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Jan. 30, 1990: Problems of the '90s – living with a new VCR isn't easy

Today our lives are a technological blur; there’s no way to avoid it.

If you can remember 25 years ago, you can probably remember that hooking up and programming your VCR was considered the high-water mark for technological competence. Being able to record one thing while watching another was a certain lofty gold standard to which many aspired, but few attained.

While so vexing then, it all seems so quaint now, in an age where two clicks on a smartphone anywhere, anytime, will set our DVRs to recording. Or even easier, we can stream our favorite shows wherever we are, without the crumpled glitches of an old VHS tape or the exasperation of the tape's running out just as we are about to find out whodunnit.

The article reads:

"CONGRATULATIONS! Someone gave you a videocassette recorder as a gift. And tucked inside the box was a membership card for a video rental club. Just what you wanted. Based on experience with dozens of first-time VCR owners, here is a calendar of how you will spend the next several weeks. Brace yourself."


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