DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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RIP, Geek TV

Several years ago I figured out that I could connect a VCR to the composite video input of my old 13" Commodore C-64 monitor, then add a pair of surplus PC speakers and have a workable TV. I kept the setup in my bedroom and only used it occasionally at my old place, but that changed when I moved over here. I decided I needed a TV in the office so I could watch while sitting at my desk, as well as doing cool stuff like watch and posts. The setup worked great, because the monitor gave a far superior picture to what I could've gotten out of a similarly sized TV. Eventually, I got it its own cable box, and put my second DVD player on the system, and since I spend a good portion of my time at home in the office, it wound up becoming my primary TV.

A couple of months ago the picture started blacking out. You have to remember that I originally bought it back in 1986, so it's almost twenty years old. So it goes. Not to worry, I had a back up. When I got my first Amiga, I also bought a Commodore 1080, one of the niftiest monitors ever made. The 1080 had inputs for Amiga graphics, composite video, and EGA graphics. For a couple of years I had my Amiga 500, C-64, and a PC 286 all connected to the monitor, and was able to switch between them at the press of a button. So cool. It wasn't until I got my 486 with its snazzy SVGA graphic card that I finally had to retire the 1080. Anyway, I hauled the 1080 down from the attic and connected it up. It had an even better picture than the C-64 monitor. Woo!

Sadly, it was no spring chicken, either, and last night while I watching Lost the picture started fading in and out. Crap, because now I'm fresh out of old composite capable monitors. So tonight I went out and picked up a cheap (under $120) 20" TV for the office. I set it up, but I'm having a hard time warming up to it. It's actually almost too big for where I have it, and the picture isn't that great. I considered getting an LCD monitor for the spot, but there doesn't seem to be an inexpensive way to connect an SVGA monitor to a VCR. Plus the cheapest 19" LCD monitor I saw cost three times as much as what I got. LCD TVs were even more expensive. Feh.

I started the prep work for this weekend's paint-a-thon. I've mentioned that the previous owner was a heavy smoker, and that I had to clean the smoke residue off the walls. Well, the top couple of inches of each wall were stained permanently grey. (The ceilings used to look like that, too, but they painted all the ceilings before I took possession.) I worried that if I didn't treat them, the staining would show through the normal paint and primer, so I applied a coat of Killz, a stain-blocking primer, over the grey (and a few other dark marks). It works great. Highly recommended.

Tomorrow night is patching and masking, Saturday it's two coats of primer, and Sunday the final coat(s) of paint.
Tags: computers, geekianna, home

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