Friday, 19 October 2012

Customer of the week: Jola Kilroy

Another business customer this week. Only about a third of my customers run businesses, but they tend to be keener to get on the web than normal people. Even so, I will attempt to cajole a shy home user into the light for next week's entry.

So this week we have Jola Kilroy, the Queen of Caversham and the owner of three hair salons: JK Barbers on Prospect Street, Hair Studio on Hemdean Road and Village Barbers in Sonning Common.

Beautiful,smart, funny and outrageous, she has not a clue how to operate a computer. In case you think I exaggerate, here is one of our first computer encounters.

HELEN: You need to move the mouse Jola.
JOLA: (peers at screen) What mouse?

In spite of this technical knowhow deficit, Jola envisaged something that computers might be able to do for her. She wanted to be able to see what was going on in her other salons without driving there. This was only just barely possible when she first thought of it.

And this week her vision came to pass. It has taken:

  • 3 years
  • 13 assorted cameras
  • 5 mixed DVRs
  • 10 badly translated and incomprehensible manuals
  • 40 hours of research
  • 5 desktops and 2 laptops
  • 5 internet connections
  • 30 visits to the salons to figure out why various camera systems have stopped streaming
  • 8 hours of phone calls to internet providers with the other end having no idea what we were talking about
  • Jola's dogged determination to keep us at it, and our refusal to give up and simply leave the country
It has been a big project, but all worth it when I see Jola on her laptop, yes! moving the mouse! and clicking between live video streams from the three salons. If you play the video you can hear how chuffed Jola is.

Incidentally, technology has moved on loads since we started this project and we at have learned a lot. The chances are we could set you up with a similar system a lot quicker!

By the way -  I know the video plays twice, the second time silently. I have no idea why this is. I've been on a learning curve doing things I only dimly understand. Twenty-seven years in the trade and I can still be baffled by computers.

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