Thursday, November 1, 2007

WIN (VHS style)

Wal has been dying to see My Twentieth Century since before I met him. (For any out of the loop? He's a big film buff. And he's got the credentials, too : D ) He saw a preview for it once, and its surreal imagery - even from that brief exposure a long time ago - is very important to him. Unfortunately, it was never released on DVD, and none of our semi-obscure VHS sources (thanks, local arty university) were able to supply it. He was lucky enough to find someone selling it on ebay. He COUNTED THE DAYS until it would arrive, with excitement mounting to, frankly, disturbing levels. (I love you, Wal!)

His first disappointment was the beat up box. Like new, wtf? Even worse, though, was pressing "play" only to have nothing happen.

I go to check out the tape, and find, well, this. You can sort of see why, if there's no tape there, nothing would really, play, so much. You can see from the outside that there's basically just a break in the tape. I offer to fix it (having never done so before, but figuring - as I often do to shoddy or dangerous results - that it would be easy and would not take long), but tell him that he should save the package and get a refund from the eBay dude. Said eBay dude agreed to send another, and indeed, it came in pretty short order. You can imagine our horror when...ALSO BROKEN. Obviously the gods watching over this batch of VHS tapes were asleep on the job. As I discovered later, it was the original joining of the film to the reel that had failed, when the adhesive apparently quit. Maybe moisture in whatever basement "warehouse" these were in?

I half-assedly google researched it (heh). I didn't really feel I needed a how -to, but did discover that the downfall of VHS splices are invariably the adhesives. Not only will the adhesive itself possibly degrade over time, your real problems happen when something nasty occurs between it and the VCR heads. I can see where that would be bad. (They advised copying the spliced VHS to a clean VHS, or, really, DVD, because, come on, people, since it won't last.)

I got out the mini screwdriver and opened the cassette up. Okay, simple. I made the splice with tape - as I said, it was right at the beginning. That means, so long as we don't rewind past it, it never has to go THROUGH the heads at all. *win*

I strung that bad boy through the loops with the butt end of a pen (so I don't get my fingers all up ons the good part of the film), and closed the mofo up. Our cat didn't even take any of the screws while I was working - a major accomplishment.

I scrolled it forward a smidge, and we were good to go. IT PLAYS.
For anyone who is sitting around being a smugster all, yeah, well, a) it's easy, and b) you have an engineering degree, why not take a moment to reflect on all the projects that you COULD do, or maybe are supposed to do for someone, but you just keep putting it off and...well, go do one. And then you can blog about it victoriously, as well.
[pwns entire world]

P.S. Sorry for being Cheaty McBackdater. See note on 11/2 post. This was written on 11/2 because of the irresistible urge to blog it immediately, because I TOTALLY PWN.

1 comment:

Walrus said...

1) Thanks
2) Love
3) Great Movie (will post review soon)