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Showing posts from 2020

How Zoom Works - Event Setup; Happy Birthday!

When being the Master of Ceremonies and IT Support merge. I always liked event planning, so this was a lot of fun. It was a client's 60th birthday, and they hired me to set up a party, send invitations (I made a webpage and sent the link out), and monitor the event.


Here's a short list of what I did.
Backups:Multiple backups of portable power banks and mobile hotspots in case weather knocked out power.Power strip installed to prevent blowouts of laptop and Alexa.
Setup: Tested lighting, distance, camera location in 3 different locations. Considered location of Wi-Fi extender and ISP router to decide which AP to use.
Meeting:Password protected Zoom meeting.Letting people into the room from waiting rooms.Adjusting the views.
Sent out a self-made video educating how to log onto the Zoom meeting.Had a notification ready incase of inclement weather:
"Hi there! Thanks for joining us today. If we disconnect, you may be kicked out of the room. Please give us a few minutes to fire up …

How to Make an Alexa Skill

This is a blurb of a post - I played around in the environment for a bit and didn't complete it. Sometimes, projects just go unfinished. It's not my greatest ambition in life to make an Alexa skill.

The instructions are a bit out of date, I had to create a new role from policy templates, which took me to several other screens. You have to make about 2 separate accounts - One main AWS one, and one Amazon Developer one. 

"earnings"? Something to consider...

'You can provision your own back-end resources or you can have Alexa host them for you.' I suppose I could actually use the Azure equivalent of Lambda if I wanted to.

My favorite part so far has been thinking of the invocation words - You can't use a handful of them. I want to make Alexa going 'Hello, World' to make sense in context. I almost put in 'Bye world' but that sounds very morbid.


I'm guessing this Utterance Profiler does this:"What word could you say to make this work? Let…

A Complete Beginner's Guide to React by Ali Spittel

Why not learn a bit about React? Video here.
 Tech used:React HooksNode.jsProgramming fundamentals (HTML, CSS, Javascript)
Github repoI added the nifty drop down menu. I learned about it on Twitter about 3 days ago.

IRC through mIRC

Story time: I had heard about IRChat in a podcast  (NSFW) at first.  I had no idea until now it was a real thing that not only existed, but still exists.  This is the kind of late 90's "Hackers"-esque mysticism that surrounds tech I love.
IRC is an application based protocol that uses a client/server model to chat over text. They're not necessarily forums, as the functionality is bare-bones 'type words'. Also, little ASCII people like thisヾ(•ω•`)o

Contactless Tech’s Role in the New Guest Experience ft. Intelity and The George

Contactless hospitality technology is growing. You want to get away, and you'll be damned if a little thing like a deadly virus will stop you!But you still don't want to touch things. Ew.During the chat between INTELITY CEO Robert Stevenson and THE GEORGE Director of Operations Kerrie Hunter, you’ll learn how the historic boutique hotel has adapted a mobile-first guest experience in the wake of COVID-19—and how they see contactless technology affecting the future of hospitality.I don't remember how I found INTELITY (probably hoping to score a position with them), but I liked them enough to stay on the e-mail lists.

Introduction to Site Reliability Engineering (Azure)

I'm exploring different avenues of networking besides straightforward "Work on a network, stay late every day, no peace of mind, fight with higher ups to get resources.".

You may have noticed that there's a smattering of UX and HTML/Javascript coding on here. I like coding, but I'm not too knowledgeable yet. UX is what I really enjoy (And I'm even working with a major company to improve theirs).
Site Reliability Engineering seems to be a nice merging of the two. I imagine it's who you call when your eCommerce check-out services craps the bed.
Not naming any names.
This is actually the AZ-400 track

Making a Tourism Slideshow With HTML/CSS/JS (Ft. TraversyMedia)

Video for reference here.
I'm one to encourage good rest over constant work. Yet I found myself awake at 2 AM listening to this video by TraversyMedia, because I was suddenly curious about making a full page image carousel.I wanted to listen before I put hand to keyboard in coding, so at around 3 AM, I pulled up my machine with an idea.

