Friday, October 24, 2008

Week in Sunnyvale

This was a little 'weird' week - after last week in Seattle, weekend in San Diego with family, then another 'back to back' week coming up the coast to Sunnyvale.

I stayed the week at a wonderful hotel (read cheap) in Sunnyvale - the high quality 'Sundowner'. But at least it was not only in-expensive, but had lots of hard pillows! (I like soft pillows) I've started traveling with my C-PAP machine... and with that sleep machine going, I can sleep on just about any bed!
I spent Monday over at AirMagnet headquarters, working on projects and helping the Survey team on how to best teach folks to use the product to achieve the best most accurate and stable results.

Then for the last four days of the week teaching an Partner Technical Training course at Aruba's headquarters.

I had some time each day after class to do a variety of things to entertain myself.

One day I went to the 'City of Ember' movie. It had Bill Murray - and I think he's pretty funny. But the movie was really about two teenagers trying to save their city from imminent destruction. Inconsistent cinematography, hokey story line, and childish dialog left me wanting more. It would have been a fairly decent ABC Afternoon Special - but not worth spending your money on.

Another afternoon I went over to the Apple Corporate headquarters at 'One Infinite Loop' to take some pictures and visit the employee's Company Store. I found a new cover for my iPhone 3G, and a serial port adapter so I can use the Mac to configure switches and routers (and specifically Aruba controllers and AirMagnet sensors) - I've wanted to visit there for years, over 20 since I purchased my first Macintosh in 1984!
Another late afternoon I went to the movie theater... not knowing what to watch and the only PG-13 movie was this... 'Secret Life of Bees' - I knew little about it, but I'd seen something on TV and it sounded non-useless... so I went.

This was a great movie! I cried, I laughed, I enjoyed a nicely done story. It reminded me a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird kind of story. Set in South Carolina, in the early sixties, mixing between Blacks and Whites. I wasn't expecting very much, but ended up very impressed. I can highly recommend this movie - not for kids mind you, there are a couple of disturbing scenes of family violence and KKK kind of violence - but the story line is compelling and unexpected. Great performances by the cast of actresses.
We also received some photos from Brent's first companion in Brazil - you can see them all over at the website.
I also received a new GPS - a smaller Garmin Nuvi - and I love it! It charges off of a USB charger... so all my devices charge the same way. Cuts down a lot on what I have to carry. I normally leave my bigger GPS at home. Now I'll have this with me wherever I go. I've tried it with the suction cup mount on the windshield... but it also works just as well down in the cup-holder of the rental car just fine.
GPS - the only way to travel! (right Joe?)

Another project for the week was to get a Serial Connection to a Terminal service running from my Macintosh MacBookAir. Many people online had tried - and I've failed a couple of other evenings to get it to work right. This is the technique used to connect and configure a laptop computer to a Switch/Router/Controller that only has a 9-pin serial console connection.

One of the reasons I've always used Dell Laptops is they have a 'standard' Serial DB-9 connector and this is very simple to do on a Dell.

But since I've been trying to move over to the Macintosh platform, this was one if the more difficult things to do. Well, I've now completed it. Actually have two different USB to Serial adapters working! Yea! (Send me an e-mail is you want the specifics)

One final note on this long blog post. I've been a user and evangilist for the Amazon 'Kindle' e-book reader. It has made my book reading so much better. It allows me to easily carry 40-50 books with me as I travel as well as being much easier to read than a real book. Now Oprah has also 'found the light'
Now I get to go home for a weekend! Yea!


Jenny Cox said...

It looks like you had a nice time. I bet you're excited to be at home with your cute family.

Gramps said...

Very interesting Keith. I'm glad you were able to accomplish some things you have wanted to do. I see you saw Oprah as well. Glad you could join your family in San Diego for some fun.

Gram said...

Great post Keith. I watched Oprah today and she really was excited about her kindle. Everyone in the audience received one. It was nice to see the photos of the Apple Store. Sorry about "Ember". I read Janet's copy of "The Secret Life of Bees" last year so I wanted to see the movie and now I know I really want to see the movie. I understand they are making a book out of Smith's Botswana books.

Karrissa Winward said...

I want to see The Secret Life of Bees, glad you give it a good review. I am glad you finally got to go to Apple Headquarters!