The air conditioning at work didn't seem to be working yesterday(29oC when I arrived in the office). Our finance director insisted that it was, though she did go and buy us all ice creams mid-afternoon, which we interpreted as an admission. Curiously, it was much better today, though without the usual visit from the air conditioning people, so maybe she wasn't lying.
I fried my VCR last night. This happened a couple of years ago and cost £50 to repair - basically, a new microprocessor. So while wondering exactly how I'd done this (and concluding that the most likely explanation was that it was to do with the order of removing the cables and leaving something to short circuit or similar) I did the sums, and decided to buy a new VCR/DVD-RW combo unit. I have been playing with my new toy this evening, though so far I've only checked that it does everything the old one and the DVD player did (minus the frying, of course). Maybe it will turn out to be a Betamax (I've seen no clear prediction on the DVD+RW/DVD-RW debate): in the end my choice was down to manufacturer. Since everything was replaced after the burglary in 2002, many of the replacement items have given me problems. The Sony DVD player is crap, and Sony are in denial over it; the Toshiba VCR has had this problem twice now, and although I'm more surprised about that, it has put me off. Only the Technics stuff seems to be of appropriate build quality - and the DAB radio is wonderful. So as Technics and Panasonic are both brands of the Matsushita Electronics Corporation, Panasonic it was. At least it claims it will play DVD+R/RW (and likewise, a DVD+RW drive should play DVD-R/RW), it's only the recording technology that is specific. I don't record that much; there seemed little point in getting just a VCR as that technology is clearly on the way out, but I'm not ready to part with it entirely just yet.
I can't really decide what annoys me more: the lousy build quality of so many things these days, or the fact that it's easier (and more economical) to replace rather than repair. The VCR is probably headed straight for the nearest landfill. (Actually, probably not - as the council collects rubbish, it probably goes to a landfill some distance away for "administrative reasons".) I only ever had one problem with the old (pre-burglary) stuff, and that was with the amplifier when it was about nine years old.
One of my co-workers asked what "the big slot" in the new machine was for: I explained it was for playing 78s.