I followed the instructions and did most of the code myself. Here, I outline:The changes in my code from the original.The demo mockup (Here)The changes in the new Tourism: Welcome to Babylos! .The images may take a moment to load at first.
The original video code says .buttons button#next
.buttons button#prev
But the code didn't work! The buttons were still as follows:

I Was Part of a Study for a Major Streaming Service

It is my dream to have a 'working relationship' with companies and tell them "This is great, I especially like x,y, and z." or "Err on the side of caution when doing this - It could be misinterpreted." 
So when a certain company said "Do that, for us, for a few days." I said "Happy to help."
"And we'll pay you!"
"Even happier to help!"
I will not give specifics on information gathered and shared beyond "habits", as I signed a contract.
And when I sign a contract, I consider this contract work. So I will absolutely drop in conversation, "Hey, I consulted for ... someone I can't say... for 🌟10 Days🌟!"

This is about my experience - And I'm happy to say it was pleasant.

The project-runners were clearly people who valued our insight.

Here's a story about them that has nothing to do with the study, but this post should be a little longer.

Business Bonus: The Commercialization of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Hellmann's Canada is helping to stop hunger IRL by taking it virtual; #HellmannsIsland has come to #ACNH to help turn virtual food waste into real meals. For each spoiled turnip you drop off on our 5-star island, we’ll donate a meal to @SecondHarvestCA to feed people in need. DM us with #HellmannsIsland for your dodo code. Limited spots available. pic.twitter.com/QOWXDR5FCQ— Hellmann's Canada (@HellmannsCanada) August 17, 2020On forums, talk quickly turned to; "Why not just donate?"

[Webinar] Security Awareness - Where Have We Gone Wrong?

What does it take for people to enjoy their online, digital experience without getting scammed?Hosted by Wizer's Chris Roberts, featuring Joanna Udo, Gabriel Friedlander, Ryan Cloutier, & Christopher Sant.*Security is daunting; Even I think so, and I work here. How do we get influencers to care, chefs, marketing professionals, anyone who isn't us? How can we make cybersecurity accessible and not daunting, because it affects everybody?
Let's hit on the big points (the giant headers, and the quotes from the panel follow. Quotes are slightly paraphrased. I'm working on the journalistic integrity to keep it short while not bastardizing the answer.)

Disability in UX, Hosted by Twitter

With moderation by Theresa Mershon, Director of Design Systems, learn why accessibility and intersectionality are essential for designers and how the industry could use a lesson. We'll be hosting four external guests across the UX spectrum to share their thoughts and experiences.

Also, sign translation by Kevin L. Mogg and Susie Kahl.

Here's a bit about me; I use captions everywhere I can.

Cisco Capture The Flag - Meraki Version

Capture the Flag is a networking game that will allow you to gain hands-on experience with designing and operating cloud-based solutions with the Cisco Meraki platform.
#CiscoCTF
Find it HERE (Until July 17th 2020) - An Online treasure hunt! Where the treasure is "things to put onto your resume."

Business Bonus: "Tenet" Tenet-ively Delayed Indefinitely

After weeks of pushing it back, Warner Bros. has finally accepted that Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" would not see the light of theatrical day anytime soon in America.

“We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for ‘Tenet,’ Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” said Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich in a statement. “We are not treating ‘Tenet’ like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that,” Emmerich said.
Will "Tenet" open overseas before America?

Networking Seminar - STEM Fellowship SFU ft. Tara Furiani

I want to write about things my (human) network is doing more often, so here we are.
Ramneet Brar (President of the STEM Fellowship SFU) hosted Tara Furiani (Not The HR Lady), one of many HR people I'm connected with on LinkedIn who are very outspoken about current HR practices that put the employee at a disadvantage because of bigotry.

In short - She makes the suit wearers of LinkedIn clutch their ties because she says more than "Network is networth."
Gotta love it.
"But the cool thing is; We're doing it. We're adapting. We're utilizing technology like we've never done before."
Tara says that the authenticity of being in quarantine has counted so much more than in normal times.

I agree.

