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New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

Since I moved to Digital Ocean My servers have been mostly rock solid except when I mess them up.   I have 4 servers currently running.  As I am looking to to focus and consolidate me efforts this year I am also going to consolidate my servers.  Besides consolidating, the other issues is the underlying OS is getting a little old and it is time for a refresh.

Currently I Have my main production server that really just serves 2 websites.

I have 2 testing servers

I have a sever for some random sites that I dabble in.

I am killing the random sites. I just don’t have the time to put into them right now.

My plan is to just run 2 Digital Ocean Servers.

Server 1 : Main Sites.

  • This Blog
  • Company 1
  • Company 2
  • Passion Project Blog

Server 2:

  • Non important landing page sites /feeder sites
  • testing projects
Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Reviewing the last year and pondering what I want to accomplish for 2016.

My Family has a HUGE project we are working on this year called Project Bubble.  This may take a few years, but I will share more when I can.

Personally, I always have a ton of goals and things I want to accomplish during the year. I could list them out, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I think it is better to explain how I hope to have a better year than 2015.

My First Goal is Focus:

I love bright shiny objects, the gotta have gizmo, or the exciting new business venture, but I am just spreading myself to thin. I stated off this year but shutting down a business and I will continue to cut things out this year, to focus on my top priorities.  I have outlined my top priorities and I have 5 of them right now.

  1. Project Bubble
  2. Self development
  3. Expand Business Consulting
  4. Passion Project (Content)
  5. Passion Project (Action)

My 2nd Goal is Gratitude

2015 posed a TON of challenges for my family and I, but when you really look hard it was filled with great success as well. My goal is to realize and appreciate the success as it happens.  I have a pretty great life and I need to realize it, in the moment.

New for 2016, lets start by shutting down a business.

New for 2016, lets start by shutting down a business.

As part of a challenge with a buddy of mine, we both agreed we needed some motivation and we challenged each other build and launch a business in 30 days.

I am happy to say that I found a Niche, built a website and started selling a product in 30 days.

What I learned is that I don’t enjoy retailing a physical product. I was selling a real physical product online.    While retailing one low margin product was just the start of the plan. Adding new products was key to the long term Success.

I really started running the math and the work involved. I needed to add ALOT more products and ALOT more sales to make it worth my time.   When I got right down to it, I didn’t enjoy it and wasn’t excited to expand it.    I have alot of exciting projects to work on that I much more passionate about.

This business was a fun challenge, but the opportunity cost of running it was to expensive and I should be working on something I am more passionate about, like helping other small businesses.

Google Project Fi – Nexus 6p review Day 1

Google Project Fi – Nexus 6p review Day 1

IMG_20151103_092836Today I had my first commute with the new service.

630 am – 1040am Battery down to 47%. Not great it is about the same with my 2yo note 3.

Youtube streaming the whole train ride (train delayed)

Streaming Music during walk to the office and in the shower

800 MB of data used 🙁 according tot he phone  but only .04gb of data on Google Fi That is only 40 MB.  WOW! (maybe this is delayed. I will wait and see)update I did use 800 mb it was a delay in the First dashboard

I still hit some of my dead spots and there were good chunks of the tunnel that were dead  but I was able to atleast get 3g for about 50% of the tunnel.

 

Testing the Camera –  I took both these photos while I was moving. I do not stop!  Both are taking photos of mixed lighting conditions. The software image stabilization is amazing.  the bottom image looks fuzzy at first but if you zoom in, it is really clear, it is more of the haze that is in the air over NYC.IMG_20151103_092916

Google Project Fi – Testing do you use less data?

Google Project Fi – Testing do you use less data?

My Project Fi testing and review.

I have wanted to test Google’s Project Fi service for a while. 2 things have been stopping me.

  1. I needed to buy a new phone that works with it
  2. I have unlimited data with T-mobile and I use alot of data.

With the a new Nexus 6P about to arrive at my door any day now, my first excuse was gone.

I currently commute 4 hours a day 3-4 days a week right now and I chew thru data like crazy while trying to pass the time or be productive. I hit close to 10GB a month pretty consistently. on Google Fi that will cost me close to $120 a month.   I have unlimited with T-mobile at $70 a month that works out to be $78 out the door.

Why would I ever switch?

  1. I think there is chance that I could use less data on Fi. Fi uses Sprint, T-mobile and WiFi hot spots and data is free over hotspots. and there are alot of hotspots along my commute. including Cablevison that runs its own mobile service over it’s wifi hotspots. as a Cablevision customer i get access to those hotspots as well.
    • Why doesn’t this work today?  it isn’t smart enough without google fi’s system.  EX: If i am on hotspot A and request a website, but since i am moving by the time the website comes back I am on to hotspot B. the webpage data thinks I am still at Hotspot A and can’t route it to me.  Fi’s could brain should be able to figure this all out.
  2. Improved Service coverage.  Since Fi uses 3 different networks at once, coverage should be better than t-mobile alone.  T-mo is pretty good in my area, but there are chunks of my train ride where data coverage drops out for good amounts of time. Not to mention no coverage in any of the tunnels or subways.  I am not sure is Sprint has coverage there either, but i am gonna test it.

