Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wireless Field Day II

I'm very excited to inform you (if you haven't already heard) of the second Wireless Field Day that'll be taking place in San Jose on January 25th - 27th 2012. Assuming that the Mayans are wrong, we will be gathering in San Jose to hear presentation from a great group of wireless companies.

The majority of my career I've been focused on Cisco's wireless hardware line, so I'm looking forward to hearing about the wireless solutions offered by Aruba, Meraki, Ruckus and refreshing my knowledge of AeroHive. I've used troubleshooting tools by MetaGeek and Ekahau, but I'm sure I'll still learn lots from their presentations.

The final list of delegates are: 
Daniel Cybulskie, Sam Clements, Rocky Gregory, Andrew vonNagy, Chris Lyttle, me, Tom Hollingsworth, Matthew NorwoodBlake Krone, Marcus BurtonGeorge Stefanik and Jeremy Gaddis!

Since the last Wireless Field Day I've gone pro on
Flickr & Vimeo, so there's no limits to how much digital content I can record and upload. Consider this fair warning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Configuring a 3500 series Access Point as an OfficeExtend Access Point

There are a couple of great how-to guides for configuring Office Extend APs on the web. Once upon a time, documentation for the OfficeExtend feature was a rarity. Back then the only guidance was from this great post from Blake: Cisco OfficeExtend AP600. Now we have the config guide from Cisco: Aironet 600 Series OfficeExtend Access Point Configuration Guide

I used
Blake's post about OfficeExtend when I setting up my first OfficeExtend access points, since the configuration guide from Cisco didn't exist at the time. Today, I made a quick little video showing how and where the configuration changes are made. I also included how to see what your AP has configured for the controller name and IP address it is going to look for when the AP is powered on.

Sniffapalooza Barcelona 2011

Recently I spent a week in Barcelona at a Sniffapalooza event. What’s a Sniffapalooza event you ask? Sniffapalooza is a scent focused event for the fragrance enthusiast. This means the two main ladies behind Sniffapalooza are Karen Adams and Karen Dubin arranged for the group to visit with several perfumiers in Barcelona, talk about their creations and experience a slew of other fabulous fragrances while we were there. We also visited TablaoCordobés and saw a Flamenco show, Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, the Dali Museum and San Pedro Church in Figueres, Girona Cathedral in Girona, Montserrat, and some of us took a tour of Gaudi’s La Pedrera. This Sniffapalooza trip to Barcelona had 18 attendees, which according to Karen D. was one of the smaller Sniffapalooza events.

walking away
The first day on the ground in Barcelona was cold and rainy. The wet streets just added to the atmosphere of the city. I wandered around and shot a pack of NOS Polaroid film instead of going to sleep. 

Each of us received a wonderful gift bag of goodies from Jordi Cabezas from JC Apotecari. My bag had samples of Carner Barcelona’s Tardes, Cuirs and D600, samples from Sepai and a agua de colonia fresca from Hierbas de Ibizia!

BarcelonaOur hotel for the week was the Hotel Colon. The Hotel Colon was constructed in 1951, and is well placed in front of the Cathedral of the city, just a few steps away from Las Ramblas and the Port of Barcelona. All this being said; the wireless connectivity in the hotel was useless so I picked up a Vodafone k3806 USB stick so I could upload photos from the trip each day. I was glad for the good weather in Barcelona that week, I didn’t need the heat/air to work in the hotel room (it didn’t anyway).

Tablao CordobesFor our first evening in town, the group was bussed over to TablaoCordobés in Las Ramblas for a surprisingly good buffet dinner and Flamenco show. We probably could have walked, since it wasn’t that far – but it was nice to kick back and be driven around. The Flamenco show smacked heavily of ‘tourist attraction’, but the singers and dancers seemed to be enjoying themselves, and this helped neutralize the ‘tourist attraction’ feel I had at first.

