Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Cisco Live 2011 Highlights

Well, on this first Friday of the new Fiscal Year, I had a few minutes to catch up on things.  One was to watch the Cisco Live 2011 Highlights video.  I happened to be up in Las Vegas supporting some of my accounts during the event (Vegas is a part of my territory).  Being new to Cisco,  I have to say that I was surprised as to how *BIG* Cisco Live really was.

It was being held at The Mandalay Bay, where I have attended INTEROP the last several years.  So I thought it was roughly the same size in terms of size and scope.  Wowers – I was *way* off.  Cisco Live was much bigger and more comprehensive.  In all fairness, I didn’t actually attend the event, but I can tell you in terms of signage, space, and presence of attendees, I was impressed.

By the way, since I wasn’t an attendee, I didn’t get one of the cool Cisco Live backpacks.  Let me know if you want to send one my way…

Pay close attention to the video around the 1:07 mark.  I believe you’ll catch a glimpse of Wi-Fi juggernaut, Andrew vonNagy (@revolutionwifi).

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Vegas! Who’s With Me?

I am making the trek up to Las Vegas tomorrow to attend Forrester’s 2011 IT Forum.   The event actually starts today and runs through Friday.  It is being held at The Palazzo (which is part of The Venetian Hotel and Casino).

In year’s past, Forrester has used UStreamto broadcast many of the keynotes across the internet.  I don’t have the specifics, but it’s worth a search, when keynote presentations run from 8:30 – 12:30 Pacific Time (Friday morning keynotes end at 10:05).  Personally, Friday morning’s keynotes are of particular interest.  The first is titled “iPads And Torches And Droids — Oh My! Mobile’s Not In Kansas Anymore“.  That is followed up by another session called “Killing The Laptop: How IT Solutions Amplify Business Productivity On Tablets and Smartphones”.

After the morning keynotes, the afternoons are packed with 3-4 sets of track sessions.  The track that really jumps out at me so far is one called “Transform Processes That Touch Your Customers”.  It has sessions on topics such as next-gen CRM and customer service through social technologies.

The content is spot on.  For example, last year, I heard Ted Shadler speak about his book, Empowered, which mentions the rise of four key technologies: social, mobile, cloud, and video.  In my opinion, those four areas absolutely dominated the IT mindset in the past year, and are only growing in importance.

Like any conference, beyond the actual content, one of the most valuable aspects of attending are the networking opportunities.   In the past, Forrester has done a good job of trying to connect people with similar interest with role-specific ribbons to add to attendee badges.  They also put placards on the lunch tables to group people with similar interests.  Forrester also offers one-on-one meetings with their analysts — at no extra cost for attendees.

Please let me know if you are attending the forum (or happen to be in Las Vegas for something else), and would like to meet up.   If you are unable to attend, keep a look out here, my Computerworld Blog, or my Twitter stream for a recap of  what I find the most interesting and relevant.  You can also keep a tap on what’s happening at the conference with the official Twitter hashtag, which is #ITF11.

CWAP Beta Course – Recap

If you read my latest posts, you already know that I attended the Certified Wireless Analysis Professional beta course hosted by the CWNP program in Atlanta, GA last week. 

I really enjoyed all the side bar discussions between attendees.  There were at least 3-4 vendors represented, as well as VARs/Integrators and enterprise wireless network administrators.    I  spoke about my favorite side-bar discussion, which was about locating wireless devices through spectrum analysis on my Computerworld blog.   

Attending the course also really reinforced what a big believer I am in the CWNP program.  It’s great to see a vendor neutral training and certification body in our field.   I really think that along with the IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance, they have done a great job promoting and educating the community about wireless technology, which helps drive growth / adoption, which is good for everyone involved. 

Therefore, I wanted to take the time to interview one of the CWNP co-founders, Kevin Sandlin, to have him explain about the program and how it fits an emerging trend  in the marketplace:

CWAP Beta Course – Day 2

Today was the 2nd day in the CWAP (Certified Wireless Analysis Professional) beta course.  Today’s material was a lot more hand-on / lab type exercise in capturing and analyzing traffic.  From what I could tell, there were three main tools used by the course attendees:

They all seem to have their pros and cons, and they all seem to cost about the same amount of money (especially if you want to do multichannel packet capture on ~3 channels).  Which tool do you prefer?  Why?

The course contains an enormous amount of detail, such as the exact length (in microseconds) for slot times for each PHY type as well as a discussion on the application of that detail (i.e. how do the different slot times affect WLAN performance with and without QoS enabled).

Again, I thought one of the most valuable things were the networking opportunities with the other attendees and the sidebar conversations.  A colleague (and good friend) of mine, Ken Hall, was even inspired to sign up for a Twitter account (@wifiscubaguy) to continue the interaction outside of this course / classroom.  His account will definitely be on my next list of #WirelessWednesday mentions.

Tomorrow is the last day of the course.  From what I know, we are covering a lot of 802.11n concepts, as well as spectrum analysis, which should be a blast.

CWAP Beta Course

This week, I am at the CWNP offices in Atlanta, GA for training. If you’re unfamiliar with CWNP, they focus on vendor-neutral training and certification in the wireless networking space.

The program recently went through some changes, and they recently launched two new certifications:

I am here taking a Beta version of the CWAP course with some of the brightest minds of the WLAN world.  One of the authors of the new CWAP Study Guide, Peter MacKenzie, is teaching the course.  Two of the other authors are attending the course – Marcus Burton and David Coleman.  There are also some of my favorite wireless bloggers in attendance, including:

Today, we covered a lot of ground with regards to the Physical and Data Link Layers and what the bitwise fields look like at that those levels.  However, from my perspective, some of the most interesting discussion was not around the bits and bytes, but rather how an understanding of those fundamentals can be applied to real world wireless troubleshooting and analysis.

