Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beta Testing & New USB Case

This week I've been working from home and the local office doing some 'Beta' testing. This involves signing Non-Disclosure Agreements and then getting a hold of some 'Pre-Release' software/hardware and being a bit of a guinea pig.

Things don't always go right - but that's what beta testing is all about. Its a chance for the developers of the product to get feedback, bugs, and final little changes prior to actually shipping to paying customers.

Documentation isn't completed, problems exist, but it's 'Fun' to be able to play with and interact with equipment and software before the general public. Plus it feels good to be able to have at least a 'smidgen' of input into how products turn out. Beta testing really helps the vendors get some 'wrinkles' out before paying customers get the stuff.

I appreciate when I have a chance to 'beta' test my course content prior to teaching for 'real'. So this is a chance for me to take a 'down week' and do something productive with my time.

I can't wait for some of these products I've been testing are released to the public! I really want to use them in my own practice - but can't until after the NDA is released. Bummer.

It's kind of like being 'teased' a bit - you get to touch, play with, and enjoy the new stuff. Even form some sort of 'bond' through fighting through the trials in pre-release beta stuff. Then, then the vendors don't let you use it. Again, bummer.

It has been nice, however, to be home every day, see the wife and kids and eat dinner together.


On an entirely different note.

I carry with me a bunch of little devices that do different, necessary at specific times, things. I've tried lots of different contraptions and cases trying to get 'just right'. Lately I've been using some cosmetic bags (don't laugh - since they are see-through, they get through TSA security at the airport easier)

But it wasn't 'just right' - So I decided to design up my own solution. I made a pattern out of paper, dummied up a cardboard version, then asked a nice neighbor lady who has sewing skills to make me one. I even went to the fabric store and crafts stores to get the components. (that was almost more embarrassing than buying the cosmetic bags)

Here is the result.
It allows me to carry lots of USB devices all at the same time. Folds right up, and velcros shut so everything stays copacetic in my shipping cases during transport. In class, or on a client's site, I just whip this out and all my tools are ready and waiting to go!

I've already got the seamstress working on a couple more. Then on to getting ones designed to hold all the PCMCIA cards I carry as well.

Here's a list of what is in the current USB Case:

- CACE Technologies -
AirPcap Nx 802.11n Packet Capture
- PowerDsine -
Power over Ethernet test tool
- CACE Technologies -
AirPcap Tx - 2.4GHz Packet Capture
- three of these so I can scan Channels 1, 6, 11 simultaneously

- MetaGeek -
WiSpy 2.4i - Spectrum Analyzer w/3D
- MetaGeek -
WiSpy 2.4x - Spectrum Analyzer with External Antenna
- MetaGeek -
WiSpy dBx - 2.4GHz and 5GHz Spectrum Analyzer
- NutsAboutNets -
AirHorn 2.4GHz Jammer w/External Antenna
- NutsAboutNets -
AirHorn 2.4GHz and 5GHz Jammer
- NutsAboutNets -
AirHorn 2.4GHz Jammer - small form factor
- Smartronix -
LinkCheck - tests 10/100 Ethernet
- Nintendo -
WiFi USB Connector - Insidious automatic Rogue AP
- Xyzel -
AG-225H - 802.11 abg WiFi Finder, NIC and Soft AP
- NetGear -
WNDA3100 802.11n Dual-Band USB Adapter
- Ubiquiti -
SR71USB 802.11n Dual-Band USB Adapter

Plus a couple of PCMCIA cards I always have with me:

- Ubiquiti - SRC 300mw abg Card

- Senao - 802.11b (with Prism Chipset)

- AirMagnet - C1060 abgn Card

- AirMagnet - Cognio Spectrum Analysis Card


Gramps said...

I'm glad you have been home this week and able to do "fun" things. Now you cam mass produce your new case. You definitely keep thinking and doing great things.

Gram said...

Looks like a pretty neat case to me. I am sure it is nice to be home and have a "normal" type week with the family and office at home.

Michael said...

Well designed and an excellent use of space. Look forward to seeing this case in production.

Also, thanks for trying out one of our products, if there is anything else you're looking for please let us know!