Wiretap Nation; The Amazon Echo

You think I bought this? Absolutely not. I won it at Cisco Live.*
*"At" being online.
Did I feel like a sellout accepting it? Absolutely. But it's free technology. Do I like it?

It doesn't like the 5 GHz Band on channel 36 either @alexa99

Imagine not being tech savvy and trying to set this up! But they just throw it on their main network and call it a day.

Want a bit of security and this is how we're penalized 🙃 https://t.co/vHba0pg6tU— Morgan Lucas, technical writer (@runtcpip) June 27, 2020
If you haven't been able to tell so far, I'm not fond of it. Just because it was free doesn't mean I'm not going to be honest.

Inside Disney’s Internet Of Things by Christian Sylt [@ Forbes]

I first learned about the article (here) from the latest edition of The DISUnplugged Podcast, of which I am a weekly listener.

While I constantly hear park proprietors complain that a bit of infrastructure has failed to account for the demand when it comes to dining reservations (or recently, park passes due to the reopening of Magic and Animal Kingdom on July 11th), I've always been interested in how they use technology to encourage guests to give up autonomy, interact with the 'on-stage' setting, and get the most out of their Disney World trip.

The last time I was at Walt Disney World (WDW) was in April or May of 2013. While MagicBands were announced in January of 2013, I'm not sure when they started being given to guests to use with MyMagic+.

I never got one.

CCNA 7.0 Bridging, Switching, Routing, and Wireless Essentials Course on NetAcad

The new CCNA was released in mid Feb of 2020. With the advent of COVID, all of our active certs were pushed back 6 months.
Mine won't expire until the end of next year, which is rapidly approaching. So why not go through the free course on Cisco NetAcad?

It looks way different than the first course.
The navigation on the left starts at... 10.

It takes until 11.1.10 to get to a Packet Tracer about Port Security. It's an old one, I recognize it.

There are no small activities scattered throughout the (much shorter) lessons. There used to be matching games. Short quizzes are at the end of each section.

(Unrelated note: It also showed that the Rogue Laptop thwarted by port security and sticky MACs, while in the same subnet as the legitimate machines, couldn't ping. Because port security!)
The Syntax Checker displays the appropriate instruction at the appropriate time. No more continuous scrolling back and forth (Unless you want to go upward and check on a command in the lesson)

Despi…

CiscoLive! 2020

Like many events, CiscoLive 2020 was pushed to an all digital format.
What is everyone talking about? I'm at #CiscoLive with a crowd right now! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/djamyEymyG— Morgan Lucas @ Cisco Live! ※ o( ̄▽ ̄)d (@runtcpip) June 17, 2020

So, I have to repeat this again;Online events should have always been an option at this point. I understand the energy of real people. It's fun to talk to random, like minded people!
However, these events take place in a world of growing inequality, especially in America, where people who want to learn, network, and improve, might not have the money for this.

Iptables - Firewall for Linux

Let's briefly look at some virtual firewalls in Linux. This is Iptables, running in my Ubuntu Server. Remember that?




What is CHAIN in this context? My best guess is 'the route a packet takes'. Think "At this point in the process, what should happen to this packet?" [1] Here, it's saying "Forward everything!". At which point, you may as well not have a firewall at all.



So let's set some rules on this bad boy;


Portfolio of UX/Product Feedback {Updated: October 22nd}

This is a living document!

You have probably been linked here from a form or my resume. If you have any questions about what I'm looking for in a role, click here. This post is not to shame, but to point out errors and hopefully make my talent for finding and documenting such mistakes clear to someone hiring.

Contents:
Instances where I offer constructive feedback on someone's website, logo, or app.Actions that were taken by the developers or artists.
Latest Update -  October 22nd, 2020.

Disney+

Back in times of old, when we could go places, one of those places was the movie theater. The smelly, cramped, outdated movie theater.

One of those movies to be played in the theater was Disney's "Artemis Fowl". When worldwide hell broke loose, it was banished to Disney+.

I have waited too long to see it - More than 15 years - And won't be deterred by watching it upon a smaller screen.
Before we can get to that story, let's peel away the application layer tech and take a look under the hood.


