Have Firefox & Google Toolbar Merged ?

Firefox Spell Checker

So firefox 2 was released yesterday , and I’ve just been browsing through the features list. The fact that some of the google toolbar features have sneaked in as default functionality doesn’t surprise me, for example the google spellcheckerspell checker from the google plugin is an obvious feature for mozilla to include in the core.

What surprised me was how the anti phishing feature was just lifted:

google anti-phisinig Mozilla anti-phising
Google Anti-Phising Mozilla Anti-Phising

This is an excellent example of open source, and it’s really good to see google sharing their work , I just hope that anti customize google doesn’t sneak in or worse still targeted adversting !

FC 6 Is out !

…and their server is down…..

Fedora Project
We are working hard to bring fedora.redhat.com back up to its fully operational state.


Oh well I haven’t got time to install it now anyway, I’ll wait for the “Zod” frenzy to finish I think ;)

Basic Example Cisco Switch Config

Layer 2 Overview

Layer 2 Overview

Figure 1

I’ve been meaning to add a dedicated cisco section to my site for a while, I thought it’d be helpful if I converged my rants with work a little ;) I’m hoping to build up a personal archive of notes for work, and in doing so help other with similar roles & problems. I’ve gone through and added any cisco related posts to my archive , useful cisco bookmarks have always been online with del.icio.us , and now to finish off I have a config files directory. Usual rules apply to this an all other posts – see disclaimer.

Moving from a general security reseller to a “cisco cisco cisco” house has meant that templates have become important in my life; lets take security products like checkpoint or websense, not only are they gui driven (which makes templating difficult) but their implementation is very specific to their environment, as such companies that install with templates here usually aren’t doing a very good job. Switches or Routers on the other had can be templated, because there are only a few design scenarios (engineers usually stick to a favourite) and once you’re happy with a design, moving it from customer to customer usually only involves changing ip’s and passwords (of course a little intelligence to spot what else might need changing also helps).

This is a switch design my boss has handed down, it’s a basic collapsed core (i.e. no distribution layer) site campus implementation. I’m not going to take all the credit for the content as Frank helped a great deal (thanks mate).

Each access layer switch has two connections up to the core, and the core has an etherchannel link to provide the resilient triangle loop – See Figure 1. There a couple of things you need to pay attention two within this design…

1. The obvious one is that all the layer3 takes place in the core, now there is currently a cisco document circulating that we should be pushing the layer3 to the edge to take advantage of QoS for all things new like voice and video, I am aware of these considerations, but I haven’t found it entirely applicable*, which brings me to…
2. The design relies on having two VLANS on each access layer switch. Why ? Because is my experience cable and physical faults occur more often (human errors excluded of course) in cisco networks than switch failure, as such it’s good to have a design where by all cables have traffic flow. If traffic flows down all ports then MRTG can be used to view the usage, and if the “bloke that changes the light bulb” accidentally cuts through a fibre link you’re aware… this is much more preferable than having a standby link that’s never used/tested fail just as you need it. In short why two vlans, traffic for both routes. – See Figure 2. *why do I need QoS on my campus if I have two vlans, one dedicated for voice, and the other for data ;)

Splitting the VLANS

Splitting the VLANS

Figure 2

Hopefully I’ve explained this well enough, if you take a look at the configs you’ll see that I’ve mirrored up the active HSRP SVI with the STP root bridge. This implementation ensures that I get the desired traffic flow, and distributed processing, i.e. if I force a route bridge on core b, why send it to core a for layer3 ? With all the technologies working correctly we have a completely resilient solution.

Mainly for my reference the example configs have some default security settings, these settings closely meet the safe blueprint but may need tuning, i.e. if you have a large campus you should be using TACACS+ rather than local user names and passwords…. it’s also important to note, if you don’t know what some of this does, you should probably google for it to find out ;) The configs have been applied to cat4500/6k type devices in the core, and a stack of 4 3750′s at the edge (access layer). You should be aware that not all functionality is available on all switches , note I’m using vlan acls for rfc 2827 filtering, this probably isn’t available on lesser switches.

Anyway, enjoy !

Gmail File Space Extension (gSpace)

For those who can’t wait for the fabled gdrive, this is worth a look, you get like an FTP style interface to gmail within firefox, I’ve found it useful for quick backups.

Gmail File Space
his extension allows you to use your Gmail Space (2 GB) for file storage. It acts as a remote machine. You can transfer files between your hard drive and gmail. This is similar to “Gmail Drive” on windows platform. Your gmail account looks like a FTP host and you can upload and download your files. After you install, you get an option called “GSpace” in your “tools” menu clicking on which opens the window for transfer of folders/files. Works great for photos and music files less than 14MB.

Calcylator Closed……for now.

My Last Calcylator post was full of hope… but now the site is closed.. what gives ?

Well our ISP had a spam issue, as part of the investigation, to protect calcylator I closed the site; development has been v.sloooooow after the last few months and I thought I’d take the time to reflect.

I stand by that the site is a good idea, working out true profit from ebay is important to individual sucess. The fundamental problem is working out your exact fees per transaction is difficult & time consuming, so users just don’t want to dedicate the time. I’ve been through two iterations of calcylator, and discovered that I just can’t make the process easy enough for users to be bothered. Financially it doesn’t bother me if people can’t work your their profit accurately, but I do want the site (idea) to be successful, so calcylator is moving into a new phase.

The first phase will a gimmick, but hopefully useful, from their we’ll step towards what will hopefully be a better solution… once again, another empty space to watch ;)

Evolution of Cisco.com

Looks like cisco have given their website an image overhaul…..

Evolution of Cisco.com – Cisco Systems
A transformation is occurring on the Web. The end user is more in charge, creating collaborative websites and blogs, generating, mixing and sharing content, and having more of a say in how companies do business with them. The potential of the Internet is being fulfilled by more than the physical network alone, it is the human network where people are connecting and collaborating, enabling ideas and opportunities. This represents an ideal time for Cisco to transform our website, into a platform for collaboration, interaction and innovation.

Today is our first step. We’re launching a “new face” for Cisco.com with a redesigned home page…

It took me by surprise actually, it’s not very often such large companies make this kind of statement, notice there is less “cisco green”, and even a new logo, very 2.0 ;)