Easter Eggs and Software Design

Easter Bunny

Happy Easter, if you celebrate such things, and Happy Sunday if you don’t.

Filled with the kind of happy optimism that can only be brought about by flashback-triggering visions of an oversized rabbit who excretes chocolate eggs, today I’d like to pose a brief but significant philosophical question that touches on user interface design, user requirement gathering, software development and network engineering all at the same time.

Why, in most implementations of nslookup, do the cursor keys not work?

Can anybody give me a good reason?

Easter Eggs

On that note, I did check to see if there was any kind of secret Easter Egg in nslookup on my Mac. Here is the result when I tried a very common back door sequence:

> ^[[A^[[A^[[B^[[B^[[D^[[C^[[D^[[CBA

Fail Stamp

iTerm2 Tips for Network Engineers

iTerm2 Logo

Now that I’ve joined the hipster gang and have a MacBook Pro, I’ve also had to adjust my habits in terms of terminal program. On Windows I’ve been using PuTTY for years as my default telnet/ssh client, partly because it’s a stunningly good, lightweight program (huge tip of the hat to Simon Tatham here, along with anybody else who had contributed to that project). But what to use on the Mac? I started off using the built in Terminal which actually isn’t bad at all, but in the end I was encouraged to try iTerm2 and I am very happy with it for my needs.

So with that said, here are a few tips for iTerm2 that I find valuable as a network engineer.

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Pointing The Thwack Spotlight At, uh, Me

Solarwinds Thwack

I’m very flattered to share that I was selected as a subject (victim?) for this month’s Solarwinds Thwack IT Blogger Spotlight article.

Thwack IT Blogger Spotlight Article

It was fun answering a few questions about blogging, and thinking about why exactly I do this (because it surely isn’t for the money, as most other bloggers will confirm).

If you haven’t already checked out Thwack, you should, especially if you use Solarwinds products. It’s community with a lot of bright individuals who are active in the discussions, which makes posting there a lot of fun. You may recall that last year I published some posts about IPAM on Thwack, and I was really delighted at both the volume and the intelligence of the response they got.

So there it is, if you’re interested in the what and why of me and LameJournal.


Discussing NFD7 with the Packet Pushers

Packet Pushers LogoNFD Logo

Shortly after Networking Field Day 7 (NFD7), the lovely folks at Packet Pushers reached out to the delegates to record a discussion about the issues that were prevalent throughout the event, whether in conversations between delegates or as raised by the vendors presenting to us.

The discussion was so long, it ended up being split into two and released as two (almost) 1 hour podcasts, and now that the second part of the discussion has been posted I’m delighted to link to these for your listening pleasure, just in case for some insane reason you are not already subscribed to the PP podcast!

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BOGOF on Packt Publishing eBooks

Packt 2000th Book BannerAs you may recall, I have done some technical reviewing for the folks over at Packt Publishing, for Chris Welsh’s GNS3 Network Simulation Guide and Jesin A’s Packet Tracer Network Simulator guide. Packt offers guides on a pretty wide selection of topics, both in eBook formats and hard copy.

Anyway, Packt reached out to me because they’ve just launched their 2000th title and they’re quite pleased about it. To celebrate, Packt has been running a deal which is valid until March 26th (so not long left, and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier), which is basically a Buy One, Get One Free for all their eBooks, with the deal automatically applied at checkout (no codes to enter). They tell me there are no limits on this deal so I guess if you wanted to buy 1000 eBooks, you could own the entire Packt catalog (and hey, if you do that, let me know and I’ll share the news here for everybody to marvel at!)

Anyway, I’m always up for sharing a good deal and the eBooks aren’t too expensive to start with, so getting two for the price of one might be just what one of my readers is looking for. If your’e interested, just clicky clicky to check out the deal.

I hope you find something (or two things!) that you like.

P.S.  Apparently Packt is pronounced “packed”. In my head I cannot stop myself saying “packet”. Just me?



I have, as mentioned at the top, done some technical reviewing for Packt Publishing. I’ve also been offered eBooks and similar in return for a post mentioning this deal but to be clear, I have not and will not be cashing in on that offer. I’m sharing because it sounds like a good deal that might be of interest to my readers.