Monday, 5 August 2019

Update On 30-Day Challenge & What's Next

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash
I'm planning to make this blog honest and not just full of happy happy joy joy type successes. So, with that in mind, how did the last 30-day challenge go? It was a bloody disaster. However, I've actually taken four very useful lessons away from it so I suppose I'll let you decide how successful it was in the end.

First, and most obvious, £50 is just too small a sum to live off in the real world when you need to travel to work everyday etc. Trying to live off that small amount though led to me really considering what I ate and spent my money on. This led to the second lesson, spending your money on good food actually leaves you feeling better and losing weight :)

The third lesson I took away from the challenge was that it's actually difficult to make £1 online when starting from scratch let alone making £100 or more. Views don't translate into pennies in the early days The get rich quick online videos just aren't accurate.

The final lesson is by far the most important. There is no success without failure when you learn the lessons. I wish I'd undertaken this years ago.

So, what's next? Well the next challenge is to go off alcohol for the next 30-days. I really enjoy a beer or a glass of wine in the evening after work, especially on a Friday. I've read a lot recently about the damage alcohol and sugar do to you body and Liver and, honestly, I don't want my daughter to associate Daddy with the faint aroma of wine. So bye bye alcohol for at least the next 30-days.

I want to make this one work. I'm prepared for how difficult it is going to be but it's worth it. I'll be posting more regularly on how this one is going.

Monday, 29 July 2019

How do I setup Google WiFi using wires?


As I’ve mentioned in a previous post my Google WiFi setup sends all its traffic over the wired network rather than mesh. For me I found this to be much faster and more reliable. However, it wasn’t easy to do or find information about so let’s have a look at what I did and hopefully it can help others.

My Setup

From Google

So my network has 4 Google WiFi nodes all connected together using Cat6 cabling and a switch. I’ve no modem anymore but when I did things were very similar and I’ll address the details as we go.

I’m going to assume you already have a WiFi network in place so before we do anything go and download the Google WiFi app from your App Store. You need it. You may also want to set your new WiFi up using a different network name to your existing network, especially if you can’t turn your existing router to modem only mode. 

Note: Start Wireless

The first important point to note is that your new wired network actually need to be setup as wireless then you’ll wire everything together. One of your nodes will to be the primary. This is the node that’s connected to your modem/router or to your fibre. For me this point connects directly to the Fibre and then on into the Switch. This is one of the recommended Google configurations. Any of your nodes can be setup as the primary so take the first puck out of the box and plug the network cable from the modem/router/fibre into the WAN port (the one with the globe). Switch the device on and follow the instructions in the WiFi app to setup your first node.

Setup The Rest

Once point one is setup head out into your home and place the rest of the network pucks in the places you want them. Remember don’t plug in any network cables yet. Each time you place one switch on the power and add the new node through the WiFi app. Repeat for each.

Going Wired

From Google
Ok, so now your whole WiFi network should be in place as a mesh but that’s not what you want. You want wired. So switch off all the nodes and go back round plugging the network cables into the globe ports. Switch on the primary and then the rest.

Once the whole network comes back up you should be able to go into the Google WiFi app and see each node as ‘Wired’. I’ve had multiple instances of nodes suddenly reporting as ‘mesh’ which messes the whole setup. To fix it restart the node and then run a mesh test through the app. That normally does it.

Final Configuration

So my final configuration is:
Fibre -> Primary -> Switch -> Node 2
                                            -> Node 3
                                            -> Node 4

If you have a modem and switch then yours should be:
Modem/Router -> Primary -> Switch -> Node 2
                                                            -> Node X

I hope this helps you getting your Google WiFI setup using a wired network. For me it has been much faster and more reliable than using wireless mesh.

If you want to buy Google Wifi then you can use my affiliate link from Amazon.co.uk: My Amazon Link

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Smarthome - Pt 2 - The Network

From Amazon.co.uk
In the second part of this smarthome series I’m looking at the network I have installed, how well it functions day-to-day and if there’s anything I’d want to change moving forward.

A solid network is the spine of the smarthome and your experience is going to be driven by it. Choosing the right hardware is therefore critical. You want something that can be easily managed while at the same time delivers speed and power throughout your home.

I’m in the fortunate position that we having network wiring throughout the house so the first step was to get a solid switch. For anyone not aware of what a Switch does it basically receives all the traffic coming from your various devices and sends it to the appropriate device. A good Switch should be one that you can setup and then never notice. I went for the TP Link TL-1024D 24-Port Gigabit. This has been running for a year with absolutely no issues so far and great speed across all devices. Selling at £63 right now through Amazon Prime this is a great Switch.

