Monday, July 16, 2007

Reason #5863 not to smoke

We bought a new stereo. We'd been saving up for awhile — my parents gave us some money, and I've been adding to it since Christmas — but we'd had no luck finding anything in our price range that both had the things we wanted and looked like it might last. So when a gal out in Plymouth adverstised that she was selling a stereo in our price range, I went to go see it.

It was gorgeous. Much nicer than I had expected, and the sound was wonderful; rich and clear, with nice bass. (I'm a sucker for bass.) We had brought a tape to test, but forgot to bring a CD. When I asked if she had one I could try, she said that it was very sensitive to scratched CDs, and hers were all scratched. A warning light throbbed in the back of my mind, but the girl and her mother seemed to sincere that I bought it anyway.

The CD player didn't work at all. It would bring up error messages about "no disc" or, inexplicably, "disc not finalized." I looked on-line for help with this, and the Philips site helpfully suggested that I should either put in a disc or finalize the disc. Bah. Deborah and I were very discouraged, having saved up so long for something that didn't work, and our attempts to contact the seller weren't going well.

I had a hunch, though, so I kept looking on-line. Another site suggested that the disc was scratched (no, I take care of my CDs, they aren't all scratched beyond recognition) or that the lens was fogged from condensation. Hmmm. Fogged. What if it wasn't condensation, but smoke? I asked around to find someone who could loan me a lens cleaner CD (Have you seen these things? It's a regular CD with a tiny, soft brush glued to the bottom) and ran it through. And it worked! It now recognizes every CD I put in there.

So, the moral of the story is: Don't smoke. It will ruin your really nice stereo, make you sell it at yard-sale prices, and convince you that your entire CD collection is scratched!


Carolina Kerr said...

I'm so glad you got the stereo, and especially that you made it work. Good job of troubleshooting!

Mark said...

I love it when a simple solution like that solves the problem. :)