February 28, 2005 by Allen George
Death of a VCR
2 weeks ago my family and I lost our last, tenuous connection with the world of visual mass entertainment. Our VCR gave up the ghost.
We’ve been sans cable and broadcast TV for the past 5 years now. At first I missed the shows – Seinfeld, Frasier, the news, but I adjusted. And for those times we really needed our mindless eye-candy fix, we made do with borrowed movies from the Mississauga library system. Finally our VCR let us down. Immediately after watching A Beautiful Mind we decided to wile away the last few Friday hours with another movie.
Insert the tape, hit play and…”ERROR F05″.
If you own a Panasonic VCR this message is a death knell. Our VCR, having swallowed its last tape refused to stop, eject or power-off, leaving us no option than to pull the plug. By itself this would never have been an issue – but you must remember that we had a library owned tape inside – one that would cost us $20 to replace. Understandably we were ticked off about the state of affairs and called the Panasonic service center as soon as possible. Their solution was humorous to the extreme and a perfect example of getting caught between a rock and a hard place. Of course they could look at the VCR! It would cost us $30 unless we agreed to pay the costs of fixing the thing – in which case the examination charge would be waived.
Price of a new VCR – $80 at Future Shop.
On the Wednesday of the following week after returning from work I performed surgery on our VCR, manually ejected the tape and returned it to the Mississauga public library. We decided to buy a new VCR from Future Shop…but…somehow never got around to it.
Still haven’t missed it yet.