Dec 212014

That. Was. Easy.

These are the three words that a fancy button says whenever I press it. That button was gifted by an ex-colleague of mine and it says it all! Once you did it, that was easy 🙂

Exactly when you try to configure a remote port monitoring on an HP v1910 switch. Once upon a time (and I’m really speaking about 20 years ago) a company called 3Com had a slogan saying “the network that go the distance” Then they have been bought approx 4 years ago by HP, but that philosophy remained. A philosophy which says that it does not matter if you have a small switch, but the features you need must be there. Maybe a bit hidden… maybe only from CLI.

It happens that some good 3Com switched were rebranded HP around the second half 2010. All those switches, under the name of the v1910 series, are lifetime warranted!!! If you do not believe it, just click here and insert your switch serial number.

But beside the good policies, I’ve decided to write this nice post since today I reached the nirvana of my home network: two HP 1910v switches, respectively 16 and 24 ports, configured for remote port monitoring.

Continue reading »

Oct 142014

With a decent approximation, it is now well over 30 years that I use keyboard.

And there have been oh so many times I’ve cursed the difficulty to reproduce accented characters on US keyboards, forcing the user to find alternative ways like to write the accented vowel followed by an apostrophe (for example, a’ instead of à)… not correct, but still understandable.

Until today when my colleague SerKill (yes, that is his nickname) revealed to me the existence of US International Keyboard layout.

If you configure your laptop to use it (on a Mac, it is System Preferences – Keyboard – Input Sources…), when you want to make an accented vowel letter you simply press first the accent and then the letter.

The accent key you have to press depends if you want to have acute or grave accented vowel as shown in the keyboard layout below:

It is true that you never stop learning…

Thanks, SerKill!

Nov 042013

Few months ago I bought a tool which is just… plain… incredible.
It’s a tiny cheap piece of hardware that will unleash your creativity in a way that I never thought possible.
With a funny name: Makey Makey
The original invention comes from a very special place: MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It’s hard to describe or even try to give makey makey a classification.
Basically it is a board able to transform anything into a… sort of keyboard!
And mouse clicks.
One video speaks one thousand words: look at my son!

[youtuber youtube=’’]

Warning! Once you own a makey makey you are in a tunnel, full of infinite possibilities!

If you wanna scratch the surface of what’s possible with this, check out this TED talk about it.

Are you a happy owner of a Makey Makey? Share your happiness using the comments of this blog!

Nov 022013

A couple of weeks ago I was at a customer site and saw a marvel of technology: a hard disk drive enclosure. A very special one. ZM-VE400 Drive Enclosure. Few shouts after, I ordered one. And I’m spreading the word spontaneously about this great product.

Of course it is a USB 3.0 HDD enclosure, but what makes it absolutely special is its ability to serve ISO images as… virtual CD/DVD to systems able to boot from USB connected DVD readers.

Useless to say that this precious tool made my life simpler by several magnitude orders 😉

I have installed a 500GB SATA disk, more than enough for the few ISO images I carry around when I visit customer sites. Custom Linux distro, rescue DVDs images, all the way up to DMG images of Mac software.

And when I need one of them, I just recall the image name on the convenient LCD display of the enclosure, press 5 to mount it and… voilà: the Zelman VE400 will behave like I just burnt the DVD fresh 🙂

But the great features of this awesome idea are not over: it can simulate a mighty “dual mode”. That is, mount an ISO (for example, a live Linux DVD) and once the ISO is booted mount the hard disk part of itself to save (again, for example) data from the system you’re not able to boot anymore.

Finally, you can protect your whole data with a PIN and encrypt the content of your hard disk… but be warned: you’d better do it before putting your data, or the operation will erase any existing data to prepare the encrypted hard disk.

Allo in all, so far this nice tool provided me a helping value comparable to several times its approx 60 euros price.