Author Archives: AJClayton

Couch to 5K: Week 4: Hot and cold

Another week has shot by, and I’ve now completed the fourth set of runs as I attempt to get from my couch to running 5K in just 9 weeks.

I’m using the NHS and BBC sponsored app “Couch To 5K” available for iOS and Android devices, and also as a Podcast. You can download it for free and work your way through the programme. It takes you from “baby steps” in week 1 to a full on 30 minute run in week 9.

Week 4 is a pivotal point in the proceedings as the time running now exceeds the time walking. In this video, I also manage to correct the mistake I made last week!

I hope you enjoy the video and it encourages you to get off your sofa and do something active (walking is great if you can’t run). Getting out and active is wonderful for your mental as well as your physical health.

See you next week for the dreaded and much feared “Week 5”!

From Couch to 5K: Week 3: Seconds become minutes

Things are starting to hot up now and I don’t just mean the weather!

Couch to 5K is a programme to get you from your couch to running somewhere in the region of 5,000 metres in just 9 weeks, so inevitably at some point the length of time you need to run in one go is going to get longer.

And Week 3 is the start of that process.

In the first 2 weeks, you do a good deal of walking. And warming up. But in Week 3 you start to get a feeling of how things are going to be for the remaining runs. And I have to tell you, it’s a shock. Not, as you might expect, a shock that you have to do so much more running, but a shock that despite this fact, it’s really all rather enjoyable.

And that, my friends, is a big surprise to me.

I’m loving this running lark, and despite the fact that during Week 3 I make a schoolboy error in my timings (watch the video to find out what I did) this hasn’t dented my confidence. Much.

I hope you enjoy the video and join me as I vlog my way to 5K!

See you next week!

From Couch To 5K: Week2: Staying Alive

It’s week 2 of the Couch To 5K programme where I attempt to go from sitting on a sofa and not moving very much to running somewhere in the region of 5,000m. In just 9 weeks.

Truth be told, I’m not a sloth by nature. I enjoy walking and venture out of the house every day for an hour or so to walk my dogs. I work for myself so am usually able to schedule my day to fit in that activity. And I love it.

The problem is that although walking is very good for you, and most definitely better than nothing (especially when you get a bit older) it doesn’t get your heart rate up. At my age I should really be fitter. That’s why I started on the NHS/BBC sponsored Couch To 5K programme.

You can read all about my first week here.

Week 2 increases the running time from 60 second to 90 second bursts interspersed with 90 second (up from 60) brisk walks. The total time is around half an hour again with a similar total amount of running time.

Find out how I got on in the video that accompanies this blog post.

Next week I’m on to week 3 where the running time stops being measured in seconds and that’s going to be quite a physiological barrier to overcome. But that’s next week’s problem…

From Couch to 5K: Week 1: Learning to run

I’m unfit. I’m very unfit. I may be rake-like in my stature but that doesn’t mean that I have the ability to escape from my wife brandishing a frying pan when I don’t notice her new hair do.

Fitness is often judged by what people look like. If you’re carrying a few extra pounds (and let’s face it, the statistics tell us that many people are) then you’re probably unfit as well. Not necessarily. But probably. If you’re not “fat” then you look fit. But that’s nonsense, as I can testify to when I attempt to run more than a few metres.

I’ve wanted to improve my fitness for years, but never quite had the motivation to do it. I tried running a few years ago, but without any kind of plan or structure to what I was doing I simply gave up as quickly as I’d begun.

All that changed in March 2018. Browsing the BBC web site, I found an article from “BBC Get Inspired” about an app by Public Health England called “From Couch to 5K”. It’s available for iOS and Android. The idea is quite simple really. The app takes you gently at first and then gradually ramps things up so that with 3 runs a week, in week 9 you’ll be achieving 5,000 metres.

To me an astonishing and seemingly impossible goal!

I downloaded the app and went on my first run on 28 March. The first run consists of a 5 minute warm up walk then 8 runs of 60 seconds interspersed with 90 seconds of brisk walking. You finish with another 5 minute walk. This totals 28 and a half minutes. (Each run programme is roughly half an hour.)

