Top Video Call Tips

Read time: 3 minutes

It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t quite panned out the way we all would have hoped; and particularly the festive season. Not being able to have all your family together for Christmas or bring in the New Year surrounded by friends certainly isn’t how we planned on ending the year; but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and make the best of things. Thankfully, modern technology has made it possible to still spend time with our loved ones (albeit virtually).

The Corona Virus pandemic saw the use of video calling apps increase by an average of 947% across the UK. Unsurprising, given many businesses had to change to remote working, relying on platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to keep in touch with colleagues; and let’s not forget the summer lockdown craze of family Zoom quizzes.  

Popularity of Zoom skyrocketed this year, but it isn’t the only option out there for video calling. There are several free video call software options to choose from:

·         Skype

·         Facebook Messenger or Rooms

·         Google Meets

·         FaceTime (only available on Apple devices)

·         And of course, Zoom

We could go on and tell you about the positives and negatives of each platform, but truth be told, they are all pretty similar. The one you choose will either come to personal preference or going with whatever the organiser has chosen. That being said, there are ways to make your video calling experience more enjoyable and that’s what we are here for.

Top Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Video Calls

1.       Use a laptop rather than a handheld device: there is nothing more annoying than having to hold a phone or tablet for video call; finding the right position so you can see the other people and they can see you, making sure your fingers aren’t covering the mic and not accidentally hanging up are issues nobody needs. That’s why, where possible, we would always suggest using a laptop for a lengthy video call. Not only will your hands be free to hold your glass of (insert favourite drink here), you will also be ready to write down the answers to the family quiz without accidentally propelling your phone or drink across the room – bonus!

Don’t have a laptop yet? We have loads! Check out our latest models.

2.       Set up before hand: Chances are your virtual get-together is going to be pre-planned, so it makes sense to get everything set up in advance. Pick a spot for yourself and the family (you want to make sure everyone can fit in), then decide where you want your laptop to go. We suggest getting cosied up on the couch and placing your laptop on a table about a metre or so in front of where you are sitting. This will give the web cam enough scope to fit everyone in and will also be close enough so you don’t feel like you are shouting to be heard or straining to hear everyone else.

3.       Go big, because you can’t leave your home: if your space allows it, hook your laptop up to your TV, this way you will be able to see everyone up close and personal. You can easily do this with an HDMI cable. They come in varying lengths so even if your TV is up on the wall you will be able to find one that will reach.

4.       Last, but not least, have fun with it! If there is one thing we have all learned this year it’s that quality time with the people we love is more important than ever. If quizzes aren’t your style why not play a game of charades, Pictionary or bingo. There are countless options out there and all you have to do is make it your own.

Stay safe, and from all of us here at EuroPC we hope you have an amazing Christmas and New Year!

EuroPC Christmas Fundraising Reaches an All Time High

Read time: 2 Minutes

The Christmas spirit might not be filling the streets as much as we are used to this year, but I am feeling very festive here in the EuroPC Marketing department (aka my living room, thanks Covid), and it’s all down to our very own Karen Clark and Scott Fraser. For the third year in a row, Karen and Scott have been encouraging their fellow employees to dig deep and help local charities supporting kids at Christmas. This year was a phenomenal year for Karen, Scott and the team as they managed to raise an outstanding £600. 

I caught up with Karen to ask about their amazing efforts.

This is the third year you and Scott have been doing this, which is an outstanding effort. Can you tell me why you decided to start up the fundraising to begin with?

I saw on Facebook that a local group were collecting gift donations for kids in the Glasgow area, but they had very little donations, and still hundreds required. I thought what better way to spread some Christmas joy than to help. I spoke with our CEO Mark and he loved the idea, so it went from there.

This year the team chose to give to ‘Bank on Us’ a local Glasgow charity. Can you tell me what made you choose this charity over others?

I just think it was a great idea and it was helping local children, who don’t have much, to at least get a little something special on Christmas. After the year we have had I think everyone deserves a little something at Christmas.

Amazing, I couldn’t agree more. Speaking of the year we’ve had, were you worried about being able to raise the money and purchase the gifts given our local restrictions?

With regards to raising money, I am normally going around everyone with my little envelope trying to get donations, this year was a bit more difficult as I was having to rely on people reading my emails. As it got closer to the date of shopping, I took to teams and asked people individually about donations. Everyone was very generous, one of my sales team even donated £100 and along with Mark’s wonderful £200 donation we had our best year yet.

I was blown away this year.

Wow, I’m not surprised. That’s fantastic to hear. Having to undertake all that shopping must be fun, but challenging. What sort of things do you choose?

I always have a toy and a selection box, this year there was a toy, some gloves, a selection box and a little tub of Haribo sweets. We get a mixture of ages as well.

Sounds great, I know I would be happy with that. How did you manage to deliver the gifts? I can’t imagine it would have been an easy task this year?

Thankfully, it was pretty straight forward. With masks on and sanitiser in hand I dropped our gifts off to the coach at Summerston Youth as they were acting as a drop off point.

Fantastic! Well I can’t speak for everyone at EuroPC but you have definitely managed to send some Christmas joy my way.

Find out more about ‘Bank on Us’ Glasgow, and the wonderful work they are doing here.

EuroPC Spirit of Christmas 2019

Now in its fifth year this Christmas, one Glasgow mum and a team of trusty elves have helped spread festive cheer to underprivileged kids in the local area of Glasgow and the west of Scotland.
Last year the appeal helped thousands of children wake up to a jolly present – changing the lives of many with one simple and cherished gift.
EuroPC have decided to donate almost £400 worth of gifts raised to Glasgow’s Violence Reduction Unit. VRU are part of Police Scotland and they work together to reduce the violence on the streets and in homes in and around Glasgow and Scotland.

Support for Microsoft Windows 7 is ending!

Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 operating system on January 14th, 2020. It will still be usable after this date. Microsoft will continue to patch any security threats but won’t add any new features. Microsoft is naturally encouraging users to migrate to the latest Windows 10 operating system. EuroPC will stop offering downgrades to Windows 7 on select units from this date.
Support for ‘Internet Explorer’ on Windows 7 devices will also be discontinued on January 14th, 2020. As a component of Windows 7 operating system, Internet Explorer follows the same support lifecycle.

EuroPC new responsive website

HP ZBook 15 G3 mobile workstation in stock today with EuroPC