I generally find blogging about consumer goods a big fat bore, so it’s not usual for me to spend time writing about this or that new object that entered the house or to make more than a passing mention of some technological gimcrack giving up the ghost (martini-soaked salvage laptops being the exception that proves the rule).

However, since I killed our main A/V receiver amp due to fiddlin’ idiocy (bright sparking snap and curl of smoke included), I did replace it. Both receivers are capable surround-sound monstrosities with enough plugs on the back to cause a straight-up nervous breakdown. The new unit, happily, includes onboard digital-to-analog translation circuitry, which is a good thing. The old unit did not, and given my proclivity for inventing new harebrained ways to try to run computer-stored audio or video assets through the A/V, I was constantly trying to figure out why signal A was not coming out of output channel B.

Whatever: we all know I’m a classic techno-eejut, prone to cross-connect this thing with that thing in ways that, um, produce a bright sparking SNAP followed by a distressingly ghostlike curl of smoke. I’m noting this here because – oh joy! – The setup on the new unit literally went perfectly. I mean I, pulled it out of the box, traced the tangle of wires leftover from the unfortunate corpse of its’ predecessor, tried to remember which cable went to what in or out, and fired it up.

Unbelievably, each hookup was right.

Today, I spent most of the day downstairs working on scanning a friend’s earliest ‘zine output. In order to do so, I had to disassemble an older computer and consolidate its’ parts with a computer of equal age but which I have updated more frequently than the cannibalized unit. Two PCI cards and an internal hard drive, all moved from one vintage computer into another.

The whole process, including verifying that an even-more-ancient SCSI scanner works with the just-moved vintage PCI SCSI card, took fifteen minutes. One flaw emerged: the sticky tape used in the ten-year-old scanner to fix the platen glass had failed. Everything else worked exactly as it should.

I suppose I should take this as a sign that I know what I am doing, but I know that I do not, and therefore won’t.

On a countervailing note, my right ear is either totally clogged with wax, or a catastrophic ear infection has resulted in a massive loss of audio sensitivity overnight.

A happy, fortuitous even, independence day to you and yours, where and whenever you may be.