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Cisco Network Emulation with GNS3 in a Docker container

GNS3 is a fantastic piece of software, it glues together different open source software and allows to emulate a network that includes Cisco routers (using real Cisco firmware), Cisco switches (using IOU, Cisco IOS on Unix), Cisco ASA and any other devices that can run on Qemu or Virtual Box emulator.

It also allows to connect the virtual network to the physical network, it is possible to access Internet in the emulated world and vice-versa. GNS3 is available on Windows, Mac OSX and on Linux, but it shines on Linux because, to use IOU, if you are not on Linux you need a Linux virtual machine running on VirtualBox.

But, because GNS3 glues together many moving parts, it can be troublesome to install everything and to have everything working seamlessly, for this reason i created a Docker image with everything installed, functioning and ready to be used on Linux (or in a Linux virtual machine running in Windows or Mac OSX).

Docker is another fantastic piece of software that, together with CoreOS and other cloud orchestration projects, like Google's Kubernetes, is one of the building blocks for the incoming Cloud Revolution.
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Microsoft Exchange: complex and dangerous by design

I am not a fan of Microsoft products, I don't like their complexity and the "dangerous by design" philosophy; recently I switched company and I am involved in implementing a data center for a public institution based primary on Microsoft Technology. One of this product is Microsoft Exchange; after many years of Unix System Management experience I didn't believe how flawed Exchange was until I red by myself the official Microsoft Exchange documentation (Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Resource Kit).
Some items that really surprised me are the followings:
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Fighting Spam

The increase of Spam is a trend that started few years ago and it is continuously expanding, but to fight it there is plenty of good Open Source software. To use it effectively, anyway, it is needed a good knowledge of how spam floods our inboxes.

How spammers collect email addresses

The most used address gathering technique is using virus and spyware software that, without user awareness, gather email addresses from Outlook (or other email software) address-books and send this information to the spammers. Another popular address gathering technique is that of using web spiders to collect email addresses from web pages and newsgroups.
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My italian podcast "Notizie Digitali" is nr. 2

iTune top 10Thank you very much to the listeners of my italian language podcast "Notizie Digitali" (Digital News), you have been so many that my show has reached the second position in the "Top 10" of the italian iTunes Music Store.
For me this is a great and unespected result. I never expected to see that in so short time I was able to be head to head with the briallant journalists of "La Repubblica" and with the italian podcast pioneers like "Radio NK" and "Toilettecast" or with the very popular italian singer Max Pezzali.
This success will push me to improve my show, but will also create some problems; the first one is that the available bandwidth with the hosting company is not enough.


My first podcast is online

My first podcast is online. It is in Italian langage (my mother tongue language), his title is "Notizie Digitali" ("Digital News") and it is available on www.audiocast.it.
The content of the podcast is technological news that, in my opinion, are really important. Few weeks ago I registered the domain audiocast.it with the purpose of using it for publishing my podcasts and to put there informations and links on how to make and listen to podcasts.
Everything, however, is in italian language.


Improving english with podcasts

English is not my mother tongue language so I tried to learn it, possibly having fun in the process. At the beginning there was no fun, I studied it in high school but I didn't have occasions to practice it, so it was quite boring. Later, when I moved to the University of Ancona to study Electronic Engineering, I found that computer/software related documentation and some textbooks were available only in English. Later, when I starded working in a big corporation, I was forced to use english to communicate with non Italian speaking collegues, customers and suppliers.

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Web site history: my second personal web site (1999-2005)

My second personal web site (1999-2005)
In 1999 I registered the domain digiampietro.com, switched my hosting company to WestHost.com and revamped my website. At the time dynamic content was not so popular and very few hosting companies supported dynamic content in their cheapest hosting offerings; Microsoft FrontPage was popular but I disliked it. After a bit of research I found a good solution in WML (Website Meta Language) an html scripting language that easily allowed the generation of a static web site with a consistent look & feel and navigation bar.
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Web site history: my first personal web site (1996-1999)

My first personal web site in 1996
I published a personal web site for the first time in January 1996, subscribing, for a small fee for this service (no free hosting available at the time). The web site had few simple html pages, the most important page was my resume!. These pages had the following features:
  • manually written html
  • the background was grey as it was the common that days
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