Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Really! Who reads the instruction manual??

I am a fan.  Make a facebook page for instructions and I would totally be a fan.

We have had the Clear play DVD player for almost 3 years.  The $200 3 year subscription is almost up.  We have watched a total of 15 movies with it. Why you ask? Because I could never get it to work, except something like 15 times which were apparently a fluke.  Why would it be a fluke?  Because I would stick the little stick thingy in the USB port on my computer and load the files onto it, and then stick it in the DVD player, and once in a while (about 15 times) a message would magically appear saying the movie filter was loaded.  We would watch the movie and all the bad words would magically disappear from the sound.  The other 500 times I have tried to use Clear play filters I can never get that message to appear, only the message that telling me there is no filter showing up for that movie. So back to the computer to reload it... and still no success, sometimes trying 10 or more times to load the stupid filter, only to send the kids to pick a different movie or to go to someone else's house who has a working clearplay machine.  

I was telling someone recently about how awesome my #3 is - how he reads instructions to things he wants to use - and he totally figures them out and uses things as they were meant to be used.  Sure wish he had wanted to use that Clear play player a few years ago (or anytime since then).  I decided to try out this strategy of his.

I found the instructions for the DVD player and read them. Oh My HECK!  Who knew that all those buttons on the remote control actually did something - one button doing something like loading the filter onto the player??  Whoever decided to name that button 'Browse' is an idiot.  So I tried the Browse button just like the instructions said, found the filter I wanted, and clicked the word 'Load' on the screen!  I waited and then hit Play on the menu for the movie "Maverick" (which is really funny but rather filled with saloonish potty mouth words, which is why we have yet to watch it even though we have owned it for years).  I was thrilled to watch the first 2 minutes of the movie and hear loads of gaps in the sound where the words were missing! 

The Clearplay player and I have a rekindled romance.  Too bad my subscription runs out in a month and I get to pay all over again.

I was on a roll.  Guess what I did next?  5 years in this house and we change the temperature by going to the thermostat and pushing a button or arrow a couple of times until the numbers say what temperature we want it to be in the house, or until the heater or A/C kicked on.  We noticed our kids doing the same thing! It's possible they may have been scolded once or twice for turning it up or down too much. After finding and reading the instructions I was quickly alerted to the fact that changing the temperature this way is pretty much ineffective and it was only luck if the temperature really landed close to where we wanted it.  There are actually settings for different times of the day and different days of the week!  I know it really works because I am now cold while my kids are at school, warm when I get out of bed and warm before I get into bed. I am not sure I am going to share all this info with Barry.  I deserve the temperature I want because I am the one who figured out how to do it, right??

That same night I read the instruction for the speakers that haven't worked right since we got them.  Ooohhhh - Josh Groban is more amazing than I remembered (as long as he has some great speakers to sing through!)

Next on my list - I haven't ever tried it out with this before, but I might try actually reading the instructions for the new cordless phone set up we just got for our homeline.  Apparently it connects to a cell phone, or blue tooth and does all kinds of other fancy tricks.  Right now we use 2 features - Talk and Off.   And then I remembered that Breton comes home in a month. It's possible I can wait for him to do it for me :) 

After working out the Clearplay issue, I realized there are other instructions that I probably need to delve into a little more often. Instructions like my scriptures and other good reading material collecting dust on my shelf.  It's quite possible I may discover some great insights on how to better work with other types of gadgets and gizmos living here that I don't always take the time to figure out, rather I just get frustrated with them.  (Asking for a little more help from above may come in handy as these 3 teenage girls get more teenagery every day.)

1 comment:

  1. Two comments: First, I wonder if reading instructions would help when I assemble Walmart bikes? The $10-15 dollars I "save" assembling the bike seems to turn into an all nighter putting the bike together...

    Second; on the Clearplay, it is "clear" that reading the instructions helped. But we also on on the third player. The first two just didn't play at all... The third player they promised they found a new manufacturer in China who could build a DVD player that worked... So hopefully this third player does the trick!