Good weather and some DevNetCreate

The 2nd Cisco DevNetCreate conference was recently held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.  Pretty cool place to see the history of technology we use on a daily basis.

This picture reminded me of a scene from the movie Sneakers.

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Lots of sessions and really good food. They brought in local food trucks so we had a good variety of choices over the two day conference. The only down side, lots of really good sessions but not enough time(i.e. some ran at the same time as others).  Maybe somehow they could be recorded?? Overall, I would give this conference a 95%, hmmm, why not 100? Well, that reason is, just not enough time to see everything.  Not sure if adding another day would make this better.  I think the two days are perfect, however the recording of sessions would add that little 5% for sure.

Normally, I don’t stick around for keynotes at ANY conference. Usually I get distracted and wonder off.  BUT, this time I tried it out.  Being part of the Cisco Champions group added some fun to it, front row, center seating.

This one was pretty cool, Guy Kawasaki was invited to talk. He tells a great story! If you get a chance to see him at a conference, do not pass it up.

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As for sessions, Cisco Meraki had several workshops/sessions talking about their API.  Lots of focus on Node-RED and how to make that “magic” of programming an easier process.

Michael Chenetz did a great job of doing an intro to using Node-RED and showing how things can connect with ease using the Meraki API.

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Now, the next one is a bummer, it was about designing your own PCB along with using Upverter and Hackster.io.  I was actually really excited for this one. BUT, I quickly realized I don’t have the patience for it. The little circuits and what-not, nah, that’s not for me. Which was a good experience that I was able to see what someone had created and quickly found out I would really not like to do it. So in the end it worked out well, PCB design is not for me.

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Now comes the very fun “Create” part of the conference, it was a bonfire and create your own S’mores. If you don’t know what a S’more is, well, you’re missing out … stop reading right now and make some, they go great with some beer(or wine).

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Thanks to the entire DevNetCreate Team for once again, having a great conference and fun time! I hope to see you all again next year!

As you wish, Captain. This way.

Hey, I’m still around. So here’s a little update for 2018. More conferences! Yeah!!!

First on the list is DevFestKC, it’s local so easy to hit.

Then right off to the awesome WLPC, if you do anything with wi-fi, you have to go!

Also, thinking about hitting up HPE Aruba Atmopshere, always a good one, just might not have time–we’ll see.

Then Cisco DevNetCreate — If you love APIs, IoT and Developer stuff, it’s a great time!

Hoping to visit InteropITX again, loved it last year. A diverse group, awesome to see and learn new things

and.. then RSA Conference in SFO.

Many more on the list… but we’ll leave that for another blog post later on.

The trick … is not minding that it hurts

I feel this desire to use my laptop, almost daily. For the past 20+ years, a laptop or desktop computer has been used. Now, the trick has changed. The Apple iPad Pro 10.5 w/ Smart Keyboard is the change. I find that I'm able to focus more directly on what is being done vs. jumping around between apps that I had been doing on the laptop. Maybe this is because of how the "multi-tasking" works on the iPad, not sure, that will change with iOS 11, more apps could be shown on the screen, four apps from what I've seen(people playing around with the beta showing off things). The whole touching the screen thing has become a little odd, I guess it's no different than using the trackpad to move the pointer? When using the laptop, I had eight desktops doing different things(I used a MacBook Pro, I'm all Apple). This feel of wanting of things to be doing stuff has changed a little. I feel it's more a hunt and peck style, vs. a total consumption. I was pretty iPhone app heavy anyways. However, I never thought I would change to a device other than my laptop. When the first iPad came out, I had a little HP NetBook, I spent six months figuring out what I actually did on the NetBook, meaning this. 

I documented the steps I did, i.e. Click here, then click here. Etc… to determine if using an iPad was useable. At that time, the NetBook was just used for email and watching Netflix. So that change was easy. The apps that existed then, well, frankly not many did. No VPN, no banking or communication apps, i.e. FaceTime, Slack, Spark, you name it. And, even back then lots of website still had "mobile browsers" issues. Not all, but the ones I used did. So that made the laptop still a daily thing. Now that most apps are "cloud" connected or cross-platform in some fashion switching around between devices is easy. I still find myself wanting to switch to a laptop/desktop/mouse, well, because that feel, that need to do something that has been done for days and years is changing and that habit is hard to break. When I feel that "want" to use the laptop, I stop, I think out what I would actually do on the laptop, the process, how would I interact with it. And, I stop, I think about it, I find that using the iPad can do the trick. And, if you can get over the hurt of the trick, the breaking down of the process, I think more people would enjoy using an iPad. 

So I'll leave you with this little thought: 

"but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."

…seven bells and all is well

In the last 90 days, the conference trips have been going. It started off with Interop ITX, Cisco DevNetCreate, Purestorage Pure//Accelerate, Kansas City VMUG Regional Conference, and lastly Cisco Live in Vegas.

Lots of travel and long nights.  I’ll be posting a little more details of each conference in the next few days. Just wanted to drop a little note as to why this blog seems a little lacking the past few weeks. Stay tuned!!!

