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Something special

This is the feedback from Maximilian Lehrbaum thank you, Maxi. It was great to see how you integrated into the team as the youngest member. I found it especially courageous that you conquered your fear to be on a public video. Well done ! I am looking forward to collaborating with you in the future.

WfL_WR_3D_pos_webI really enjoyed this weekend at the Global Race Control. It was the first time for me meeting other student, which are part of Cisco Networking Academy, I never knew, that it is such a great community.

I think you can you learn much more, if you see the technology in use, that learning it in theory. Before I was a little bit afraid, because I never made anything public and I never met other networking people outside our school, but after this event I can say, that there is not really a big difference between each of us, because we all are interested in technology and networking.

The people were so nice and gentle and always tried to help us and answer our question. I think it was something special, because although they were all stressed and nervous they took time to answer us or ask us if we still have a question or need anything. Maybe next time we should keep more contact to the people who can help us making everything more public and publish it all over the world.

The best for me was that Alex from the timing team always came to us and asked if we need support and that Sigi took the time to tell us how this all started with an idea many years ago.

What I learned was that you can never avoid problems, you can only try to make them as improbable as possible, and that with a wider distribution more problems will come.

I am happy with the choice of my profession and this event confirmed this for me.


Timing is everything

#netacad Team at #worldrun

Interview with Alexander Knauff, network administrator for the timing group.



Q: How do you synchronize the time between all the countries and all the cars?
A: It’s GPS system, we need satellites all over the world, they use UTC. (one common time) It’s the same as every time, every server. The time is synchronized over GPS. There are two GPS mice, fixed on the roof of the cars, two for redundancy.

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Q: How is the car connected to the network?
A: We have laptops with linux, these connect using two 3G sticks (one with Austrian provider and one with local provider) and if both fail, there are satellite modems for fallback. They are Rockblock modems for satellite connections. The Rockblock costs about $ 300. The modem itself is not that expensive, but the data to send is the more expensive part. The data connection is not that fast. The data connection is connected to Amazon cloud servers.

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Q: Why are there trucks with enormous satellite antennas? How can this small box do the same?
A: That is a good question, we can not answer. We are happy to have it. It’s very expensive and we pay per character.

Q: How do you achieve redundancy?
A: We use a custom linux operating system which has been created for only this purpose. It has an easy to use graphical interface.

Q: How is the data transmitted?
A: The data will be stored locally and also sent to the cloud servers periodically. If there is no connection, there are 2 fallback servers in the Global Race Control Centre. Here we have a synchronous connection of 100 mbits.

Q: Why use Amazon cloud?
A: We have been using Amazon cloud for 3 years now. We didn’t have any downtime at all. 4 years ago, there was a downtime though, this was because of a connection mistake. We use Amazon cloud’s load balancer. The Amazon cloud does not have a fixed address, they use dynamic DNS systems.

Q: How long have you been planning this setup or event?
A: We started the planning of it 2 years ago. The planning of the networking and programming has been put to use 1 year ago.

Q: Were there any problems with your connections?
A: Some provider blocked the necessary ports and didn’t want to open the ports. The only solution was to switch to another provider.

Q: What do you use to keep the position of the leading bikers?
A: We use a free app called Backitude. Everybody has the same mobile phone, set up in the same way. It sends the GPS location of the leading bikers every 10 seconds and sends it as an HTTP POST. The next time they get a connection they send their current location. Not only the bikers use this system, the catching cars have it too.

Q: What does every country have?
A: There are 31 countries, every country has three mobile phones, one biker for leading women and one biker for leading men and 2 catch-up cars. If there is a wheelchair race, there is a third catching car.

Q: Does every mobile phone have the same configuration?
A: No, there is always a little difference. There is a part to recognize if the mobile phone is for the biker following the leading man, the biker following the leading woman or a car. This is just for tracking purposes on their system.

Q: How is it possible to recognise the leader?
A: Always after some time we call the different bikers to identify the leader. The biker has a bluetooth headset to send in the information. In some countries, we use walkie talkies to make local communication and then informing the Global Race Control Centre because it is not allowed to use a phone while driving a bike.

