Interesting UKNOF Talks

In reviewing the agenda from UKNOF which I was regrettably unable to attend, three talks of an Irish origin stood out.

  • The realities of LLU in Ireland from Colin Whittaker of Magnet (the title says it all). There was also a British view offered: LLU in the UK;
  • NOC Tools from Donal O’Cearbhaill where he discussed the many tools they use at HEAnet to manage, provision and monitor the Broadband for Schools project; and
  • Network Architecture of Joost by Colm MacCarthaigh. This one is really interesting in terms of how they plan to manage the massive data transmission requirements of on-demand video and the design of a fault tolerant network service. I really like the way they their code is prefix aware and are planning AS-level awareness. Nice. Actually an interesting thread broke out about this on NANOG at the start of the year.

SNMP Polling Cisco AS5300’s for E1 Channel Usage (with Cacti)

This post is as much a reference for myself as it is for others. I had a need today to start graphing E1/PRI channel usage on some Cisco AS5300’s. The current priority is a simple graphical representation of the actual usage:

AS5300 E1 Channels in Use

Hopefully at some point over the next couple of weeks I may expand this to other more interesting information such as average call duration, etc that can be useful to diagnosing issues almost as they happen.

The Cacti XML can be found here and I just posted the same to Cacti’s own forums here.

The CISCO-POP-MGMT-MIB provides the MIBs for this information and the ones I specifically used (for my AS5300 which are all identical with 4 E1/PRI ports) are cpmDS1ActiveDS0s.0.x (or .1.3.6.1.4.1.9.10.19.1.1.9.1.3.0.x). Replace x with the appropriate port number (0-3) as required.

Explore the available information yourself with:

$ snmpwalk -Os -c <community> <host> .1.3.6.1.4.1.9.10.19

Make room PLEASE!

I had to get the Dart last Wednesday as I was going to the Irish match in Croker. It was rush hour and I experienced what I face the very odd time I get the Luas when I don’t cycle to the office: assholes clogging the door.

It seems to be an Irish mentality to congregate around the doors in case you get trapped. I’ve used public transport in New York for months a few years ago and believe me, they’d go through you for a shortcut if you were blocking the doors. I wouldn’t mind if the bloody Dart/Luas was full, but there’s plenty of room mid-carriage.

I was once on the Luas at rush hour (having squashed my way through these same assholes to centre-carriage) when a man tried to get on a couple of stops later. There was plenty of room around me but the area around the doors was wedged. He shouted for people to move into the carriage… no one moved. In fact, they made faces at each other to indicate that this guy was a nutter.

He was nothing of the sort. He was dead fucking right. Next time I’ll go through you assholes for a shortcut. Make room PLEASE!

An Apology to Wesley… ish…

I wrote in my last blog (and first for quite a while) that “to be clear – I always hated Acting-Ensign Wesley Crusher.” Strong words. So Wil’s book arrived from Amazon yesterday and I finished it this morning. And, 267 pages later, I’m feeling a little guilty about my clarity above.

[Just A Geek] Wil’s book is good. Very good – it’s the first book in a long time and only auto-biography that I read cover to cover over the course of a evening/morning. It’s very much about the battle between embracing the legacy of being a Star Trek actor and trying to get away from it. About coming to terms with the decision to leave the show and dealing with the consequences. In Wil’s words, it’s about angst. But I’m not writing a review here. It’s about far more than his experiences with Star Trek and if you were even remotely a Trekkie or just interested in a good and true story, go buy it. The link/image to the right for the book I’m talking about is taken from Wil’s own site and so hopefully he’s up for merchant royalties if you choose to buy via clicking here.

