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My Fav Free Forensic Analysis Tools

Free is good. Especially when it comes to food and learning something new
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 06/03/11 - 12:19pm.

I was talking about colleges with my son the other day to see what he is interested in for a possible major. I was hoping and praying he wouldn't say English since my guidance there would be like trying to divide by zero or philosophy because that meant he'd be living here until his late 30s. He told me he was interested in being a detective. Well! I must say my ears perked right up! I have always thought the two best careers in IT are forensics and data center. But no...he wants to be a actual detective...like you know the ones that carry a badge and stuff.

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Cool Stuff about Cisco MediaNet

Engineers rejoice! Finally a way to model and actually test video before the first bit hits the wires
Submitted by JimmyRay on Mon, 05/16/11 - 11:44am.

Robb and I were at Interop last week in Vegas taping a couple of episodes for TechWiseTV. (shameless plug: http://www.techwisetv.com) I haven't been to N+I in Vegas for five years. I went to N+I in India a few months back and that was the best show EVER! Yeah, I know its just called "Interop" but saying N+I makes me sound more old school cool. Kinda like; "Yeah me and Vint Cerf were chillin' at N+I twisting some pairs of cat5 up..."

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Windows Event Log Tricks

Repairing trashed out logs is easy with some old school database tricks
Submitted by JimmyRay on Mon, 04/25/11 - 5:11pm.

I was at a customer site the other day to look over some data center design plans. Of course like many things in a day in a life of a networking geek, flexibility is the key to getting to beer time quicker. The IT folks where in hot debate about something so I just assumed it was who was the BEST Dr. Who. I walked over wishing I had my long scarf and fist full of jelly babies to pelt folks that didn't agree that Tom Baker is to Dr. Who what Sean Connery is to 007. But no, it was about backups.

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Trip Report: Cisco Data Center, Allen Texas

Zen and the Art of the Data Center
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 04/08/11 - 5:56pm.

I love data centers. I always have. From my mainframe days to now, building out a data center is a true test of forethought and collaboration with many groups of folks. The Cisco Data Center folks opened up the doors to the shiny new data center they completed in Allen Texas. Of course I jumped at the chance to be that close to some great beef BBQ and binary bits. I'll be honest with y'all, here's what I expected to find; A refitted building with man traps, solar panels (for the green tax credit), no signage on the front and VBlock pods all over the place.

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Five Geek Products That Really Piss Me Off !!

All that glitters isn't a communcator badge in geekdom
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 04/01/11 - 3:46pm.

I gotta admit it, I love a good engineered product that solves problems that I didn't know I actually had until I use it and now I can't be without it! That's really how a good high tech product should be...almost like magic. However, if it causes more problems AND you’re out the cash you paid for it; well, someone needs and butt whoppin' for sure. Here are five geek products that I purchased and failed miserably. Plus, I’ll toss in what alternatives I used to replace these duds.

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Geek book reviews

Billy Ray coins the term 'Booktober'
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 10/29/10 - 12:43pm.

I like the month of October. Not only is it my birthday month, it's also when the leaves turn up here behind the cheddar curtain, great fall seasonal beer starts flooding the market, the bass are on bed will normally hit any lure tossed out and of course I get to hear which tag line the marketeers come up with to promote their crap using a variant of October.

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IT the truly International Language

Fun with Flexible Netflow and the Borderless 3 launch!
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 10/01/10 - 9:10pm.

I am sitting here in Singapore finishing up the final leg of a two-week journey. I was invited to come to India for 10 days to geek out with engineers, conduct eight workshops and speak at Interop Mumbai. I really had a great time and met some awesome folks.

However, when it comes to communicating, most folks that speak native English have a difficult time with my surfer hillbilly slang. I was concerned if I would fall flat in another country. That happened to me in Germany where folks just didn't get my humor and thought I was real goober-schnitzel with a few tech tips thrown in.

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Stuff I learned from my 3 biggest network screw ups

Nothing teaches quite like trashing out someone else's network
Submitted by JimmyRay on Thu, 09/16/10 - 12:16pm.

My grandmother used to tell me that while painful, mistakes always make the most interesting stories and teach the best lessons. I certainly, do not go out to an account hoping to trash out someones network so I can learn stuff. If that was the case, the only thing I would learn is resume building 101.

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Who's the HOTTEST video game chick?

Hey, just because it is virtual doesn't mean it does have value
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 08/20/10 - 11:11am.

I was cruisin' to Best Buy with my son to pick up the video game "Kane and Lynch 2" just the other day. If you haven't heard about it, it's a awesomely violent game with tons of cussin' and head shots galore. Instead of keeping these games from my future felon, I like to use them as teaching points to impart my Dad wisdom to him. With this one the teachable moment is; "Look son, sometimes when you're trying to export illegal weapons from mainland China to Africa and you accidentally cap the Chief Mafia Dudes' daughter, bad stuff happens" lesson over.

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Do we REALLY care about what executives have to say?

Bring out the engineers for us and execs for others
Submitted by JimmyRay on Wed, 07/14/10 - 10:36am.

We were taping two TechWiseTV episodes at Cisco Live this year. To get ready for a show, it takes a ton of set up and config time for all of us. Because of that we are on the show floor before it opens and stay until long after it closes. One day we were setting up our gear and someone told us to be quiet because John Chambers was on and they wanted to hear it.

