Discovering that despite having access to 1,000 channels, there is often nothing worth watching, was once a process that only took a few seconds to confirm. Now, by having to stand, squint and press my thumb down firmly on a television-top channel selection button, it takes an eternity -- well, up to a minute, anyway.
While I have picked up a replacement remote to carry on the work of its predecessor, I would be equally happy getting my hands on a Zenith Flash-Matic, the world's first wireless remote control switch, introduced back in 1955. The pistol-shaped Flash-Matic required its owner to point it accurately at a sensor panel just below the TV screen, then pull a trigger that emitted a channel-changing beam of light. The way I see it, the Flash-Matic combined the pleasure of playing a primitive video game with the convenience of not having to put down your snack, get off your duff, walk to the TV and crank the channel-changer knob.
But as I pound out these letters and words, I have just returned from the cable company office, where I picked up our replacement remote.
It only requires a seven-phase series of commands to program it to be compatible with out set.
How easy is that, and what possibly could go wrong?
Wish I had a Flash-Matic for a backup piece.
I don't want to spend Super Bowl Sunday with a cold remote control in my hand.