Save This!

The ending days of last week were a total pain for me. The reason is something that I would have never thought to be much of a pain for anyone – daylight savings time. I don't know if everyone was aware of the problems associated with the change, or that there was a change at all, but it was certainly a major annoyance for me. When George Dubyah moved the daylight savings time changeover up three weeks, that mandated that just about every computer in the land needed to be updated with new timekeeping parameters.

Lets just say that the software automated updates didn't work out as well as one might have hoped. We manage an entire fleet of linux environments at work (they number in the thousands), and nearly one quarter of them needed work to ensure that they changed over properly. Most of these issues resolved around stale /etc/localtime files. While all of the information in /usr/share/zoneinfo was correct and reflected the new DST changes, /etc/localtime was wrong, and that's what the system bases its timezone conversions on. That meant a lot of work to isolate and fix all the problem machines. We got it hammered out though, with much loss of sleep and overtime. It shouldn't have occured that way though.

It doesn't look like the saga of my broken receiver will end soon either. I called up to circuit city late last week, and inquired about the repair effort. They stated that it had just come back from the repair facility that day, and was available for pickup. When I went to pick it up, I was presented with a concept that was strange to me – the receiver wasn't broken. Not according to Circuit City's repair facility anyway. They gave it a clean bill of health, which didn't sit well with me. I know it was broken when it left my house.

I asked that one of their techs there assist me in running a few tests to make sure it was functioning properly. He grabbed one of their display model TVs and a DVD player, and some cabling. We hooked it up with what we had (using the composite input/oupts), and everything seemed to work fine, except the on-screen setup menu. I thought that was strange, but was in a hurry to head into work to continue dealing with the DST problems. The tech assured me that I could bring it back in if it was still broken.

Well, it was. My fatigue and lack of motivation kept me from testing things out fully until yesterday. When I first sent it in, I just noticed that things weren't working properly, and that I could hack around the issues by changing the input/output path through the receiver. I thought the repair techs would perform more testing to localize the issue, but it would seem that I was wrong. I spent a half hour or so mapping out the various input paths I used, and what the picture looked like on the various output paths. In all the various combinations, it seemed as though there was one common issue – S-Video. Nothing relating to S-Video works. All of the component and composite video works fine. Knowing that, it would seem feasible that the internal setup menu is somehow driven by an SVideo feed as well.

I took the receiver back in yesterday and provided a nice printed copy of my notes that I had taken, which outline exactly what works and what does not. If it comes back as OK after this, I'll be quite upset.

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