An Experiment

 

Feet up 001 Wm[1]

 

Over Christmas I joined the tablet revolution.

I’ve downloaded a book or two.. and been reading and commenting on blogs, even if some of those comments did disappear into the ether. I’ve still to actually publish a post. But the real benefit for me is the freedom that it gives. I can keep up with the blog from the sofa, from the car, even from my bed.. perish the thought.

So this week I decided to explore a little further. Many of the blogs I follow contain videos. Would you like to see videos on here?

It’s not straightforward. But what is these days. Not least it blows the limitations of rural ‘broad’band wide open. The minute-and-a-half video below took two and a half hours to upload. And that was with every other device in the house turned off, every other application on my computer shut down. Sheesh.

So, Ptolemy fans, here you are. The man himself, saving me the bother of weeding out wheat, corn and sunflower seedlings from underneath the bird table.

He asked me to tell you that he will be available for autographs later. Doh.

 

 

Now that I’ve cracked video technology, the time might be right to replace the batteries in the squirrel twirler..

 

 

Tagged on: ,

101 thoughts on “An Experiment

  1. Amy at love made my home

    Brilliant Jessica!! I love the way he just stands there taking everything in, no hurry, he’s relaxed, taking his time, chilling out…. I might as well start the onslaught now that you have suggested it that will demand to see the squirrel twirler that surely has to be a sight to behold. Well done you for working all this out, the posting and the filming and everything, shame that it took so long – I thought that superfast broadband was supposed to be coming to your part of the world! Hope that you are having better weather down there today. xx

    1. Jessica Post author

      It’s coming to the next village would you believe.. I guess it will be our turn eventually but no ETA. The weather is dreadful, blowing up to another big storm. Arrgh!

  2. Joanne

    It was a lovely video, are the tablets worth it. Both my boys have ipads which they wont be without, I’m thinking of investing but I only want to download magazines save cluttering up the house with them. What on earth is a squirrel twirler? I must have missed a post.

    1. Jessica Post author

      Magazines were one of my motivators too, but beware they take up a lot of space because of all the pictures. I think I need a pinterest account as well to store the images/ideas I want to keep.
      The squirrel twirler is a baffle for a bird feeder that starts spinning when anything heavier than a bird lands on it. In theory Mr Nutkins jumps off, but they have found ways around it, it’s hilarious. The posts were from last year. Main pics here: http://www.rustyduck.net/2013/04/27/give-us-a-twirl with other posts around it.

  3. Jacqueline

    Ten points and a gold star for your perseverance Jessica …. it was well worth it ….. such a beautiful bird.
    I had an iPad for Christmas. I always said that I loved to hold a book and would never buy a Kindle BUT…… I have downloaded a book from iBooks and it’s brilliant. I think that I just say things because everyone else is saying it !!!! haha. I will now have to look into posting my own videos although I haven’t the first idea how to do it ….. I shall do some research !! XXXX

    1. Jessica Post author

      It’s easy Jackie, it must be as I can do it. You just set the camera on video and press the big red button. The tedious bit is getting it on to YouTube, but as you have a Google account most of that is set up for you too. Hopefully your broadband speed is a whole load better than ours!

    1. Jessica Post author

      I’ve delayed for a long time because I thought I had my laptop and didn’t need anything else, but now I wouldn’t be without the tablet. When I get as far as posting from the tablet the laptop will only get used for heavy duty word processing or spreadsheets.

  4. Wendy

    Great to see Ptolemy starring in a video! I can’t work out if he is looking up hopefully for more food to fall down or if he is trying to size up whether he can reach some himself!
    I’m not very techie, so I’m always impressed by anyone getting to grips with a new gadget. It is annoying about the rural broadband in your area, though. We do at least have faster speeds here.

    1. Jessica Post author

      He was probably doing a bit of both. He tries to reach the fat balls but has to get on to tippy toes to do it, and then usually just swipes at the holder until bits fall off. Of course, with the camera rolling he didn’t attempt it.

  5. wherefivevalleysmeet

    Ptolemy is a great bird with a wonderful name.
    It was lovely to see him strutting his stuff but I had no idea that it took such a long time to upload a video on to Youtube. I wonder if there any programmes to reduce video size in the same way as you can reduce the pixels on a photograph?