The afternoon consisted of some hands on work with protocol analyzers.  Peter taught this in a very dynamic way just stepping through captures we were all taking on the fly — very impressive!

If you are interested in knowing more, you can follow some of the happenings of the course by searching the #cwapbeta hashtag on Twitter.

Wi-Fi Jedi Speaking Tomorrow in Atlanta

I’m speaking on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at the GaETC conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  GaETC is an educational conference for K-12 schools.  I will be delivering a 3 hour workshop entitled “Enabling Digital Learning and Multimedia Applications over Wi-Fi”.   It will be a mix of lecture, demonstrations, and discussion.  It will also feature a case study from a Xirrus customer, Greater Atlanta Christian Schools.

If you are interested in attending, please get a hold of me ASAP and I’ll try to get you access to the session.  I will be speaking from 9 AM until Noon.

The conference audience is made up of approximately 2,000 teachers, media specialists, technology coordinators, technology specialists, special educators, vocational teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, curriculum directors, staff development coordinators, Title I coordinators, and everyone else interested in educational technology.

There are approximately 200 exhibitors for the conference.  More information can be found on the conference website: http://www.gaetc.org/

Cantenna Workshop Followup – Pictures & Lessons Learned

I wanted to post a quick follow-up on the “Build Your Own Cantenna” workshop that I facilitated at the University of Advancing Technology as a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

While we limited the number of registrants to 15, we were able to sneak in a few others last minute because we had the available supplies and space.  All together, we made 18 cantennas.

We were building simple waveguide antennas using tin cans.  We used the instructions from Turnpoint Wireless.  I had acquired several different sizes and types of cans for the workshop.  I thought part of the fun would be the experimentation. While it says it in the instructions, cans with a diameter of less than 3.25” do not work.  This is because you need to place the antenna element at a specific point on the can related to the ¼ wavelength of the 2.4 GHz frequency.  There were a few small cans (for canned veggies) that we tried where the diameter was less than 3” – when we made the measurement of where to place the antenna connector, we found out the can was not long enough!

Also, the instructions call for #6 ¼” nuts and bolts.  I bought the N-Type connectors from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird.  When they arrived, I took one to a Home Depot to size out the nuts and bolts.  Size #6 seemed to be a little too big, so I downsized to #4 ¼ bolts.   If I did it over again, I would have actually bought #4 ½ bolts because the connector does not sit flush, due to the curve of the can.   This was the worst with the widest cans – they seemed to have the deepest curve. Because the connector wasn’t flush, the bolts weren’t long enough to hold the connector in place.  We worked around this by cutting a much larger hole for the N-Type connector in the can.  We used a circular drill bit to accomplish this – my advice on this is to go slow and apply steady pressure, or you’ll severely warp the opening as the bit goes through the can.

Here are a few photos from the workshop:

Build Your Own “Cantenna” Workshop

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be teaching a workshop on how to build your own 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi antenna using a household can such as soup can, coffee can, or veggie can.  It is a simple waveguide antenna.

The workshop is going to be held at the University of Advancing Technology and is a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

My session is tomorrow, November 2nd, at 2:30 PM Pacific Time.  UAT is located at:

University of Advancing Technology

2625 W Baseline Road

Tempe Arizona 85283

If you want to go, please send me an email or Twitter @reply quickly and I will try to sneak you into the class.  We have a limited amount of seats because we have a limited amount of supplies (and soldering irons).

If you can not attend, but would like to undergo the project on your own, we are just following the instructions/outline from Turnpoint Wireless.

I bought my cantenna kits from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird as suggested in the instructions.  I ordered 20 kits and had them shipped 2nd day and Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird had no issue fulfilling the order.  The neccessary nuts,bolts, and wire I picked up at a local Home Depot.

If you build one of your own, please stop back and leave me a comment to let know know how it went.  I’d love to hear about your experience!

Laura Chappell Webinars on Wireshark Certification

If you haven’t heard, there is now a Wireshark certification.  From the Wireshark University website:

The Wireshark Certification Program strives to test a candidate’s knowledge and ability to troubleshoot, optimize and secure a network based on evidence found by analyzing traffic captured with the world’s most popular and widely-deployed analyzer, Wireshark.

To that end, Laura Chappell is hosting a series of FREE Webinars over the next 3 days to discuss the exam.  Again, taken from the Wireshark University website:

These free events cover the process of preparing and registering for the Wireshark Certified Network Analyst Exam. What should you study? How should you study? What are the hot areas on the Exam? What are the Exam question formats? What should you watch for? What if you need to reschedule the Exam? What can you bring with you?

Live question and answer will follow a 20-minute presentation hosted by Laura Chappell.

All the information you need should be available on the following website:

http://www.wiresharktraining.com/certification.html

WiFi Jedi to Speak This Wednesday at SDSUG in Phoenix

I know that everyone is awaiting the results of my latest contest, where I am giving away a FREE Copy of the Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS) Study Guide.  I promise that I will comb through the entries in the next couple of days and post the results.

In the meantime, I did want to publish some time sensitive material.  I will be speaking this Wednesday (#WirelessWednesday) at the Sonoran Desert Security Users Group meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.  I will be presenting on “High Density Wi-Fi – Lessons Learned From Apple’s iPhone Demo”.

The meeting details are below (my presentation is from approximately(9:15 – 10:30 AM).  Feel free to reach out directly if you need additional information.  If you are in the Phoenix area, I hope to see you on Wednesday!

WHAT: SONORAN DESERT SECURITY USERS GROUP
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010
TIME: 08:00-16:00
WHERE: JOBING.COM Phoenix Office
4747 N. 22nd Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016

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