First of all I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the Birthday wishes after I mentioned it last time! I don’t think I’ve managed to reply to everyone individually but I really appreciate it – and I had a great birthday – plenty of cake and playing with the boys.
Now, I’ve got two things today – one is something I learnt last week and one is some questions answered…
So, I learnt something last week. Or rather, reminded myself of something I should have known.
You might not know it, but I play the guitar. Not as well as I’d like (which reminds me of a joke about Carnegie Hall – I’ll tell you in a moment), but I do at least remember to tune it first.
And to help get it in perfect tune I use an electronic tuner. Which is never in the room I want to play the guitar in. I’ll pick up the guitar, go and sit down and… then realise I’ve left the tuner somewhere else. Then I end up spending ten minutes looking for it… and then find I don’t have as much time left to actually play the thing.
(This is leading to something about technology, honest.)
After this happened for the umpteenth time, I realised that I always have my phone with me, in my pocket. And lo and behold, 30 seconds later I’d gone on the app store and downloaded a free tuner app – that actually works a bit better than my separate gadget anyway. Plus is has a built in metronome and one or two other bits that I’d never even thought of.
Now, the point isn’t that if you play the guitar you should get this particular app.
It’s that whatever you’re interested in, whatever your hobbies are, there are probably apps out there that you might find helpful or interesting – and that you might not have even thought might exist.
It’s worth just going into the app store on your phone or tablet and typing in the name of your hobby and see what comes up. From knitting pattern apps to art advice, from specialist recipes to DIY tips, there’s almost anything you can think of there.
You don’t have to download any of the apps, of course, but if there’s one there that would be helpful, it was worth it.
And I wish I’d tried it before – not only does it make life easier for me to tune, but it means I use the metronome more often… which hopefully will help me get better at it.
(Oh, the joke: Someone is walking around New York carrying a violin, clearly lost. He goes up to someone who looks local and asks “How do you get to Carnegie Hall”. The local looks him up and down, looks at the violin case and answers: “Practice”.)
Some questions from readers of these emails… and the answers
Over the last week we’ve had a few questions from people interested in the new course about Windows 10. I’ve picked out some of the most interesting for you here – along with the answers of course:
I’ve tried to check whether I have Windows 10 using that web page you mentioned last time – but it didn’t seem to work – did I do something wrong?
Ah – it turns out that after I mentioned it, so many people went to that web page that it crashed! It’s up and running again now so if you still want to check what version of Windows you have (or whether you have Windows at all) you can go here… and here’s another website that does much the same thing in case the first one crashes again.
Is there a time limit on when I have to start it?
A few people have said they’re thinking of getting a new laptop or other Windows 10 device – but not just yet (maybe it’s for Christmas or in the New Year sales). But since you’ll only be able to enroll in the course this month, they wanted to check if they can join now, but leave starting it until they’ve got their new laptop.
Yes – this is fine. Once you’re in the course you have complete access for as long as the course is online (at least 3 years), so you can join now and then start it in January if you like.
Do I have to work through it at set times?
No – it’s not like an evening class in that way. You can work through each part or “lesson” whenever it suits you. Do it in the evenings, the mornings or even the middle of the night if you like!
You can even get halfway through a lesson and stop there and carry on again next time from wherever you got to – you’re in control.
Can you follow the course on a different device – eg an iPad or an Android tablet?
Yes. You don’t actually have to use a Windows 10 device to follow the course. You can use an iPad or Android tablet if that helps – maybe so you can follow it sat wherever rather than having to sit at your desktop PC.
In fact you can even use two different devices – you can log in on your desktop when you’re at it, then use an iPad to carry on when you go back to it.
I want to stress I’m not saying it shows you how to use an iPad or Android tablet – it shows you how to use Windows 10 PCs, laptops and tablets only. But you can follow through the course on pretty much any device.
Are you selling the course?
Yes we are – it’s from us, not something we’re promoting for someone else or anything like that. And yes, we do charge for it (though having looked around at what the nearest other courses sell for, we might be undercharging) – after the work and cost that went into creating this there’s no way we could offer it without charging.
So, yes, we’re selling it. Only until the 30th November, though. After that we’ll be closing enrolment so you won’t be able to join – best get in before then if you think it might help you.
The full details (including how to join and the rather unusual guarantee) are here – why not have a read.