…of travellers and merchants

Finally, after four years, I used Ekahau Site Survey & Planner. This journey started at the first Wireless LAN Professionals Conference. I first met Jussi Kiviniemi walking out of registration at WLPC, he was in the lobby area. I noticed his badge/name tag had that funny word. At the time I had barely heard of it, nor how to even pronounce it. He mentioned the name, I said “oh yeah, that’s it”, he smiled and I walked away.  The last evening of the conference was a training session for the software, I wasn’t planning on staying for that, had to catch a plane. But I was around long enough to have the phrase “Hello, Mr. Anderson.” forever burned into my mind. During the training session, that phrase was mentioned several times.  Not really sure why that was being said, but that’s what I remember.

Over the past few years, I’ve watched people design with the software. And, what issues they have with it and how responsive support is. Everybody seems to love it. I even hung around longer during other training sessions at WLPC to try and pickup more about it. Just a little bit here and there.

So this brings us to today, right now. Well, I downloaded the trial version.  Hmm. OK, it has some limitations.  But, during that time I just clicked around and figured out what each button does, where to find things and how to “draw” with it.

I have a floor plate of my office, nothing fancy just a PNG image. If you have the CAD file for your floor or building. You can important that, and if the walls are put in and other stuff that goes into a CAD file, the software will know that and design correctly, vs. you having to place walls. So this is what I started with after placing some Access Points.

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Hmm, wow … green is good … coverage is great. HA … well, yeah. But, lets do some more with it.

After adding some attenuation areas, elevator areas, brick walls, drywalls, glass walls. More walls, and lots of walls. I ended up with this…

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Of course this is not even close to being done. I still need to adjust heights of some walls–we have walls that are six and nine feet tall used for dividers. Most of our office is open with 11+ foot ceilings. However, based on what WiFi Explorer shows me. I would say so far this design is pretty accurate—take that with a grain of salt, because much more goes into wireless design than an hour or so of playing around.

Now, there is a reason for Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer (ECSE), this software is pretty intense. Lots of little knobs and things to “tweak”.  To get it right, or close to perfect as possible.

So, yeah, I’m kind of happy about this. I can see why people love this software and why they spend hours with it. Now the only downside is—I should have used this software sooner.

“One App to rule them all, One App to find them…”

So, yeah, that sounds like a good title to this post.  I was thinking, I should reboot the UBNT Security Gateway. I wonder if the iOS app can do that?  And, guess what, yes—it can.  I went to the app, saw my online Cloud Keys…

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I selected the site with the Device I wanted to restart, selected the Device(the screen shot of the devices was taken after I restarted it–that’s why it shows disconnected). You scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see an Actions section and you select “Restart”. Simple.

During the restart time, you’ll see the following:

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The restart didn’t take long and everything showed green in the app within a minute or so. I haven’t played too much with the app, other than just viewing some basic info. I think Scott McDermott did a full install, update and configure using only the App.  And, from what I see and hear regarding the App, it looks to be a really solid way of managing your UBNT devices.

Game over man, game over!

So I’m at work, doing that work stuff and I get a message:

“I haven’t been able to join games…”

That’s the abridged version of what I actually got, basically the Xbox One’s in the office had been showing a Moderate NAT setting.  And, yes, we have a couple of Xbox One’s in our office, so what, don’t you? And this Moderate NAT setting was causing some game party and chat issues. Hmm.

Now, here’s my journey of enabling UPnP support on the UBNT USG-Pro4 and my thoughts behind this. I thought I would need to create the dreaded config.gateway.json file. Not a big fan of this. As the current syntax can cause some issues if you do not get it perfect. Yes, this is a little down part on the UBNT’s side. However, I think they know about this issue and are working hard to make this easier and better for people to configure. So here’s what I had to do and how I did it.

Now I found there is another file, one called config.properties and in this file you have some settings that are set for enabled or disabled. And, this file is much easier to create and modify. Cool.

So I used WinSCP to connect to the Cloud Key, logged in with the username/password you created when you setup the Cloud Key. And then browsed to the location of my “Site“.

Finding the Site consists of two parts, finding the “base” location of where files are stored, this is different depending on what Operating System the Controller is running on. Then finding the site. Once you have the location, just create a text file called: config.properties and add the following line: config.igd.enabled=true

Save and Done.

OK, now you need to Provision the USG. This part was a little confusing as I was looking for a “re-provision” button to click. I didn’t see one. So I created a port forward on the USG, which appeared to provision the USG again, i.e. update with new settings. Hmm. For some reason that appeared to not work? Or I just didn’t wait long enough for settings to be effected. So I just told the USG to reboot.  And, that worked.

So my thoughts on this process are, it was simple–yes. It could be better–very better! Why are these settings not in the Controller GUI? I understand for the settings that have a little more than Enabled or Disabled option to not be shown(for now). But, for settings that are a yes or no, those should all be listed. So this wasn’t a complete game over, but I had to reload my weapon.