with R though, why can't I record something and take it with me ah la VHS? No technology should ever be pushed upon the masses inless it improves upon the old version in every concievable way. Most new gadgets do not satisfy this basic requirement.

    Also, the recorder was for R's bedroom... Not "our" bedroom, correct? So you mean to tell me you two are actually clever enough to give each other a little breathing room? Nice work!

  3. The perfect paper shredder comes free of charge..a child..yeah, give the papers to little Jo, and let her rip 'em apart, LMAO.
    Technology, isn't it amazing. As you point out, so much changes in the space of a year, even 6 months.
    I know it, even going back to when I began nursing 17 years ago in the hospital system. The implements we use, the way we test and calculate many things have differed.
    The items we use at home, technology just overwhelms us I think.

  4. Thanks Michael. I will take a look.

  5. It is a backward step Mutant. But I temporary one I think. Yes, separate rooms.

    Cazzie, she has already pulled shredded paper out and spread it around. I guess you would agree that some things are great improvements and some are not.

  6. Anonymous4:01 pm

    Mutant - I bet you know what all the buttons and controls are on the myriad cars you drive, and how to program the GPS, and set the time on the clock. It took me 3 days to figure out how to turn down the instrument panel lighting on my wifes Corolla when she got it...(yes, it was in the instructions, why wasn't it intuitively obvious...)

  7. You don't need a paper shredder.

    (I bought one for my mad mother and it shreds about 5 pages then becomes catatonic - much like her, so I figure they're a perfect match.)

    Soak the paper in a bucket of hot water, borrow a book from the local Mechanics Institute Library and introduce Li'l Jo to the delights of papier mache.

    You know you want to do it.

  8. Great idea LS. Can I come to your place and do it?

  9. I didn't even know these machines existed - where have i been?