Month: June 2011

Peering Database

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Something new I learned today is that I found that there is a Peering Database which contains details of different peers who are setup in various Internet Exchange points (IX or IXP) around the globe.

So basically, it contains information on what networks are peering, where they are peering, and if they are likely to peer with you. The site is PeeringDB.com .

An Internet Exchange is where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) exchange internet traffic between their autonomous networks. The primary purpose of this is to have direct interconnection of networks via the exchange, rather than through one or more third party networks, thereby reducing cost, latency, and bandwidth.

Some of the IXs I’m more familiar with (through my workplace)  are the TORIX (Toronto Internet Exchange), NYIIX (New York International Internet Exchange), SIX (Seattle Internet Exchange), and AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange). Some peers have different policies according to their needs. Some have an open policy which means that they can establish BGP peering sessions with those networks who request to peer with them, while others have a selective policy which is attributed by varied reasons.

The data that you can find from the Peering Database are the company information, peering policy information, contact information, public peering exchange points, and private peering facilities. I have to mention that a specific company may be available at several IXs. It depends on the need of the company that wishes to peer, whether they want to establish sessions with all, some, or just one of those IXs where they have a mutual presence.

Photo Credit: Fabienne Serriere

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HP Slate – It’s worth it.

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The HP Slate (or HP Slate 500) is a Windows 7 slate PC with multi-touch capabilities. I got my own last April 2011 and I love it. As with all other devices, it has some pros as well as cons. Let me share my thoughts on this device based from my experience with it so far.

Pros

It is very portable; smaller than a laptop or netbook. It is light enough to be used like an e-reader (think Kobo or Kindle). It runs on a Windows environment, which means most of the applications/programs you are currently using at home or at your work computer can be installed and used on this. It has a multi-touch interface which means you can do stuff right there on the screen without needing a stylus pen (although it comes with one).

HP Slate 500 with the stylus pen and a Folio case
It has a USB port, which means you can plug in more devices to it which provides more functionality to it. Also, it has WiFi capability (but which netbook or tablet doesn’t already?). It also has an SD card reader for easier transfer of files/pictures from an SD card.

Cons

It is not as light as the Apple iPad or BlackBerry Playbook, or other tablets for that matter, which could be a disadvantage for some because some people want a tablet/slate PC to be extremely light. It doesn’t really have a specialized interface either for touch, unlike the iPad or Playbook which have some apps which makes tasks or viewing of data easier on them. The screen also isn’t as responsive to touch as I’d like it to be, especially since I tend to have sweaty fingers at times. Also, it only has a 64GB internal hard drive and doesn’t have cellular network capability (3G).

Verdict

Of course, despite of its cons, I still think the HP Slate is a great product. It is more targeted for professionals who need to work on the go from time to time, if not all the time. It is useful for logging into work through VPN using a Cisco client. It can run simulators which I can use for practicing for my CCNA (though I have yet to install it). I can use the standard Microsoft Office programs on it (or Open Office if you prefer). I can also install Adobe Photoshop (or whatever else) on it if I prefer, but that one can be memory extensive, so never mind. With regards to the small internal hard drive capacity, you can obviously connect an external hard drive to it for additional capacity through the  USB port. Also, with the availability of internet sticks, you can use the Slate on the 3G network by plugging the stick in the USB port; or tether to it if you have a BlackBerry (as I do) or iPhone.

So despite quite a number of cons, there are still a good number of pros for this device, and that is why I chose to have it.

The HP Slate 500 can be purchased directly on the HP site ($799), or eBay if you want it cheaper.

Also, coming soon from HP: the TouchPad which is more like the iPad or Playbook, and more targeted to regular consumers.

Just Thankful

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Okay, I know it’s been an incredibly long time since I last made a post. I guess I just was not inspired to write for these past few months. I need to get back on track.

One thing that made me write this post is that I am just thankful for the recent new position I accepted at the company I’ve been working with for the past 10 months. It has been a challenging, rocky journey to get to this place right now. The road blocks are still many ahead, and I have to learn how to pass through them. The learning never stops. The opportunities continue to broaden.

I hope and pray for better things for everyone I care about as well.