Q: Does the catcher car have a camera?
A: No, there is live stream from the media teams only. The catcher car equipment is solely used for timing. So many TV cars will be there. The media will be on the catcher car lane

Q: What is a BIB number?
A: The BIB number is the starting number to identify a runner. We use RFID tags in order to keep track of the identity of runners.

An Interview with John Kelsey, the COO of Chronotrack, the company behind the RFID technology.

Q: How does the car communicate with the Global Racing Control Centre?
A: They use a laptop with a customized linux operating system. It is called OBU (On-board Unit)  internally. They have an easy to use graphical interface. They have a second battery. As backup there is also an AC/DC converter to charge the OBU. The OBUs send small data packages over the network. It contains OBU-id, BIB-id (runners wordwide unique number), GPS-time (UTC timestamp) and GPS coordinates, its about 40 characters. Every time a runner is caught by the catcher car, a package is created and if there is a connection, then all the data is sent.


Q: How do you make sure the driver knows the OBU is okay while driving?
A: The OBU beeps every 3 minutes to say, hey I’m here. This can not be muted.

Q: How many OBUs do you have per car?
A: One OBU per car.

Q: Why is it not possible to cheat?
A: There are regular checks on the track.

Q: Was it difficult to find appropriate running tracks?
A: Yes, we try to have only 1 direction and no loops within the running track, but sometimes this was not possible, because of highways. There was also a problem with streets smaller than 4 meters. In India the streets are sometimes 8-20 meters, this is too big, because the sensor can only detect perfectly up to 6 meters. The car needs 2 meters space. Ideally the runners have 6 meters of space.

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These RFID scanning boxes have a modem and GPS integrated but they are heavy and do not have battery power. There aresmall ones that have about 10 hours and the big ones have 8 hours.Every car has an AC/DC for charging.

Q: When do you start preparing the cars, the day of the run?
A: They have to start 2 hours before the race for the registration of satellites and etc.. They have to work through a checklist in order to get everything OK.

Q: How many people are in a catcher car?
A: In every car there is a driver, the timer with the laptop and a third person with telephone.

Q: How is the functionality of the cars checked?
A: The country operators of the Global Race Control Center can see if everything of the cars is all right, with green status lights.

Q: Like a dashboard?
A: Yes, we have interfaces for every OBU connected. So we can see which OBUs are online and if we have any problems we are alerted with a red light on a dashboard.

Q: Is there always a network connection?
A: No, sometimes we know the cars have no connections to the network, because they know that in some parts there is no GPS connection, but as soon as they have a connections again, it is okay because they don’t need data every minute. They save the data locally too.

Q: Was there any problem with privacy?
A: No, because there is nothing private collected. If you see the BIB number as something private, then yes, but the athletes agree to this with registration.

Q: How big is your team in the Global Racing Control Centre?
A: The main team has about 10 people, including me. About 30 people from datacapo. But timers all around the world work for us, because it’s impossible to send so many people all around the world.

Q: Are there a lot of students working on this project too?
A: Yes, a lot of students were hired.

Chronotrack MiniTrack (RFID Sensor for cars) User Manual:


Rockblock Rugged Sattellite transmitter:



Maximilian Lehrbaum: Upclose Personal

DSC01978#NetAcad Team at Wings for Life #worldrun

Name: Maximilian Lehrbaum
Age: 18
Where do you live? Vienna, Austria and Starnberg, Germany
Education: HTL Ungargasse 2011-2016
Certifications: CCNA R&S V5 (In Progress)
What languages do you speak? German, English

Facebook  ::  Twitter  ::  Linkedin  ::  YouTube

How did you find your interest for Networking – how would you describe it? 

I like to understand how technology is supporting the internet. For me it is fascinating how technology changes almost everything and how people work together to build solutions.

How do you study and learn? How do you motivate yourself?

I use technical books, my notes taken in school to support what was tough in the lesson. My motivation is to have the knowledge to succeed in my work life and a lot of things just happen to be my hobby as well.

Why are you interested in connecting and working together with people from different countries and with different backgrounds in a team?

Having spent time in Austria, Germany, US and India made me see things a bit different and geographical flexibility is becoming more and more important in the IT industry. Many companies work across different countries.

Did you ever think about starting your own company and be an entrepreneur?
If yes, what would be your own business? What is your motivation?

Not yet, maybe once I gain some work experience. It might be easier to work on stuff that I like.

