Monday, March 15, 2010
I've been working on a new project that has taken the bulk of my 'creative' energies. My apologies that this has detracted from my time and efforts on this more personal blog.
The new site is Wireless LAN Professionals.com and has many resources and tools for those involved in my industry--people who work day-in, day-out with Wireless Networks.
The bulk of the work is in preparing and publishing the Wireless LAN Weekly Podcast.
I'm going to try and remember to keep this site up to date as well. But if you are interested at all in the technology side of what I'm doing, head on over to the new site, listen in on a couple of podcast, and leave comments.
You can also subscribe via iTunes to the Podcasts, or via RSS to the feed (Upper right corner of page)
You can also go to the 'About' page and learn a little bit about what a Podcast is.
I'd also recommend following me on Twitter if you want my daily updates.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Just coming on line to post that I'm not dead.
Quite the contrary, I've just be very busy finishing up the calendar year 2009, holidays, family, and working on a couple new projects.
I'll be announcing these projects in the near future.
I'll try to get back to weekly blogging about the life of a Wireless Road Warrior next week.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
We had a great Thanksgiving meal - Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy (my responsibilities) sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, creamed corn, home made 'Lion House' rolls, ham, and lots of deserts!
Jill did a great job getting the table all set nice for the holidays.
Because it was the 'off' year, both sets of our children went to their in-laws this year, and my parents went to my sister's in Houston. So we only had 9 for dinner on Thursday - it was nice, but fairly quiet.
Then on Friday night had the dinner once again, but with more of the kids and the grandkids here to share the meal a second time.
Keeping up with the family tradition, we went to see a movie after the Thanksgiving meal. This year it was A Christmas Carol - 3D version. Obviously made specifically for 3D - but still entertaining, perhaps even a bit too scary for small children. Saturday I picked my parents from the airport then returned home to watch the big BYU -vs- Utah rivalry football game. It was another nail-biter, coming down to a final play in overtime... gratefully BYU pulled it out in the end, winning 26-23!It's sure nice having Karrissa, Joe and the two grand-daughters here in the house. I like having them visit. Too bad this was just for a couple of days. (just a pre-cursor to the couple of weeks over Christmas)
We do have so much to be thankful for - education, family, church, and a loving environment. Yep - pretty wealthy man.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Last night went to 'New Moon' the second in the Twilight series with Jill and the kids. Though it was an entertaining flick... I woke this morning with a couple of thoughts by way of review.
Again - it was an entertaining movie - and I'm glad I went. But...
An Apology: If you follow my posts on Facebook and/or Twitter. You might only see my side of a conversation. That can be difficult to read.
If you want to see both sides of the conversation, follow me in Twitter (@keithparsons) and also follow whomever I'm talking with.
If my post starts with an @name - this means I'm responding to that person. So there was a part of the discussion that went on before.
If my post starts with a 'RT @name' - this means I'm re-quoting something someone else said.
After the quote I might add my own comment.
Sometimes I'll embed a picture in my post. This will look like the following URL http://twitpic.com/qqy53 (BYU Spring Lax Schedule)
Sometimes I'll embed a link to another web site using a 'URL Shortener' service. It looks like this http://tinyurl.com/yabdexb
Remember, you might be reading these posts in reverse order, so start at the bottom of the conversation.
And finally - sometimes I might add a hashtag. So others can follow the topic easier online. These will start with a # followed by a tag.
Sometimes I'll make comments about Technology, sometimes about my Professional Interests, or other times just what I'm doing.
Sometimes I use this forum for 'mini blogs'. Short 140 character comments. If there is more to say I might post a larger blog entry.
If there is a blog entry - I'll post it with a URL so you can link to the larger blog post. At either my personal or professional blogs.
Further questions? You can reply in Facebook, Twitter, or drop me an e-mail to keith at inpnet dot org.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I had an open week last week because of a last minute cancellation... so I took advantage of the time to catch up on some updated technology. A chance to 'Sharpen the Saw'.
