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Connected “Things” I’d Like to Try

There is a plethora of connected devices out there and even more that will bombard us in the coming months and years.  I thought I’d put together a sample of the ones I’m interested in and give my two cents on each.

Nest Protect

The Nest Protect was released late last year and is a perfect companion Nest_Diamond_Thermostatfor those who already have the NEST thermostat. Before I get into it though, I’m still not 100% keen on the whole Google acquisition, but it’s not something I can do anything about so I’ll just leave it at that. I like the direction NEST is taking which is replacing common household devices, ones that basically anyone can replace, and adding smarts to them. The ability to just have battery information displayed right on your smartphone or emailed to you is brilliant and prevents those midnight chirps when it’s time to replace the battery. Adding smarts to the device is genius. If you burn something in the kitchen (which happens in our household more than I’d like to admit) you can just wave it off. No more waving your hands around like a crazy person for 5 minutes while you go deaf trying to silence the darn smoke detector. As much as I’d like one though, I’ll probably not get one until NEST develops a Windows Phone App. There have been many third party solutions, however NEST keeps taking them down for some unknown reason.  My take on it is if you don’t have an official solution, you should allow third party apps. Read More »

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#CiscoChampion Radio S1|Ep5: UCS Invicta

#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about UCS Invicta.

Listen to the Podcast

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Featured Guests:
Cisco Champions: Trevor Roberts (@vmtrooper), Matt Oswalt (@mierdin)
Cisco Subject Matter Experts: Maxwell Riggsbee, Todd Brannon

Highlights:
How Invicta will allow UCS infrastructure to deliver resourcing
Four elements that will allow Invicta to transition into UCS in short and long term
Details on integration to date
Storage/bandwidth plans for Invicta going forward
When further integration will be available
Applications ideal for Invicta Read More »

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Why I Certify

March 17, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

I’m a addicted to certifications. I’ve always been good at taking tests, but I didn’t realize how rewarding it could be until relatively recently. I had been in IT for 15 years as a sysadmin and certification had never seemed valuable to me. In 2009, I made the shift from working primarily as a System Engineer to working primarily as a Network Engineer. In 2010, I had the opportunity to attend my first Cisco Live. Attendees of Cisco Live! have the option to take a certification exam for free, so I figured I would take the CCNA composite exam while I was there. I borrowed the Cisco CCNA Official Certification Library from a coworker (all 1500 pages or so) and proceeded to spend the months before the conference reading them. (I took an earlier version of the exam and read an earlier version of the books, but the links are to the current versions).

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Importing contacts from WebEx Connect to IM & Presence

Currently, WebEx Connect has no method of exporting contacts into Jabber or IM & Presence. I came up with this solution to help a couple of my users migrate their large contact lists, and thought I would share the solution with you. Let me know what you think.

This method relies on the use of a perl script and having the user log into pidgin XMPP client to WebEx Connect to populate the pidgin blist.xml file with the WebEx Connect contacts. Read More »

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Getting started in IT

Recently, I researched wireless home internet packages at a local mall and being the IT guy that I am I asked some very technical questions. “Is this running over WiMax?”, “What frequency band is it operating in?”,”Where are your base stations located?”, “Is the signal quality line of sight dependent?”.

He was honest and after two questions admitted he wasn’t technical and referred me to a colleague who happened to be the tech support guy on site. He answered my questions, albeit not too satisfactorily, which prompted me to further ask if they had a setup I could use to experience the service. Once I had access to their workstation I did not even bother to open a webpage. I launched into a sequence of ping tests and tracer routes to all the popular public resources (4.2.2.2 anyone?) as well as to the internet facing VPN concentrator for my remote access. Read More »

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