DSC01832_1024x681For day two, we all piled into the bus for the twenty minute drive out to Park Guell, followed by a tour of La Sagrada Familia. Everything our tour guide Ines told the group about Gaudi, Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia was news to me, and I enjoyed her explanations and historical anecdotes. I resisted my natural urge to research every angle of the trip and what we’d be seeing while we were there, and instead let the events and experiences unfurl at a natural pace.

Our guide Ines had a great personality, and I loved listening to her accent while she explained the history of Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. I shot a couple of videos of her and put them up on YouTube:


Park Güell 01 of 03
Park Güell 02 of 03
Park Güell 03 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 01 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 02 of 03
La Sagrada Familia 03 of 03

Later that afternoon we took taxis over to JC Apotecario in the Sarria neighborhood of Barcelona. The proprietor of JC Apotecario, Jordi Cabezas took us on a walking tour of his neighborhood (Sarria) before we began the presentations by Sara Carner, Paola Gugliotti for Sepai and Deborah presenting Hierbas de Ibiza at JC Apotecario

Sara Carner told us about her perfume line ‘CARNER BARCELONA’ and the imagery and emotions behind each perfume in her line (TARDES, CUIRS, D600). 

Jordi treated us all to a wonderful tapas dinner at El Villano (upstairs) at El Canala. The food kept coming, the wine kept flowing, and everyone had a great time.

DSC03064_1024x681The bus ride on day three to Figueres to see the Dali museum was just over an hour and a half. It was interesting to take a highway tour of the areas between Barcelona and Figureres. The cemetery just off the highway in Barcelona looked really interesting, and I wished that had been part of our tour. Unfortunately, it wasn’t within walking distance of our hotel either. 

While Ines readied our admission tickets to the Dali museum, some of us ducked into the San Pedro Church just outside the museum entrance. Inside were some of the most pained religious statues I’ve ever seen. It was both very creepy and very cool at the same time. I wish that the lighting on a few of the statues hadn’t been quite so harsh, it detracted from the emotions shown on the statues faces.

DSC02283_1024x681 The Dali museum was great (naturally) and I was surprised to discover a theme in Dali’s later works that I did not know about. Dali had incorporated elements of computer technology into his later paintings and sculptures, and I liked seeing his use of circuit boards in creating a Japanese warrior statue, and art nouveau designs inspired by circuit board traces in his later paintings.

The craziest, coolest thing at the Dali museum had to be the beating heart brooch Dali designed. It was on display with all of Dali's other jewelry creations.

On the ride back from Figureres, we toured the city of Girona and the Girona Cathedral. Sadly to report, no photography was allowed inside the Girona Cathedral, but there are a few pictures of the cathedral online. We took a foot tour of the winding city streets of Girona led by Ines. She told us the history of Girona architecture and reminded us that the same streets were also used as settings for the filming of ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’.

Later a group of us went out walking in the city, and we happened to be at El Corte Ingles at closing time. They get the message across that the store is closed by counting out the cash drawers very loudly.

Day four was a quick forty-five minute trip to Montserrat to see The Black Virgin of Montserrat. There were no restrictions on photography inside the basilica and it was replete with colors, texture, sounds – too many experiences to record even though I tried.

After the tour of Montserrat, some of us regrouped and walked over to La Pedrera and took a tour of Gaudi’s building and one of the apartments inside the building. I think the rooftop would have been better without all the metal ‘don’t fall over the edge’ railings, but the apartment was very interesting because of all of the period furniture and belongings that the original apartment owners would have had. The best rooms were the bathroom and the children’s room.

On the afternoon of the fourth day of Sniffapalooza, Lisa from The Perfumed Court and I walked over to check out the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral in the Ribera district. Cathedrals start to look the same inside when you've toured one after another for a couple of days straight. When I looked down at my feet, it was a completely different story. The entire floor of the cathedral was a burial ground, and each of the tomb tops were engraved with dates or figures. 1699 was the earliest date I could find.

The only event I did not attend was at Amorino Gelato where the group's host Claudia Guinot gave everyone a private tour of the Gelato shop, and everyone was treated to samples of the gelato.


