AV systems: their care & feeding

One of my hobbies was rejigging an AV system to make it easy enough for my little family to use without always yelling upstairs to lament the lack (shades of that old A. Bertram Chandler SF short story) of a matching pair of picture and correctly associated sound. Sadly, now that Junior has grown up and basically fled the nest, and Christa has gone on ahead of me into the next stage of life (or death, as we secular types tend to call it) I'm now the only user! My mild compulsion (doubtless something to do with the supposedly "Extreme S"1 brain rattling around inside my greying skull) to document the system2 pictorially...

System diagram

as my scarily effective Latin master Mr. Greenhalgh probably would have said.

... is nowadays handled by the combination of Inkscape and the GIMP.

One evening of network TV is worth...?

As Noël Coward remarked: "Television is for appearing on, not for watching". Although you still need something to watch, there's often little point in relying on the execrable output of our broadcasters, who lack both taste and imagination. I have therefore set about amassing a library of material (sometimes more in hope than was possibly wise, as pointed out by NZ chum Brack3).


1  At "56", not as extreme as my late wife's score was ("59"), funnily enough, but still somewhat ahead of Junior's "30".
Simon Baron-Cohen, in his 2003 book The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain argues that there are three kinds of normal human brain: "empathising" (type E), "systemising" (type S), and "balanced" (type B, somewhere in between). Systemising is "the drive to understand a system and to build one." At its extreme, Baron-Cohen suggests, the systemising brain can be autistic (what he calls the "extreme male brain"). This possibly also explains the focussed enthusiasms of people with Asperger's syndrome. But I'm not as bad as the main protagonist in Barbara Jacobs' 2004 book Loving Mr. Spock — in my humble opinion!
2  This — discipuli picturam spectate — was the first Latin sentence I remember, from my first Latin lesson in 1962. I've long been a believer in "code re-use"! (And I would have put the footnote callout on the sentence itself, had it not decided to play havoc with the link to the picture — nasty HTML!)
3  He had (before I removed all the cover artwork scans from the server) the temerity to say "I will now have to spend more of my precious time searching for other monstrosities amongst your DVD coverlets — it would be a useful discipline if you had to have actually seen a DVD before putting up the cover, an implied endorsement I feel". The nerve of the guy! Particularly as he's right, of course. <Sigh>