    1. Jessica Post author

      It does me too. The squirrels are less of a nuisance this year. With it being so mild they must still have plenty to eat in the woods, but there are a few weeks of winter left yet..

  6. Christina

    Hi Jessica, welcome to the world of tablets :-)! I also like the freedom to move around in the house when reading blogs, but even though we have an iPad, I still prefer to carry my laptop around. I could argue that I do it because it has a bigger screen than the iPad, but is not the true reason why I stick to my laptop, I am simply attached to it and by now I know halfway how it works ;-).
    Love your video of the pheasant. We have seen (and heard) them last time when we were in England in the countryside and therefore for me (true or not) it is a quintessential English bird. I enjoy videos on blogs. It just adds another dimension to it. Wishing you a great rest of the day!
    Christina

    1. Jessica Post author

      Pheasants are certainly plentiful in the countryside around here. The shooting season has just come to an end, so they should be safe for a few months now, from guns anyway. We have had eleven in the garden, at one time, before now!
      I am still exploring how the tablet works… it doesn’t help that you have to keep going on to the internet for the instructions… bring back manuals!

  7. Denise

    Congratulations on your inaugural video flight, Jess (and Ptolemy, you handsome devil!). And aren’t iPads great? I hardly use my desk top now – it seems so slow by comparison.

    Looking forward to ‘Squirrel Spinning – The All Action Adventure of Furry Tailed Folk (May Contain Nuts)!’

    1. Jessica Post author

      You’re right.. it is much quicker. But it’s exposed a problem with our wifi set up too. When they built cob houses back in the seventeenth century they didn’t think far enough ahead. The walls are too thick!!
      These squirrels contain far too many nuts.

  8. Cumbrian

    Amazing little devices, I bought my wife one, Kindle HD fire about 3 months ago, she loved it. Sadly after 2 months, it stopped working. Returned it to Argos, and they agreed to replace it, but the model has been replaced by the Kindle Fire HDX, another £100. But she tells me the difference is remarkable, it can do so many different things.

    1. Jessica Post author

      I have to say I’m totally hooked, especially for reading. Technology does move on so quickly, but it sounds as though the extra £100 was well spent.

  9. elaine

    Husband is getting me a tablet for my birthday – which one do you have? Looking forward to sitting in front of the fire blogging instead of solitary confinement in the bedroom.

    1. Jessica Post author

      I bought an iPad, as my laptop is a mac, albeit a very old one, and I have an iPhone, even older. I hope that means they will all play nicely together.
      I think I have sat in the sitting room more since Christmas than the previous two years put together.. totally liberating!

  10. snowbird

    I’m glad you are enjoying your tablet, I got one a few months back and it drove me mad, everything I touched became bigger, smaller or went poof!!! I know I need to persevere for as you say it’s just so convenient.
    I just loved the Ptolemy video, and given that you spent so long uploading it I watched it twice! Can I have him please?xxx

    1. Jessica Post author

      I know just what you mean by “poof”! I remember about five different attempts at a comment on your blog before I realised what I was doing wrong..
      The instructions are not exactly comprehensive, they must assume a lot of prior knowledge… eh?? But google is wonderful. “can’t make video work on iPad” got me the answer in five seconds flat. Such a simple thing but NOT printed in the instructions.

  11. Abby

    He’s a cool character, isn’t he?! Yes please re the squirrel twirling movie (!). I love my iPad, but I always set up new posts on my laptop, as can’t seem to get the pics on the iPad from Picasa. I’ve downloaded books, but not so keen on that – still prefer the feel of a book. Just started the new Kate Atkinson. Abby x

    1. Jessica Post author

      The getting the pictures to the iPad does seem to be the stumbling block, but we shall see. Haven’t (quite) given up yet! When we’ve gone on holiday an awful lot of weight in my case was books… shall have more room for clothes now :)

  12. 1princerupert1

    He is such a handsome bird and so helpful, too.

    My husband gave me a tablet and then kept borrowing it – he’s used it more than I have. No longer – he has his own now. It arrived today.

