Thursday, 9 April 2015


"Light the blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance". A phrase most will associate with fireworks but not tablet computers I suspect.

Some time ago I hatched an idea to put together a film kit for the young students I teach Film & TV to on a Saturday. This was to comprise a camcorder, tablet, headphones, and editing software. I've spent many weeks researching the cheapest way to achieve this and remarkably I managed to find everything for under £100.

In order to get this amazing price I had naturally to avoid all the big brand names and high spec machines. This was fairly easy, for example, I only needed the tablet to handle video editing and nothing else, so a simple operating system was the order of the day.

Gradually all the pieces started to arrive. The camcorder was very small but looked like it would do the job. Unfortunately it is powered by three AAA batteries which would only power the camera for one hour. As I have six separate one hour lessons, that was going to require 18 batteries every week.

And I was aiming for 10 sets of kit, so 180 batteries every week!!!  Clearly I had to find an alternative that was rechargeable.

Then the tablet arrived this morning. Unpacked I switched it on. There was enough battery life to get going, but I plugged in the charger anyway. First task was to connect it to the internet so I could download the editing software. This was proving tricky. Though the tablet had found the WiFi name it wouldn't accept the password. I was about to try for the third time, when . . .


There was a bright orange flash as the plug exploded, throwing small pieces of plastic across the room and knocking out my apartments electric box! The event also served to clear my bowels instantly!

Thank goodness I hadn't gone anywhere while it was charging.

After a frustrating amount of time online in a chat room with product support, I was able to arrange to return it. I felt a little mislead as the product was advertised as being dispatched from the UK, which I believe it was, judging by the delivery time, but a little digging uncovered the fact that this product was from China.

The distributor concerned is called Tmart, just in case you find yourself there at some point. Beware.

Thankfully I was at a safe distance, but I wasn't expecting indoor fireworks!

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