A working model hovercraft!
That was one of Alastair and Edward’s Christmas presents from Mum and Dad. It was one you make from a kit – and something they were really excited about.
We were down visiting them over Christmas, but the boys didn’t get a chance to build it while we were down there, so they sat down to build it (with a bit of help from me…) last week.
And once we’d built it, it worked brilliantly. A shame Mum and Dad couldn’t see it… except they could.
Because I pulled out my smartphone and took a video of it and shared it with Mum on Facebook. Mum and Dad watched it and a few minutes later I’d heard back from them.
I don’t know if you’ve ever used a phone or tablet to take videos but if you’ve used them to take photos, it’s just as easy. You go into the camera app and tap the video symbol instead of the camera shutter symbol. Sometimes the video symbol is a red “record” button and sometimes it’s a little picture of a video camera.
Either way, tap that to start recording and tap it again (it’ll usually have changed into a stop symbol) to stop.
Then if you go into the gallery or wherever you normally look at the photos you’ve taken you can usually tap on a picture or a video and then tap on a little symbol of a few dots connected together by lines to share it with other people in various ways – email, facebook or whatever you prefer.
It can be handy for all sorts of things – and the video quality is surprisingly good.
Handy when you wish you could show something to someone who’s not there!
Passwords and drop down menus
You’ve probably had to choose a password for various things you do online – whether it’s logging in to check electricity bills, your bank or using an online shop.
Sometimes you type the password in, but sometimes it only asks you for 3 characters from it – sometimes the 3, 5 and 7th, sometimes the 1st, 4th and 8th or whatever.
And sometimes you don’t even type those letters in, you choose them from a drop down menu using the mouse or tapping on the letter or number you want.
It can be a bit fiddly – and unlike many drop down menus, you usually can’t just tap the letter on the keyboard to jump straight to the one you want.
You might have found it frustrating and wondered “Why can’t they just let me type these letters in?”
Well, it’s because of the way some sneaky viruses and such-like work – ones that try to spot when you’re typing in bank details or important passwords. It’s much easier for these programs to tell what you’re typing than to tell what you’ve clicked on on the screen.
So it’s much safer if you don’t type the letters from your password – if you choose them from a list. Which is why some websites don’t let you type them in – it’s to help keep your password safe.
It can be frustrating – but better than crooks stealing your login details!