To Page or to Blog

To Blog

When I started this blog, I first intended to use it for recording my daily activities.  I didn’t want to make a new website and add a whole bunch of administrative overhead to my life.  This is why I settled on WordPress.  I really like the format and the ease of posting here.  When writing here, I don’t have to worry about if an iPad, Kindle Fire, or mobile device wants to read my postings.  This makes WordPress a real no-brainer for just ad-hoc writing.

To Page

What my blog has become is a collection of references with no real tie to the date of posting.  Over this weekend, I read more about the other posting alternatives in WordPress, I found that I can use “pages” instead of “posts”.  A “post” is to support the blog-style format where the date is something that is supposed to be tracked.  Pages do not require date references in the URL. I’m going to put together some pages of past e-mails and topics that may be useful.  This will be a little different than what I’ve done in the past.  I think I like the idea of pages for the purposes of many of my postings.  It also makes it easier to integrate others.  This brings up my next point:

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

If you have something that you wish to share, please e-mail me and I’ll post it, give you a log-in, or we can come to some other arrangement.  If you are anything like I was in the past, you probably don’t want others knowing what you are up to.  After writing about some of this stuff and getting so much feedback and input from others, I don’t know if I can go back to working in a vacuum again.  The reason that the IT industry has surpassed most other industries is that IT workers traditionally share information.  This spirit of information sharing goes hand-in-hand with two of the Seven Principles of Cooperatives:

  • Education Training and Information
  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives

So, do you have anything you wish to share?  Criticisms of my posts I’d be interested in.  To be blunt, I’m shocked that no one has publicly disagreed with my use of VMWare’s free licensing models in a production environment.  Especially by those who have spent the money… Who knows? Maybe the criticism is happening behind my back.  Well, there’s an open opportunity to criticize on the same page that promotes!


On the week of the 5th, I attended Mikrotik training in Salt Lake City.  I am now a fully certified:

  • MTCNA – MikroTik Certified Network Associate
  • MTCRE – MikroTik Certified Routing Engineer
  • MTCWE – MikroTik Certified Wireless Engineer
  • MTCTCE – MikroTik Certified Traffic Control Engineer

What it really amounts to is more alphabet soup to remember when someone asks me about it.  I’m planning on writing up a review of the training sessions from Dennis Burgess at LinkTechs. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to post some pages of what I learned about RouterOS this week.

Steve Jobs and Other Artists

With the subject line, “Listen to this”, a mentor forwarded me this video today. I believe that I know why.  There are some subjects, ideas, and ideologies that Jobs says during his speech that were once discussed behind closed doors.  This got me thinking on my drive to work this morning while listening to the NPR news tributes about Steve Jobs death.  What was Steve Jobs to me?  What legacy did he leave behind in my eyes?

To me, Steve Jobs, was not a technologist.  He was an artist, idealist, and a dreamer.  While he invested his soul in his ideas, we now invest our pocketbooks in the gadgets that came from them.  Similar to how Michelangelo envisioned David prior to picking up his chisel to a piece of ‘badly blocked’ marble, Jobs’ visions were also fully distilled in his mind. Like Vincent Van Gogh whose color was the medium of his expression, Jobs used his mashups of technology to show his expression in his medium as if to say, “The medium is my message.” He never seemed to release a half-baked product, a half-finished piece of art, or something that he wouldn’t put his name on.  At times, his ideas and vision got him into financial trouble. His dreams and ideas existed prior to the technology that would eventually support them.

Jobs was a college dropout.  He chased after the knowledge that he felt was important and consistently made fun of those that went with the crowd or mimicked his style. Like many artists, his confidence boarder-lined as arrogance.

But he loved what he did.  He didn’t fear embarrassment or failure.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
-Steve Jobs

Wallow Fire Week 2

Click here for a view of the Wallow Fire from Greens Peak

After I received word that the road to Alpine was closed and received the page that my tower at South Mountain was inaccessible, I came up with a plan to re-route all of the SCADA via a backup VPN through the branch office in Reserve, NM. The point-to-point connection to the tower site in Frisco Ridge was still operational. The other side of the link was not because South Mountain was inoperable.