A recurring theme in the book is the many many times Wil took shit for all the people that hated Wesley. From his own blog and also reproduced in the book:

“So you didn’t like my fucking character on a fucking TV show I haven’t even worked on in Ten. Fucking. Years. Thank you for blaming ME for the writing of a fictional character, on a fictional TV show. That makes complete sense, considering all the input the writers would take from a 15 year old kid. Have you ever bothered to ask? Did it ever occur to you that I just said the lines I was given? I’m sorry Wesley messed up your precious television show. Fortunately, there were whole seasons after I quit, without me. So you can watch them, and feel better. But don’t take it out on me. I’m just an actor, doing the best job he could with what he was given. So I worked on a TV show. So I have made a living as an actor. Big deal. I’m no better than anyone else, and I have never said I was, or thought I was…

“Congratulations, sir. I’m glad that your empty, pathetic existence is made whole by shitting on a person who you’ve never even met.

“You know, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get into this. I promised myself that I wouldn’t get sucked in to the mire with the lowest common denominators. Well, guess what, guys? I don’t care if you’re “The Guy From TV” or if you’re “The kid from math class”. Being personally attacked hurts. It sucks. I wonder, do you spend a fifth of the time you spend dumping on me doing something constructive with your life? I certainly hope so.”

Now, I don’t feel guilty about the above. I clearly made the distinction between character and actor in my post. But I do feel a bit guilty and I empathise with Wil that there are so-called Trekkies out there that wouldn’t or couldn’t make this distinction and, furthermore and worse, would take it out on the actor. Gobshites.

I also stand over my cringe and credibility comments about Wesley yesterday but I didn’t go on to say that, to be fair, the character grew up over the years. In particular, I thought The First Duty was a great episode and it showed Wesley as a real person. It also had a fantastic scene between Picard and Wesley where Picard lectures Wesley about duty and truth. We saw the boy become a man and face his fears on the Battle Bridge in possibly the best two-part TNG episode of all time, The Best of Both Worlds. The Game was also a good episode but that may have had more to do with Robin Lefler (Ashley Judd) than Wesley 😉

My inner geek awakened…

Now, to be clear – I always hated Ensign Wesley Crusher (sorry Wil!). While well known among my various groups of friends as a “trekkie”, few of them ever watched it. The occasional times that my parents, brothers or friends would happen to sit down in the sitting room while ST:TNG was on, I’d often try and talk the show up. Then, along comes this lanky geeky child character navigating the fucking USS Enterprise and saving the bloody universe. Credibility, please try not to break the glass as you fly out the window. Thanks.

While googling around the other day, I came across a couple of blogs by Wil Wheaton – better known among us geeks as Ensign Wesley Crusher. I never knew what became of him since ST:TNG and my curiosity was aroused (if you don’t know what ST:TNG means then stop reading now!) .

Now, to be clear – I always hated Acting-Ensign Wesley Crusher (sorry Wil!). While well known among my various groups of friends as a “trekkie”, few of them ever watched it. The occasional times that my parents, brothers or friends would happen to sit down in the sitting room while ST:TNG was on, I’d often try and talk the show up. Then, along comes this lanky geeky child character navigating the fucking USS Enterprise and saving it at the last bloody minute. Credibility, please try not to break the glass as you fly out the window. Thanks.

There were so many blood curdling and embarrassing scenes containing Wesley Crusher that I only prayed and hoped that the actor shared my embarrassment as I watched through slitted eyes.

Turns out, he sort of did! Well, some of the time. While Wesley Crusher was never the object of “hero worship” for this particular geek, he was still on ST:TNG and as such he carries a certain currency with me. And this is why it was so… exciting (yes, I’ve admitted it!) for me to stumble across his sites. It’s rare to be able to get so “close” to the actors we watch or have watched so often on screen and I’ve even gone and purchased his two books from Amazon – what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound.

From what I’ve read so far, he seems interesting, a Linux user and a geek (!), very open and honest and he throws in the odd story about Star Trek too; in particular WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER Part I and Part II – well worth a read if you’re a trekkie. He’s now earned a spot on my (small and insignificant) Blogroll. You’ll find Wil’s old stuff at www.wilwheaton.net and his newer stuff at WWdN: In Exile.

As an aside: Unfortunately for Wil, the producers went and got it right for the next series in the character of Jake Cisco played by Cirroc Lofton.