Some days, things just don't go to plan! I had planned on working while visiting my friends in France. This was based on several reasonable assumptions:
I would have wifi (it has been available on previous visits)
My laptop camera would work (it used to) - this wasn't even an assumption really, it never crossed my mind that it wouldn't work
The audio quality on recording would be reasonable (it has been previously)
I knew my wifi would probably be a bit slow but it would workable. Reality has turned out somewhat different.
Let's start with the wifi.
It doesn't work unless I am in one room downstairs. As I'm recording video and audio, being with everyone else doesn't really work just now.
Good news - Vodafone wrote and, somewhat proudly, informed me that they were very generously including 4GB Mobile Data while roaming. I thought - this could work.
My iPad said "Yippee - I'm connected!!"
My laptop said - "What? Huh?" Then declined to connect wirelessly. I did not give in, I plugged in my USB connector and my laptop admitted defeat - it connected, then disconnected, then reconnected, then stayed on for a bit - very very slowly - before disconnecting again. I admitted defeat.
I figured I could work with this. I could do work on the different devices and then go downstairs and put them together while connected to wifi.
So life was good.
I went ahead with the first recording. The sound was bad. I expected this, it's not reliable when just using my laptop. I got my headset which generally gives acceptable performance.
I borrowed my friend's headset.
So I recorded the audio on my iPad while viewing the slides on my laptop.
Fantastic! It worked.
Then I tried to put the two together - back to my wifi issues. And I had lots more recordings to do.
I retired, somewhat grumpily, to the terrace to read my book, enjoy the sunshine and tried to forget that there was any need for me to get anything done.
Admittedly it is a very nice terrace and there was beautiful hot sunshine beaming down (I won't mention the work going on that meant my peace was sometimes disrupted by drilling, hammering and deliveries of something or other in a very big beeping vehicle!).
As I relaxed, I worked out my plan. I would do a combined approach - initial video on laptop to get the slides working properly. Audio on iPad to get that all done. Downstairs to put it all together. Video & audio intros could be done on my iPad or phone and transferred.
I went for a walk through the vineyards
with my friend and the dog and then sat in the sun some more. I was happy - I had a plan.
Then life got better - we found a wifi extender and after a few more challenges, got it working - so now I was spoilt for choice, I could work however best suited me!
I woke up early and went for walk to take in the sunrise. It lived up to all my friends promised and I got back, ready to get going.
I recorded a small intro video as a test on my iPhone. It looked fine, sounded reasonable so I uploaded it to dropbox and synced my laptop with it. It was all coming together.
Then I played the video. I have to admit it did give me a laugh. The sound was fine but the frame rate on the video had gone funny so instead of a smooth video you get these very unattractive freeze frames of me (eyes closed, mouth open, etc etc).
I decided to do another attempt on my laptop.
Now the camera denied all recollection of ever working. It told me some other app was using it (there was nothing else running).
I went down to check on the dog and make tea for the builders.
Then I restarted my laptop (let's face it, all support calls involve you restarting your computer!).
Still no joy.
I checked my task manager - nothing worth noting was running. I started wandering through various settings to see if there was an option I needed to change.
Then I did the normal google search to find a solution. Eventually, after being informed by my laptop that it had never heard of a driver for my camera, I managed to install an update, obediently restart my laptop and, with high hopes, tried again.
It didn't work😠
Back to task manager I went, in search of that elusive app that might be hogging my camera. I narrowed it down and ended a few processes.
Suddenly - there it was - my camera was working!!!
I did a little test to confirm it was all working. It was!
I decided to write a blog on it all. I am trying not to think about the fact that, while all my technical ducks seem to be in a row, there is the small problem of the builders at the moment (you'll hear the problem if you play the video below - I kept it short!).
It just goes to show that no matter what you plan, things change.
When it happens, give yourself time to think and a break away from whatever is causing the problem.
Look at how you can work around but be realistic. The answer may be a different approach but it might mean a change in timelines or heading to a different goal. Make the best decision you can with the information you have to hand.
If you feel that you or someone else in your business would benefit from a chat with me to see how I can support your business, email me at email@example.com
PS Did I mention the brief swarm of bees earlier! I can't wait till later this afternoon when we go for a lovely walk followed by drinks on a terrace overlooking vineyards enjoying the last warmth of the sun before the chill of the Spring night closes in.