My plan was to re-route the data and office voice traffic to go through the other end. What was an end-point, is now the gateway. This required some quick addressing assignments and re-IP’ing the site.

When I was done with routing the traffic, everything came online except for some sites that we thought might have been burnt down due to the fire. Everyone was happy and amazed.

Here are some video’s of my trip:

Before leaving, I stopped by the Reserve substation. We got a generator to keep some basic power on for the public in Reserve, Luna, and Glenwood. It was an interesting thing to see.

Take a look at some of the others.

Update 6-11

Just got this from the New Mexico News:

Sorry New Mexico… Fires suck.

The funny thing is that the cell phone tower has it’s own generator.  I have not been paged once since we rerouted communications to that site.  In fact, we are responsible for the generator on the tower site (well, not really.  But we have worked on it before)  Reserve, New Mexico has only one cell tower and in a good day, people who live there are lucky to get signal.  I once had a flat tire out there.  OnStar was inoperable.  I had to walk about 18 miles to get help.  Yep: my cell phone was useless.

Wallow Fire

Another big one in our service territory.  The Wallow Fire!

Time-lapse views from my comm site at Greens Peak:

June 8

June 9

June 10

June 11

June 12

June 13

June 14

See a time lapse of all videos joined

Here’s the timeline from White Mountain Independent:

Read the rest of this entry »

Data mining Shoretel

I have a data mining project that has me stumped.

Attached is a list of dates, times and durations of work that comes into a group of total positions per date/time duration.  Each position is defined by the column POS in the following sample:

Date                     Time              POS      Duration
12/23/2010      17:24:11      392      0:00:39
12/23/2010      17:24:50      235      0:01:20
12/23/2010      17:32:56      358      0:00:00
12/23/2010      17:34:06      368      0:01:28
12/23/2010      17:51:24      235      0:02:41
12/23/2010      18:22:14      235      0:00:58
12/23/2010      18:29:35      392      0:02:58
12/23/2010      18:33:54      235      0:01:20
12/23/2010      18:38:56      358      0:00:00
12/23/2010      18:41:23      235      0:01:01
12/23/2010      18:43:17      235      0:00:00
12/23/2010      18:43:57      235      0:00:00
12/23/2010      18:44:02      235      0:01:36
12/23/2010      18:56:53      358      0:00:00
12/23/2010      19:10:37      283      0:00:00
12/23/2010      19:16:08      212      0:00:39
12/23/2010      19:16:14      212      0:01:02
12/23/2010      19:16:43      248      0:00:23
12/23/2010      19:17:05      399      0:00:26
12/23/2010      19:16:24      393      0:01:17
12/23/2010      19:17:35      368      0:00:12
12/23/2010      19:17:49      368      0:00:03
12/23/2010      19:16:34      395      0:01:28
12/23/2010      19:16:25      394      0:01:52

What I’m trying to get is the total amount of time that all of the positions (normally, there are 8 positions per sample spectrum interval) are occupied with work.  For each condition where all positions are busy, I need to know the cumulative count, time and duration of each.  I also want to know the number of concurrent positions being used at the start time of each call.
To state (somewhat) graphically in the attached ASCII art snippet, if each position was graphed on a Gantt chart and stacked, I want to know a count of when all eight bars are occupied and for how long.

I’m trying to do this in Excel…

Example Gantt Chart of work time per position

POS |  Work Time in seconds -->
1   |-------    ------   --   ------- ----
2   |---  -- -----    ----   -------------------
3   |  ------------------------  ---------------
4   |-------------------------------------------
5   |-----------       -----  ------------------
6   |  ----------------------- ---------------- 
7   | ----------    ------------- --------------
8   |------------- -------  ----------- ------ -
       ^  ^^             ^        ^^^ ^ ^^^
       |  ||             |        ||| | |||
| = busy peg
Total: 11 cumulative busy pegs
11 seconds of busy time:

Hello world!

Welcome to the IT Coop’s first blog!

I have always wanted to start one of these outside of the social networking arena.  I’ll try to focus on work and work related projects but I should be able to slip in some hobbies here and there.  There is much overlap between my work and my hobbies.