I think ,even before COVID-19, that this was headed to a digital grave.

Windows Server 2019 Essential Training Part 2 - Management and Administration

The course is in 6 sections, so I'll separate them by parts. I do have Windows Server experience, and 2019 is new to me, though the general idea is the same.



💠 Powershell is A) A scripting language, and B) Is an application with a command based shell to run and create your own Powershell scripts and modules (a collection of scripts, modules, and functions).

💠 PowerShellGit is used to download packages from GitHub. Is it the equivalent of 'apt-get'?


💠 You can remote the Domain Controller from Powershell. Consider the permissions, who is logged into the target machine. Other parameters may be needed.

💠 Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock {cmdlets} -ComputerNames("name1", "name2") can be used to run the same command on multiple domain controllers and servers.

💠 Windows Admin Center is a browser-based app for managing clusters, servers, and Windows 10 PCs. Check your SSL certificates!

💠 When installing a role or a feature, you're prompted to install GUI and Po…

Create a Simple Network (Packet Tracer) + A Walkthrough

Again; I've done this, but now there's so many new things, I'm doing it again.

The truly new portions were...everything on the right side of this diagram;



The cloud needed a coax connector and a copper Ethernet connector. It's all easy to install, turn off the cloud (Weird), install the modules.



Getting the Cable section of Connections was an unusual struggle - The other drop down menu had nothing within. It required going into the Ethernet options and setting the Provider Network to 'cable', which is the next step AFTER the drop-downs.
The rest was typical DHCP and DNS setups, mainly on the Cisco server down there.
The post is rather short - How about adding a video to it?


Find out what A Record means - This site says 'Maps a name to an IP address', which is DNS. So it's another name for DNS? You can change them (presumably in a local context) to associate an IP address to another name.


Fix Your Job Description Ft. VMWare

Clear writing is concise writing.

• In order to → To
• In spite of → Despite
• A number of → Some
• In the event that → If
• The majority of → Most
• Has the opportunity to → Can
• Despite the fact that → Although— Marketing Examples (@GoodMarketingHQ) June 1, 2020
I have looked at 1000s of applications in 3 years of job seeking. This isn't the worst one - That goes to one simply titled "DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES??? APPLY NOW!"

Here is a link to the listing. Originally on LinkedIn. Even if it's filled, it should stay up for a while. Just in case, here's the original text;
Staff Engineer - DevOps (open for remote) VMware
Why would you enjoy this new opportunity?

You have an analytical mind and a passion for the craft of software engineering, and you love solving problems and learning new things. Technologies come and go, but that excites you because of the endless possibilities it creates. You are looking for an opportunity to work …

Windows Server 2019 Essential Training by Scott M Burrell (Part 1) - Getting Started

The course is in 6 sections, so I'll separate them by parts. I do have Windows Server experience, and 2019 is new to me, though the general idea is the same.


The first relevant video opens with
"I was speaking recently with a network administrator for a global company. He told me that his IT infrastructure was out of date because his Windows Servers were a version or two behind the newest thing from Microsoft."
Just because you can upgrade doesn't mean you should! If your stuff works (well), it works. If new features help your business, or have the possibility for your business to 'grow' into them then sure, upgrade. But there's no need to keep up with the Jones or Gates.

Windows Server 2019 Essential Training Part 3 - Windows Server Enviroments

The course is in 6 sections, so I'll separate them by parts. I do have Windows Server experience, and 2019 is new to me, though the general idea is the same.

✅  Active Directory Domain Services Schema (ADDSS) defines type of objects stored, properties maintained, and how these different bits of data relate to each other.

✅ Active Directory sites/domain/forests have names that aren't an option to change in configuration. In the Sites and Services name, you should change it (Right click it). Name it depending on geographic location.

✅ Link Values are set based on speed or bandwidth. Now we get into path costs and hops, and that's what I was trained in.

