• Modern-Day Recession Era Skills

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    If you’ve paid any attention to the media, you’re aware that we as a country aren’t doing too well financially. Much has been written that compares our situation today to the Great Depression that began in 1929. To that end, many are taking lessons learned from the Depression era and are applying them to today’s life. For example, Depression era cooking is now chic, darning socks is the new black, and being frugal is the lifestyle of the moment.

    Unlike the Depression era, we have tons more electronic gadgets and toys that have become intertwined with our everyday living. Computers, televisions, and even IPods are commonly found in most peoples’ households. In the last few years, we’ve been condition to think that electronic gadgetry is more often easier and economic to replace rather than repair. But is this always the case?

    Our TiVo has been on the fritz since at least last summer. The first sign was intermittent audio drop outs. I thought it was just a fluke – maybe our satellite signal wasn’t up to snuff. After we returned from our honeymoon, the problem was increasing worse. We started missing crucial dialog on our favorite shows. More annoyingly, we were missing what ingredients Gordon Ramsay was putting in his dishes when we were watching The F Word. The final straw that broke the camel’s back was this past weekend, when the TiVo spontaneously restarted itself numerous times.

    Her and I had to make a decision: do we blow $100 on another non-TiVo DirecTV DVR? Because we love our TiVo so much, I was determined to make it work. I researched what could possibly be wrong with the TiVo and tried all of the non-invasive troubleshooting techniques. None worked. It seemed that I had no choice but to replace the hard drive in a last-ditch effort to save the ailing DVR.

    Weirdly enough, replacing the hard drive wouldn’t have cost us any money – I had an external hard drive laying around that I dismantled and appropriated for the repair. After commandeering our main computer for the whole day, I went to work, diligently following the directions on my laptop. After 10 painstaking hours, I put everything back together and plugged in the TiVo.

    It powered up…that’s a good sign. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for it to get to the point where I could watch TV. When the signal was coming in, I tuned to a channel. Audio! And it didn’t drop out! Holy crap! The next step: were our recordings saved? I furiously clicked through to play a recorded show…success!

    Doing this saved us at least $100 and gave me the skills to fix our TiVo should this ever happen again. What modern-day recession era skills are you most proud of?

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