Updated: Feb 7
A small investment that makes for optimal delivery.
I recall that many years ago the Law Society decided to enforce "continual training" onto their members of which I was one. It meant that we had to attend evening classes in rubbish, there is no other word to describe the nonsense. I praise my lucky stars that I have not had any relationship with any law society since 2006. Part of this "training" was to set up an IT network for your office. Of course, this was not about life hacks or sharing knowledge, no, this was only about money and selling the most expensive systems.
I stood up after a while, I only graduated as an attorney when I was 30 years old and did not suffer fools easily, having spent 6 years after school in the South African Police Force hunting criminals and terrorists, and showed the class how to set up an IT network cheaply. Now when you are in a small law firm, or on your own, every cent counts. You cannot afford the expensive lunches or other trickeries of the major law firms (like taking estate agents - realtors on expensive lectures at an exotic island etc.). You drive a ten-year-old car and you treasure every client willing to actually pay for your services. And you love your independence but it is not for all. Most would prefer to be a slave working in some horrible cubicle with files stacked around them and chasing fee targets - that is the reality of the big law firms, chasing fees and overheads.
To this very day, I am reluctant to waste money. I know how quickly you can lose your job and if you don't find one or an income quickly after, you are going to lose everything including your life policies, pension build-up etc. Debt is something to be avoided (see my book "Your Worst Enemy" how to get back at banksters - they really are your worst enemies). Part of the drive to save is to use whatever you already have as efficiently as possible. WiFi can always be quicker and faster. Computers can always be upgraded, and yet, I must ask, do you really need the new speed and the extra cost factor? Remember, every cent paid to someone else is a cent that you don't get... and that sucks. Like most, I am sure that you work hard for your money by putting the hours in and thus should be rewarded. Well, real life does not work like that. Often those working the hardest will be the poorest. Somewhere along the line, some shyster will run a course (I hate coaches with a passion that you cannot understand) to show you how to work "smarter" which translates into hearing the same old crap written in another format. So it is back to square one, you and what you have available.
We have a dedicated Zoom Studio at my wife's language school (www.anglais4xplusvite.ch) from where classes are done online. It has studio lights (leftover from a previous project), an old 42 inch TV as a screen (no need for more) and a green wall painted behind the teacher (done by ourselves, thank you very much). And you know what, it works well. Nevertheless, it is quite a distance from the router (fibre optic but slow for today's standards yet adequate for the job). The WiFi signal, as my tests showed, slows down with distances, and especially so when you have decent Swiss walls and doors between the rooms. So, we decided to increase the internet speed without investing in a faster but more expensive signal. That left me with only three choices, to link the Zoom Studio computer by cable (proven to be quicker at that distance). Or move the router - impossible because it is fastened to the fibre cable. Or move the entire Zoom Studio - no other room will be suitable. So now what?
Switzerland, I can tell the uninformed, is a weird place, worse than Nigeria for me, and one that sends silly paper letters for everything. I have not received paper letters in South Africa since 2003 - we know about email, but here, my word, every day a new bill (tax) to be paid to either the Canton or Federal Government to waste on something. Even if a plumber comes to check the pipes, a letter arrives the day before to say when. It is a pathetically inefficient system designed and held to because CYA principles based upon fear but that is their way and so it is. And with the letters come begging mail for money for some poor kid in Africa (never showing the success stories, and there are many) but of course, we know in what luxury the "Aid Workers" live. Also, a lot of advertising arrives even when you mark your mailbox as not wanting such mail. Last week, we received the local newspaper which I try to read to improve my French (which is not good). In it was an article about a German company called Devolo. This place uses the power grid inside your house to link the WiFi to different rooms. You plug it in and it connects, encrypts, and move the signal to that room where the second plug/device is. Right, this was the fourth option and so we decided to invest the $107 for a two-piece starter kit duly delivered by DHL. How did that work out?
Let me show you. The results were close to astonishing. It is not that your WiFi is quicker than what you pay for, it cannot be, but it will be damn efficient and I love efficiency above all. I took pictures of the Speedtests by Ookla to understand what the difference is.
The speed with WiFi alone was as below -
Then with the Devola WiFi inside the room -
And now with the Devola device linked with a cable to the Zoom computer -
I would say this was an astonishing increase. Yes, the techies will say you need quicker internet. Yes, we can upgrade to 500MB per second and more if we so wish. My question is why - this works, it is adequate for what we do and should we upgrade the speed, and we will at some stage, the efficiency factor will be the same, 100% of the signal. This was indeed a pleasant experience.
Note that I have zero relationships with Devolo. I am making this public to assist small business owners that are severely disadvantaged and being broken by Covid-19 lockdowns about which I wish not to comment since it will be unprintable. Oh, and I still don't suffer fools easily.
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