SO farewell, Eugene Polley, the Chicago engineer who invented the TV remote control away back in 1955.
Polley died last week at the age of 96 and I hope there were extensive royalties to sustain his long life.
The sofa-bound owe him a huge debt of gratitude for taking any effort out of changing channels. Or, these days, using one of your half-dozen remotes to go from Scart 1 to HDMI and from digibox to Blu-ray.
The disadvantage of remote technology is that when you lose the control you are snookered. Unless you know where the TV set-up and down buttons are. Which is unlikely.
A definite downside is that not moving from the sofa leads to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and early death. The upside is that while searching the sofa for the remote control you are likely to find a hauf-chewed caramel and some £1 coins to spend on sweeties from the van.
The main drawback of the remote is that there will be at least one trigger-happy individual who makes relaxed TV viewing an impossibility. The only solution is to have a restraining order placed on the head of the household, who is the usual culprit.
My other concern is what to call this bit of kit. I don't like using the word remote as a noun when it is an adjective. I can't say doofer because it is silly and was apparently invented by Noel Edmonds. Similar reservations apply to clicker, twitcher, flipper, or zapper. I like thingmy but it is not sufficiently specific.
When Polley gave the world this device back in 1955 it was called the Flash-Matic. Sadly, this did not catch on. Maybe we should honour the name of the inventor. As in: get me out of this channel, pass the polley.
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