Tuesday 5 April 2016

Our pals Martyn and Louise come to the rescue letting us use their place for the Facebook Live stream....

Our pals Martyn and Louise come to the rescue letting us use their place for the Facebook Live stream….if you missed it, click the pic and watch the replay on my Facebook page.

AFTER yesterday’s experiment with Facebook Live video streaming I plan a more organised stream for this evening…a new song, some chat and some Q&A at 7.30pm. I spread the word via Facebook, Twitter etc.

Messing about with my iPhone and Facebook’s Mentions app which handles the live streaming, I find out internet copnnection’s ‘too slow’ to run the app. Uh-oh. I install the app on Margaret’s phone to see if her newer iPhone and higher specc’d wifi connectivity will help. Nope.

I run a speed check on our connection and find we have a 6.9 meg download speed. Crap by many standards, but workable. Upload is a measly 0.3 meg. Now that is nothing short of shite…and is clearly why Facebook Live ain’t gonna work.

I try direct wired connections between the laptop and various modem setups (including the crappy BT Homehub), but to no avail. With an hour already wasted, I try and online chat with BT. Takes 25 minutes to get an ‘agent’ on the other end who tells me ‘we don’t guarantee upload speeds’. I explain I don’t really care what they do or don’t guarantee….the service is unworkable. And expensive. ‘Nothing I can do’ they say…I ask who can and am offered the customer service number.

The response there is quicker and the experience a little more conducive to solving the problem. After then minutes or so of testing and to-ing and fro-ing I’m told there does seem to be a problem with the line/service and it’ll be passed onto the network team. Could be 48 hours ’til we see an improvement (if any).

I call my pal Martyn along the road. We got it working at his place yesterday so, if he’s around and not busy, maybe we could impose ourselves and do the stream from his place. He’s totally up for it, so we arrange to head along just after 7pm…we’ve some pulled pork out the freezer, so offer to take it along for dinner by way of a thank you.

Facebook Live under control, I get on with a website I’m developing for someone and manage to get it finished. I let them know – they have a look and request a few minor changes and we arrange to meet tomorrow so I can show them how to update the content.

At 7pm we head along to Martyn and Louise’s. A quick check and the internet connection;s still good…we set up and go live…fifteen minutes of chat, a new song and responses to comments/questions coming in and we’re done. It’s easy, informal and fun….lots of viewers, interaction and we deem the exercise a great success. You can replay the video on my Facebook page.

We drink beer, eat then enjoy a dram before we finally head home a good while later than we intended!

Saturday 2 April 2016

Rab plays a fantastic show at Gartmore Village Hall

Rab plays a fantastic show at Gartmore Village Hall

WE have a pretty lazy morning…I still haven’t quite shaken off the lurgy, so maybe a bit of a rest’s a good thing.

After a late breakfast I pick up a guitar and run through a bunch of songs I haven’t played in ages. It feels good. Margaret asks me about the new song I’ve been messing with in the studio…I explain I couldn’t ‘find’ the vocal melody and it was all over the place when i tried to record it yesterday.

I pick up the guitar and run through it. Works pretty good and sounds fine. So what was the problem in the studio? I think it’s because I was overdubbing the vocals rather than playing the song live….somethingI rarely – actually never – do and that reminds why. I need to play the guitar and sing at the same time, That’s just the way it is.

After the recent interruptions in internet service, I investigate possible causes. We have a fancy-assed Netgear router which doesn’t have a built-in ADSL modem (ie: for ‘normal’ BT Broadband). To get round that, we used our old BT Homehub as a modem and disabled the wireless router…the Homehub, though, I think is goosed…plus, running through two devices could be causing sporadic IP conflcts.

I go onto Amazon and find a cheap ADSL modem for a tenner and  a ethernet switch to plug all our ‘internet enabled’ devices into – they should be here tomorrow (Sunday) with free delivery courtesy of Amazon Prime.

Meantime, Margaret prepares a roast and knocks up a big pile of Yorkshire puddings. Catriona’s coming to stay tonight and we’re having an early dinner so we can get to Gartmore in good time for my pal Rab’s gig there tonight.

Catriona is driving and we get there with time to chat to our friends from the village then settle down and enjoy the show. Gartmore Hall has (fairly) recently been renovated and it;s a nice space for gig. Rab, of course, plays a blinder mixing some of his older material with tracks from his latest I’m Walking Here album. Great songs, engaging performance and an incredibly assured and strong guitar playing.

We bid farewell and head home for a snack, a few glasses of wine and plenty chat before bed.

Margaret's Yorkies are amazing!

Margaret’s Yorkies are amazing!