Saturday, April 25, 2009

Must View Interview on US Banking Debacle

Please, Please watch the following Bill Moyers interview! Every single American and tax payer NEEDS to to watch and understand what's happened to our banking system.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why always a US Centric View?

I've been asked at times when I'm teaching around the world, "Why is everything in the US so US-Centric"?

And I must agree, many times we are too caught up in our own politics, technology, sports, and entertainment that we ignore some of the best the world has to offer. Many US citizens don't have a clue about the rest of the world.

We need to be better World Citizens - better 'learners' of World situations - better understanding of how 'the rest of the world' thinks and operates!

I can't believe we are still using inches, feet, pounds, miles, etc. instead of the World standard of Metric. I remember decades ago in school when we were on the 'road to metric'... yeah right... that's sure come a long way.

But in our favor... a couple of graphics that show some of the US-Centricity is to be expected. First is a graphic of phone call traffic... kind of obvious that one is. Remember, we are NOT the largest, nor most populated...

The second based on Internet traffic. The colors represent volume of traffic.
These were both found at the following web site.

WLAN Professional's Portable Toolkit

Based on an Apple iPod Touch!

OK, before you ‘freak’ and think that I’ve lost my mind… just hold on a minute and read the rest of the article. This is the smallest, lightest, and ‘funnest’ WLAN test kit out there.

For doing a lot of smaller, quicker WLAN troubleshooting, this is a suitable solution. In addition, you get all the benefits of having an Apple iPod – with music, podcasts, videos, and games available as well as the Network Troubleshooting Tools!

I picked up an Apple iPod Touch (I always want to call it an iTouch) – at the local Costco, sync'd it to my laptop's iTunes and had a working troubleshooting and support tool within mere minutes.
In addition to the WLAN and Network tools, I use this as an 'end-point' to test VoIP calls when doing AirMagnet VoFi Surveys. With an attached headset with microphone this makes an excellent VoFi Phone as well. (both for standard SIP as well as SKYPE calls)
So what more could you ask for in a small light-weight device?
  • WLAN troubleshooting
  • Network Troubleshooting
  • VoIP over WLAN Calls
  • File sharing over WiFi
  • Repository of Technical PDFs, White Papers, Docs
  • Music, Podcasts, Videos & Games
  • And it can easily be charged by any USB port!
Here is the parts that I use for this kit
  1. Apple iPod Touch - 8GB $214
  2. Stereo Headset with Mic $9
  3. Free SIP Service $0
  4. Apple iTunes $0
  5. WiFiFoFum $3
  6. WiFiTrack $1
  7. Network Utility $1
  8. iNetInfo $2
  9. Bytes $1
  10. GPS Utility $1
  11. Network Ping $4
  12. iNet $2
  13. Skype $0
  14. SIP Phone $7
  15. AirSharing $5
  16. WiFi Sharing $6
Total Outlay $256

You can easily go up to a 32GB device - just add a bit more money. With the extra space you could hold lots of PDFs (support documents) or Movies if you are so inclined.

Here's some photos and specs on the little guy - cute, lightweight, small and yet powerful and FUN!

Below is a list of the Apps I use on my iPhone/iPod Touch to help me work on Wireless LANs.

