Showing posts from January, 2013

Swan Song of a Quasi Quango ...

Now for the next scenario on Packet Tracer with @CiscoNetAcad ...

Flush with success on the UK>USA relay, now is the time to stop, sit back and consider what it is that needs to be accomplished.

So one for the community of visitors coming to this site and feedback is appreciated.

Should I create a short activity, based on a wizard where you have to connect and find something on the system.Or should I concentrate on some more infrastructure elements.

Over to you ...

UK+USA are connected @CiscoNetAcad @openuniversity ...

At the time of posting this blog entry, I have the first UK Packet Tracer Relay core connected to the first USA Packet Tracer Relay core and two separate clients attached to each pinging each other on an endless loop.

Whilst the IP addresses are entirely simulated, you can see from the above image, that we can move simulated traffic from my home in Bedfordshire, via the server in Milton Keynes, via the Internet to Cisco Systems, which is then relaying the traffic back to another local client in Bedfordshire.

The above figure, shows the simulated route, I am on, and sending traffic, the client for is connected to the UK and the client for is connected to the USA. Naturally these are not real addresses, ones I am using in this simulated world.

There is also a NAT client set up to handle the notion of a standard student client behind a DHCP address that we are able to issue.

This I have already simulated as well, as can be seen below.

Yes there is loads…

Different federation ...

Watching the different federated academy structures and the way they behave is quite an eye opener. How the teaching staff respond, the culture within and the view on discipline and learning.

Having dealt with a selection of schools deemed failing and now taken over by federations. It is interesting how their corporate language evolves and the culture of teaching within. It does not necessarily make me a fan of the federation model, but does intrigue me on how educators are striving to conform to this new id.

Will watch (a lot) and see how this will affect further and higher education. As their output is beginning to drift into the world of the HEI's.

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 28, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

Why do they not look ...

I run a small social media group, it is tangential to my day job and supports a wider community of users. One of the most common queries is 'where is' or 'how do I', this would be fine except the sole purpose of this group is to solve those issues and the resources to support these questions are in plain sight.

You have to marvel at the density of some.

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 27, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 26, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

Like me, please like me ...

Have you noticed the spate of 'like me' photos on social media. It was ok when cute offspring hold up a hand written card with a message about a million likes and a puppy. But when a 30 something male is desperate to get loads of likes when they want to see a football team, it becomes cynical. Or colleagues asking for likes on LinkedIn for some hapless soul to abseil down a tall thing.

So, to keep in with the trend, please DO NOT like me. If I find that you are liking me because you know how to click on a button that says 'like'. Don't, even better please leave me alone. If you like what I have to say, like me on some intellectual terms, not becuase I have asked you to.

I wonder if we are facing a new trend of social acceptability, where you have not 'made it' unless you are liked or followed. If so, I have to ask if it is Beiber or Gaga, if this is meaningful to you, maybe I don't want to know you (anymore).

Iffy auto follow dear RSPCA ...

I am not an advocate of animal cruelty, nor am I an advocate of the same towards humans. Whilst I seldom believe the media, the Private Eye is the sort of paper I have been inclined to take more seriously over the years, satire included.

This article on the alleged current prosecute all stance of the RSPCA does make me wonder. There are better ways to solve issues when it comes to some souls; not everyone lives up to some supposed ideal, rather than help people care for animals it would appear that 'prosecution without grace' is the active position.

Ironically they have made the crown prosecution service look like the good guys in this current campaign. This admittedly takes some doing.

What is amusing and concerning is that as soon as I retweet the 'post' from Private Eye I get a follow from an RSPCA district.

I doubt they give a tuppence about this blog post and I am sure some will have their sensibilities offended by this carnivorous person who actually keeps no an…

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 25, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 24, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

The id of critical friend ...

Over many years I have increasingly become more involved in the quality assurance processes of schools, colleges and universities. As an examiner, quality reviewer and external examiner.

Often I witness a trail of destruction and woe, left by external souls witlessly nit picking their way through the efforts of an educational establishment with no regard to the impact.

Rather than being a critical friend, they consider themselves to be bastions of quality.

The id of critical friend is based on grace and experience. Going in guns blazing means that wherever you visit, will fight back, offer resistance or effectively ignore what you have to say. It is always easy to blame the external.

Taking the time to listen, advise and consider good practice creates a more responsive relationship with any organisation. In my experience they tend to take on board what you have to say and change their practice.

