Welcome to The Tech Teapot blog.

Back to Basics

Jack Hughes
After a while things stop being new. Things that really used to excite you, stop exciting you. Things that you were passionate about, you stop being passionate about. That’s just how things work. I wrote my very first computer program 26 years ago this month. It was in college, using a Perkin Elmer mini computer running Berkely BSD 4.2 on a VT220 terminal (with a really good keyboard.) The program was written in Pascal.

Software the old fashioned way

Jack Hughes
I was clearing out my old bedroom after many years nagging by my parents when I came across two of my old floppy disk boxes. Contained within is a small snapshot of my personal computing starting from 1990 through until late 1992. Everything before and after those dates doesn’t survive I’m afraid. if (!

Early 1990s Software Development Tools for Microsoft Windows

Jack Hughes
The early 1990s were an interesting time for software developers. Many of the tools that are taken for granted today made their debut for a mass market audience. I don’t mean that the tools were not available previously. Both Smalltalk and LISP sported what would today be considered modern development environments all the way back in the 1970s, but hardware requirements put the tools well beyond the means of regular joe programmers.

New Aviosys IP Power 9820 Box Opening

Jack Hughes

A series of box opening photos of the newly released Aviosys IP Power 9820 8 port rack-mountable power switch which arrived in the office this morning. This new model replaces the older IP Power Switch 9258-PRO model.

I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more

Jack Hughes
I was researching a follow up to how will cloud computing change network management post and I came across something rather odd I’d like to share with you. Below are a series of graphs culled from Google Trends showing the relative search levels of various network management related keywords. What is the most significant feature of them? What struck me is the downward decline with various degrees of steepness. The searches don’t just represent commercial network management tools, there are open source projects and open core products there too.

Stack Overflow Driven Development

Jack Hughes
The rise of Stack Overflow has certainly changed how many programmers go about their trade. I have recently been learning some new client side web skills because I need them for a new project. I have noticed that the way I go about learning is quite different from the way I used to learn pre-web. I used to have a standard technique. I’d go through back issues of magazines I’d bought (I used to have hundreds of back issues) and read any articles related to the new technology.

Capturing loopback traffic without a loopback interface

Jack Hughes
Wireshark is a wonderful tool, no doubt about it. But, on Microsoft Windows, there is one thing it isn’t so good at. Microsoft decided to remove the local loopback interface in Windows 7. So capturing loopback traffic is rather difficult without modifying your system. Something I try to avoid if at all possible. There are ways to install the loopback interface if you want, as documented here. There are also other means to achieve the same effect, also documented in the previous link.

Where does a failure manifest itself first

Jack Hughes
A network monitoring tool periodically makes a request to a system end point and records the result in a database of some kind. Whether the polling interval is every few seconds, one minute or ten minutes or longer there is an awful lot of time when the network monitor has nothing meaningful to say about the state of the end point. The network monitor is unlikely to be the first system to spot a problem.

The Last of the Savages

Jack Hughes
Ray Kurzweil has a history of making accurate future forecasts. One of them is that the 3D printer is coming and the current ones are but a small hint of what is to come. That got me thinking. We are quite possibly the last generation to have a direct connection between taking raw materials and making an end product. Imagine your far distant relatives ordering a steak from their Acme Wondermatic 5000 3D printer.