In week one, you do this same run 3 times, with at least one clear rest day between each outing. The video accompanying this blog post will take you through the app and my first week of running. See how I got on by watching the video.

I intend to vlog my future progress using “Couch to 5K” to see if I can achieve what, to me, is a ridiculously long distance of 5K in week 9. I hope you’ll join me, if not literally by running then at least by keeping track of my progress as I try to get fitter.

First steps into the Smart Home

Here’s a video where I look at three options for smart home lighting: Philips Hue, Ikea’s TRĂ…DFRI and Lifx.

I won’t give anything away about which of the three systems I choose. Please watch the video to find out!

Please give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos are uploaded.

Networking update – the finished system

It’s been a while since my last blog post (over 2 months) however I’ve been active on my YouTube channel uploading several videos. One of them, is the fourth part of my networking series (above).

In this video I get to the final stage of the process putting everything into the cabinet – very nice!

There’s a follow up video (below) where I take the network to the next stage by expanding it to elsewhere in my home.

Apologies for not posting these films to my blog before now. Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube to find out when I upload new videos.

I hope you enjoy!

iPad Pro 10.5 inch unboxing

Here’s a video where I unbox my new iPad Pro 10.5 inch and compare it with two older generation iPads.

The iPads on show are the 3rd generation that was launched in January 2012 and the iPad Air from 2013/4.

We look at the difference in screen sizes, bezels and thickness (or thinness as Apple insist on calling it). I don’t mention one of the major enhancements in this newer iPad and that is the 120Hz refresh rate. I’ll likely cover that more if I purchase an Apple Pencil (watch this space)!

If you like unboxing videos of Apple products then I have two more on the way before the end of the year. Not huge products, but they’re in a box so qualify as unboxing videos. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when the videos are uploaded.

The fourth part of my networking series is on the way soon!

Thanks for watching. 🙂

Home office networking progress

It’s been a while since I posted part 2 of my network series, but finally after a short delay, I’m pleased to be able to post part 3 where we really get cracking with the install!

In the video above you’ll be able to see me talk through the final few parts I bought for the new rack as well as see the equipment installed into its new home.

The whole point of this project was to improve my office environment by getting rid of excess cables, extension leads and equipment dotted around different work surfaces. As you will see when you watch the latest part, I’ve largely achieved that goal. However, there is one thing that is going to prevent me from calling this project complete and will mean that I will have to have a “part 4”. Watch the video to find out the reason for this unexpected turn of events.

If you have any comments to make on this project, you can do so here or over on my YouTube channel (click the icon at the top of the page). Thanks for watching!

The home network revamp continues!

It’s time for the second part of my network upgrade series.

This may be extremely geeky, and I’m yet to get to what will pass (even vaguely) as interesting in this project, however if you’re sticking with me over this journey then I’ll show my first purchases and, crucially, unveil the main event – the rack!

There’s not much more to say. Please watch the video to see what I’ve bought.

Coming next will be two supplementary videos in the series where I unbox my new rack mounted switch and my UPS. After that will be part 3 of the revamp series when things really start coming together.

My office revamp. The big cable untangle!

My home office has had more or less the same layout since I first moved into my current home in 2009. Sure, I’ve altered things here and there and slopped a new colour of paint on the walls every so often but the basic layout has pretty much stayed the same.

Until now.

As a project for the remainder of 2017, I’m going to revamp my home office and bring it in to the 21st century. I’ll be replacing the radiator and will have a bright new colour scheme, however the headline change here is the introduction of a rack cabinet.

Racks are more usually found in Data Centres and are in use there because they enable many servers to be stacked in the most space saving way possible along with tidy and organised cable and power management. I’m going to use the same philosophy for my home office. By introducing a rack I’ll be able to put the vast majority of my equipment in one space and greatly enhance my power and cable routing.

The video above talks briefly about my plans and shows the extent of the problem I’m hoping to overcome: lots of disorganised cables and equipment dotted all over my office; some – like my NAS – not in the ideal location!

I hope you’ll join me on this journey as I seek out a UPS, rack mounted switch, PDU’s and the like and re-organise my space to be much more efficient. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when part 2 goes live and let me know what you think!