Best Flour for New York Style Pizza Dough

King Arthur Bread Flour

When we first got started on making Neapolitan New York Style Pizza Dough we were just using all-purpose flour from the grocery store.  After researching more on flours we were led to try higher protein flours like Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour and King Arthur’s Bread Flour.  Both of which are really good pizza crust flour.

But we still weren’t getting that bite that we wanted (where the skin of the crust is a bit tougher and crunchy but the inside is still moist) until we stumbled on an internet thread that recommended Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour from Naples, Italy.

Caputo 00 Flour

So we ordered some from Amazon (link above) and excitedly made up our first batch using this pizza dough recipe.  It was good but it was tough. The high-protein Caputo was definitely what we were after but we ended up mixing it with either the Bob’s Red Mill or the King Arthur flour.

Bobs Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour

We have ended up with a 50/50 mix of Caputo 00 and either of the other mentioned flours and couldn’t be more pleased.

The mix yields a dough that is very strong to work with and tastes great with a perfect amount of crunch and softness inside.  The dough is even better and easier to work with after a couple of days in the refrigerator. Watch our pizza making video linked at the top of this article to learn more about how we have worked on mastering these flours.

 

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Remote Desktop Freezes, Hangs, Locks, Disconnects After Upgrading to Windows 10

remote desktop connection

So after banging our heads for more than 100 hours, we have finally found a solution for Remote Desktop becoming unresponsive after being idle for a few minutes after upgrading to Windows 10.

Obviously, since it took me over 100 hours to figure out I’m not much of an IT pro but my theory is that the Windows 10 RD Client has a new security feature that is not supported on older server OS’s or older OS’s in general.

!This article only applies to you if you are using Server 2008 Standard as your host!

Our scenario was Remote Desktop users could connect to our Server 2008 Standard 32 bit server with no idle disconnects until upgrading their client machine to Windows 10.  Now the tricky part was that if the Windows 10 machine RD’ed in with the servers BUILT IN Administrator account there was no idle timeout.

 

If I copied the built-in admin account and tried to RD in with those credentials I was treated just like a connection from a user account and the RD session would become unresponsive after just a minute or two.

On your Windows 10 client machine go to your search bar and type Regedit.  Right click on Regedit and choose to run as administrator. Up at the top choose FILE then EXPORT.  Save the export somewhere in case you botch up the registry.

Add the following entries.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]

KeepAliveEnable  dword value is: 1  (add as decimal)

KeepAliveInterval  dword value is: 1  (add as decimal)

 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp]

KeepAliveEnable  dword value is: 1  (add as decimal)

KeepAliveInterval  dword value is: 1  (add as decimal)

 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters]

KeepAliveInterval  dword value is: 1  (add as decimal)

KeepAliveTime  dword value is:  249f0  (add as hex)

TcpMaxDataRetransmissions  dword value is: 10  (add as decimal)

(In the dword values above there are no letter O’s, those are zeros.)

Ok so if you are new to editing the registry, you will open the tree on the left and start drilling down. Let’s take the top entry for example:

Click on the  HKEY LOCAL MACHINE folder.

Click on the SOFTWARE folder.

Click on the Policies folder.

Click on the Microsoft folder.

Click on the Windows NT folder.

Now right-click on the Terminal Services folder and choose New> Dword 32-bit value.

In the name of the new entry paste in EXACTLY what is above. So you would paste in exactly KeepAliveEnable

Hit the enter button on your keyboard.

Now double-click on the new entry you created and click the Decimal radio button and type the number 1 in the value data field. Click Ok and add your next entry.

After you are finished with all of your new entries close Regedit and restart your computer.

That’s it. Log into your remote desktop session and get back to work.

 

Project Management Jargon Buster

project management jargon

Whether you are a seasoned project manager or straight off an introductory project management training course, it’s always good to be reminded of project management jargon and what it means.

We all sometimes use jargon often without thinking whether others around us understand what we are talking about and maybe we don’t understand exactly what it means either!
So here’s a reminder of some of the most common PM terms that are relevant to all approaches whether you have studied the PRINCE2, PMI or APMP project management methodology, but remember to only use jargon if you are sure everyone has the same understanding of its meaning:

 

Baseline Plan

The definitive document showing the original schedule – this may be a Gantt Chart or something similar and will have deadlines and milestones marked on it. It is very likely to vary over time and require updating and there will be versions of it showing how the actual work is progressing compared to the baseline plan.

Closing Phase

This is where a project manager will compare reports, analysis and various other documents accumulated throughout the project and compare that information to the information on the original plan. This enables the project manager to understand if the budget was used effectively and managed intelligently, and to understand if the project was effective throughout.

Critical Path

These are important tasks that have a clear influence on the completion of the project. If the tasks are not completed by their set dates, the project will not finish on time.

Deadlines

A deadline relates to any task or assignment you have assigned a date to. The deadline is when the task or assignment needs to be completed by.

project management jargon buster

Fixed Duration, Fixed Units and Fixed Work

These are fairly explanatory terms but still confusing nonetheless if it’s the first time you have encountered them. Fixed duration means the task can only take a certain amount of time to complete, a fixed unit is where the units are fixed, and fixed work is where the work expected cannot be changed.

Free Slack

This is the amount of time around milestones or project deadlines that you are allowed to use as leeway. For example your project may need to be completed within 6 months but you have 2 weeks slack within that to work around.

Initiation Phase

This is the very beginning of a project and comes before the planning phase. During the initiation phase the project manager will establish the project goal and create a clear vision for the team. This is the part of the task when communications will be established and discussions will take place in order for the goal to be clearly determined before any work begins.

Master Project

This is a file that basically contains all the information about a project, and is used to control and manage various lesser projects.

