From the blog.

Google Plus Is Mouldering
A quick search for "Google Plus is dead" reveals a number of recent articles about the pending death of the social media platform. It's not

Not Raising Red Flags While Looking For A New Job

A reader wrote to me, explaining that they were unhappy in their current job situation, and queried how they might be able look for a new job without raising any red flags with their existing employer. Tricky, but I have a few thoughts, having done this a time or two over my career.


This is a preface, and has nothing to do with red flag raising. At the risk of sounding too zen,

Read more

How Marketers Use Social Media Evilly

In my role as co-founder of Packet Pushers, I do some amount of sales and marketing of the show to sponsors. Our philosophy of sponsorship is very simple. The audience knows when content is sponsored. Period. We don’t hide it. We don’t disguise sponsored content as non-sponsored content in the hope that the audience doesn’t notice. Why not? Because such tactics are evil.


Packet Pushers began as a grass roots podcast — a bunch of engineers having a good time talking about networking.

Read more

Replacing Traditional TV & DVR with Little Streaming Boxes

After nine years with Dish Network, I’ve replaced it with an AppleTV and Roku 3 ($99 each, last time I looked). Having done that, what’s life like without traditional TV & DVR? In a nutshell, it’s just fine. My kids watch a lot of YouTube, and did before I retired Dish. I was bored with most of what I was watching on TV. My wife is only vaguely interested in TV. So, it’s not as if it was a big deal for our family.

Read more

“What Might Have Been?” Is The Wrong Question

A friend sent me a picture of an ink stamp from a company we started back in 1999 or so. It was a little consulting & hosting company that delivered for our customers things that we were good at: web hosting, e-mail services with spam protection, and a variety of SMB IT services. A little Novell. A little Microsoft. A little Linux. A little Cisco. You get the idea. We had a small customer base,

Read more

Support Science – Donate to My 19-July-2014 Hike Up Mt. Washington!

On Saturday, 19-July-2014, I’ll be hiking up to the summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is famous for its terrible weather, extraordinarily high winds on bad days, and arctic-like conditions in winter. Everest hopefuls train on Mt. Washington.

Mt. Washington is also home to a number of weather-related scientific endeavors that you can explore here. The Mount Washington Observatory is manned year-round taking measurements and making climate observations of value to the scientific community at large.

Read more

The Problem With Communication? Too Many Solutions.

Perhaps the single greatest task I have in a given day is that of communication. I have a lot of folks to keep up with about a lot of things. The comedy is just how many tools I have to use to accomplish this seemingly straightforward task.

  1. E-mail. I have four accounts I use for various tasks. One of those accounts has about a dozen aliases. Even so, my email volume is fairly reasonable,

Read more

How Not To Recruit Me

Today, I received this gem of a recruiter ping via e-mail…

I saw your background at Carenection, some people I talk to over there are really happy, and others are keeping their head out so I thought I’d drop you a line.

I’m working with an Enterprise Hosting Company looking for a Network Engineer  to join their team. It’s 100% remote (full telecommute).

The company does managed, un-managed, co-location,

Read more

Why I’m Done With Klout (Again)

Klout, for those unfamiliar, has for years been a vaguely useful tool for measuring social media influence. You plug your social media accounts into Klout, gears spin up in the cloud, and Klout spits out a score from 1-100. The higher the score, the greater your social media influence is supposed to be. As best as I can tell, the Klout algorithm is driven largely by the number of followers you have, whether or not you tweet,

Read more

Give – Don’t Just Take

You know that feeling you get when you Google some obscure problem, and someone blogged about your exact issue and has a solution? Awesome, right? You can help someone else feel the same way. All you have to do is be willing to give up some time & energy to share what you know. Take your hard-fought experience, and share it with someone else.

It’s my hope that if you’ve ever gotten anything out of my rantings going all the way back to 2007,

Read more

Working From Home

Unless I’m on a plane, these days I work from home full-time. I know that sounds like a dream to some, but I think working from home is not for everyone. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way.


To successfully work from home, I’ve found that being organized, self-motivated, and conscientious is a requirement. I have to understand what’s expected of me, and have to motivate myself to get it done.

Read more

Healthy Cynicism as an IT Survival Tool

Matthew Mengel posted on the Packet Pushers community blog that he has accepted a scholarship to study astronomy full-time, meaning that he’ll be out of networking for at least three years. Longer if things go well for him. Teren Bryson posted “Burnout Redux” as a response and commentary.

While very much of what Teren said resonated with me, I genuinely love networking. I haven’t gotten over my fascination with being able to communicate over long distances.

Read more

New Year’s Thoughts: Certs Good, Skills Better

From the near-religious fervor still surrounding certifications after all these years, I know that many see achieving a cert as a way to career success. Possibly “the” way. If you believe that, I would counter with this idea: professional certifications are perhaps a means to an end, but are not the goal. The goal is to become a more capable network engineer. Certs are good, but skills are better.

I raise this point as I suspect some have set as a New Year’s resolution to achieve some certification or other.

Read more

New Year’s Thoughts: Read The Packet Classics

One good way to round yourself out as a network engineer is to read books about networking. There are many weighty tomes on the market, often several hundred pages long. Networking books tend to tackle a specific technology, explain it, then deep-dive on how it’s being used in the world today. I’ve read many of these books over the years, although my methodology varies. Some books I see as references. I don’t read reference books end-to-end;

Read more

New Year’s Thoughts: Get Paid What You Want To Earn

A goal we all have as employees is to be compensated in a way that’s commensurate with the value we bring to our organization. In this sense, the relationship between employer and employee can be adversarial. The simplistic view of this relationship is roughly as follows. Businesses need to control costs, and salaries + benefits are expensive. Employees see their experience & skills growing, and expect to earn at a progressively higher rate over time as a result.

Read more