    Well done on the video, too. I’ve only just discovered how to upload videos to my blog – as usual with new things I’ve gone slightly overboard – with more to follow;-)

    1. Jessica Post author

      The videos are a bit of fun. Next time I’ll set it uploading overnight. Although probably not tonight, the lights are flickering madly! If only Ptolemy did not also eat snowdrops. And hellebores. Fritillaries…

  13. Janet/Plantaliscious

    I love my tablet, for exactly the reason that I can read blogs and look up plants wherever I want to be rather than being chained to my desk. Ptolemy clearly needs an upmarket brand of alcohol to lend his image to, he needs to appear on billboards the length and bredth of the country to satisfy his ego! Well worth the challenge of uploading via countryside “broad” band.

    1. Jessica Post author

      There used to be a pheasant on a packet of McCain oven chips (I note it’s now a swallow). Possibly not as upmarket as Ptolemy would have liked. And unfortunately Mike always interpreted it as a serving suggestion..

  14. islandthreads

    well done Jessica, you are better than I am I bought myself a small tablet (half screen size) last autumn and still haven’t got the hang of touch screens, so I revert to the laptop which I am also still getting used to, I miss my mouse,
    your two and a half hours have explain why videos I tried to upload didn’t! although it said it was uploading after 15-20 mins. I thought something had gone wrong and stopped it, now I know, enjoyed yours, Frances

    1. Jessica Post author

      It drove me mad Frances, because it kept stopping. I restarted it twice because I thought it had given up. Nightmare. When it stopped again at 96% done I was tearing my hair out.

  15. Crafty Gardener

    Woo Hoo, great job. I loved seeing Ptolemy. I’ve been searching out some little felt patterns for birds and found a pheasant and immediately thought of you. Just might have to make one and name it Ptolemy in honour of the real one. :)

  16. Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots

    Sounds as though your broadband is the same as ours. I rarely watch videos on blogs as I spend half the time watching the wretched thing buffering. My tablet means that at last I can sit in the warm by the fire reading blogs instead of freezing at the desktop but I have terrible trouble commenting. This is from the desktop!

    1. Jessica Post author

      Comments were the biggest issue for me too, especially WordPress for some reason. Whenever I tried to publish a comment the page would throw me out and I’d have to start all over again.

  17. Em

    Unfortunately, the first three seconds have taken five minutes to load on my narrow-band. It just keeps buffering. Perhaps I’ll wait till the morning when less people might be on the internet???? I love our tablet and as for my phone….fantastic! x

    1. Jessica Post author

      It’s rubbish tonight Em, I can’t even watch the video myself. Ptolemy has gone all jerky and robotic! Maybe the wind is shaking the cables around.

  18. Sue@GLAllotments

    I also joined the tablet revolution over Christmas but I can;t see me completing a post on it! MIne’s an iPad and it is a pity I can’t view Flash objects on it.

    What is it above that is fascinating Ptolemy? We YouTube our videoa and just add the code onto Blogger.

    1. Jessica Post author

      I think it must have been birds on top of the table he was watching. Last year’s Ptolemy, if indeed it was a different one, used to fly up and land on the bird table. I’m rather glad this one doesn’t, the table couldn’t cope with his weight and developed an alarming list..

  19. woolythymes

    so glad it was Ptolemy who starred in the first video! (he did sort of look like he was milking his debut!) moreover, i’m so impressed that you figured out all this…..I’m lucky to be able to post photos!!!

  20. Simone

    Great video. I think Ptolemy needs his own YouTube channel now! Once you have put batteries in the squirrel twirler, can we have a video of them using it?!!! Please? x

  21. Chloris

    Have you trained Ptolemy not to eat you bulbs or is he just naturally well-behaved as well as being a film star?
    I have country broadband too, so I appreciate what you were up against trying to upload your video. Well done!

    1. Jessica Post author

      There is a way to go with the training. You can just see a small clump of snowdrops, which I’d carefully positioned next to the Ophiopogon? There’s a reason it’s small..

  22. CJ

    Clever you, with the clever technology. And what a magnificent bird. You’re so lucky to have him right outside of your window, and looking straight at you if I’m not mistaken!

    1. Jessica Post author

      If I’d thought more about it, I wouldn’t have bought the stabilo yellow cover for the tablet.. it’s not the smartest idea for wildlife filming. Ptolemy must have been wondering what the heck it was!

    1. Jessica Post author

      Oh no, not sure why that would be.. I hope the next one will work for you.
      Finding the time to play with it is the never-ending problem.

