**FROM Vincent**

**Yeah, it’s a bizarre thing – adding one thousand, six hundred TIMES up!**

**The problem with calculators is: they are great for multiplying and dividing – save LOTS of time.**

**But when adding long sets of figures, you only have to push ONE wrong button and you screw the pooch.**

**So I MENTALLY – on PAPER – added the seconds, putting them into groups of nine hundred or so.**

**Then ran a felt tip over the figures done. ****Then I did likewise with the minutes. Obviously, I was careful to put the minutes in one place and the seconds in another.**

**That left me with two MUCH SMALLER groups of numbers to add up – which I again did on paper.**

**Finally, I had two LARGE numbers – one minutes – the other, seconds. **

**THEN I brought in the calculator to divide the seconds by sixty. This gave me that figure in minutes – which I added to the MINUTE number.**

**Then, on the calculator, I deducted the whole minutes and multiplied the remainder by sixty, to get the remaining seconds – which I put in a separate place.**

**Then – again, on the calculator – I divided the total MINUTES by sixty, to get the hours.**

**Finally, I repeated the trick of removing the whole hours from the calculator, then multiplying the remainder by sixty – to get the remaining MINUTES.**

**With me so far? (If so, I’m probably explaining it wrong).**

**This, finally – after about THREE HOURS – gave me the EXACT sum total of the duration of all my uploads.**

**Since my 1,600 pieces include items that last seconds, records that last minutes, bits of video that last 5-15 minutes – and a few pieces that last up to an HOUR – it had been IMPOSSIBLE to guess the accurate duration of my uploads – or their AVERAGE duration.**

**But using a “gut-feeling” – I had estimated the total at probably somewhere between 100 and 150 hours – say 125.**

**It turned out to be 124 hours, 36 minutes and 4 seconds.**

**And us****ing that same gut-feeling, I had estimated the individual average at between 4 minutes and 4 minutes 30 seconds.**

**4 minutes 40 seconds.**

**Far from being impressed with my accuracy – I was MORTIFIED! All that bloody work for NOTHING!!!**

**Okay – at least my figures are now KNOWN, rather than being vague, of-the-top-of-my-head numbers.**

**But it was curiously anti-climactic!**

**It was just a VERY, VERY BIG example of the system I believe I was taught IN school – to add TIMES up. I haven’t USED it in DECADES – but those early things STICK with you!**

**(I actually “DEVISED” the method myself – but I’m pretty sure I was just subconsciously remembering the system I was taught in school).**

**Some systems these days use hours, minutes or seconds with DECIMALS – which of course, is much easier for COMPUTERS to deal with than having divisibles (is that right?) of SIXTY.**

**But those systems have to use ONLY hours, minutes OR seconds – so they have their limitations.**

**“The machine ran for 17.947116 hours.” Or – “The machine ran for 15,377.286 seconds.” Eh???!**

**Of course, if you say (calculator out – that’s 17 hours and 56.82696 minutes – which in turn is 56 minutes and 49.6176 seconds – call it 49.6) it ran for 17 hours, 56 minutes and 49.6 seconds – or (again with the calculator) for 4 hours, 16 minutes and 17 seconds – then PEOPLE can relate to it!**

**– Vincent**

Yes – well of course, converting to decimal money is one thing – but they’ve tried decimalising time and it DIDN’T WORK! Our planet takes around 365.25 days to go round the Sun – and trying to alter THAT… remember “The Day The Earth Caught Fire”?I am reminded of the man who went into a wood store in the early Seventies, when decimalisation was first being forced onto the great British public.The man asked for some two-by-four. The elderly assistant said, “Ooh I’m sorry sir – we’re not allowed to CALL it that anymore. Now it’s called (something in centimetres).”“Fine,’ said the man, “How much is it?”“Half-a-crown a foot.”