Along with the Switch I added a patch panel, power strip and fan and put it all in a great rack cabinet from 19Power UK. Here are the Amazon links to everything along with a few patch cables and the nuts/bolts to get it all added to your new cabinet.

TP Link TL-1024D 24-Port Gigabit: Amazon
Cabinet: Amazon
Patch Panel: Amazon
Fan: Amazon
Power Strip: Amazon
Patch Cables: Amazon
Rack Mount Equipment: Amazon

So that’s the wired network sorted but that’s at most half of the Smarthome spine. The
From Amazon.co.uk
other half is the wireless network. It’s through this that your lights, cameras, iPhones, iPads, Android Phones and other devices will connect so you need something robust. Lets face it though, there aren’t many of us who actually enjoy tweaking with network settings so you probably want something that, like your new Switch, is easy to manage. I went for Google WiFi.

YouTube and the web are already full of Google Wifi reviews so I’m not going to go into too much detail here, shout out in the comments if you do want more information though and I’ll do a full review. Google WiFi is a Mesh network. Google cover mesh networks nicely in their blog post here. What I found though was that even with 5 pucks (the house is fairly spread out and contains many block walls) the mesh network wasn’t able to provide the coverage or speed that I wanted. This was especially true once you got beyond one hop from the main node One of the nice things about Google WiFi though is the ability to plug in network cables and let it use the, much faster, wired network to handle your traffic. It does turn it from a mesh network into basically an extended WiFi network but who cares, the thing is lightening fast! Setup is a little tricker, again shout out in the comments if you want a more detailed post on setting up Google WiFI using Wired Backhaul, but well worth it. The network has been generally solid with a couple of teething problems at the start caused mostly by having too many nodes on the network.

From Amazon.co.uk
One drawback with Google WiFi is the Google WiFi application that you need to use to manage it. While Google has tried to make the WiFi simple to use, the app does rely on you being able to connect to the cloud in order to do anything with the network. This is very frustrating when you’re having broadband problems or your changing the router and suddenly you can’t manage anything on your internal network. I’d love to see them add a setup to the main node that allows for, even a reduced, management console when the Internet is not available.

Other than that I think Google Wifi is worth the investment. It reliably handles over 30 devices including Nest cameras streaming high resolution video. For UK readers, I’ve had some recent experience installing a BT mesh network in a two story house. Setup was easy and so far it’s been very quick and reliable without the wired backhaul. Certainly one worth a look if you have the BT HomeHub already.
From Amazon.co.uk

Google WiFI: Amazon
BT Whole Home: Amazon


So that’s part 2 of the series. Next up I’m planning to look at our heating setup. Let me know if you’ve had any experience setting up a home network and what you used.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Smarthome Setup - Part 1 - Overview

This is the first in a series of posts covering the smarthome setup I've put in place over the last year, some feedback on how it is all working together, living with it and some future plans for making it better. I'll also cover the 

So, what have I setup so far? Here's the list:

Over the next few posts I'll be looking at these different areas, how they work together (or not) and highlighting the limitations in the current Smarthome technologies.

If you can't wait, then click on the Amazon links above to buy now.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Newest T-Shirt

Another new t-shirt available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk is one of my favourites. It's the You're Staring t-shirt with dark text on a dark background. Lets face it, when that person walking towards you is finally able to read the print, they're staring.



Sunday, 14 July 2019

Some New T-Shirts

Hot on the heels of our Do Forever Popsocket, available now on Amazon.com, we have two new products for our UK friends.

Check out:
1. Do Forever Short Sleeve T-Shirt - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V5WSTZY



2. Age In Aeternum Short Sleeve T-Shirt - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V5WT21Y
Personally the black text on black background of the Age In Aeternum shirt is my favourite.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Do Forever Popsocket Available Now


Today's an exciting day for me. The first Popsocket, and first product, under 22Hundred Accessories is available now on Amazon.com

Do Forever means to keep working hard and to keep doing what needs to be done forever, no matter what.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Audiobook Review: Sell It Like Serhant



Introduction


At the start of 2019 I had absolutely no idea who Ryan Serhant was. By June I’ve watched every season of Million Dollar Listing New York, follow the VLOG (which you can find on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialRyanSerhant and I would highly recommend), watched his Sell It Like Serhant show and have listened to his audiobook of the same name.