Turned my home office into a little lab area and tested a variety of new technologies. Wi-Fi access points, baby FTP Servers on a USB drive (for class), beta testing some new software for a variety of vendors, configuring Wi-Fi on a series of netbooks using Linux, XP, Vista, and Windows 7, re-wiring a cradlepoint device to a battery for more MiFi type usage, etc.
Through this experience I was reminded of a thought I've had over the years.
"The more you learn about something, the more you understand how little you really know..."
I've focused most of my professional energies for the last 8 years on learning about, installing, troubleshooting, and testing Wi-Fi. I thought it was wireless networking... but have since learned I can barely stay current with just 802.11 issues, let alone stay current in WiMax, Cellular, etc.
Now I can barely stay current with the equipment from a small subset of vendors. So many vendors in the Wi-Fi space are moving to more propietary solutions -- trying to carve out a niche for themselves -- that it's hard to have hands-on expereince with all of their various interfaces and technological improvements.
How do end-user IT departments expect to be able to decide on one vendor over another. They are all shouting and hawking their wares in the marketplace. Dis'ing one another, scambling to get an 'edge' on the competition.
If I'm having a hard time keeping them all straight--and this is my full time job--how can an IT Professional who has other responsibilites as well, make the correct decision for thier facility?
More and more it falls to the 'Certified Magazine Reader' class of managers and their counterparts in the vendor community (the marketing guys) to make the decisions. Then the IT folks are left trying to implement a wireless network that was never truly analyzed... just purchased.
An Unfair, and Unwise situation for any IT staff to be stuck with. They are now tasked with making a wireless network work... with equipment that may, or may not, be able to meet some undefined goal.
So with this second week of 'prep time' - I'll be looking into more Wi-Fi solutions, finding myself ever further behind on the proprietary techonology curve, but still trying to learn all their is to learn about Wi-Fi.
I do foresee a future where I'll have to focus my knowledge down even further to just one aspect of Wireless Networking... perhaps just Surveying (proving the capabilities of installed systems) - or focus only on designing for 802.11n or something like that with a tight focus.
There is just too much to learn...
Jill and some friends went to the 'New Moon' show on Friday morning... But Alysha and her friends had already seen the show - having a bit of a party, watching 'Twilight' at our house, then going to the 12:30am show on Thursday night (Friday Morning).
Jill thought she'd like to see the show again, and so we planned on going Saturday evening - the 5:20pm show... the last of the matinee pricing, and before the evening really gets started. I checked online for the times and we showed up 45 minutes early. I'd thought this would be a 'down time' and we'd be able to get right in.
I'm standing at the ticket counter, and the person responded to my request for New Moon tickets with a guffaw, chuckle, and then amazement that I was serious. So instead he just pointed up to the electronic marquee behind him at the 'Sold Out' - 'Sold Out' - 'Sold Out' - 'Sold Out' on all the New Moon times... doh!
I underestimated the desire of women and girls everywhere to see this vampire/werewolf fantasy.
Instead we got into the new Sandra Bullock movie 'The Blind Side'. It was a very good consolation prize! I can highly recommend this show. "I laughed, I cried" would be a good comment on how this show effected me.
I now have tickets for the 7:00pm showing of New Moon for this evening's Family Home Evening entertainment - taking Alysha and Ryan with us to see it again tonight as a family.
Friday, November 20, 2009
This morning I headed over to Grantsville to pick up a side of beef we bought for the freezer from Jill's Brother-in-Law who owns a cattle ranch out on the Utah/Nevada border. This is *not* your anti-biotic filled corn-fed cow... but one that's been out on the sagebrush ranges of the desert.
The 'quick' drive turned into more of a chore since there was an accident cutting the freeway down to only 2-lanes... in each direction.
Filled three large ice chests, plus another big box to bring it all home.
While there I saw this...
Now this is truly a red-neck's way to run electricity and phone lines... Things you can do with Cable Ties!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm now home after being gone for two weeks straight. And Yes, it does feel good to be home.
