Monday, March 15, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm not dead...

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.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Evolution of Storage

It's sad... but I've worked with each of these (except for the wax cylinder)

How far back do you go?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reading my posts in Facebook and/or Twitter

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 (BYU Spring Lax Schedule)

Sometimes I'll embed a link to another web site using a 'URL Shortener' service. It looks like this

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

The more you learn...

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...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Network Apps for iPhone - Revisited

Below is a list of the recommended Network Apps that I use on my iPhone and iPod Touches.

I posted a previous detailed review on my blog post earlier this year in April. This is an updated list to reflect updated apps and how I actually use these apps in my daily work. These are based on a review of over 100 network apps purchased and tested over the last few months.

Try them yourselves - I think you'll enjoy using your iPhone as a nice portable network analysis tool.

If you want to see the full 100+ apps, icons, pricing and features. Drop me an e-mail at KEITH at INPNET dot ORG and I'll send you the spreadsheet in Excel and PDF form for your review.


Tier One Apps

Deep Whois - Professional Whois Browser

NetBrowser - does Multicast DNS searches (Bonjour) with nice details

Bytes - does dec/hex/bin conversions, ASCII reference and metric units

My System 2 - gives you System information as well as Local station info

ASCII Chart - the best of the many ASCII reference apps

My Network Ports On-The-Go - detailed analysis fo the port database

Pinouts - Details on RJ-45, Firewire, USB, etc.

Emerald Time - NTP Accurate time

iNet - Professional robust network tool with Scan, Bonjour, Portscan & Device Info

Net Scan - Scan IP, Range, Country, MAC, Whois, ICMP, TCP

Network Diagnostics Pro - Ping, Ping Range, Tracert, DNS, Device Info

Snap - Local Scan, ID Devices, Bonjour Services, detailed export

Net Status - Professional TCP, UDP update and MAC Lookup

Nice Trace - Professional Trace, Whois, Country and Details

TCPinger - Both ICMP and TCP Ping with details and 'What's Up'

RF Toolbox - Very well done RF, GPS and Site tools for Wireless Pros

IP Calc - the best of the myriad of Subnet calculators

iPico SIP Client - a fully configurable and robust SIP Client

Skype Client - yep - just what you think

WiFiFoFum - best 'NetStumbler' around for iPhone - Get it!

FTP On The Go - FTP App with Viewer capability


Tier Two Apps

DNS-SD - $2.99 - Browse Bonjour Services
nDNS Watch - $0.00 - Browse Multicast DNS Services
Network Solutions Whois - $0.00
iNetCalc - $0.99 - Calculate file transfers, bandwidth, VoIP
SpeedCalc - $0.00 - Calculate file transfer times
iNetInfo - $0.00 - Quick MAC, IP, Gateway, DNS
File Name Extension Reference - $0.00 - Yep, just hat is sounds like
iHexView - $0.99 - Base converter for bin/dec/oct/hex
IT Tools - $2.00 - Ping, Route, Interface, ARP, MAC Database
IP Port LIst - $0.99 - Reference Tool for IANA Ports
RF Calc - $0.00 - CWNP RF Calculators from G.T. Hill
IP Calc - $0.99 - Best Simple IPv4 Subnet Calculator
IPEToolbox - $0.99 - IP Engineer's Toolbox with Subnet, VoIP bandwidth
NetCalc - $0.00 - Easy to use Subnet calculator
The Mask - $9.99 - Professional Extensive IPv4, BinHexDec, VLSM, CIDR
Acrobits Softphone - $6.99 - Customizable SIP Soft Phone with easy setup
WiFiTrak - $0.99 - WiFi Scanner with Connect
Datacase - $6.99 - WiFi Drive Apps with Viewers
iDisk Mobile Me - $0.00 = Access your Mobile Me iDisk

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Internet Speeds and Costs Around the World

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.