Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“Wouldn't it be nice if our lives were like VCRS (video recorders), and we could "fast forward' through the crummy times? " Charles M. Schulz

Do you have a VCR or did you sell it at a yard sale? Now that the box of video tapes are sitting at the back of your closet what will you do with them? Do you even know what is on them? One of my hobbies is buying old video tapes just for sheer fun of being surprised what's on the tapes. I have watched many a wedding or family trip on these tapes and I wonder did they actually mean to sell them. Before you throw out or donate these tapes I recommend a few things below.

  1. Look through them. If you got rid of your player borrow it from a friend. I am sure you know a pack rat like me. If you have a VCR pop it in just to see if it’s something important. If not throw it in the donation pile. If it’s personal go onto step #2. Also I should say if it is something good do not over watch it. Even running it through the VCR can degrade the quality.
  2. You have two real choices. If it is something you want never to see daylight (your 15th birthday party) you can pull out the film from the cassette and toss it but this is only so good. Instead sandwich the tape between two strong magnets for a day or so. This should erase the evidence. However if you want to keep these recorded images then do not delay and go to Google and type in “VHS to DVD services”. There will be a local one. Even some camera shops do it. They will take your tape, clean it, digitize it, and burn it to DVD. The reasons I say not to delay is that this stuff is magnetic tape. It breaks down over time. The more it is exposed to heat or moisture changes the more it degrades. If you care about it have it transferred. I did this with a tape of the last time my grandfather spoke at a family gathering. If it’s important DO NOT wait!
One other thing I should mention is that during the holiday season many people buy gifts for people that have enough junk. Instead taking an old video and making it new again can sometimes mean far more to them than any other item.

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