Risk Management

This is where the project manager and their team evaluate all areas of the project in order to ascertain potential factors that may negatively impact the project. Risk factors will usually be categorised into low, medium and high risk with the priority risks being reported to senior management and stakeholders.

The team will seek to eradicate these risk factors or work to lower the risks considerably.

 

Key Tips For Presenting Information Well

project management making a presentation

Within any sort of management role, but particularly project management, you will need to make presentations regularly – big and small. Here we look at how to present information well, in any setting.

 

When presenting anything to a group of people, or just one person, it is important to make sure the information is necessary and concise. It is a really good idea to truly understand what it is you are presenting, so that the stakeholders, clients, senior management or just your team – all get the information presented in a way that benefits them.

You’ll also need to think about things like body language, media, language and projection.

 

As a project manager, you will probably have already attended various project management courses and programmes to achieve professional qualifications to enable you to perform well at your job.

However, no matter how much training you have attended, certain skills need to be worked on, on a personal level. One skill many people struggle with is presenting and unfortunately it’s not something that can be avoided as a project manager, as you will need to do it at various times within your job role – it just comes with the territory.

 

Presentation by Project Manager

 

Here are some key tips for presenting information:

 

Always Prepare

Some lucky souls can leave a presentation until last minute and simply pull it out of the bag on time, every time. However, most people aren’t blessed with that skill, so it always pays to prepare. Set aside adequate time to learn your material, shape your information and really hone in on the key points you are making. The more time you put in – the more prepared you will be and the better the end result.

 

Don’t Waffle On

Don’t waffle on about anything that isn’t relevant – keep your points short and concise. Go through each point and think about how you can ensure it makes sense, but is as direct as possible.

 

Don’t Get Bogged Down By Media

Don’t use a million different pictures, graphs and whatever else – your audience will lose interest. Ensure you’re only providing choice images that emphasise the points you are making.

 

Avoid Jargon

As a project manager, you will be used to using a wide vocabulary of PM jargon all the time – but is everyone in your audience familiar with the terms you are using? Don’t get super technical unless your audience calls for it.

 

Repeat Key Information

Ensure the key messages in your presentation are repeated to drive the message to your audience; whether that’s a project status update, the results of a business requirements analysis or project resources plans.

Include them in your conclusion, go into more detail about them during the main bulk of the presentation and repeat them at the end.

 

Look At People

Don’t make the mistake of looking at the back of the room, looking down or looking at cue cards the entire time – you need to establish a connection with your audience. Make eye contact with people for a few seconds at a time, this will draw them in and make them more likely to listen to your message.

 

Practise Good Body Language

Open your chest, push your shoulders back and gesticulate – don’t stand stiff as a board reading off a script. Again, when prepared you will know most of what you need to say, which means you can actually stand in front of people and speak.

Don’t be afraid to move around either – if a point requires you walking around to capture people’s attention – do it – own the space.

 

Make Your Handouts Count

Don’t let your handouts be the ones clogging up the office bin – make them count. Include further information about project specifics, or even project management techniques, to make them useful to people.

 

Include The Audience

Make sure you include the audience if possible. Allow time for questions to be asked, consider role play or audience interaction to demonstrate key points.

 

And try and relax…

 

Decorating Your Bedroom For Optimum Sleep Quality

designer tiles in interior design

When decorating your bedroom it can be easy to forget about practicalities – like ensuring the room is designed well for sleep. These tips help you decorate your room for good quality sleep.

When you’re redecorating your bedroom, it’s easy to get carried away – forgetting the key use of the room – sleep. Although your bedroom should be expressive and individual to your style, it is important to remember it needs to really work towards helping you get a good nights sleep.

So try to think practically first, then let your imagination go wild with beautiful designer tiles, bright paint and exotic furnishings.

 

using designer tiles in bedroom design

Here are some tips to help you decorate your bedroom for optimum sleep quality:

Keep Pets Out

OK so this isn’t a decoration tip, but it is so important when it comes to sleep quality. Pets (especially cats) are known to be quite demanding in the night.

Whether they are going on a ‘mad one’ running at a million miles an hour ping ponging around your room, sprawling out across the bed making you sleep in odd positions, or simply pawing at your face to wake you up – they definitely don’t aid sleep so keep them out of the room.

Symmetry

Sleep experts recommend your room is symmetrical to help aid sleep. So try to place the bed in the middle of a wall and place tables on each side, rather than placing a bed in a corner and one table to the side of it.

Black Out Blinds & Curtains

The darker your room, the better your level of sleep, so opt for black out blinds and curtains to create a good level of darkness to aid your sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on colour – blackout doesn’t mean black material.

Double lined curtains will do the trick, as will thick blinds. So place more emphasis on the thickness of the material than the colour.

Keep Your Cool

We as humans don’t sleep well when it’s hot, so the cooler your room is the better in relation to a good nights sleep. We’re of course not suggesting you turn your room into a fridge, but rather avoid bringing any unnecessary heat into it.

So keep windows open throughout the day (if safe), keep the curtains closed and keep the radiator off in that room unless it’s winter. It’s also a good idea to place a fan in the room and direct it so it’s moving air around the room but isn’t blowing directly on you.

For optimum coolness, consider some beautiful floor tiles instead of carpet to keep your room cool. Perfect for keeping temperatures low in summer, and in winter you can lay down a thick rug for extra warmth, or even get underfloor heating installed when you get your floor tiles laid.

Add Foliage

Some lovely plants will breathe life into your room and bring the outdoors in – a wonderful way to add natural serenity to your room.

Good Quality Bedding

Your mattress should be good quality, as should your bedding. Opt for breathable fabrics that feel lovely to touch and don’t be afraid to layer up – layered blankets and sheets are perfect for summer months when temperatures can change so much.