OT: Thank god for the "interweb"

Today I broke out one of the Polaroid hybrid DVRs I bought used on FeeBay. It does both analog and digital (OTA only) and records both formats quite well. I just installed it because Comcast dropped their analog TV in my area and I've yet to hook up my three free (we'll see) "digital transport adapters" - my reward from the FCC for staying with analog so long and outfoxing Comcast's numerous attempts to
So I go to burn a disk to watch the show on the big TV and it starts asking for a password. I have three other (older) models that never asked for a password. No one ever entered a password. I used the machine quite a bit to test it after buying it and it never asked for a password. The manual makes no mention of a password but to do anything more than see the program listed on an index, I need a stinkin' password. I was so miffed my wife asked "Who are you talking to?" "The stinkin' &^+^%@ DVR, honey!"
So I put the model number "dra-01601a dvr asks for password" in Google which led to pages of similar questions and the right answer here from Fixya, which is not a site I generally rely on.
The poster notes their phone number (Polaroid's) was disconnected, something I discovered long ago so I knew they wouldn't be of much help. So I am thankful once again that the answer was just a Google query away, making me wonder how we got along without the "interweb" or "the World Wide Network." (-: I learned that "parental control" had been enabled on this machine and that somehow I had pressed protect (so easy with so many buttons on such a tiny remote) which DOESN'T require a password to do, just to undo. Oy.
As for Polaroid engineers, they couldn't engineer their way out of a paper bag with scissors and a water gun. The make a pocket recorder that doesn't have an on/off or power switch. Pressing "Play" turns it on. I guess I am old fashioned and would have expected an On/Play label and Off/Stop label which I had to and with my label maker because the labels are so tiny anyway. It also has a lighted screen and a hold switch that doesn't effect the light. You can carry it in your briefcase and if something presses ANY button, even with HOLD set to ON, the light comes on, stays on and drains the battery.
My favorite glitch with the recorder is that if you try to record more than 4.7GB of video to a blank DVD, it gives the cryptic and confusing message "The disk is full" instead of what it really means "Not enough room on disk." Big difference in meaning. Learning how to divide the video was so unintuitive that after six months of disuse, it took a while to figure it out again.
As a side bonus, I found out where to get replacement fans since they use lousy sleeve bearing fans that choke on dust and scream for a long time before dying. When they overheat, they really do bad things. My first fan replacement blew up the motherboard - well, lifted some traces my friend repaired - so I realized that I should have been more careful about getting a fan with the same current rating. I still might be better off mounting a larger PC cooling fan and a separate power supply and just ditch the internal fan. The replacement fans will probably fail in short order like the originals.
-- Bobby G.
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