I had to come up with a solution and bloody quickly, otherwise those drawn out winter nights were going to last for an eternity. And then I had a brainwave! Why don't I watch TV programmes online on the internet using those new fangled 'iPlayers' that all the channels seem to have these days? Huzzar!
There were only two downsides to this idea; (1) I didn't want to watch the programmes on my laptop screen because it was small and had poor sound; and (2) I wouldn't be able to watch programmes 'live', but given that I am not really a fan of just sitting down and watching what's on (I have a set list of programmes I like), it was rendered inconsequential.
So, after much research, I came up with a plan. I hooked up a spare laptop to my Denon Surround Sound System, and also to the TV screen. I waited with bated breath. And would you believe it? It bloody worked. Who's the mummy?!
I know that picture below is a bit dark, but you can see the TV on the top displaying what is on the screen of the laptop. Underneath is the shelf with the surround sound, and in the cupboard below, you can make out the laptop itself - the nerve centre of my entertainment 'system'.
Pic.No.1. Blimey, it is like a bloody NASA launch pad round at my house
So, all was working well except for one thing which was a bit of a pain in the arse: Everytime I wanted to watch a different programme, I had to get on my knees and use the laptop's touchpad to navigate around the screen. In fact it was way more than a pain in the arse, it was a ballache.
Steve, Izzy's Dad, popped round for a coffee today, and whilst he was relaxing in my kitchen, I was ruminating about what I could do to solve the problem of remotely controlling my laptop (so I didn't have to keep getting up from the sofa and scrubbing around in a TV cabinet), when he came up with a bloody brilliant solution.
"There's an App for that," he said, almost as an aside.
"For controlling my laptop remotely?" I asked suspiciously.
"Yep, I'll get you set up now," he said.
First of all, I had to download the 'Air Mouse' App (free from iTunes) onto my iPhone. Then I had to go to the Air Mouse website and download the controller software onto my laptop.
Pic.No.2. The website from which I obtained the truly excellent Air Mouse
Once that was done, I launched the App on my iPhone and Voila! I have to admit that I was actually more than quite impressed.
Pic.No.3. I could control my laptop screen using just my iPhone (mouse is top half of the screen, and the keyboard is the bottom half)
Normally to gain this kind of functionality, you would have to purchase a wireless mouse and keyboard. But this app meant you could do all that by using your iPhone. How cool is that? Yeh I know I am banging on, but I love sharing stuff that is cool (and I'm not paid to do it godammit!).
So next time you want to plug your laptop into your TV after downloading a film, take note (taps nose) of the Air Mouse.