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Showing posts from March, 2013

Outstanding, really? ...

Pervasive bits of data …

Having spent time in AfricaLand, I begin to appreciate how good our data service is in the UK. We moan that our service may not be as good as Finland or Singapore. We continually chide that other European nations may steal the march on us.
But when I visited a college that is successfully serving 4000 students and may have around 800 on campus at any moment. The feedback was different; when I shared that I enjoy a contended 120-megabit connection at home. They lamented that this was probably better than their uncontended 35-megabit pipe linking the campus to their nations backbone.
In some ways they still have a way to go in understanding how to manage the services they have. In other aspects, they are handcuffed by what their telecommunications company is willing to provide.
Yet we complain when unable to download videos of fluffy kittens.

Packet Jam ... a LAN party with a difference

Ok, time for a different model on the Packet Tracer CIOTI (Cisco Internet On The Internet) ... I would like to get a small group of people interested in the notion of having a PT-Jam.

The concept is simple:
Get a bunch of people with laptops, make and operating system should not be an issue*.Grab an old wireless access point; make it public if you wish (private if you prefer), but do not connect it to any external networkMake sure everyone has the same version of Packet Tracer (6.0 onwards would be great) Now explore one of the two following scenarios:
One soul becomes the server and runs a local CIOTI instance. The rules are defined, with some mutual agreement on addressing.Everyone can grow their own edge of the system according to personal rules.Eventually per connections between edges can also be formedEveryone is a hive and connections form by mutual consentThe network rules (who has what address, protocol etc) must be agreed.Initial connections, from who to whom must be negotiate…

The wonders of teaching @OUstudents ...

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Right motivation ... and impressed ...

By now, you may have read my post on someone somewhere having the wrong motivations. At the same time I feel that I must equally applaud someone with all the right motivations and determination to boot.

Keen to compete, keen to be the best and keen to represent our nation. This soul has just handed in their notice so that they can spend the next few months focussed on the competition at hand.

For many young souls, this would be a rubicon moment, they could not cross. Focussed and of a noble single mind. They only see this as a sojourn on what is probably going to be a fruitful career for them.

I wish I could name them; but needless to say if they see this post, they now know that they have my respect.


Wrong motivation ...

This is one of my more abstract posts. Last week I had what I can only describe as a professionally interesting conversation with someone, unrelated to either my day job or any national role I hold.

They seemed to be keen to promote the interests of their organisation above any national interest. Somehow having lost (or maybe never gained) perspective on what the game they involved themselves is about.

One key question they asked was "what do they need to do, to give the candiate the skills needed" ... my reply confused them, "nothing, you need to spot who has the hunger for success and nurture it".

You can throw anything and everything at someone and give them all the tools for success. If they do not have the will or the inclination to apply it, nothing will happen.

They have the wrong motivations, in the game they wish to play.

Midday sun ...

One is over in Gaborone at the moment, if you do not know where this is, let me assure you that Google is your friend. So far, I have spent all day trying to spot a cloud, plenty of time yet, but methinks that this may become a fruitless venture.

The pace is laconic, with a tempo of laid back. I have connected online to my church, had some facetime with my wife bandwidth was not great, but good to participate and communicate for a short time. Finished superfreakadomics (a christmas gift) and did a second draft of a BTEC NG unit, as well as catch up on email.

Why am I sharing this, no reason, its mid afternoon at the moment and I can.





















Supermarket Sweep ...

This one comes relayed from my wife and her experience in a well known supermarket chain last week.

Have you ever noticed multi-buy deals that don't make sense.

We like Greek 0% fat yoghurt, apart from the dietary benefit, we do like the taste. Now go figure, the price was £1.50 a unit, or 2 for £4.00 ...

Yes, that is correct, it would be cheaper to buy a single unit or three, not two.

So, always happy to test the situation, she put two in the basket and waited until checkout time.

Now, one has to be fair, we know that many supermarket staff do not select the prices, this is a head office decision. So wife, capable of being polite, but firm waited until the items were scanned at the check out. Before she exclaimed 'I am not paying that'.

Poor souls managing the check out, could not compute that there was a £1.00 difference, having two would cost 33% more than a single item. Partly the confusion was based on their trust of the pricing system, partly as this seemed so unusu…

@maddoghall with @teraknor englishman & @LPIUKConnect... not in the midday sun ...

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Today I had the privilege of interviewing Jon "maddog" Hall for a podcast which will eventually be shared to the world at large. Whilst the edit will be sometime in the future and the podcast on multiple platforms. Here is a summary of the questions asked ...


The lighter opening question, was "Go back to when you were 21 could you have foreseen Linux?"What would maddog have foreseen?What were the wow factors over the last 40 years?Project Caua, could you explain this to the listener and how this will help the future of Linux in South America (and maybe beyond).What are the recurring challenges of protecting the freedoms of LinuxWhat frustrates you?In the UK, there are still many unaware of the benefits and freedoms of Linux, in education as well as commerce … how would you allay their ‘fear of the unknown’.If you were to encourage a first time programmer to take up a language, what would it be and why?Many students are keen on your view of the Raspberry Pi project i…

Gamification ...

Being a middle english aspiring pseud, one was listening to this programme on Radio 4 this morning. It was an exploration of gamification (in the world of computer based games), in a multitude of areas.

The term, a new word, describes how learning or functional task can be converted into a competitive or 'fun' game, to engage the individual and encourage deeper participation.

Ok, new word for old practice alert?

I don't think when I was teaching we had any term for it, but it was something that was employed in ones craft.

Over the years, you gamify multiple tasks, but the two that immediately come to mind are:

Naming routers ...
With a group of CCNP adult evening class students, I would set challenges every week based on the topic and link in previously learned subjects. Rather than go through a series of mindless labs. It was more fun to use the labs, the commands, the curriculum and build a complex network with the kit available.  The game, was the name, having teams, I…