In fact I tend to find that the centres I visit tend to be more forthcoming and let you kn…

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 23, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 22, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

Artistic pause ... @simonatkinsart ...

I cannot claim any artistic leanings, nor would admit any talent. So when I see art I like or that which simply creates an impression. I will stop and take a moment to absorb ...

With all of this in mind, if you are looking for someone or something to look at try the work of an aspiring artist I know.

Take the time to visit, I have linked to one piece I like the rest you may discover for yourself.

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 21, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

4000+ this month and I do not yet know why?

Just a little excited about how many hits I am getting on my blog, I saw the site increase in December. Yet this month it has gone silly, anyone know why?

My Dilbert Daily : Comic for January 20, 2013 @teraknor

Directly RSS'ed via Dilbert Daily Strip Copyright Scott Adams

The unusual thus far ...

Many who read this are aware that my family and I are omnivores extraordinary ... we will consume many interesting and different foods exploring different tastes and textures.

Over the many years we have tried many different things, some more unusual than others. In some cultures, these are more acceptable, in others less so, for us we care little. What you do need to understand is that many of these foods are easy to acquire in the UK if you have the will to find them.

I do not claim be a gourmand, merely someone who is willing to eat different food.

So the list thus far* ...

Sheep Head (Morroco)Sheeps Brain (Morroco)Rattlesnake (USA)AlligatorCrocodileZebraHorse (yes knowingly)Kangaroo Squirrel BatGrouper (Mexico)HareVenison (Surprising how many in the UK have not eaten this)Shark (UK and Trinidad)GoatDuck TonguePheasantGrousePoussinPartridgePigeonGoose (try the eggs, these are fantastic)Quail (and the eggs as well)Organic Bronze Turkey (I think turkey is a bland unimpressive meat) .…

Comic for January 19, 2013 @teraknor

via Dilbert Daily Strip

Bring your own security policy ...

Today I have declared it as … bring your own security policy day. Not having to manage networks of any note any more, I don’t need to worry anymore about who does what on my corporate system. In fact I worked at a time when there were considerably fewer policies.
Now trying to remember if we ever had any (or many).
So, what policy policies do you have on bringing your own security policy to work. Is it you laptop security policy, your tablet device, eBook or smart(ish)phone, all of these need something to describe how you may use them for work.
Hell, what happened before, does the world become emotional if you use your own car for work? Is there a security need that must be addressed here? Or how many of us have occasionally (or often) used our phone for work … in which case if I accidentally bring my own pencil and use it for work, will I be in breach of an information security policy, as I may not have used a corporately approved device.
This all could become very confusing.
I do think …

Mundane ...

Once I was a fan of Babylon 5, to be frank I still am; having owned and watched all five seasons and various spin offs.

In the entwined story lines were the Psi Corp a secret service of telepathic humans. Comparable to the concept of an Orwellian ultra-thought police. Assured by their own arrogance and personal superiority complex, they would refer to non-telepathic humans as 'mundanes'.

Do you often meet others who act like that ... maybe there are currently in government, maybe they inspect your school or college. Trouble is, unlike the fictional world of Babylon 5, they have no particular powers perceived or otherwise.

An Angstrom of Imagination ...

Sometimes when I meet representatives from different educational establishments I try and mentally measure their imagination. Lacking a standard measure for their lack; I have often resorted to using Angstroms, used to measure atoms I feel that this molecular level of measurement gives some indication of the dearth and drear I have to deal with.
When asking about their IT provision, I cry out for somewhere that actually teaches this subject beyond the mundane of business/user information technology. I am desperate to see places that engage in either programming or networking. I know this is a tall order for many educators, their Angstrom count is too low approaching zero in most cases.
Take the time to look around and think about how many Angstroms are being used where you work. Please feel free to self apply, I find often myself wanting. If you are not teaching the sort of computing that will set our youngsters apart from other nations, then what are we doing?
In fact what are you d…

The UK Packet Tracer server is up and running ...

Its too early to share the domain name, tho this will eventually become public and open to different clients connecting.

In short simple terms, my University has made the investment to support a simulated internet core for the entire United Kingdom and beyond. Not limited, our vision understands that we are part of an international education community within the Cisco Academy programme. As we pair up with the Cisco/USA server, we will devolve to multiple servers worldwide over time.

Anyone from any nation will be able to connect to the UK core, with the ambition that there will eventually be one near you, which will link into our services.

To be honest I am a chuffed chap today and look forward to seeing this resource grow.