✅ Encryption of traffic between VMs on a per-subnet basis! Use Certificates on Hyper-V hosts. Everyone gets a matching certificateVirtual machines/switches are created and managed by network controller.Reminds me somewhat of CHAP and PAP.
✅ Cluster Sets have consistent hardware and shared namespace. They help with high availabil…

Deloitte / InsideSherpa Tech Consulting Virtual Internship

Did you know?
Before Covid-19, employers were rather stingy on helping graduates, new or not so new, with internships, often having a very limited time frame that they cared about you.
Not so with Deloitte and InsideSherpa! Check it out here. Did I think I would be interested in Tech Consulting? Not before I did this. It seemed stuffy and hands-off.

I've enjoyed thinking about the best solutions to bring a business to the cloud, or online. See my post on LinkedIn. I didn't want to directly copy it, but it's how I feel!
  It's not all just 'Set up a Cloud account and have at it'. My Azure certification gave me a leg up on one of the projects; I was more minute than they expected at points.

It did show me that I can do remote work; Work is often already an invasion on someone's life and time. Being able to take my time and work when I wanted to without being burned out was a nice perk.

If you still have your school e-mail address, you can sign up with that. I haven…

Connecting IoT Devices to a Registration Server (Packet Tracer, Cisco)

In Packet Tracer, a demo software made by Cisco Systems. It certainly has changed a lot since 2016. It's almost an Olympic feat to even get started with it now, but it does look snazzy. This is for the new CCNA, that integrates, among other things, IoT and Automation, which I've worked on here before.

Instructions here.
I don't know if this is an aspect of "Let's make sure people are paying attention and not simply following blindly", or an oversight - The instructions indicate a Meraki Server, when a regular one is the working option here.
I have to enable the IoT service on this server. Also, we assign the server an IPv4 address from a DHCP pool instead of giving it a static one. For something that handles our IoT business, perhaps that's safer; Getting a new IPv4 address every week or so is a minimal step against an intruder, but it is a step.


There are no devices associated with this new server; In an earlier lab (not shown), I attached them to 'Home …

Getting Started with Ansible- Programming and Playbooks - (by NetworkChuck and Jesse Keating)

* I am using an Ubuntu server, which means I could skip epel-release and simply install Ansible from these instructions.

Opening the configuration file in vi (as su, or you won't be able to overwrite), I'm pleasantly surprised it didn't take me more than 3 minutes to find #host_key_checking = False. The # means 'this is a comment', so let's take that away so it can work with the demo.



Let's configure;



This is openly available information over here.

Let's ping it; Yes, apparently my Ansible was using older Python for backwards compatibility.
But we did successfully ping the router!



First bit of automation = ✅
With a bit of manipulation, we can run some good old Cisco IOS commands like 'show ip int brief';

The command is sudo ansible router -m ios_command -a "commands='show ip int brief'"


I revisited this the next day and added the second router;

I got a really funky error pointing out a mistype on "Line 47, point 1" -…

Learn From Home: Jira Essentials (ft. Hogwarts School)

Jira is a piece of project managing software that can be maintained on-prem on a server, or in the cloud (also, technically, on a server).

It's a busy piece of planning software for software development, with various modes (scrum and kanban) depending on your project.
You can learn the essentials remotely, with a 6-hour course - This is more of a brief, technical overview about using a Kanban board in Jira.

Introduction aside, let's get into the completely fake idea of "Installing Wi-Fi At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry", and see how these boards can help keep me on track.




That's not software!

Don't think too deeply about the logistics of magic and technology.


[Webinar] Live Resume Workshop for Cybersecurity Professionals by Katia Dean

Are you struggling to break into the Cybersecurity field? Your resume may be to blame.

Also the general mindset that Cybersecurity is an exclusive field that's gatekeep'd to hell and back.

So, Katia Dean, Voice of Cyberpros @ Katia's Cylife, gave us a great webinar about how to make a Cyber-esume that catches the eye.

It's 2020: People discriminate based on location. Do not put your home address anywhere.If your position is current, put your action verbs in the future. Spell out your acronyms! "CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)".A very interesting point was not needing to put the cities where you went to school at. Schooling doesn't quite matter, and everyone is realizing that (for better or worse).Title yourself for the position you want. There were a variety of resumes, from those making the jump from networking, to those shifting to another position, to the resumes of Doctors of Cybersecurity!

