General Howe’s Dog

11 May 2015 | Comments Off on General Howe’s Dog

The morning after a battle — one of the first won by the American army in its battle for freedom from the British Empire — if you happened to be on the scene, you might see an American soldier, under a white flag of truce, struggling with something small he is carrying between the lines.…

A GUI and a Wizard

7 May 2015 | Comments Off on A GUI and a Wizard

One of the brilliant things about conferences like Interop is the hallways (and if you’re not going to Interop, this is why you should be!). It’s not that I don’t enjoy the sessions, but—like the IETF—I often get much more out of the conversations with folks who know networking, and yet have a completely different…

Own the Problem

4 May 2015 |

In the late 1990’s, I was on the routing protocols TAC team in Raleigh — which means I answered the phone, and said things like, “This is Russ from Cisco TAC, how can I help you?” Generally what followed was a crash, or, well, just about anything. The design on the left is what we…

Observations on Ownership

30 April 2015 |

We are clearly moving to a software focused world — this conclusion is almost as inevitable and natural as taking your next breath (or eating that next Little Bits burger — but don’t get the big one unless you’re really hungry). But, as with all things, there is a flip side to the world going…

Freedom to

13 April 2015 |

Pardon me if I go a little bit on the philosophical side of life as a network engineer this week, but we need to have a little talk about freedom. This last week, Ethan wrote a post on his new criteria for network design and architecture. While I agree with the points Ethan makes in…

Learning from Germanwings

7 April 2015 |

On the 24th of March, the pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 into a field, killing everyone on board, including himself. This is a human tragedy — beyond what many of us will experience in our lifetimes. But it’s also an important object lesson to those of us who live in the world of engineering. Think…

The Problem with Peanuts

23 March 2015 | Comments Off on The Problem with Peanuts

I was hungry. Perhaps that’s a good excuse, or perhaps not. Either way, I sat down after ordering, took a peanut, broke the nuts out of the shell, and ate them. After eating the peanut, I felt less hungry. So I picked up another one and ate it, as well. Soon enough, long before I…

A Neutral ‘Net?

16 February 2015 | Comments Off on A Neutral ‘Net?

This week I’m going to step off the beaten path for a moment and talk about ‘net neutrality. It appears we are about to enter a new phase in the life of the Internet — at least in the United States — as the FCC is out and about implying we should expect a ruling…

Friends May Come and Go…

9 February 2015 |

We overuse the word “friend” in our world—especially the technical world. We tend to call anyone we’ve ever met a friend. In this environment, friends come and go almost constantly, flowing through our lives like the leaves in a brisk fall wind. The depth to which Facebook and LinkedIn dive into our personal relationships—reminding us…

But Does it Work?

19 January 2015 |

When I was in the USAF, a long, long, time ago, there was a guy in my shop — Armand — who, no matter what we did around the shop, would ask, “but does it work?” For instance, when I was working on redoing the tool cabinet, with nice painted slots for each tool, he…