I have not posted anything for a couple because... well reasons. We shall say no more on the matter.
What we shall talk about, however, is the new fangled gadget from the good people at Google.
It's called a Chromecast and is currently on sale (in the Uk anyway) for around £20. (rrp £30)
For £20 I thought I would jump the gun and buy one.... so I did.
It arrived this morning and with a bit of jiggery pokery, some tense minutes watching a circle tell me what percentage I had left to go for updates, we had a fully functioning.... thing.
This in it'self is a great leap forward in technology.
Long time followers of this blog will know that me and technology do not mix and the fact that i got this gizmo working first attempt with little or no swearing is nothing short of a blooming miracle.
Okay, lets start with the good stuff.
This thing is small. around the size of a Vole or maybe a large Butterfly. It is also around 2 inches in length (probably less).
It fits into an HDMI socket (the one for HD TV) and is powered by a USB cable that fits into a USB wall charger (like a smartphone has) or if you are lucky, straight into the USB port on your TV.
It is very quiet and makes no noise all. Although I have noticed it gets very VERY warm.... this something I need to keep an eye on.
BUT WHAT IS IT FOR BUMF?!?!?!?
I'm not entirely sure.
From what i can gather this is a device for sharing things and showing them on the TV for everyone else to say "oooh!" but actually think. "Oh no! this is going to be one of those MY HOLIDAY SLIDE SHOW THINGS EVERYONE DID IN THE 70'S"
So far I have been able to "cast" the screen of my laptop and my phone onto the TV screen.
This seems to be the main purpose of the device.
It allows the user to share videos, pictures, music or anything else you can think of from the computer screen on to the TV.
The advantage of this is that more people can see more things without having to crowd around your laptop or phone.
There is nothing worse than being breathed on. With the Chromecast, this is no longer an issue.
BUT IT MUST DO MORE THAN THAT!?!?!
You'd think... but so far that is all it can do.
It really is a gadget that offers very little to increase the value of society or save time. It does not make using the internet any easier.
What it does do though is help you to share.
It's a sharing stick.
And sharing photo's and videos and youtube clips are what it does best.
What it doesn't do though... well, that's another kettle of idiots altogether.
WHAT DOESN'T IT DO BUMF?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?
The BBC I-Player does not work on the chromecast.
It says it does. The BBC says it does. Heck, even the internet says it does... but it doesn't. Not from the laptop anyway.
From my phone I am able to stream/cast the BBC app. Which is fine and dandy, but from the desktop/laptop? Not a bean. Just a very annoying message that says "Ready to stream!"
As if that makes it all better.
I think I have narrowed down the issue to the BBC themselves as there is no CAST button to press on the site. (according the the BBC help section, there should be).
No doubt there are other issues with the gadget that I come across in due course. But that is the nature of things these days.
I am not alone in being unable to CAST the BBC I-player, as there are many unanswered questions in many forums and help pages dotted around the BBC and Chromecast websites...
Plus I am a right proper Jinx when it comes to technology.
IS IT WORTH BUYING?
REALLY? BUT YOU SAID IT HAD PROBLEMS?
yes. it does have issues. There are not a lot of useful apps (for me anyway) that are not readily available on what ever device you are reading this from, but it is an extension to the devices we already use and thinking of it in those terms makes it worth having.
I am very confident that in the coming months there will be many more USEFUL apps and extensions for the chromecast that WILL make it more useful and usable, but for now it's something worth having for the small price it costs.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW...
If you have been tempted in the past to get one, I say say go for it while they are on offer. £20 is a fair price, I think, for this device. If I had paid £30 then I would be a bit annoyed... but that saving of £10 does make a difference. Plus there should be many more useful apps in the pipe line in the near future.
It up to you.
I'm not your mum. I can't TELL you what to do.
links - Info on chromecast