It was a long flight from SFO to Auckland... but not too bad, just a long night without too much sleep. I don't understand why the airlines think they have to turn up the heat on flights - folks can put a blanket on if they are chilly!
Upon an early morning arrival in New Zealand, I took a taxi to the Hyatt hotel on a hill in Auckland. What followed was my 'technique' for getting rid of problems of international travel - the dreaded Jet Lag.
Here is the technique I've learned for 'resetting' to the local time. (By the way, this works for travel to the Far East or to Europe - same technique either way)
As soon as possible, get to the hotel. Put everything away (that's not part of the technique, just a thing I do every time I show up in a new hotel). Then shut the curtains, get undressed, and prepare for going to bed. Set an alarm for 5-6 hours later, or 3pm local time, whichever is earlier. Then go to bed and sleep! (Don't try to stay awake - just go to sleep as comfortably as possible)
Then the hard part. Wake up... It might be hard to wake up... but just do it. Shower and get ready for the day. Don't stay in the hotel room and lounge, but go outside in the sunshine for a walk. (A perfect time for a bit of sight-seeing) - and then eat dinner at regular time, just like a 'regular' day, just now on the local time.
Try to stay up as late as possible this first night - say midnight or so.Then the next day arise as you would on a 'normal' day and you'll be 'reset' to the local time!
This works for me every single time I travel internationally - I highly recommend it.
This week I taught some custom courses for a reseller/distributor of Wireless LAN Products in New Zealand called 'Kalooma'. I've been traveling down under to teach for them for the last 5 years or so. Good guys - easy to work with.We met in the Glenn Building - The Business School building of the University of Auckland. It is a very nice new building - all glass and 'artsy' in it's design. Open areas, air bridges between the wings. A pretty slick looking building - and very expensive from what I heard nearly a quarter of a billion NZ dollars!At night I was hosted by different Kalooma employees for dinner - thanks! They were great dinners with a chance to better learn of their experiences and how they all came together at Kalooma.
Though the other dinners were more than fine... the last dinner on Thursday night with both Terrence and Geoff at the French Bistro was by far the best. The place was called St. Tropez - and though it was a bit funny to have the initial hostess try to speak with a faux-french accent - the food was amazing!Every time I head down to New Zealand, I'm impressed that for such a tiny little economy - only 4 Million folks or so... or into perspective, about the size of 1/4 Los Angeles... it is it's own little economy. I hear they do have at least 10 sheep for every person in the country - weird fact of the day.
Then Friday after class back to the airport for the ride home - only to arrive home before I even left. (wonders of the International Date Line
I had previously downloaded the entire first season of Stargate Atlantis - so I watched 14 episodes on the flight home. All on my iPhone. I don't think I would waste my time at home watching these - but they were mildly entertaining as flight fodder goes.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tomorrow I'll be flying directly from San Francisco to Auckland New Zealand, landing Sunday morning. Having already been in SF for a week. I thought it would be better to take some time tonight to find a local laundry place and get my clothes ready for next week - easier here than trying to find a place in Auckland on a Sunday.
So I found a place just a couple of blocks away using Google Maps - so I packed up the dirty clothes in my duffle bag and started walking the 5 blocks... but that place was closed - so I fired up the iPhone application iWant and found another only 7 blocks further... and walked some more.
Well - this continued a couple more times... each time finding the laundry was closed, or out of business, and I found myself walking through the Financial District, Chinatown, Italian area, and finally by Union Square.
Then I got smart - and started calling *first* before walking. After trying four unanswered phone calls - I got lucky and found one that was actually open. But it was another 6 blocks away - but all UP HILL.
It had already been an hour of walking from closed laundry to closed laundry - how much worse could it get? I'm not really a 'hiker' and though it was only 1/2 mile or so - it happened to be the highest and steepest hill in San Francisco. (so said the taxi driver on the way home) at the highest part there was a little store called "Top of The Hill" - cute.
But I did eventually find a laundry, get my clothes clean and then take a taxi back to the hotel. Whew! A three hour adventure for one load of laundry!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
This week I was in Crystal City, teaching AirMagnet classes.
