DVD player from RCA that keeps on giving

Last Christmas, I decided to help upgrade Rebecca’s aged DVD player by getting something that would help us enjoy home time together. Her old player would get picky about what it would or would not play from time to time, especially any burned media that we would throw into it. So this is what I ended up getting her.

RCA DRC285 DVD Player The RCA DRC285. Our hope is to do the HD upgrade in the future, so that was my main reason for choosing this model due to the HDMI[wiki] outputs. That way when we make that jump, she can watch her “Sex in the City” DVD’s in all their 1080p glory. Plus there is the ongoing education of sharing movies with each other form respective “must see” libraries. The price for this was a great buy, so it was a good situation.

Now here’s the kicker. This little puppy has a USB 2.0 port on the front of it. On a whim, I took a 350MB AVI and put it on a 1GB thumb drive. The remote has a “DVD/USB” button on it, so after plugging it into the USB port, I hit the button, the little LED flickered like it would when being accessed by a computer, and there was the file listed on the screen. I selected it, hit the “OK” button, and the video file loaded.

What we normally did before this was run about a twelve foot A/V cable with RCA connectors[wiki] from the back of the TV to our iMac. The TV then became a second monitor with audio running to it from the computer, giving us the option of watching downloaded video files on our TV. None of that sitting in front of the computer monitor for us.

So with this USB discovery, it was an amazing moment. The video looks superb compared to the output generated from the iMac to standard NTSC video quality. There was a lot of pixelation from fast video movement, but that has changed since we’ve gone to viewing programs off of the thumb drives. I say drives because you can put about two episodes of a program per one, 1GB thumb drive. With two, we cycle through the pair.

Additionally, the DVD player flows right through the list of files. Start with the first one and it plays the next one in order. Oh, and you can also pause and fast forward like a standard DVD.

With our hectic lives, it’s safe to say that this has been a very cool addition to our arsenal of things to disconnect with.

Hello Oscar

OscarThis is Oscar. He’s a yucca[wiki] plant, and the closest thing we have to a pet. Our building frowns upon anything other than bipeds of the human variety. He and I hang out a lot during the day. I wish I could say that I talk to him and stuff, but that’s simply not true. Over the past few months, his health kind of went downhill.

I’ve been feeding him coffee grounds lately, and he seems to really like it. Either the grounds are good for his root system or else he’s become addicted to caffeine. I’m hardly a botanist, but you can’t argue with the results. Three new leaves all started sprouting around the same time that we made the change. Being the middle of winter in Vancouver, that’s pretty good for a plant that thrives in arid climates.

What I do know is that as a kid, my dad always had me put coffee grounds out in the lawn to feed the worms. Then we’d go out at night, harvest a bunch, and take them fishing with us. It would be creepy is we suddenly had huge earth worms growing in Oscar’s pot.