Finally, a Cisco router emulator

Long the bane of wanna be CCIE’s everywhere, routers are expensive!  And there’s no way to pass the lab without routers for practice.  Enter the router emulator.  The Cisco 7200 Simulator doesn’t just create a simulated environment like the Boson and other programs do.  This is actually emulating the processor and interfaces in a 7200.  What’s cool about this is it’ll take a variety of real IOS images for the 7200 and run them without modification.  Just like VMWare for a router.  I’ve fiddled with it a little and it works.  It’s a bit difficult to use but I understand there are various GUI setup apps being worked on to streamline the hardware configuration.  Sounds like a perfect tool for testing that new BGP config.

Intel Mac’s and serial connectivity

One of the key things I needed to get working for my transition to the MacBook is serial connectivity. I’m a router jockey after all. I’ve finally gotten it working and I thought it would be a good idea to share how. First of all, this works with a number of different USB to serial dongles but mine is an IOGear GUC232A. Now, for starters, go here and follow the directions to get the dongle installed. That wasn’t without some challenges but it’s working for me.

The real problem I ran into is finding a good console program. To say they suck on OS X would be putting it mildly. Zterm is out there and it’s mediocre at best. Old and ugly. I also found Quickterm which looked promising. Unfortunately it locks up after about 100 characters. The programmer said he compiled it as a UniBin but wasn’t able to test as he only has a PPC Mac. Supposedly there’s also a UniBin version of Minicom also, but that seems even more painful to me.

Luckily I stumbled across this little command: screen /dev/tty.usbserial 9600

Run from the terminal app it just pipes the tty output to the screen. Works great! I was even able to send a break and get to rommon. I can’t figure out how to get out of it though. ctrl-c sends the ctrl-c to the tty instead of recognizing it in terminal. Of course, killing the window works but it would be nice to find a better way.

I’m quite fond of Terminal so I think it’ll meet my needs. Anyone have any alternative suggestions?

This ain’t no golf cart

Now this is what I’m talking about.  Tesla had a press conference yesterday to announce their new electric Roadster.  Similar looks to an Elise, it’s based off of it, and 0-60 in 4.0!  I think one of the most stunning stats is 250 mile range!  Only one downside, it’s about $100k.  Ugh.  Still, if they can get some traction with this they might just have a chance of getting into the $50k sedan market they are talking about.  Who know’s where it goes from there.  Sure would like to experience that electric constant torque.  🙂

Writers block

Well, writers block sounds rather grandiose.  But that’s basically what it is.  I think of things to write at the most inopportune times.  Like when I’m driving, or in the shower.  Then, when I sit down to write them…nothing.

I stumbled across this blog entry.  How to concentrate on writing.  Usually these lists seem pretty silly to me but I find this particularly fitting.  I’m often writing for work.  Either proposals or customer documentation.  Staying on task is quite difficult at times and for the reasons Matthew lists here.  I think I’ll tuck this into my toolbox for the next time I’ve got to get through a writing assignment.