The joys of YouTube

You Tube logoI read recently that people upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every minute, and that if you tried to watch every video currently on there, (assuming no new videos are uploaded while you are watching) it would take you 60,000 years!  So it’s no wonder you can lose yourself for hours onSneezing panda YouTube,  watching anything from the latest movie trailers, music videos or just laughing at funny animals – this is one of my all time favourites (click on the panda picture) – be sure to have the sound turned on.

But YouTube can be really useful if you don’t know where else to look for help with something (I learnt how to re-grout my shower from a lady on YouTube) and that includes help with your home IT. Lots of people post tutorials that are designed to solve your IT issues, but they can be of variable quality and sometimes you Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.59.38can end up more confused than when you started. Also, with so many videos on YouTube, you can spend hours searching for precisely the information you need and never quite find it.

So this blog post is really just a shameless plug for the new Fingertips promotional video, that talks about some of the ways we can help with your cropped-small-helpdesk-finger1.jpghome technology. You can watch it here, or on the home page of our website. Please let me know what you think of it, or just send on your favourite YouTube videos for us to enjoy.

Girl stuff

Stuff & T3 magsI’m a big fan of Stuff magazine and its rival T3. When Fingertips is recommending WiFi speakers or showing our customers how to get their DVD collection onto their iPad, chances are we got our facts from one of them.

Both cover the world of home technology: testing equipment, interviewing industry leaders and keeping us up to date with what’s new and what’s coming. They’re authoritative and informative and they even manage not to be geeky.

But what’s with the girls on the cover?

Stuff Dec

Is tech the exclusive preserve of heterosexual boys? Surely not in 2013.

At Fingertips we are an even mix of men and women and so are our customers. Gender is a total irrelevance. But to Stuff and, to a lesser extent, T3, tech and totty seem to go together like beer and curry.

On a personal level, I don’t have a problem with pictures of pretty girls in any state of undress. I used to work for the UK’s leading pornography seller, WHSmith and I share a house with 2 teenage boys, so I’ve seen worse.

Stuff Pages s4But I do have a problem with Stuff and T3 claiming technology for the lads. It’s so out-of-touch and it’s definitely not harmless fun.

There are countless women who look after every aspect of running a home, apart from the computers and the HiFi. They have a notion that they’re no good with technology – that their husbands will be better. The “it’s not for girls” message has been around a long time, and in some cases it’s worked.

At the Fingertips office, we also find it a little bit demeaning to be caught holding what looks like a lads mag.

Stuff twitter page Interestingly there’s not a girl to be seen on either website (although Stuff’s Twitter page is a different matter- see left). So it would appear that girls are not part of either publication’s proposition, but I suspect the editors are too scared of losing 10% sales to their rival if they drop the cover girl.

So here’s a girly solution for you fellas. Why don’t you talk to each other? You could agree a date and drop the very soft and slightly lame porn at the same moment. You’d even save a bit of money on models fees. Here’s each other’s Twitter details:  @Simon_OW and @lukepeters .

Top Tips 2: myTunes and myMovies

itunesHere’s a shock for you – according to English copyright law it is illegal to copy your CDs and DVDs onto your computer. That means that any of us who have loaded our own CDs into our own iTunes library have committed a crime.

This is a peculiarly British situation. The law in other EU countries assumes that we will behave ethically – which means not selling or giving away copies of our CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays – and so it allows us to make copies of these discs for personal use.

In the UK, things are less clear. No-one has ever been prosecuted for copying their own CDs and DVDs into iTunes, but as the law stands, both acts are illegal. That’s a bit rubbish – none of us want to be guilty of misdemeanours and so, as Vince Cable said last year, “We need to bring copyright [law] into line with people’s expectations and update it for the modern digital world”.

At Fingertips we can’t advise you to do anything that breaks English law, but we can tell you what we do when we’re on holiday in Spain… 🙂

We recently transferred every DVD that we own onto a pocket sized hard drive which is smaller than a single DVD box. We now have all 176 of our movies plus boxed sets of our favourite TV shows instantly available to watch on any of our TVs, computers or iPads. The quality is exactly the same as the original disc (with surround sound) and, best of all, the films start immediately – no rummaging around for the disc, waiting for it to load or having to watch the “You wouldn’t steal a car” video.

We got our calculator out and worked out that it would have cost us £1,500 to repurchase all our DVDs on iTunes. If that sounds like daylight robbery – and if you are going to be in an EU country in the near future – then give us a call.