The morning of our fifth day of Sniffapalooza found us gathered in a meeting room of the Hotel Colon for a special presentation of the creation of ‘Lemon Cloud’ by Agusti Vidal and Pastry Chef Jordi Roca (of El Celler de Can Roca). Their original idea was not to create a perfume for sale, but as a side element to their pastry creations. Lemon Cloud was their first original scent. 

This is their presentation to the Sniffapalooza group, and I also found a YouTube video of Chef Jordi describing their creation 'Lemon Cloud'.

After Agusti and Jordi’s presentation, we all walked over to Regia to visit the Museu Del Perfum. The owner, Francesc Planas gave us a full tour of everything he's collected over the years. It is a wonderfully massive collection of vintage and ancient perfume bottles and accoutrements.

The key piece in my opinion was the flask that Marie Antoinette carried her perfume in when she traveled. I say this after reading 'The Emperor of Scent' and recalling the passage citing her perfume as the reason Marie Antoinette was captured while attempting to escape and ultimately, beheaded.

For our sixth day of Sniffapalooza we visited Puig, Firmenich, Cosmeticoh! and Santa Eulalia. Our guide for the day was the lovely and charming Nouriel. I'm fairly certain she'd never been a tour guide for a tour group such as ours. She seemed to enjoy herself during this day's sniffing events (with a little encouragement to go ahead and take part!)

Puig is the number 5 perfume house internationally. They have different operational segments within the company, and the one we were learning about that day works with celebrities to craft fragrances for the mass market.

Photo by Karen Adams

Puig gave everyone a 2GB storage bracelet containing all the presentation information for all the fragrances shown that day.

 The best thing I smelled that at Puig was the perfume Diavolo. It was launched in 1997 by Puig and Antonio Banderas. It isn't available commercially to the US Market, but you can still buy it on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I don't have the names of the ladies that spoke to us that morning, but hopefully I will be able to include this information later.

Firmenich is a private Swiss company in the perfume and flavor business, it is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business, and ranks number two worldwide. They producing perfumes for Carolina Herrera, Comme Des Garcon, Paco Rabanne, Gaultier and Prada to name a few.

The ladies at Firmenich provided us with a light tapas lunch. It was very nice of them to provide refreshments and snacks for all of us. There were all kinds of tapas laid out in their kitchen, sodas and coffee were also provided.

 Paola Zanni and Ina Mexia presented us with the Firmenich scentorial experience. It is a showcase of their perfumers’ creations when they are given carte blanche to make whatever scents they are inspired to create, based on four different concepts presented to them by Firmenich.

We toured the new Cosmeticoh! Shop with the owner Oriol Blanch and learned about the new Oliver & Co. perfume and candle line from the creator himself - Oliver Valverde. This was his first English speaking presentation and he was very nervous. I think he did wonderfully!

I fell in love with M.O.U.S.S.E and Dunard, and bought a bottle of each! Oliver uses the tried but true tactic to get you to buy a bottle of what you like *now*, because each perfume is created in limited, numbered runs and once the supply is exhausted, that’s *it*.

Our last stop of the day was at Santa Eulalia. The store was built in 1843 and offers a selection of luxury brands for men and women in addition to a tailoring service. We toured the perfume counter and sampled fragrances by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Grossmith’s Hasu-no-Hana, Byredo Parfums, Nasomatto, and Eight and Bob by Albert Fouquet. 

Mar Jordan of the perfume department at Santa Eulalia gave us a specialized tour of the perfumes they carry.

The scents that appealed to me most were APOM Pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Gypsy Water by Byredo Parfums.

DSC03832_1024x681The hidden secret of the Santa Eulalia department store is where you’d expect to find a hidden secret - in the basement! Our tour of the store concluded in the men's department downstairs. We were shown the area of the shop where the tailoring magic happens. 


They had displays for the bespoke styles of shirt collars, cuffs, suiting fabrics and the pattern pieces they've used for generations were all neatly labeled and hanging in the tailoring room.

Barcelona was great, I met a lot of great people, saw a lot of interesting things, but the most marked difference between the states and Barcelona was the shoes!