Just lately I have been preparing a presentation for a lecture I have to give to a class of occupational therapy students next week. As part of the presentation I have had someone taking photos of all the modifications and contraptions in and around my home I use to get by in my everyday life — I call them my life-tools.
My latest tool is a Sony RM-AV3100 learing remote control.
Over the years I have tried many multiple all in one type remote control devices with varying degrees of success. Some would do most functions but often missing out on one that just seemed to always be the one I really needed to work. Also the physical design of the remote controls often meant it was very hard to use them efficiently. Often their size was a problem – being too small – or the shape meant the control was not stable as I pressed the buttons.
Having recently added to my bevy of equipment a Sony surround sound digital AV amplifier the whole remote control business was in need of a rethink. A lot of the remote controls in the past had relied on codes or some voo-doo button pressing sequence to ‘hopefully’ ‘learn’ the code (more of a stab in dark ‘hope’ to fall-over the correct code than ‘learn’ in those cases). This time I definately needed something that I was absolutely positive would learn by training from another remote control. It also needed to operate between five and eight devices. The Sony seemed just the thing. Besides which it was large and flat – a fact that worked for me.
Just getting the right control is only half of the problem. The other half is finding a place to put it where I can use it and hopefully that people will not move it.
The positioning was proving a bit of a problem as I can only use my left hand to operate the control and the layout of my lounge room was not conducive to this. I had purchased some speaker stands a while ago which I had intended to use for the satellite speakers of my surround system but had since then decided to hang them on the wall. A mate was over and we were playing around with the speaker stand and seeing what we could do with this new remote control. With a modification which saw us cutting one of the stand pieces in half and Velcroing the control on top, we had a working solution.
The idea works like a treat only the Sony’s display screen does not lend itself to viewing at an angle. So I’ll need to experiment with some wedges under the control to better sewe the screen, but for now is passable. It’s a vast improvement on what I had and what is better it seems to be staying in its proper place without being moved around — sweet.
BTW: I wrote the majority of this blog entry by dictating with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It took some editing as I haven’t used the program for so long and was practising using the USB desk microphone I have as part of my webcam. Saves getting a headset on – I hate being ‘tethered’. Works reasonably well given I didn’t train it further, and with training and a bit more use, now I know the mic. isn’t too bad, I’ll be able to save my ageing neck and teeth and maybe crank out these entries a bit easier.