A couple of highlights:
On the flight out, I had to change planes in Cincinnati, I like changing planes there because I get a chance to eat some Goldstar Chili Dogs... mmmmmm. I *really* don't like beans in my Chili and everywhere/everyone seems to use beans in Chili. Not Goldstar - just great flavor and meat - no beans! Love it.Tuesday night I got to go to dinner with my friend Devin Akin (and his co-workers from Aerohive) at the Legal Sea Foods in Crystal City. This is the same restaurant we went to right after Karrissa and Joe started their 'tour/honeymoon' many years ago.
The Salmon was pretty easy to eat with my braces and all... but I actually enjoy the flavors of our home-cooked BBQ Salmon better.Then on Wednesday night I had a little 'adventure' and took a couple of Metro subway rides to the stop 'by' the Washington DC Temple. At least that's what the nice lady on the phone told me to do. She said "you'll come up from the Metro and see the Temple right there, its a close walk"
Needless to say, when I got off the Metro and came up to the real world, there was no Temple to be found. And it wasn't really in a very nice part of town to be walking around in as the sun was setting. Thanks to the GPS on my phone, and Google Maps new Walking Path - I could see it was a mere two miles of walking through a variety a neighborhoods, across some railroad tracks, over the freeway, back under the freeway, and up a big hill... yep, just a "close walk".
I did however get to enjoy some time in the Temple and had a nice 5.5 hour "adventure" getting to and from this very pretty building. It does really stand out when you come around this corner on the freeway - just lit up floating above the nearby forest...
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday afternoon we all headed up to see Alysha perform in the Odyssey Dance Theater's production of this year's "Thriller". A series of Halloween oriented dances. Kind of an eclectic mix of classic dances, but set with a somewhat disturbing difference... made for the Halloween season. It was hard to recognize Alysha in all that makeup - but she did a great job and I'm proud of her first dance performance with a professional troupe. Then we returned home for an even worse nightmare... watch BYU get beat-up, trounced, and mangled by the TCU Hornfrogs. It was gruesome.
I saw this graphic about the various connection speeds and costs around the world for Internet access.
We in the US are no where near the top on this one... shame on us! Not to mention, we are paying too much!
Check it out.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tonight I got to have a nice dinner with my friends Barry and Donna Woodbridge. They came up from Orange County and we went to dinner at a great little place near the LAX airport. You can eat your fine meal, and watch the planes land and take off.The gardens are areas around the restaurant have many older planes on static display. I *really* enjoy old planes. I spent many years dreaming of being a pilot and reading everything I could about flying and planes.
It was fun to recognize and know the names and many specs of all the planes on display. (It took lots of self-control to not spit out all the names and stories about each of the planes...)
A great night at dinner with friends - thanks Barry & Donna.
My daughter Karrissa was telling me about a new book she read called 'Hunger Games'. She loved it, and thought I would too. Then she bought me the book and the sequel for my birthday present a couple of weeks ago. (Thanks Karrissa)
I left them sit on my shelf for the past couple of weeks - waiting for the right week to read them.
I borrowed season one of 'Lie to Me' from my sister Janet - and that has been my 'travel media' on planes for the last couple of weeks.So it wasn't until dinner on Monday night that I thought to take this new book 'Hunger Games' to the restaurant downstairs for something to read during dinner. I started the book, then sat in the restaurant for 2 1/2 hours reading the story, then went up to my room and read the rest of the book till midnight. Great read!
Then with a little less intensity finished the second in the series - Catching Fire over the last two evenings. Tonight I'm going to have 'withdrawals' - there is a third in the trilogy, but it won't be out till next year some time. BUMMER!
So obviously I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series. It was a great read. If you want to borrow mine - just ask.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
This was just a work week.
Up early on Monday for a flight over to SFO - then a drive down to AirMagnet corporate for a day of meetings with the development team working on some new "hush hush" projects.
The rest of the week was catching up on a variety of work and home projects.
Basically a boring week... nice to have prior to the next 6 weeks on the road.