Low hanging fruit ...

Working in the buzz word driven industry of IT, I am always bemused at how so many communicate by metaphor. Injecting these into conversation, presentation and demonstration with aplomb.

Is it a sense of membership they need or when our brains become desperate for words, common metaphors leaps in to save the day.
Do we push the envelope, are we working on straw man desperately trying to pick the low hanging fruit. Ever in need of a synergy, can we milk this cash cow and present something that is both symbiotic and future safe. Personally I would prefer to leave the cows udders alone and continue muttering to myself.

Naming convention for a virtual network ...

Having come up with a couple of solid (and open to improvement) ideas for the addressing of the simulated internet on the internet. I do need to stop and think (quite a bit) about the domain naming convention we should use.

Just 'connecting' is not enough, we will need destinations and cul-de-sacs, places to explore and places to discover. Naming conventions often open up the world of ideas, telling those in the system what may be out there. A clue to the traps and treats in store.

Soon there will be a couple of simple activities, I don't think they will be complex, something that will be in the realms of build, connect, find. The hidden cul-de-sac will be a client with some 'servers' each containing the pieces of a very simple puzzle.

So whilst I will think on about the puzzle, the naming convention, well as it is simulated and we can do what we want (within reason), anything that relates to the world of the simulated internet on the internet and its core could b…

Having a Policy Policy ...

After seeing a couple of different organisations I am affiliated with recently churn out two quite different policies. I have to decide if mine is a life of purpose, decision and democratically won independence. Or is it a policy driven life, one driven by mediocre dictats decreed in ambiguous terms.

So with this in mind, I feel that it is time for Andrew to have a policy policy, one that covers how I will engage with any policies that come my way.

Policy Receipt Policy

When a new policy is generated by any organisation I am affiliated with, I will:
Read itRate it according toUsefulness ... does this policy actually serve a real purpose or a supposed administrative notion (Scores 0 to 5)Rear end value ... does it cover my rear or that of those I affiliate with (Score 0 if it covers their rear, 5 if it is my rear and 3 [for example] if it is actually covering both ends)Ability to follow ... if it is so protracted that everyone exposed to it is likely to be in breach of the policy (Score…

The (almost) ad free life ...

Trying to think when one got rid of the television, we think it was around 2008, it has been so long now that it is hard to recall.

No, we have not stopped watching visual entertainment, we tend to watch less and only what we want to watch when we wish to watch it. Having a fast interweb pipe and being a connected family, we all have a variety of different shiny objects, consoles, lapthings etc so the notion of getting rid was not a fearsome one.

But the youngest did squeak more out of a change in routine than anything else.

Why did we get rid, for four reasons ...

It was on and nobody was actually watching itMost of the stuff on is not what we wanted to watch, so we became fed up with the noisy moving wallpaper machine.When there was something someone wanted to watch, there was conflict even with the recording device that we often forgot to program.Too much children's mental mush television ... don't get us wrong, some Children's television programme entertainment is outs…

Moving forward with our simulated interweb thingy ...

So, great meeting today online with my counterpart in Cisco Systems, you all must meet Brad sometime.

Now for the next stage and how we unroll this.

I need to get my end onto a server, Brad will do the same for his side of the pond.We have some 11+ volunteers, so I need to think how we frame a couple of short activities.I need to stop and think about how my core/mesh will work. I have ideas, but need to have a system of recording how connection A links to B.
As an aside, if a core connection goes down, the active side needs to have an exApp that announces this. Not a flappy connection, one that is down and stays this way.

My box at work needs to have a external IP address allocated to it and a range of ports opened to the real world as well as a domain name.

Suppose that its time to formulate an internal request, wish me luck.

A moments procrastination ...

Procrastinating a response to a centre at the moment. The question is not too difficult, the task at hand is pretty easy, but one is having to resist the temptation to pen something witheringly sarcastic.
It does go against ones natural desires.
Having given them a comprehensive answer to some very misplaced questions, they are now jumping up and down with more questions, even more misplaced.
Something inside wants to nip over, slap em around the head with a copy of the Daily Mail and retire to a nice cup of coffee.
Putting kettle on now ...

Internet on the Internet ... a small update ...

