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Showing posts from November, 2012

Zombiecratic unnovation ....

When you are in a position of knowing that the system that is supposed to support you has less backbone than a quivering Squid, solving problems become a matter of wit and guile.
Having considered some of the solutions one has resorted to, in the accomplishment of ‘problem solving’ and ‘opportunity seeking’ would possibly put grey hairs on some less determined souls.
I have formed the opinion that large organizations are generally directionless beasts. The CEO may lead, but the assembled mass beneath them often lurches along unaware of the motivation.
Worse, is when the leadership demands ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘innovation’ and ‘new business’. Now having been in the position of finding it and seeing the culture fuck with it, I have to wonder if that is what was actually wanted.
In some respects, if it is being asked for, it is almost the opposite of what is actually wanted (or understood).
If an organization asks for innovation, does it want it? If innovation is at the heart of its culture, …

Simulated Internet ...

You may (or may not) have seen some of my past mutterings on the concept of creating a simulated internet, as some technical tomfoolery is coming together. From January 2013 work will begin on the community and platform to support this.

If you are interested please do get in touch, tweet me or email, they are easy to find on the slides.

Is inspection reducing the quality of our education system ...

Listening to the news this morning and the announcement that Ofsted are now 'measuring' local education authorities and their provision of provision (yep that is a valid term). In spite of a world where they have considerably less influence than twenty or so years ago.

I could rant on about the political subterfuge taking place, I could also offer an opinion on the validity of inspections as a tool for quality.

Yet with this world of hitting teachers and schools with a stick, I cannot see anywhere that shows me how we measure the impact this culture is having on the quality of our nations education.

My question, one for teachers from all backgrounds ...

Is the quality culture of inspection quality measures, affecting the quality of what you teach?
Are the overt measures making some subjects too risky? I hear of technical professional topics in my field being avoided, as the league table + inspection culture renders them toxic as educators are frightened of getting any result …

When all others are losing their head about you ...

... you may not have entirely grasped the severity of the situation?


Packet Tracer on a Mac ... over 200 community participants and rising ...

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Before you get excited, no Cisco will not be releasing a version of Packet Tracer on a Mac in the near future. The pervasive nature of Windows and Linux and the cost of Macs against the other technologies makes this an unattractive proposition.

After some initial work with virtual machines, it was soon clear that the 'ideal' solution involved the use of WINE bottlers.

At this point if you are not geeky and wondering what I am on about, may I suggest google, its a great tool.

Having used PlayOnMac and WineSkin, I am impressed with the number of community participants that have joined the effort to check, test, tweak, share and mutter about the installation of Packet Tracer on a Mac.

With Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion in common usage there is some finer tweaks occasionally needed. I have already beta tested PT6.0 and am pleased to report that it works in context.

If you have not installed Packet Tracer on a Mac, please come to https://www.facebook.com/groups/packettracer…

Getting students to behave ...

Today, searching my drive for a completely unrelated file I came across the powerpoint below, a blast from my past days in further education.

At the time, as someone on a senior lectureship grade, part of my role was to support staff development within our team. One of the recurring topics was student discipline.

A select few who know me from then will recall that students seldom misbehaved twice in my presence, learning from their first experience.




When you think about it, most of it is common sense, at least you would think so.

Presentation at Towcester ...

For those interested in Social Media ::: enjoy


Holiday ...

Recently my wife and I went on a last minute package holiday to Spain, so impressed were we with the experience I posted a review on Tripadvisor, which goes ...

If lunatic asylum is your preferred vacation choice, then as a recent bewildered visitor I wouldn't hesitate in heartily recommending our hotel we century visited.

The prospect of relative quiet promised by the holiday company and supported by their use of trip advisor, only makes our experience the more amusing, in the sardonic sense naturally.

Starting on the positives, it is a well maintained hotel, it has everything you need. If you are on an all-inclusive package, the food is reasonable (not gourmet but reasonable none the less) and the bar flows from 10am until silly o'clock if liquid refreshment is your passion.

Once you become used to the assault of the noise level, as my wife and I are. You may enjoy your stay. We found that headphones work a treat.

Coming in November, we avoided families with noisy children …

Competitive edge ... @worldskillsuk

I have spent the last two days judging competitors in the IT Security challenge at the Skills Show. Everyone else competing in the Cisco Networking Microsoft Technician and IT Support disciplines were going for Gold, Silver or Bronze.