For those that don’t know, Ryan Serhant has gone from hand model and to highly successful Real Estate Broker in Manhattan over the space of ten years. A great example that the American Dream is still alive and available to those that are willing to put in the extreme level of work needed to stand out and who get blessed with a little luck along the way.

I personally class Serhant in the same breath as Dwayne Johnson, not in terms of global recognition, but because neither man is afraid to show the tremendous amount of effort that’s required to make it and they are both motivators to those climbing the same mountain.

The Book

Sell It Like Serhant, is a sales masterclass in 6hrs and 13mins. Using a combination of stories, humour and lessons Ryan guides the listener in how to become the best seller they can be. Whether it’s the stages of selling or using FKD to be the CEO of your own sales life there are lessons there for people in every sales role. At one point, Ryan states that he wants to see a time when sales is seen as a destination career and this book is definitely helping that cause.

What about those that aren’t from a sales background? Is there anything in it for us? Of course there is. The lessons that guide others to becoming a better salesperson can really be used to improve any career. Want to be a better software engineer? Learn as much about  the product as possible. Want to become a better politician, keep following back with your constituents and find your hook.

The fact that the book is read by the author really brings the subject matter to life and when used as well as this sets the audio apart from the print. His unique blend of enthusiasm and humour comes across throughout. The overall quality of the recording is extremely high and I truly believe it when he says that he was aiming to make the audiobook perfect. There are few books where the audio is without error and this is one of them. I’ve listened to it four times now and can’t fault it.

Summary

This is a well written and well read book that while aimed at helping salespeople to become better at their job contains lessons for all of us. One of my favourite takeaways is the idea of the wall. That memory or experience or feeling you don’t want to ever go back to that drives you forward and provides the fire for your motivation.

It’s not going to be a surprise after all that but this is a 5* book and you can find it on Audible here.

Friday, 5 July 2019

First 30-Day Challenge - The £50 Challenge

Recently I've been doing a lot of reading into the area of personal development. After a bit of introspection I've come to the shocking conclusion that I may in fact not be....prepare yourselves...perfect. I know. I know. I'll give you a second to come to terms with it.

OK, feeling better? Good, let's continue. I've realised that at 36 I need to make a few changes if I'm going to stay fit and healthy and hopefully be able to enjoy my life with my family for as long as possible. There's really no point in trying to change 10 things at once though, or 5 or even 2. The best way to making real, lasting changes is to make incremental adjustments. This brought me back to one of my favourite Ted Talks, Try Something New For 30 Days by Matt Cutts, linked below.



I'm going to keep track of each challenge here both for fun but also as a way to keep myself on track. I've a couple of ideas for this year mostly focusing on health and fitness but the first one is going to be financial fitness.

Dollar Bills picture by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
This isn't going to be easy, but then why bother if it was. For the next 30 days I'm living off only what's in my wallet. It's not like I've loaded it up either, I've £50.22 to get me through the month...see you in a month Starbucks.

When you start to factor in petrol etc, £50 literally won't take you far so one additional rule for this challenge: any money needed beyond the starting amount has to be earned from somewhere other than my day job wage and it can't be from savings or borrowed. This is going to make things interesting.

So lets get this underway. Today is Day 1.

Day 1: £50.22

Sunday, 7 April 2019

WrestleMania 35 - Predictions

Buy your WWE Merch from Amazon here: wwe

Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championship Winner Take All Triple Threat Match
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch
Prediction: Charlotte Flair

WWE Championship Match
“The New” Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Prediction: Kofi Kingston

Universal Championship Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Prediction: Brock Lesnar

No Holds Barred Match
Triple H vs. Batista
Prediction: Triple H

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Prediction: Shane McMahon w/ Interference

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Prediction: Roman Reigns

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina
Prediction: Beth Phoenix and Natalya

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
Prediction: Randy Orton

United States Championship Match
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Prediction: Samoa Joe
 
Intercontinental Championship Match
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. "The Demon" Finn Bálor
Prediction: Lashley

Kurt Angle’s Farewell Match
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
Prediction: Corbin

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black
Prediction: The Bar (Black and Ricochet break up)

Raw Tag Team Championship Match
The Revival (c) vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
Prediction: Hawkins and Ryder

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Prediction: Bray Wyatt

WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal
Prediction: Lacey Evans

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Kickoff Match
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
Prediction: Tony Nese