The right tool for the job

1 June 2015 | Comments Off on The right tool for the job

This last weekend I set a toilet, replaced five faucets, and put together the beginnings of a workbench. No, I’ve not resorted to working in “the trades,” to make a living — I’ve been slowly but surely finishing and refashioning our “country house” to better accommodate the time we spend “in the country.” One of…

Waste Not a Moment (Time Management)

26 May 2015 | Comments Off on Waste Not a Moment (Time Management)

One of the legends surrounding people who get a lot done is they simply don’t sleep. It’s long been said that I have some number of clones who do part of my work, or perhaps that if you ask different clones the same question, you’ll get different answers. This has, of course, been verified scientifically……

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…

In theory…

27 April 2015 | Comments Off on In theory…

I don’t normally peruse the reviews of my books — while I appreciate well thought out criticism, I normally find personal notes from folks who’ve read my books more profitable for mining out where I’m falling down on the job as a writer than reviews posted on book seller or book review sites. But one…

The facts, while interesting, are irrelevant

20 April 2015 | Comments Off on The facts, while interesting, are irrelevant

Maybe my excuse should be that it was somewhere around two in the morning. Or maybe it was just unclear thinking, and that was that. Sgt P. and I were called out to fix the AN/FPS-77 RADAR system just at the end of our day (I normally came into the shop around 6:30AM after swimming…

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…

Talk to the Dummy

30 March 2015 | Comments Off on Talk to the Dummy

You’ve hit brain freeze. It seemed like such a great idea at the time, but now that it’s 2am, the application is down, and you can’t find the problem, maybe it wasn’t after all. Or maybe it’s 4pm, and you’re sitting at your desk trying to figure out how to resolve a problem, or build…

Act!

16 March 2015 |

Part 1: Getting Inside the Loop Part 2: Orientation Part 3: Decide! Once you’ve observed, oriented, and decided, it’s time to act. This might seem like a minor concept, but it’s actually really, really hard to act in a lot of situations. There are two elements here — the first is our willing suspension of…

Decide!

9 March 2015 | Comments Off on Decide!

Last week we talked about orienteering — using models and information to orient ourselves to what’s going on in the network. This is part of the OODA loop, which we talked about two weeks ago. This week, let’s look at the next step — decide. In fact: Decide! Now! How many hours have you spent…