For the four competitors I had the privilege of co-judging it is a different story, they are competing for selection to become the nations only representative at World Skills next July. For these souls, they don't only have to survive this selection, they will be 'selected' as two from the four so that the remaining two have to compete again in March to be the 'one' who goes forward this summer.

You cannot avoid being aware of the Olympics ... in a similar vein, World Skills has been running competitions every two years since 1948 and having over 50 nations involved, it is the skills olympics.

Here apprentices, college students, junior employees, undergraduates all compete to show who is the best of the best against a worldwide pante…
Today's random thought, well maybe not so random and chances are that it is not much of a thought. Nevertheless, have you ever appreciated that any establishment that puts the word quality or gourmet in front of their business title or use these terms to describe their fare are more often not the best quality and definitely not gourmet.

Think about it?

If a hotel is called "quality hotel", is it? I doubt it, if anything it tends to be the opposite.

When you are in a new city looking for somewhere to eat, does the term gourmet endear you to the belief that it w ill be your best ever culinary experience. Chances are this wont be the case, unless you are someone that thinks you can comparatively grade different fast food chains.

So, how does this link to my views on education?

As someone who often blogs on the quality of education in our nation, I leave you with a sobering thought. We don't use gourmet, we avoid overt use of the word quality. Yet often we hear phrases like …

Homo lepto dermis arise ....

Have you ever encountered the human sub genus ... homo lepto dermis.

Or the terminally thin skinned.

Those who take slight at the merest challenge to their intellect or moral code irrespective of the reality in front of their eyes.

A self obsessed group, above dragging their knuckles but not quite at the level of self determined independent thought.

Stuck in an evolutional cul-de-sac they are unlikely to die out, principally because they are too stubborn.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Call centres without resorting to Tourette's ...

Do you wonder sometimes if some call centre operatives have agreed to the surgical removal of their frontal lobes. Over the last week I have needed to speak to my bank and mobile phone provider on more than one occasion, nothing particular to report in this respect, but the levels of dimwittery have ranged from 10 to 11 on a ten point scale.

Once you get into their heads by careful repetition the basis of your call; surviving the regurgitated security questions, they seem to suddenly adopt the persona of having been the all seeing oracle able to answer your mortal request.

I have three contracts with the same phone provider; they called my daughter whilst at college in spite of the fact that we have told them not to contact this number. The frigmarole in getting this into their heads was pure entertainment.

"You were uncontactable sir", um did you try the other number?
"That did not work either", um we both have full bars and have had other calls such as our daughter t…

24x7x52 navel gazing ...

No news used to be good news, now no news equates to a continuum of navel gazing media atrocity. Often offending my eyes, ears and intellect, not that I feel that I am able to claim much of the latter.

Before I get some dimwit posting an inane comment that I will only have to sarcastically retort; I do not dislike the news. I detest the need for the news and media machine to churn and churn it does:

Once something breaks; they seem to need to get every angle on something that can only be served once. Recently with Hurricane Sandy, there was a whole churn on what if the meteorologists got it wrong; they didn't, then this thread went quiet.

Now we have churn on the election, the electoral impact of the storm, the marathon, the power lines, the aftermath and the situation of the residents of New York. How the americans are coping, not coping, should cope, could cope with a different system, would cope better if they changed or not or ... shit I lost the plot.

The impact of the storm…

For the Simulacrum ...

A simulacrum is an imprecise copy of the real; often inferior often limited by the notion of our mind and how we fabricate the artifact in question.

To simulate is to mimic, as simulacrum is the object created from that mimicry itself.

So, why is Andrew babbling on about simulacrums or simulation? As my research is narrowing towards the idea, that there must be acceptance points in the field of networking for simulation as a transparent means of learning a skill.

The difference between the two and the notion of the quality of the simulacrum becomes important (to me at least). As we (that is mankind) are becoming more refined in our mimicry of the real, there are levels of simulacrum accepted when we complete different tasks.

Do you know if you are connecting to a web server or one that is running on a perfect simulacrum? The baroque music you hear, is it as heard on the instruments of the time or has our modern interpretation created a simulacrum of the original. Is our notion of a c…