  23. Christina

    I share your frustrations with slow internet. There isn’t an ADSL connection at all where we live so have to use a satellite disc connection which is expensive and not all that fast and when the weather is windy the connection is weaker. I enjoy my iPad but have only actually posted from it twice, I find it easier on the computer but I find it great to follow other bloggers and comments. Obviously for me it is a huge advantage being able to download books and magazines in English!

    1. Jessica Post author

      We have been toying with the idea of satellite internet, but it is expensive here too. I hadn’t thought about the effect of wind. Especially today, when the lights are already flickering, that would be a factor. The trees probably wouldn’t help either.

  24. Jayne Hill

    Video and rural broadband – two items that just do not coexist comfortably. Tell me how I know that (and ask yourself why there are rarely any videos at Bag End?) I get annoyed and shout at the TV when I see another advert selling me some wonderful movie service I could download, “no I flippin’ can’t”.

    Well done with the new technology; I’m hooked on my Kindle, over 40 books completed since it arrived and still reading!

    1. Jessica Post author

      You are going great guns with your Kindle. The more I think about it, the more I must get my life in order so that I’ve got time to read.

  25. frayed at the edge

    Brilliant – I love the way he very carefully puts his foot on the irrigation tube, before stepping over it. I have a Kindle which I love for reading – and of course it’s great for holidays – no piles of books in the suitcase! And recently I bought a Hudl, which I have just about mastered. It came into its own over Christmas and New Year, when we had “celebrity” Mastermind and University Challenge, as I could google the celebs to find out who they were!! I also have an ipod which I use during the day to check my emails (yes, sad, I know!) ……. and I musn’t forget my trusty laptop, on which I write my blog. Not a bad collection for a technophobe!!

    1. Jessica Post author

      I keep meaning to take that irrigation tube away. It has long since been redundant because the birds ensure, especially him with the big feet, that nothing I plant there survives!
      It is amazing how quickly these electronic gadgets make themselves indispensable.

  26. Cathy

    Tee hee – I thought he was sizing up his ‘flight path’ to the bird table too! A very handsome fellah, but I think I am glad I don’t have any of his cousins in our garden. I love my smartphone for alerting me to new posts and comments but I have always posted and commented from my laptop at the kitchen table – and using a mouse as I thought I detected a touch of RSI from increased useage! I have no desire for a tablet or kindle at the moment but who knows in the future – and in the meantime it has been intriguing to read all the varied comments about them

    1. Jessica Post author

      The thought of RSI did occur to me too… all the swiping up and down readers and posts with your finger. Perhaps I should swop fingers occasionally!

    1. SeagullSuzie

      I really like the videos, so hope to see more. My new camera is supposed to video very well so I’m hoping I can find some interesting things to add to the blog-maybe the slow worms would be a good start when the weather warms up.

  27. angiesgardendiaries

    Great video Jessica – we’ll be expecting Oscar nomination quality before long :)
    Was in the market for a new device back in October. I was torn between a tablet and new laptop. I decided to stick with a laptop. My phone does just about as much as a tablet therefore didn’t see the advantage in having one. I have a little stool thingy that I rest the laptop on whilst lounging about on the sofa.
    Back to Ptolemy – isn’t he handsome and looks very much at home there in your garden.

    1. Jessica Post author

      It very much depends on what you need to do on it, a tablet seems to be just a very big phone. I internet browse on the tablet and keep the laptop for any ‘serious’ work.
      Last year the pheasants would sit and watch me work in the garden, and even came round looking for grubs.. like robins!

  28. Alison

    Thanks for sharing that video. He’s quite handsome. I’ve never seen a pheasant before. I noticed in a reply above, you mentioned maybe joining Pinterest. You should! I love keeping and getting ideas there.

    1. Jessica Post author

      I believe it is quite addictive! But a great way to keep digital images.. The number of magazines that clutter up the place can be drastically reduced.

    1. Jessica Post author

      Ha! The need for irrigation feels a world away doesn’t it. That particular pipe is coming out though. Nothing will grow there.. the birds see to that.

  29. Vintage Jane

    I love my Ipad but haven’t yet tried video. I love that I can upload photos onto my blog from my camera in super quick time but haven’t yet actually managed to master posting a blog from my it! I upload the photos to a new post using my Ipad and then add the text and post from my PC at work in my break.
    I find it’s great for playing Scrabble in the evening …

I'd love to hear from you..

%d bloggers like this: