I have been thinking about this post for too long… Time to stop thinking and start typing!

The past month and a half at work have been pretty amazing. While we have not really got anything to show for it yet, there is a LOT of cool stuff happening behind the scenes. I look forward to the day when I can show you all what we have been working on, but, in the mean time, this blog post has been brewing…

<Warning, light geek content to follow>

A lot of what I have been doing lately has involved Linux, the web, and networking.
We have taken our dual Ethernet controllers, used both ports, and put one port on the Internet via a router and the other on the Opto 22 intranet via a switch. We do this so we can access the cotnroller from within Opto 22 and also from externally via the Internet.
Both have separate sub-nets, the Internet one goes via a Linksys router. Of course that needed configuring as well with all the required port forward rules.
We also have been working with IP video cameras, and they needed setting up on the network as well.
We then turned to Linux, I had to install it with Apache, PHP and MySQL running. Then we had to tweak a few things to get it to run with both the IP cameras and an 8 port video camera card. Once that was done, we had to install the main camera software package.
From there, we had to install an FTP server with a nice GUI so it could be administered. The usual remote desk top (VNC) had to be set up as well.
Once that was done, we needed to add the web pages. There were some tweaks required to get the php stuff to run, so there was a bit of editing config files and the like going on.
There also was some nice email server work that I had configure up, and much assorted networking tweaking (the main PC has two network cards that had to be configured very differently). Along with the email stuff, there were some pretty neat tweaks that we had to nut out with dynamic IP addresses as well.
We had to draw out a network diagram, it was complicated enough to warrant that, we had to keep track of the many IP addresses and ports as well.
Once this was all done at work, I ended up reproducing a lot of this for the VP of marketing as well so he could get some experience in it.
Throw into the mix some iphone and itouch web stuff and it all ends up being a pretty cool and mildly complicated network configuration.

The system is in and has been stable now for some months, and in a quiet moment looking back over it all, it occurred to me that while I used a lot of different skills, 90% of what we did here came down to the knowledge passed on to me by one person. I owe that one person a great deal of thanks for my skills that allowed me to do all of this….. That one person pretty much taught me every thing I know about Linux and one person taught me all I know about networking, firewalls and routers and other very cool and some what obscure stuff…..
When I stopped and thought about it, that’s a pretty fair effort. Its not the sort of knowledge that can be passed on in a hurry either, I would think that it was about a four year process of me leaning over the poor guys shoulder asking all sorts of questions. I really admire his patience as I bumbled around and messed up many an install that he then repaired for me.

So, here we are, half a planet away, and the skill set passed on to me has empowered me to do things for my employer that will (hopefully) result in possibly 100’s of people reaping the benefits.
So, if you can teach some one something, please do, you never know where it’s going to lead…..

Lastly, I know he is going to squirm a little, but I just wanted to publicly say Thank-you Dan!