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Archive Monthly Archives: April 2016

Don’t you just love new technology?

You might notice that there's a big gap since my last post. Some things have got in the way – Christmas, family issues, another work project…. But mainly, IT problems. IT takes me out of my comfort zone, but I really want to get to grips with making some videos, because I want to share some tips on confidence in public speaking with you. I could just write them, but a demonstration is more powerful. And what about my credibility as a speaker if I can't speak to you?

However, speaking on video is a whole different ball game than speaking to a live audience. Put me in front of a live audience, and I'm good to go, it holds no fear. Ask me to appear on camera, and suddenly I'm self conscious. Who am I talking to, it's just an inanimate object? And that's even before I've considered setting up the camera.

So I've bought a mount for the iPad, spent weeks practising into it, trying to get the camera angle right. Eventually reasonably satisfied that it looks passable, my next challenge is to edit. Cue 30 day free trial of Camtasia, recommended by a trusted friend and mentor. Downloaded that ok, but my videos won't upload (have I said that right?) to the Camtasia editor. Support said try converting your .mov files into MP4 format using Handbrake. Ok, managed to download Handbrake without further mishap, but it still doesn't upload the videos I've filmed. Downloaded one, the one I didn't want, but the three I do want seem to be invisible. Then the penny dropped, I've used a TelePromter app to film the videos I want to use, I guess that's the problem.

I've also filmed part of the video on a Sony camera, and guess what? Camtasia can't deal with that format either - AVCHD. Or at least not easily, and I'll be honest, the help page on how to convert that file made no sense to me whatsoever.

I've given this up as a bad job, and will now be trying another editing software, a Sony one, that recognises AVCHD. Let's hope it can cope with the .mov files too, but it looks like I'll be filming them again without the Teleprompter. In the meantime, I heard a wonderful speaker, Lottie Hearn, on speaking on camera. Working through her book, Confidence on Camera, so hopefully I'll improve.

Finally, just to complete my IT woes, there's something wrong with my computer. Not sure if it's a virus or not, as it's only affecting my user account and no one else's. But the effect is that I can't access any of the programmes on my user account. All icons changed to Windows Media Player, and nothing will open. So my more IT savvy other half tried to sort it out. Now all the icons have changed to Microsoft Explorer, and still nothing will open.

I'm using another user account, and have accessed all my files, so not a complete disaster. However, I can't access my desktop Outlook account, with my emails, calendar and contacts. I know the files are there in a directory somewhere, but whilst I can easily find files I've saved in my own directories, finding the Outlook files is a bit beyond me.

Still, all is not lost. The emails will be on the server, right? All I need to do now is remember my password to my virginmedia account, and set up Outlook on my desktop again.

When did the preferred method change from POP3 to IMAP? Do you know what the difference is? I didn't, but I do now. POP3 downloads it to your desktop, and you don't have to concern yourself with the server again. IMAP downloads whatever is on your server to your desktop, every time you open Outlook. So in the six years I'd been using POP3 I'd not been on the server once, so every email I’d ever received was still on there. 34,697 of them – and rising. Now that I was on IMAP, my desktop downloaded every last one of them every time I opened the inbox. It took a while.

It took me two days to sort out the email mess and get it under control. But I still don't have access to my old diary or my contacts .

So, this sounds like a long list of excuses for why I've been silent on here (it is, let's be honest). But what are the takeaways? I guess

  • Sometimes stuff gets in the way, but it's important to get back to what you need to do
  • We have to get on and do stuff we’re not that good at and just do the best we can – overcoming challenges makes us stronger
  • We can't be good at everything – anyone want a job as my IT specialist?

Look out for my videos, I plan to make them available soon.