Monday, March 25, 2019

Project Hummingbird

Originally posted to Facebook on January 12, 2018 I thought this should be available outside of Facebook:

This may be long, but I came upon an old floppy (a floppy!) today, and found the drawing you see here. I'm about to turn 50, so let me spin a tale from when I wasn't even half my current age...
Project Hummingbird
Some friends and I had to build "something" for our engineering senior design course. A friend had a model airplane remote control setup and wanted to play with "ducted fans." We came up with an idea for an aircraft we had a hard time describing to people.
Rather than wings, we were going to generate lift with pure thrust from the ducted fans! It was going to be the prototype for vertical take off and landing craft, and be a darn cool model to fly around.
Today, you can go buy a drone, and fly something similar, but in 1990, this was something no one had seen in radio controlled aircraft.
We had *NO* idea how much we'd bitten off.
To fit our budget constraint, we could only afford two of the ducted fan assemblies and engines. So we had to design a set of ducts to split the two sets of thrust into four so that we could control the craft.
To generate the thrust required, we had to have ducts that were over five inches in diameter. To keep control, we needed the nozzles over 20 inches from the center of the craft. This means that the craft needed to be about a foot high, and nearly four feet across.
Naturally, we designed it as a saucer.
We managed to fabricate one set of ducts, and showed that it generated more thrust than we had calculated. We got prototype control circuits mocked up before we realized we couldn't afford the gyroscopes available at the time. We learned the types of things you're supposed to learn in a senior design course.
But I *still* want to see that thing fly...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Joe's Internet -- a place so see how layer 3 works

I've learned a lot about networking from others over the years.  Usenet news, conferences, mailing lists, forums, blogs, and podcasts have been central to my learning at one point or another.  I was always learning from others, so I never really felt that I had all that much to contribute.

Lately, I've realized that a different voice telling the same story might help someone, so I decided I should start giving something to the community.

Over the last few years, I played around with the idea of Joe's Internet (J-Inet).  I've already posted one story about J-Inet and a foray into IPv6.  (In fact, the response to that addressing adventure was a big prompt to get me to write more.)

In the next few posts I'll show you the architecture of J-Inet.  We'll talk about routing policy, or the plain language that describes how we route Internet traffic.  As things progress, we'll get into router
configurations required to enact that routing policy.

I'll start with generic Cisco IOS configurations, because that's what I learned starting back in the 90s.  However, I'll swing back around and show how it can be done with different vendor's gear.  In the end, I hope people will figure out that all gear should play nicely together and that heterogeneous networking can work well.

Keep watching this space.  If I get my way, you'll learn something -- or at least get a new perspective of things you already know.  I'd like to hear your perspectives as well.

Welcome to J-Inet.  We push packets.