BBC iPlayer on your computer, tablet or phone

How to watch catch-up BBC TV

This post is prompted by people asking how they can watch the BBC 4 series Soon Gone on a laptop, tablet or phone.

Answer — you can watch it in a web browser, or you can install the BBC iPlayer app — but first you have to register your email address, so that you can log in to iPlayer with a password. It’s very easy …

BBC registration page

More links about BBC iPlayer

Watching iPlayer on the drop-in computers

  • You can login to your BBC account and watch iPlayer in a web browser on any computer connected to the Internet.
  • But please use headphones — don’t force your neighbour to listen 🙂

Recycled software

Another way to avoid exploitation

Don’t pay for over-priced software that you don’t need!

This post is about how you can find a cheaper and more appropriate version of MS Office (which includes MS Word), if you really need it.

Recommended MS Office versions

  • MS Office Home and Student 2007 — possibly the best deal, but not common now. One license allows you to install on three devices.
  • MS Office 2010 Pro — widely used. For example, the current A5 flyers and A3 posters for the drop-in and podcast were edited with MS Word 2010 because that’s what I use to edit complex documents for commercial printing. MS Publisher 2010 is also very useful — and the last version of Publisher that can create documents in the CMYK format that commercial printers require.

More recent versions of MS Word are not superior, just more expensive.

How to buy a retail product key

This is how we got MS Office 2007 or 2010 on the drop-in laptops.

What you need to know about buying MS Office this way …

  • What you actually pay for is a pre-used licence key — a retail product that can be transferred and traded.
  • Always make sure that you are paying for a key, not a recurring subscription.
  • The software itself is a free download from the Microsoft server. The licence key that you pay for enables you to install and use the software legally — and you can move it to a new computer if you upgrade your hardware.
  • When you buy a pre-used licence key, the seller company provides detailed instructions on what to do with it.
  • By the way — if you have bought a Windows computer with MS Office pre-installed, you do not have a retail key. You cannot sell it or move it to a different computer.

Sellers

There are several UK sellers in this market. I’m not going to recommend any of them because you — as the buyer — must use your own judgement, not mine. I have been satisfied as a customer of Software Geeks (softwaregeeks.co.uk), but they have competitors and it might be foolish to ignore them.

Getting help

Although this procedure is quite straightforward, digital beginners can easily get lost. However, our drop-in volunteers can probably help you — provided you are already comfortable buying online with a credit or debit card.

If you are a Windows user, our volunteers might also point out that …

  • Open-source LibreOffice Writer (libreoffice.org/discover/writer) is not only free, it will probably meet all your word-processing requirements.
  • All versions of Windows since 1995 have included a simple word-processor named Wordpad — so if your needs are basic, you already have what you are looking for.

I have found a new simpler way to make a phone call

I and a lot of others get frustrated by the smart mobile phone, which can soon get overwhelmed by the complexity of it, just to make a phone call.

So I downloaded a program called “Speed Dial Lite”.

It allows you to set up a picture board of buttons with large photographs on it.

Pressing your picture that you recognise, and it immediately dials the number from your contacts,

No more hunting up and down lists.

You can then see the same picture in the telephone app and drop the call by pressing the red telephone symbol if you want to stop the call.

Ask for a demo from Stephen on Wednesday if you want to try it out.

It is on Google for Free, so you can download it and get a son or daughter to set it up for you if you wish. You will need a photo of the person you want to call on the phone.

Do you own an Ipad?

Recently I had to help out someone transferring files (photo and videos) to a Windows laptop PC.

Unfortunately Apple has changed the software for Ipads over version 10, so now the Windows driver software cannot cope. You can still see the internal memory on the Ipad, you just cannot save to it, or get files from it.

So apart from a USB lead which plugs into the Ipad and the USB socket on the PC (same as the one you use for charging the Ipad from a USB charger), you now need to download and run some software on the PC.

There are several programs on the Internet that allow you to transfer files without using Apples Itunes running on the PC, including those that are charged for.

But one of them is Free and I have used, it is called “EaseUS MobiMover”, which allows you to transfer files both ways to and from the PC.

http://download.easeus.com/free/mobimover_free.exe

You download and run it on your PC, connect your Ipad and away you go.

Dementia Music Player Launched

Dementia Player 2

I have written an app for playing Music for dementia users.
It is now on Google Play, for Android mobiles called Dementia Player.
Dementia Player.1 is for older android mobiles and tablets. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thunkable.android.adams1stephen.DemPlayer1

Dementia Player.2 is for the ones with Kitkat (4.4) operating system or later. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thunkable.android.adams1stephen.DementiaPlayer2

Explanation is on the web site.

Once set up, dementia users can press a flashing coloured square and get one of 9 songs, of their choice.
It is free to use, asking people if they like it to donate to the Alzheimer’s Society UK.

Add a Photograph to your telephone numbers and Contacts

Phonebook
Phone book with pictures

For Apple

  1. Launch the Phone app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the contact name that you’d like to add a photo for.
  3. Tap on the Edit button in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Tap on Add Photo.
  5. Either take a new photo or tap on Choose Photo to open your Camera Roll to pick an existing one.
  6. Find the photo you’d like to use for your contact in your Camera Roll.
  7. Position the photo like you want it and tap on Choose at the bottom when you’re done.
  8. Tap Done on the contact card to save your changes.

For Android

  1. Pick the Phone app, Pick the contacts icon
  2. Choose EDIT and tap the blank photo space in the upper left corner.
  3. Press USE CAMERA or GALLERY to add the picture.
  4. Adjust the photo in the square to correctly crop the picture.
  5. Press DONE to save the changes.
  6. The contacts photo will appear in contacts and phone book against the phone number.

Hint for those people with a mobile phone

You can also use it to transfer data between a  laptop and the phone as well!

I have bought a USB extension cable for one pound at the overflow shop in Mare Street.

This is 5 metres long and enables me to put my phone on charge on the nearest table, rather than on the floor next to the nearest power socket.

The USB lead you get with the phone is usually only 1 metre long, so everyone puts their phone on charge near the socket. This leads to people stepping on it and damaging the socket when it gets accidentally pulled out.

Putting the extension cable in the charger and the other end having a socket to take the charger cable (this works for Apple as well as other Android phones) gives you plenty of cable to put it safely on a table or out of the way.

AcTo Dementia — Accessible Touchscreen Apps for Dementia

Supports people to find and use dementia-friendly touchscreen apps

AcTo Dementia provides recommendations and guidance on accessible touchscreen apps for people living with dementia. This website is an ideal resource for anyone with a diagnosis of dementia, or anyone looking to support a person with a diagnosis, to find and use apps on a tablet computer for entertainment. We are a group of university researchers unaffiliated with any app developers and all of our recommendations have been through an evidence-based review process.

Visit AcTo Dementia