From the blog.

Managing Digital Racket
The more I tune out, the less I miss it. But that has presented me with some complex choices for a nuanced approach to curb
Complexity – My Friend, My Enemy
Over my years of network engineering, I've learned that the fewer features you can implement while still achieving a business goal, the better. Why? Fewer
Brief Me At Interop?
Want to brief me about your product or otherwise have a chat? Send an e-mail to ethan.banks@packetpushers.net while there's still room on my calendar. I

Managing Digital Racket

The more I tune out, the less I miss it. But that has presented me with some complex choices for a nuanced approach to curb social media addiction.

In Chicago on October 26? Come think about SD-WAN with me.

On October 26, 2016 at 5:30p, I’m speaking to a couple of Chicago-based MeetUp groups banding together to hear me discuss implementing SD-WAN. The talk will be held at Cisco Systems Building – SkylineATS, 9501 Technology Blvd. 3rd Floor, Rosemont, IL. Sign up via http://bit.ly/2d5ffDC or http://bit.ly/2crmtng.

Presenting Technical Topics To Technical People

Fred writes, “I’ve got a conference coming up in December that I’ve been invited to speak at. This is something I’ve wanted to do for sometime. However, having never done it, I’m looking for some tips on how to get started.”

Slack. Less Bad Than The Rest.

A topic I complain about with some regularity is my inability to keep up with incoming messages. I’m too busy creating something for someone else to consume to bother trying to keep up. That’s the way of things. If I successfully keep up with all the input, I never achieve useful output. In this world of message misery, Slack is my friend. I find that Slack is better at managing input than most other forms of communication.

Interview: Dr. Pat McCarthy Of The Giant Magellan Telescope

On the Citizens of Tech Podcast #43, we interviewed Dr. Patrick McCarthy of the Giant Magellan Telescope project, currently under construction in Chile. Pat was an outstanding spokesman for the GMT, clearly explaining the project’s worth to science, construction challenges, and relation to other extremely large telescope projects. He also helped us understand the pros and cons of terrestrial vs. space-based telescopes.

MacBook Battery Replacement Requires Admin Credentials?

Over the weekend, I investigated the possibility of Apple replacing the tired battery in my four year old rMBP13. Yes, they can do it. It’s $199 for that particular model. But they also require an admin-level username and password for the device. Hmm…

Connecting Python To Slack For Testing And Development

The scripting language Python can retrieve information from or publish information into the messaging app Slack. This means you can write a program that puts info into Slack for you, or accepts your queries using Slack as the interface. This is useful if you spend a lot of time in Slack, as I do.

Chicagoans: TECHunplugged Is Coming October 27, 2016

TECHunplugged is a one-day event where end users, influencers and vendors come together to talk shop. At the Chicago event on October 27, 2016, I’ll be speaking on the following big idea: how the network automation war might soon be won. If you’re a Chicagoan, I hope to see you there.

For Your Ears: Citizens of Tech Podcast 40

In this show, we get into what expiration dates on packaged food and drugs really mean. How should you react when the date expires? If you assume, “Throw it out to be safe,” you’d be wrong.

We also chat about dealing with password expiration policies. They must be super complex and changed frequently, right? Maybe not. Super complex and frequently changed means hard to remember, which studies show can lead to less security,

Read more

I’ll See You At Cisco Live 2016 Las Vegas

I will be at Cisco Live 2016 in Las Vegas. So far, my calendar has me scheduled to attend some Tech Field Day presentations, visit with vendors, hang out in the Social Media Hub, and host a CloudGenix SD-WAN mixer event (free food and drink for all, plus fellow nerds to network with, just register). I hope to see you at CLUS. Come up and say “hi.”

Complexity – My Friend, My Enemy

Over my years of network engineering, I’ve learned that the fewer features you can implement while still achieving a business goal, the better. Why? Fewer features mean fewer things that can potentially go wrong. The less that goes wrong, the higher the network uptime.

Webinar – Challenges Delivering Apps The Modern Way

I’m hosting a webinar with Citrix about application deployment in the context of a modern data center — containers, NFV, etc. They are bringing nerds, and I am going to ask them questions. There’s a live demo at the end, so they’ve promised me. You should register and attend via http://bit.ly/1XSHvgU. The event is soon – Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

Should You Care About Cloud Native?

To hear vendors tell the story, every enterprise in the world will be running cloud native applications on hybrid cloud networks any second now. In fact, if you’re not already firing up those containers, your business is behind. I mean…gosh…you’re probably losing thousands of dollars each minute because you’re not agile enough. You’ll be doing massive layoffs before you’re done reading this article just to stay alive.

Nonsense.

Handling Criticism of Your Product

Members of the IT community at large sometimes find babies ugly, and express those opinions in public. That’s how community works. We share knowledge, experience, and opinions. We agree. We disagree. We discuss. We speak through our microphones and keyboards, and it’s all intended to be for the greater good. How should a vendor react?

Book Review: Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport is highly recommended if you are an information worker who is less productive than you wish you were. I recommended Deep Work even more highly if you feel you are productive, but are not producing the sort of work you desperately want to be.

Brief Me At Interop?

Want to brief me about your product or otherwise have a chat? Send an e-mail to ethan.banks@packetpushers.net while there’s still room on my calendar. I look forward to seeing you at Interop!