 

Risks of going to Google Fi .

  1. They will screw up my google voice number.  I think this risk is low, but that is the number everyone knows and I do business on.
  2. The service will be shut down. It is called “PROJECT” Fi and the word Project doesn’t seem to inspire confidence that the service is a fully developed product that Google is committed to. The big G has a history of shutting down projects on a whim or because of “Insert corporate BS here”.
  3. Monitoring and Privacy – Google already knows more about me than I ever will, what is giving them this too going to change?

 

My Fi sim card will be here shortly. I am not letting go on my t-mo plan yet so I can test them side by side and let you know who comes out on top.

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

I don’t know when I maybe the full jump but 5~7 years ago I switched from Firefox to Chrome.  I am die hard google fan boy if you will, I love chrome and it’s integration with the apps and services that I use the most.  Lately I have been getting quite a few crashes with Chrome, and overall slowness in browsing the web and video.  I thought is was my internet connection or router and went down that path to resolving some of my issues.

I came was watching a recent episode of TekThing   I think it was episode 15 where they talk about making the switch back to Firefox.  Over the past few weeks /months  I have be trying out FF every now and then.

Where I really noticed the difference was with my lower end machines where I want to stream video.  I am a huge fan of Auto Racing and I love Motor Trend OnDemand  channel.  I was constantly getting Frame drops in chrome watching it full screen on my 1080p TV.  so I though what the hell and tried Firefox.  The videos were playing as smooth as butter.

Today on my main PC Chrome crashed again I am now going full speed in to using only FF.

It is simple to import everything over and get started.  So far it feels snappier and I am really liking the change.

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

As I have written about before, I run quite a few websites. Low traffic ones for the most part, but I still run them. I have move around from hosting provider to hosting provider. From Free hosting , to cheap hosting, to really expensive Amazon AWS to now Digital Ocean.

The move to Digital Ocean was easy for me, but it requires some real server setup(VPS).  I put everything on one Droplet and all was good.  but soon I was getting database connection errors .  I added/increased the swap space and this fixed the issues for a little while but it soon came back.

I seemed to find out that running WP Multisite with quite a few plugins is a little too intensive for a small droplet. I also need to build a little more protection for my main business websites so a little restructuring was in order.

I am now running 3 Droplets on DO.  1 droplet is bigger and hosts just 2 sites.  The 2 sites that actually get traffic and get me new business.  The 2nd droplet hosts all my other sites, if it crashed due to overload, it is not a big deal.  the 3rd droplet was what i started on that has the backup of all my sites and is my development server.

Additionally My site with the most traffic ad plugins on my Wp MU, I have taken off and put it in a standalone WP.

This fixed almost any and all errors I was getting.

Then I went a bit furthercdnCapture and moved alot of things to CloudFlare CDN.  WOW the reporting I was getting back was very very interesting.  I was getting strange massive spikes in traffic.  this is what was probably bringing down my sites before.  Google analytics were not showing these spikes.

I Hacked my own site.

I Hacked my own site.

I did something stupid this week. I took down my own site. I was using the config file from this site as example for my new site and My new site went up fast and easy. At the same time I didn’t realize I had copied the new file in to the wrong directory. Ouch! my site was down. even worse it wasn’t really down just blank content so my monitoring service didn’t pick it up.

DAUH!!!

Site Traffic down, 3 reasons why.

Site Traffic down, 3 reasons why.

I normally don’t concern myself over the site traffic for this blog.  mainly because this is just a random mess of my thoughts and what gets real traffic is not really related to my over theme of the site.  But just a quick overview of my traffic shows that I have lost about 35% of my traffic in the last 3 months.blog2

Lack of updates 
There is no one to blame but myself.  I have just not dedicated the time and priority to doing the updates.  I am dedicating myself in 2014 to update my sites and add to new content regularly. I am going to have to sacrifice time elsewhere.  I now have 2 hours on a train almost everyday that I am not traveling. I will have to use this time to be more productive.

Random and off topic 
Well this site will always be my outlet for whatever I want, I do have a feeling it will soon fall into more of a business and entrepreneurship track.  My other sites I am working on a better plan for.  (Related Post: Getting More Done by doing less)

Downtime 
I am hopefully past the downtime problems I have had in the past.  I am up and running on my new host and besides a slight configuration error, things are working swimmingly.  I also plan to move some of my more crucial sites to their own droplets so one site’s traffic (or bug) doesnt take them all down.

Happy New Year 2014! – Resolutions Part 1

Happy New Year 2014! – Resolutions Part 1

ResolutionsHappy 2014 everybody!.  Holy crap where did 2013 go?  I gotta get moving!

I have set some resolutions for 2014 to move my personal brand and businesses to the next level.

Right now these are the “Outlines” that I am still putting some hard number goals around. I will also be doing expanded blog posts on most of these topics.

  1. Write a blog post for each site every month.
  2. Do a video post every month.
  3. Invest serious money into my business.
  4. Invest in my personal development.
  5. Forget the formality and just do it.
  6. Get to back to my goal weight and stay there.
  7. Become a thought leader in the call center space.