Open Thinkering


Weeknote 18/2022

Doug Belshaw and his father, Keith Belshaw

I have to admit to almost forgetting to write this week’s retrospective, which is unusual as I’m usually so keen to do it that I get it done on Saturday. As a result, I’m squeezing it in after my Sunday night gaming session with friends.

This week has involved a lot of football, travel, and technical frustration. The latter has been caused by my own tinkering with a 5G antenna, my new 5GEE Home Router, and our mesh network. I’m learning the tradeoffs between having amazing download speeds and a decent ping for playing online games…

In addition to the two matches I saw at St. James’ Park last week, I’ve watched a lot of football on TV this week, including taking my Dad to see the first leg of the League 1 playoff semi-final between Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday. I was down in London for the Learning Technologies conference (#LTUK22) so watched the Man City vs Real Madrid game in my hotel room. I thought the Villareal vs Liverpool match the night before had been eventful, but wow! I’ve also watched four games this weekend, as well as taken my kids to their football and basketball games. It’s wall-to-wall sport for Team Belshaw at the moment, and an exciting end to the season.

My session on badges and credentials at Learning Technologies (slides) went really well, and I had five people come and talk to me afterwards, three separately say it was the best session they’d been to at the conference, and even the cameraman filming me said he hadn’t “mentally switched off” as he usually does! I wrote a little bit about the keynote panel before my session and how I responded to it here.

On Thursday afternoon, I visited the new(ish) Outlandish offices where I got to hang out with some friendly faces and catch up a bit. Finsbury Park is more gentrified than I remember, and London in general feels even more like a completely separate country. What’s interesting is that everyone is still talking about Covid, which I can totally understand as travelling down and around there is the first time I’ve felt I needed to put a mask on for quite a while.

I didn’t do that much paid client work this week, partly with Laura being away, partly because it was Bank Holiday Monday, and partly because my London trip was largely focused on business development and networking. I’ll be getting back into the swing of things a bit more next week, but am still planning to start taking Wednesdays off again. No doubt I’ll be listing things on eBay that I unearthed by clearing out the under-eaves cupboards for better signal!

I’ve booked my flights for the Badge Summit 2022 which I’m looking forward to. I gave a keynote at the 2016 conference and haven’t been back to the conference since. I have been in Colorado since for the US MoodleMoot, though, and I do really like the area. The plan is for Laura, Anne, and I to join Mark and Julie from Participate (one of WAO’s clients and a Badge Summit sponsor) out there to run a session.

I’ll leave it there for now. There’s probably a bunch of things I’ve forgotten that I’ve been doing and thinking about, but my head is currently in networking protocols until I figure out the right configuration of 5G antenna, router, and mesh network. I’ll get there in the end…

2 thoughts on “Weeknote 18/2022

  1. We have similar issues with gaming and the Internet. I switched to Three (only 4G here) about two years ago and, in general, our speeds have been faster and the connection more reliable than the old phone line. We can easily have the five of us doing different things with the Internet and not have any trouble….except for the XBox. It hates this kind of connection and games will sometimes be so laggy, we can’t play.

    We’re hoping the cloud gaming beta brings some improvement, since the game will be running somewhere else.

    Fingers crossed for your connection.

    1. Thanks Christopher, we certainly have no problems with XBox Cloud Gaming. It’s just the slightly increased latency seems to be causing problems with the PS4 (which is two hops away on the mesh network, in the outside office). In addition, because of the mesh network we have a double-NAT situation which makes joining online games difficult – despite port-forwarding and DMZ fiddling.

      Sometimes I feel like you need a PhD in networking just to run a home network these days! And, of course, your family never say thank you for the 99% of times the connection is strong and stable 😉

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