Daunted By Modern Technology?
Stuart Webb discovers the perfect solution with Fingertips

In the brave new world of state-of-the-art digital and computer technology, it's virtually impossible to keep up to speed with the sheer number of sophisticated devices and systems that are being launched on the market. And if – like me – you're rather daunted by technology… well, you can forget it!

As a child in the 1960s, I can remember marvelling at the invention of fax machines and photocopiers. Later, I have vivid, albeit frustrating, memories of trying to install my first video recorder; it proved such a patience-shredding experience that I got perilously close to throwing it out of the window.

That incident could be why I resolutely held onto my faithful Dell computer for 13 years (several generations in computer years!). For some time, inevitably, it had been operating at the speed of a clockwork snail in a thunderstorm, while Windows 7 was constantly flashing alerts like a strobe light at the local disco.

Clearly, something had to be done. There was nothing for it but to take the technological plunge and so, with some trepidation, I began researching the options. After countless hours on the Internet (courtesy of my elderly clockwork snail), numerous trips to computer stores and sage advice from many ‘well meaning' friends, I wasn't really any further forward. To be frank, I was utterly bemused by the choice available, not to mention all the jargon.

For example, should I go for a tower, a laptop or an i5 or i7 core processor? And which make was best? Fortunately, salvation came in the form of a chance meeting with Catherine Lister, the owner of Fingertips, a technology support business. Fingertips boasts an expert team that specialises in every sector of 21st century computer and digital technology, such as phones, TVs, sound systems, wireless routing… even digitising your photographic collection.

Catherine listened patiently to my sorry tale of exhaustive research and agonising hesitation and, after much to-ing and fro-ing on my part, helped me come to a decision. I opted for a Lenovo ideacentre 300 tower with an i7 core processor, 12GB and 2TB of storage, including Windows 10, a iiyama 24” monitor, a Canon printer/scanner and the Microsoft Office for Home and Student Word package.

It was only when the boxes arrived on the doorstep that my previous ordeal with the video player began to haunt me. Not only did I have to make all this ‘new stuff' work, but, somehow, I also had to extract the files and documents from the old machine. Not a clue! I wanted to enjoy my computer, not make it my bitterest enemy, so I called in Fingertips.

Catherine kindly arranged an appointment with Graeme, one of her PC experts, and also advised me on the dos and don'ts of buying an external hard drive to download the data from my venerable Dell.

Promptly at 9am the following Tuesday, Graeme arrived at the house. I duly talked him through my purchasing journey to date, explained my fears and requirements and, rather embarrassedly, showed him my soon-to-be-decommissioned computer and the stack of smartly boxed new equipment.

To my utter joy, he simply smiled and nodded, made some notes and asked a few pertinent questions. Without any further ado, he set about hooking up my freshly purchased external hard drive and downloading my existing files, all the while explaining what he was doing and why.

We then unpacked the boxes. And it was when Graeme pointed out that I had been mistakenly supplied with a DVI cable – apparently, I needed a VGA or HDMI cable – that I knew I'd been right to call in the experts! Even better, as I began to despair, he grinned and produced a spare cable from his bag.

In no time at all my new Lenovo Tower had sprung to life and Graeme started by showing me how to get the systems up and running and helped me create passwords. By now my old files had downloaded and were ready to be transferred and, while this was happening, he moved straight on to setting up my wireless (less cabling in the house) Canon printer.

Rather like a midwife teaching a new Dad how to change nappies, Graeme encouraged me to bond with the printer by putting in the cartridges myself. No fear in the future, it was easy. In a jiffy, we'd got all the systems talking to each other and had also installed anti-virus software and were printing test documents. He even showed me an app on my phone that allowed me to print and advised me on how to link the computer with my smart TV. Whisper it, but I was actually starting to enjoy this new technology!

When I booked Fingertips, I asked for an early start assuming that the process would be a lengthy one (lunch had been bought). But impressively, Graeme was finished in less than three and a half hours; I would have still been reading the manuals, if not throwing the printer out of the window.

My experience with Fingertips proves that there is simply no point in making life more stressful for yourself by tackling a job that is, for the professionals, a doddle. I had invested over a £1000 on computer equipment, so spending £60 per hour on having it professionally installed was money well spent.

If you are excited by, but wary of, new technology, there's nothing like the comfort of a safety net. Help truly is at hand with Fingertips: as the company website says: “it really is like having an IT department for your home.”


April 12, 2016