Book review: Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

Cal Newport is one of my favourite authors. An American non-fiction author and full professor of computer science at Georgetown University, Newport has written some of my favourite deeply insightful books:

  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016),
  • Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (2019),
  • A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload (2021)

and now this book Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout (2024).

It took me a little longer to read than I had meant as I was made redundant during the first half of the book and I’ve been focused on my work situation. But I finished reading it this afternoon and I wanted to share my initial thoughts.

Continue reading Book review: Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

BT Wi-Fi Disc issues resolved

See part two of this post for this bit

A couple of useful maintenance tips relating to BT Broadband Hub 2 and the Wi-Fi Disc.

Reconnect the Wi-Fi Disc feet

First up is this video (above) on how to reconnect the feet if you’ve dropped the Disc (as we did a while ago). Many thanks to Daniel Coe for walking us through that fiddly job.

Reconnect the Wi-Fi Disc to the network

Occasionally the BT Wi-Fi Disc on my home broadband network inexplicably disappears from my Hub Manager.

The advice in the My BT app is to physically move the Wi-Fi Disc next to the Home Hub and connect it using a network cable. I have never got this method to work.

This is the approach that works for me every time:

  1. Power off the BT Wi-Fi Disc.
  2. Log in to the Home Hub admin (http://192.168.1.254/) and remove the old Disc (Advanced settings > Wireless > My discs > select the disc and press Remove).
  3. Reset the HomeHub (Home > Reset the Hub).
  4. On the Home Hub admin, go to Advanced settings > Wireless > My discs click the “Add a new Wi-Fi Disc” button and follow the instructions.
  5. Power on the Wi-Fi Disc and wait for the disc LED to start flashing red.
  6. Press the WPS button on the Disc. (If it’s flashing blue, it’s waiting for you to press start on your computer (you’ve got two minutes to do so). If it’s flashing red, it didn’t connect—give it a couple of minutes and try again.)
  7. On the Home Hub admin on your computer, click the Start button.
  8. Wait…
  9. The Wi-Fi Disc will eventually show solid blue. Be patient it could take almost the whole two minutes.
  10. Check on the Home Hub admin and My BT app that the Wi-Fi Disc is present.

I have found that sometimes the Home Hub admin throws an error to say that there was a problem, but on closer inspection the Wi-Fi Hub is a solid blue and it showing on both the Home Hub admin and the My BT app that the Wi-Fi Disc has successfully connected.

Keeping your PC apps up-to-date with Winget and WingetUI

WingetUI (soon to be UniGetUI) — the simple way to keep your applications up-to-date

Installing multiple applications on your Windows PC or laptop can be a tedious exercise, for example after a Windows reinstall or on a new machine. First you need to search the web for the application website, nagivate to the download page, download the installer, run the installer, wait for the application to install, repeat.

Thankfully, there are easier ways to do it now using package managers such as Microsoft Winget, Chocolatey and Scoop.

I’ve been using Winget for a while now with good results. And recently I’ve added WingetUI to the mix to automate keeping my applications updated.

Continue reading Keeping your PC apps up-to-date with Winget and WingetUI

Book review: Ultralearning by Scott H Young

Ultralearning by Scott H Young

Last week I returned to a book that I read four years ago, Ultralearning by Scott H Young.

In the book Young outlines an approach he claims can help anyone learn anything deeply and quickly.

With life continuing at such an incredible pace and technology changing all the time, I bought this book hoping that it might give me some insights into how to learn Spanish faster, learn the latest additions to CSS faster, learn… well, anything faster.

Continue reading Book review: Ultralearning by Scott H Young

Connecting to my NAS faster

Ever since I bought my NAS (Western Digital 8TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra) in 2021, I have had a frustrating problem with it.

Each time I’ve clicked on my network share (above) to access it … it has taken a few attempts to connect: <double-click> Can’t find the drive … wait … <double-click> Can’t find the drive … wait … <double-click> Can’t find the drive … wait … <double-click> Oh! there it is! Finally.

But I’ve found a solution!

  1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor (Win+R, enter gpedit.msc and click OK).
  2. In the console tree, select Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Lanman Workstation.
  3. Right-click Enable insecure guest logons and select Edit.
  4. Select Enabled and select OK.

That worked for me. Now, whenever I click on my NAS network location it connects immediately. Phew!