I've had a most entertaining experience today while posting to my alumni mailing-list. To make a long story short, I inquired about job opportunities for a couple of friends that want to move to different settings. Doing this sort of thing is always interesting, because:

  • When you get to be our age (most of us are over thirty), you tend to look at the job market (especially in IT) with some reserve. The dot-com crash is still rather fresh on our minds (even though we've been fairly protected from it over here), and high-rank high-speed all-or-nothing jobs aren't exactly what you look for - but you're not interested in doing just about anything - it has to have some sort of balance.
  • There has to be a clear distinction between friendship and professional judgement, so it's best to be upfront and say "yes, I know these people, I judge them to be competent, but you have to decide on your own". If you try to tweak the odds, you (and your friends) lose credibility.
  • Everyone thinks it's about you - which it damn well isn't. I'm not looking for a job. Got that? I'm perfectly happy where I am (despite the occasional rants), but some folk (knowing I've been under some stress of late) immediately sent me some jabs over IM.
  • You usually want to both help and protect your friends from idle gossip, which can be extremely tricky. More so when you consider that not only everybody knows everybody in Portugal, gossiping about job moves is also a sort of professional sport in this field (I'm probably going to get some flak for this, but what the hell - I manage people, I know what they get up to...).

So I'm now acting as a sort of mediator, which might be interesting. I've already picked up a few inquiries (mostly from the alumni grapevine), and will be talking to people during the weekend. Thanks, we appreciate it.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

SNMP probing

I've been looking into the Cisco Aironet MIB (the one for the VxWorks-based access points), and besides the usual drudgery of doing snmpwalks while looking up IANA allocated numbers, I've noticed a couple of interesting things that look like traps and inbound events related to EAP authentication. I'm thinking of dumping most of my EAP notes here someplace (after sanitizing them, of course), since most of the generic information like what sort of information you get upon client connection and suchlike seems to be absent from vendor manuals and other documentation.

(In other words, they probably don't expect most people to actually look this deep into their products. Especially former marketing folk.)

Java for Oracle

There's a new version of Java available that allows you to run Oracle 11i components on Mac OS X. Sometimes I miss their stuff. Then I remember how wierd it could get sometimes.

5GHz? Yeah, Right

The FCC wants to open more spectrum in the 5GHz range, bumping the total level of 802.11a channels to 20 (from the 12 in the US). I wonder what the EU will do, given France's usual... Well, "frenchness" in these issues.