a quick easy way to see the local WLANs with channel, signal strength and security. It also has one of those 'weird' radar views - totally useless, it has no actual info on direction, only simple RSSI.
Lists local WLANs by Open vs Locked. Includes Signal, Channel, and type of encryption, ie. WPA2/Radius... Clicking on an AP will also give you the MAC address and if the AP is broadcasting SSID. This one also allows you to connect to a new AP directly from the App.
Network Utility
This is not a WiFi specific tool, but it does allow you to Ping, Scan IP Ports, GeoIP Lookup, Whois Query. In addition, you can use it to find your Internal and External IP Addresses.
A quick way to see your IP Address, Hostname, MAC, Default Gateway, DNS. Network Ping A 'super-ping' that can not only do simple Ping tests, but ping-sweep a subnet, traceroute and Telnet.
A network scanner that can give you quick simple information on your network, including Bonjour services and devices. It also has a great deal of detail for individual devices on your subnet.This one will scan your local subnet and report on all the devices it can 'see'. Not just the APs, but all the clients on your subnet. Clicking on a seen device give you it's IP, MAC, OUI and if it answers a PING. You can then do a scan for supported services on that specific device. Kind of fun to use to see what is OPEN around you.
Bytes A binary calculator with a great set of tools for doing a variety of binary and bit-level manipulation on top of Unit conversion and a quick reference for 2 to the x power results.
GPS Utility
I use this tool to convert Lat/Long specs from Minutes/Seconds to decimal. (AirMagnet Survey using an outdoor GPS survey needs decimal, and most mapping software uses minutes/seconds)
Skype - Yes, just like your big computer, your little iPod Touch/iPhone can now run Skype via a WiFi connection. Voice calls, Chats, etc. - available from your small WLAN Troubleshooting device!
SIP Phone I use this tool to keep a live SIP call going while doing an AirMagnet VoFi Survey. It is also a great little test tool for connecting and tracking VoFi calls when doing troubleshooting of LANs. As your iPod Touch/iPhone roams, the calls can attempt to stay connected, and with your network packet analyzer you can track these packets to help in your troubleshooting issues.AirSharing I use this tool 'host' a file sharing session. I can share saved/archived documents on the iPod Touch/iPhone to share with clients, contacts, students, etc. Support documents are great to have available in an instant.Connects with Mac, Windows, Linux or just any Browser.
WiFi File Sharing Like the above tool, this software lets me share files, maintain a locally accessable archive of technical documents, and have it all easily shared via WiFi to any browser. This also lets me view PDF, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc. directly on the iPod Touch/iPhone.
Anyone else find some other useful App to add to my iPhone?

What's Your Favorite App?
Please comment, I'm always looking for better tools!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1934 Cartoon - Socialism Repeats...

This is so appropriate for today's government problem with spending.

The Socialist Liberal mentality of the Democrats back in the 1930s never solved anything but put the country into more debt... same as now... I just don't see any way out other than to get involved in another World War (that's what brought our economy back last time...) jk

Double-click on the graphic to expand and see the details.

Twitter -

I've started using Twitter to stay in contact with friends, colleagues, etc.
Twitter is... that's a hard question. And for people who haven't tried it the reaction is usually the same. "So what's the big deal?" - in fact, I was in that very boat not too long ago. I opened up a Twitter account... looked around, then did nothing with it.

A couple of weeks ago I again started and this time I finally 'Got It' and have my software called 'Tweetdeck' on my Macintosh running in startup mode and it's always on.

It is a way to stay in touch, learn about new things, and socially network. Sometimes the 'tweets' are boring, useless, or offensive. But it's a new way for me to keep a finger on the pulse of my industry.
I also use it to 'watch' the BYU Lacrosse games I can't get to. Some of the folks watching the game send a stream of 'tweets' letting all of us who 'follow' the @BYULax account to follow along with the games.

I use a program called 'Tweetie' on my iPhone rather than have the tweets come in via text messages.
Or on my Mac it is Tweetdeck.
It's kind of like micro-blogging...

I'm at - I'd love to have more Followers!

Here's a video that might help as well.

From Wikipedia.

is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or applications such as Tweetie, Twitterrific, Twitterfon, TweetDeck and feedalizr. The service is free to use over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Things - My To Do List Manager

I've gone through an entire series of To Do managers. On my mission I used these 'Do It' cards I kept in my shirt pocket. Then back in my university days I used a full-page system from the very first Franklin planner. Moved on to the Daytimer 1/2 page size. Palm Pilot, Microsoft Outlook, and probably 15 other systems.

After moving to the Macintosh last summer I spent some time trying different To Do managers... none seemed to do what I wanted. I especially wanted a nice fast sync to my iPhone, and something that worked with the way I work.

I think in 'projects' and 'where' - something that would let me keep all those items that were errands in the same area together, then later see them all together.

I've found my latest tool. It's called 'Things' - and also comes in an iPhone format.

I can strongly recommend it to anyone with a Macintosh. I especially like the simple quick way to add a new item as so as it pops into my head (ctrl-option-space) and then I can later re-organize them, and prioritize them, and assign them to specific dates, or even just drop it into a 'someday' category.

Syncing to the iPhone is fast, simple and easy - I can enter a new To Do on my iPhone and then it shows up on the Mac... or vice versa.

Give it a try! - here's a short video on Things