Also, a big shout out to Amy Scites for summarizing …

How to Cope With Anxiety

If any employer is reading this and immediately hit 'X' because they think 'anxiety is weakness', good riddance.

What Do You Need? [AKA; List of Offered Services] (2020)

I am a remote consultant. I enjoy having the flexibility to take on temporary projects from time to time! I start at part-time, temp work for now. If we like each other, we can renegotiate. If anything sounds weird, out there, or unusual - Feel free to e-mail me. Doesn't have to be tech-related. I just have to find it interesting and flexible.


What I do for you:
Simplified writing about tech. [Example Job Description, 2, 3] You want to pay me to write more of *waves hand* this blog? I am game.
Technical Analyst [Example Job Description]
UX Auditing [See Here]eCommerce merchandising [See Here]Entry-Level Web Support [Example Job Description]
Email Marketing Specialist [Example Job Description]  ProofreadingText-based support [Example Description]. 
The following is what I was trained in. Roles will be considered if I feel it's the best fir for you. Still part-time, contract, and/or temporary
Azure
Cisco routing and switching technician

Volunteering:
Find me on Jumpstart and CareerVill…

Project: Optimizing Wi-Fi For a Residence.

A 5-year old house is not quite optimized for ideal wireless setup. Let's help them.

*Not an accurate representation to maintain security.

Issue: The Wi-Fi router from Verizon is in the back of the house. Around 70% of the house can receive the signal, but not the office in the very front.

Equipment:

Netgear router (not extender)
Netgear extender.
Home router from Verizon
Cable boxes
Other things that use Wi-Fi.



What To Do When You're Done With LinkedIn

You use LinkedIn because it's the biggest 'job networking' site on the internet.

Can you be yourself on the website? If you're a constantly positive person who never has any struggles and doesn't need a job or a sale, then they will welcome you with open arms!

Otherwise, you don't have a prayer in getting hired, finding clients, or making money.

People are multifaceted, and LinkedIn doesn't welcomes that. Here are some places that might.

Shapr is very quick and card-based. It operates like one of those dating apps - You pick who you want to deal with.  I appreciate the start. There's far less pressure to 'provide value' or whatever the buzzword of the day is. Just talk!

Shapr...
Has a few words to describe a person. Not here to overload you with information, or browbeat you about how someone is 'detail oriented'.Is not quite active. Good for meeting people for casual talks (which can be remote or in person during non-pandemic times).A…

Hey, Internet, Show Me the Dark Fibre

I am doing a Pluralsight course - Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks: WAN for Enterprise Networks - and it mentioned a little something called Dark Fibre.

That's a new term for me, and maybe for you as well. Let's research it.

Dark Fibre is a bit of unused optical fiber. One can make a private fiber network with this, as it sounds like the dedicated telephone lines that companies can buy to connect sites that are miles apart.




It has great potential for capacity. There seem to be many unused fiber cables out there, buried underground, as telecom companies apparently bought too much. 

They may not sit unused for long, however, as with increased internet demand these days, content creators are demanding it.

How to Mitigate Zoom Hijacking

While in a Zoom meeting for assisting students during a turbulent time, after about 20 minutes, it was quickly taken over by 'pranksters' with inappropriate images.

There was a flurry of the event hosts trying to pull up the settings to remove the troublemakers. The meeting was quickly retooled to put everyone on mute for the next round.

A lot of people have been quickly thrust into this world of web conferencing, and selected Zoom, a software that works, but with little to no security. There's certainly no end to end encryption. 

Why is this serious? Because video streaming uses UDP packets, and an attacker doesn't need all of them to get the gist of the information being transferred.

I don't want to see people scramble to reestablish professionalism, so I made a quick guide.

I downloaded this spyware Zoom onto a test phone and laptop to set up a test meeting:

Auphelia Degardess is the name of the phone, and the one with the visual of myself. Mirren Vuilaassen is …