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Cisco LIVE! 2010

Are you going to the big dance?
Submitted by JimmyRay on Sun, 06/27/10 - 10:50am.

Bowling shirts...check, obscure reference T-shirts...check, all 16 episodes of Firefly on Blue Ray...check!

All right who is heading out to Cisco Live this year in Vegas? This is Cisco's premier geek event for folks like us. Great training, cool announcements and normally some good music in the evening. Robb and I are packing up our stuff (separately...but we do share the same calf-high sports striped tube socks) and making tracks west.

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Five things to pass along to new networkers

What are your top five words of wisdom to pass to others in the field?
Submitted by JimmyRay on Wed, 06/02/10 - 5:11pm.

I received an interesting e-mail the other day to speak to a group of folks getting ready to graduate from a Cisco Academy in Michigan. (Baker College you are awesome!!!) The instructions were simple; speak about anything you want and we'll buy you lunch! Color me there baby! Plus, I get to take the Lake Express high-speed ferry across Lake Michigan! Oh mercy! I kinda felt a little like being in my old salty Navy sailing days only without the salt...I still wore the bell bottoms...so much for an invite back!

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My Experence with Cisco Clean Air

Not a fart scrubber in the building 17 cafe like I thought....
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 05/14/10 - 11:41am.

Whenever I see a new product come on the market, I always wonder; "Who comes up with these names?" I would have LOVED to have been in the meeting when the names; 666 Cold and Flu Medication, Jos. A. Bank (who abbreviates a first name?). Although I like the name Microsoft Kin...reminds me of down home! I hope it comes with cornbread and fried tators! So when we were approached to do a TechWiseTV show on Cisco Clean Air, 44 years of built up experience in fart humor came rushing to the surface like a category 1000 tidal wave.

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The ABC's of Anybody But Cisco

Do you hate Cisco that bad?
Submitted by JimmyRay on Wed, 04/28/10 - 11:40am.

Back when I was younger and my waist size wasn't bigger then my leg length, we used to have a Dude's code. With stuff like Lt. Uhura being the hottest possible woman alive, Wingman etiquette and girls dated by your close friends are off limits even after they have broken up. Anybody But them.

As I traveled along in life, I noticed that same theory of; "Anybody But..." in many things. In circuit design it was Anybody But SSDI, in Football it is Anybody But New England, in cars it's Anybody But Fiat, in TV show casting it's Anybody But Ted McGinley, OK you get the idea here.

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Is Network Security a Dead End Career?

Have we secured stuff so well that security in now more of a hobby?
Submitted by JimmyRay on Tue, 04/20/10 - 12:13pm.

Hard to believe that I ever thought I would be sitting here wondering about the state of security as a viable career path. I have built my career up as a security dude/hacker for years, but lately I have been noticing a few things.

- Vendors are getting really good at detecting network anomalies and the interfaces are getting easier and easier to program.

- Threat vectors have become so large that now we look at a multi-tiered attack surface instead of a laser-beamed attack point.

- Some of the biggest threats are due to applications and bots.

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Prototyping 101

Getting started with the Beagle Board for cool projects
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 04/16/10 - 11:53am.

I love prototyping gear. That initial start up to check if what I designed works like I planned it to. The answer most of the time is NO, but that is a good thing. Many of the things I have developed have came about by trying to design something else. I credit a Technical Writing Prof I had in college (OK OK, insert joke here...) that said he does not believe in writers block. You are either burnt out and tired of writing or you just have to start writing anything until an idea comes to you. Now, I have always believed that anything worth doing is worth over doing so...

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Starstruck

Meeting REAL celebraties in our world
Submitted by JimmyRay on Wed, 03/31/10 - 10:48am.

I remember when I was a younger kid zipping thru the hills of Tennessee, no matter where I was, I always tried to make it back in time to watch Happy Days. When the 45's started spinning and the theme song started, man that was a feeling equal to catching a 7lbs (3.175Kg for our metric readers) Bass on 3lbs test! As if it could not possibly get any better; a commercial, a sirens call, beckoned; "Meet The Fonz this Saturday at the Sonic Drive In in Nashville" The prophet is coming to Nashville! ...The...Fonz...YES!!!

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Is that a Cluster in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

BCCD is one great clustering solution
Submitted by JimmyRay on Thu, 03/18/10 - 11:41am.

High Performance Computing (HPC) is equal in coolness as your friends seeing you growlin' and prowlin' on a raked and piped out Harley on a summer day.

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Kickin' VAS with OpenVAS!

Looking for a scanner to replace Nessus? Look no further
Submitted by JimmyRay on Thu, 03/04/10 - 11:11am.

Twitter can be used for a bunch of useless, time killing things. Things like what a goober celebrity thinks of grooming a cat with a dog brush or the endless string of folks posting lines to songs. OK, I get it! you like Spandau Ballet (UNFOLLOW). If you follow me on Twitter, I also do my fair share (and then some) of stupid tweets. From my love affair with In N Out Burger and Popeye's Chicken to the ramblings of a sleep deprived, caffeine fueled mind.

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Open Source Storage Options

Forget the big names, roll your own and save!
Submitted by JimmyRay on Fri, 02/19/10 - 11:16am.

I have said it many times before in this and other forums that I believe data center technologies are THE career path to get in right now for the future. Especially, if your background is plumbing....routin' n switchin'

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