One of the challenges in the creation of an ad-hoc client for a simulated internet on the internet is ensuring that the participant does not need to know what your addressing scheme is. Apart from confusing the poor soul with the addressing scheme, we need to hide their system from others.
With all this in mind, I am going down the route of having two clients. An advanced client, one where the user has full knowledge of our addressing scheme and can be trusted to create a system that will cause no chaos (we hope). In most cases this will be an experienced and trusted member of the Cisco teaching community.The adaptive client, using NAT, the user will 'eventually' have a locked down router capable of connecting to a fixed domain on the simulated internet. There will be an outer router with a 'suggested configuration' providing enough clues and addresses for the keen user to explore. The reality for the adaptive clients is that we will share the configuration of the rout…

The cult of Zombie ...

What would you do if you were suddenly set upon by a Zombie Apocalypse?

An important question to consider and one that gives us an idea of an evolving zeitgeist. Unless you have been wearing a bin bag as headphones for the last sixty years. The notion of zombification has taken many forms.

From Omega Man to Night of the Living Dead and of course Jacksons thriller, we have seen many 'classics' use the Zombie theme. In this slow developing cultural phenomenon we now seem to have multiple sources of entertainment all exploiting the idea(l) of the Zombie.

Is this through some survivalist notion, was the idea of a nuclear armageddon so terrible that the Zombification paled in comparison as a mere comic parlay?

Or does anyone else know why we have so many Zombie themed movies?

So if you could build a simulated internet ...

And what if we have done this?

Ok, maybe this is a brag too far and lets face it, being a Cisco Instructor means that we are all happy to have a little boast on occasion. Hidden away, there has been some work on the creation of a Simulated Internet on the Internet (IoI) using (and abusing) some of the MultiUser (MU) features of Packet Tracer. As many of you are undoubtedly aware, nice shiny Cisco Kit costs nice shiny pebbles and shiny pebbles are not always in abundance. We want to use kit, we need the kit and we are all agreed that the kit is still the most important part of teaching skills within any Cisco course. Yet even with the best kit, we lack the scale that we would like, most students are lucky if they can get their hands on three routers in class, often having to share this with class mates. Lacking the complexity of any 'real network' and scale of a system such as the Internet, live equipment based on the nature of cost (and space) has its limits. Simulation, is on…

EIGRP question ...

Something for the geeks out there and one for a little advice.

I am building a large network using an EIGRP core as a prelude to some research we are doing for the wider Cisco community. A simplified version of the topology is below.

The network is full converged, there is no auto-summary deliberately applied on all instances of AS 99. Checking each instance, using show ip eigrp topology, all routers are passive and has sensible metrics for the FD and AD.

The four stubs of OSPF all redistribute into EIGRP and vice versa.

Now for the problem, with this fully converged network, it does not let me ping beyond one hop.

The following is the command output from Router B ...

ip dhcp excluded-address
ip dhcp pool B
int fa0/1
 ip add
 description this points to RightCore
int fa0/0
 ip add
 description this points to LocalB
router eigrp 99
 no auto-summary
 network 0.0.0.…

The basic skill of feeding thyself ...

Rather than enter into a Daily Mail'esque rant and form an opinion based on no facts whatsoever, via this blog and its connection to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I would like to garner a little vox pop opinion.
No monologues or time consuming surveys, just the following question. Notwithstanding the financial challenges of those in food poverty; is there a need to develop their ability to build up a stock of staples so rather than shopping to feed for a few days. They are shopping to boost their stock of food stuff. I am unsure and want to see what others think. In conversation with a few souls, I seem to note that often those who struggle, seem to lack a store cupboard of staples. 
Not just herbs and spices, pulses, rice, pasta, tins, flour, sugar etc. Food that without anything fresh in the house, you could still eat. Food also that when one has anything fresh to are able to ensure it goes farther and feeds more.
I have considerable time for the food bank idea, yet wonder if…

Appeal(ing) ...

Last month I had an interesting appeal come in via email.

The appeal was regarding a national selection process, which gives centres a level of self semi-autonomy. Candidates have to take a standardisation test, which once accomplished ensures that they only get one external standards verification sample every three years. Ironically, if they do not take the test, the centre can still gain the same status.

Anyway, reading the appeal was an interesting and eye opening experience. To say that based on a mistaken premise this soul managed a couple of pages of appeal, which was mostly misplaced proves why they were unsuccessful.

This is not the first I have ever seen, but it shows that out there, centres have educators who labour under some interesting views of how a qualification is to be assessed.

I feel sorry for their students.

Today the revolution begins here ...

And tomorrow the same will happen, day after day, year on year one revolution at a time.

Why, what did you think this post was about?