Free Wireshark Training Course Online

Take a free Wireshark Jumpstart training class online at

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Analyzing Video Spews

[Follow me at]

Have you analyzed your application traffic today?

As we prepare for the online seminar this week (see, I played around a bit with adding video feeds to the training. GoToWebinar (our hosting solution at this time) does not support video feeds as iLinc and others do, but we found a workaround by having the LifeCam video window up in the background and showing th entire desktop.

[Personally I am not to keen on feeding video... there are many eves when I work until 3am, get up with the kids at 6am and the thought of putting on being seen in my comfy "Big Dogs" sweatshirt makes me cringe. I can't wait until virtual avatars can be synced with a voice!]

To set up this analysis I simply created a new online seminar, joined as a speaker on one computer and joined as an attendee on a second computer. I launched Wireshark on my speaker computer and started up the seminar. I joined the seminar as an attendee on the second computer.

Here's what I found about the datastream -

- When just showing the entrance slide the traffic rate averaged less than 500,000 bits/second.
- When I moved through a slide deck or showed Wiershark screens, the IO jumped infrequencly up to 2,000,000 bits/second.
- When I launched the video and showed no movement (camera pointed at the wall), the stream reached an almost steady 2,500,000 bits/second. Showing my kids jumping on the trampoline had no effect on the video stream rate - it's always sending out the current image regardless of the level of change to the video image.

I tweeted the full-size image of this over at - you can look at it at

Next I'll look at iLinc's traffic with and without video enabled...


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Potential Lives Where...?

[Follow me at]

I captured this image at TechEd last week.

Walking into the TechEd Live taping session I noticed the video crew was a bit more high-tech than in past years - this year they would capture the video directly to disk and reduce the video-to-production time down to less than 48 hours! Nicely done!

When I approached the video console area, I noticed the vidiots (an endearing term for those AV geeks whom I respect tremendously now...) were running on MACs. Microsoft had likely asked them to cover the MAC logo on their computer, but failed to realize the Apple logo is backlit. This made for a very interesting image when the Microsoft slogan "Potential Lives Here --->" pointed directly to the Apple logo.

One of the many interesting moments at TechEd North America - don't even get me started on the beach ball geekfest party!


Twitter Spitter

The dreaded email crossed my desk just minutes ago...

My friend Wil M. asked... "Are you on Twitter yet? You need to be! :-)"

Don't even try to placate me with your old-fashioned emoticon that blatantly acknowledges that I am comfy in my old habits! I know what you want me to do - spit out my life in little twit-turds?

Who wants to read that? (Hmmm... well I am going to spend a bit of time programming my new dual-trunking scanner this morning... and then I'm analyzing the impact of adding video to an online seminar to determine minimum throughput requirements if we add video streaming to the online seminars... hmmm... that's kinda geeky, isn't it?)

Will this be a big time-suck or a productive way to keep folks up-to-date on what's happening in the lab and upcoming events? Should I keep to techie topics or give you a glimpse into my somewhat twisted life of work, motherhood, amateur race car driver, balloon-shaper, hot tubber, sock collector, people watcher and closet nun-o-phile?
You tell me... should I kill the "Bluebird of Blabbering" or feed it pellets for a bit and see if the cage cleaning process is too much... (hmm... I wonder if it would be easier to cook than turkey...)


Saturday, May 2, 2009

What a Waste of an Ear!

[Warning! Make sure you haven’t eaten recently before reading this blog entry.]

“The Body is Obsolete” is the claim made by freak-show “artist” Stelarc, the Australian entertainer who works primarily in Japan, Europe and the US (What? The Aussies probably can’t drink enough to keep this guy in business in the homeland?) Don’t get your bits in a bunch because I call him an entertainer – his own website offers glimpses into his “performances.” This guy is a definitely a Trekkie gone extreme.
Stelarc’s latest venture includes grafting an ear onto his forearm with plans of implanting a microphone and Bluetooth transmitter into the ear so he can ‘hear’ what his arm-ear is hearing. Why? How far away from your biological ears is your forearm, buddy? Why not implant something really useful like… an iPod? Or maybe a breathalizer? Or a real muscle so you can carry your bags of money to the bank?

Stelarc’s selection of body part and usage indicates that his is… as we say… an “AOL user.” He could have done some really cool stuff if he knew a bit more about mobile technology and constant need for speed and information. Here are some cyber-bio ideas that I hope to jot off and send to him (under the email addressing of Nurse Chappell, of course):

WiFi Interference Arm: Implant a Wi-Spy adapter in your arm (complete with antenna). Wire internally to your ‘funny bone’ so you can immediately detect strong WiFi signals or even interference (ouch!) nearby.

Storage Stomach: Since many folks are already getting their stomach’s stapled and all, there my be a bit of extra use to few drives in there – connector would be routed through your belly button so you can jack-in through that nifty belt that connects to your production machine. Hey - maybe we can use skinny people for extra off-line storage for others who have run out of room... wait! Instead of breast implants, we could have 'bits implants' - now that's thinking! Sexy storage!
Voice Recognition Nose: Mumble your thoughts and this nose picks up (now it’s doing the picking!) your ramblings and translates it into text format to store on the drive in your stomach or later offloading. (A hypo-allergenic version would be most desirable.)

I bet you can come up with all sorts of cyber-bio combos that would be waaaay more handy than an ear/mic in your forearm! Why isn’t this guy taking some classes in technology so he can create something we really WANT to see?

Just my 2 bits.