Electrical Thing(tm)

First post in ages, last weekend we visited the National Museum of Scotland and I took the camera (and used it) for once.



New Blog name and new header image!

So my blog now has a new domain name, gravatar and header image and after a trip down south to see Hadrian’s Wall for the first time. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to start posting some new content! This may end up not being the case, but well stranger things have happened!

Installing Ubuntu onto a MacMini1,1 is really hard!

So installing Ubuntu onto an 2006 Mac Mini (macmini1,1) is really hard, mainly down the bugs in EFI preventing booting of USB sticks or CD’s that are available for download from Ubuntu and this Mini not 64 bit CPU but 32 bit!

So things to remember:

  • This mac mini is x32 and not an x64 CPU! So do download the right image!
  • Install rEFInd (this is really important, as
  • Follow these instructions to create an USB stick.

So I now have StackStorm installing, which is taking some time on almost decade old system. Later I do plan to do an re-install with the server (instead of desktop version), but at least wireless works out the box, which it did not do last time I tried in 2003 with linux and wireless.

Thinking about migrating from Aperture to Adobe Lightroom

So I’ve been using Apple’s Aperture photo management and editing application since just after I got an SLR in 2007. So it was with great sadness I learned last year that it would be going away and replaced with Photos (along with iPhoto).

So I need to find another photo management & editing product or just give in and use the new Photos for everything. Which I don’t really want to do as I very much like the power of Aperture to make the most of photos shoot in RAW.

So some first thoughts based on photos I took today on my Canon EOS-M:

  • It’s very grey, layout is not as slick (i.e. large & cluttered) as Aperture.
  • Flagging and rating being different things is likely to be more powerful, but confusing for now.
  • Folders and collections look like they will take a little mastering.
  • Had to do a Google search to figure out how to upload to Flickr.
  • Making adjustments was rather different from Aperture. Which will take some getting used too.

The results can be found here, this is going to take some getting used too and concerned what will happen to all the images I’ve got in Aperture in the long run.

Something new for the Networking tool bag – Sergeant Clip

Today on Twitter I noticed that @fryguy_pa posted the following yesterday.

This is the http://www.sergeantclip.com/ which looks like something really useful for the networking tool bag. In fact I’m going to order both a 6 and 12 port versions tonight.

Completing CCNP Security – Study notes for SISAS (300-208) – Part 1

I was half way towards completing CCNP Security when they announced the retirement of the current exams and I did not have the enough time to complete study for SECURE prior to the last day to test. Given that old exam passes expire after 3 years and my ASA Security specialist certification expires after only 2 years, I have to pass the remaining 2 new exams before Nov 2015 and no later than Jan 2016 to keep a Cisco security certification without having to to sit further 2 exams.

As has often has been the case with Certification changes, the self study texts have not been published and no public information on availability is on the Cisco Press website (link). In fact the page it’s still referring to the February 2012 refresh and not updated yet. I have been informed that new texts should be out in the sometime in the Fall (aka late Q3 or early Q4?) as they have meet significant delays.

There is of course the official course, but I much prefer the self study route with practice exams. Given that the information is spread around, I’m attempting to pull together some notes and a list of books that I can read to keep study moving forward until official (or other) texts have been released.

The first starting point of course is the Exam Description for SISAS (300-208), so given strong focus on ISE and BYOD I’ve chosen to read Cisco ISE for BYOD and Secure Unified Access: BYOD Network Security with ISE as a starting point and following up with a Lab or evaluation environment for ISE.

What’s in your Networking Tool bag?

For most of the last 6 years, I’ve either not been allowed physical access to our hardware in the DC (a long story from my previous job) or I’ve been working in the same Data Centre as my desk, with no remote locations. So the need to have the tools of my trade with me while doing work based travelling has been very limited (or non-existent).

However last year the company I work for was acquired, and now I’m finding myself in the position that I’m travelling more and need to work in other DC’s while out & about.

So I need to travel with tools, and I’m wondering what’s in your networking tool bag? My laptop bag is small (and mostly light), so I’m hoping to not go too OTT.

My starting list is as follows:

  • Assorted RJ45 Cat5e cables (mainly short (0.3m to 2m – Grey & Blue) + joiner & cross-over adaptor.
  • Cage Nuts and bolts (enough to rack 3 to 5 devices).
  • Small Torch (LED).
  • USB Serial Adaptor (need a new one as current seems to not work with Windows 8) + DB9 adaptor & RJ45 Roll over adaptor (Thanks to WTI).
  • Multi-bit screw driver (with ~10 bits).
  • Some USB cables.
  • Cage Nut insertion tool.
  • USB 10/100 Ethernet.

This is in-addition to the normal stuff (laptop, Lync headset, headphones, USB charger, phone cables, ect).

However I do know I need to find good ear protection. I’ve been spoilt by my home DC having the main cooling plant out of the data rooms. Where I was working on Thursday was loud. Thank goodness there were disposable ear plugs available.