What are some of the challenges you expect to face as an entrepreneur?

Technology will not be enough, it also requires a good understanding of economics. And money will be important to start with a new idea.

What are your hobbies?

Programming, Reading, Swimming

What are your goals?

Finishing the school with good grades, going to a good university and successfully participate at the Skillzaustria competition. After education I hope to find an interesting job in an international IT company.

Who are the persons who support you most? What did they help you to achieve?

Within the family my father who arranged interesting internships, my mother continuously motivating me to work harder for school and my brother who I can ask for help on math and general informatics problems. At school many of the teachers try to support me with extra material and exercises.

What was the wisest thing anyone ever told you and what did it lead to?

If you don’t find the solution, you don’t search hard enough. It leads me to make more research if I have a problem and I always want to know how to find the best solution to make it work.

What would you like to ask the person who is your greatest inspiration?

How he motivates himself and what where his steps to realize his ideas.


Have you ever lived in another country than your current place of living for more than a year?

I am currently living partially in Austria and partially in Germany, because we moved to Germany when I was 2 years old and about three years ago I came back to Austria to attend a special kind of technical colleges which does not exist in Germany. Although never for a complete year in one country but I have also spent 8 months in the US and 8 months in India when my father was on job assignments there.

Do you have friends from a country other than your own?

Other than regular friends in Germany and Austria I have also two friends in Albanian. I got to know them during their one semester long stay in Vienna during which they lived in the same boardinghouse as me and I sometimes helped them with problems at school.

Have you ever cooked a meal (by yourself) for more than 20 people? 

At the gymnasium we had to take turns at cooking for the rest of the group when we were at our school trip. With some experience on how to make Austrian sweets I had an advantage and everyone survived.

Have you ever had a pet?

I had a rabbit for the first few years of my life which was finally eaten by a stray dog. With the cat I have now this is not going to happen again.


Frauenpower bei Cisco – Girls Day im Wiener Office

24.4.2014, Cisco Office Wien

Vienna_girlsday_3_2014  Vienna_girlsday_2_2014

Am Donnerstag gab es im Cisco Office Wien viel mehr weibliche Gesichter zu sehen als sonst. Der Tag stand im Zeichen des Girls Days.  Im Rahmen des Wiener Töchtertages kamen auch wirklich alle der 18 anmeldeten jungen Damen zum Besuch in den Millenium Tower. Was man an so an einem Girls Day alles erfahren kann, zeigt am besten die Agenda des Tages.

Die Agenda des Tages

  • Vorstellung der Cisco Technologie inkl. Fragen und Antworten von und mit Ulrike Egger und Clemens Geyer – Ehrengäste Cisco CEO Dr. Achim Kaspar und die Wiener Gemeinderätin Mag.a (FH) Tanja Wehsely
  • Frauenpower bei Cisco – Karrieregespäch im Telepresence Format mit Anna Gillitzer und Tanja Stengg aus Amsterdam, Jutta Jerlich aus Basel und Rosita Kashanipour aus Prag
  • Wie funktioniert das Internet? – Clemens Geyer
  • Professionelle Telepresence Demo mit Markus Hatz, Anne Horve, Vemun Waksvik und Annemarie Hauge
  • Resume und Feedback

Hineingeschnuppert haben wir in folgende berufliche Rollen bei Cisco:
Virtual Systems Engineer, Kunden Account Manager, Partner Account Manager, Program Management Cisco Networking Academy, Associate Systems Engineer, Associate Sales Representatives, Supply Chain Assistant, Administrative Assistant

Wir bedanken uns bei den vielen Mitwirkenden für Ihre Beiträge  – zusammen können wir viel mehr auf die Beine stellen, als jeder Einzelne. Das ist auch die Philosophie und Arbeitskultur bei Cisco. Eine Antwort auf die vielen Fragen, die wir über das Arbeiten bei Cisco erhalten haben.

Wir hoffen, guten Input für die Karrierewahl geliefert zu haben und bedanken uns für das tolle Feedback bei allen Teilnehmerinnen.


Die Mitwirkenden:
Vielen Dank an Clemens Geyer fürs Fäden Ziehen,  Anja Hörtner, Ulrike Egger, Markus Hatz, Anna Gillitzer, Tanja Stengg, Rosita Kashanipour, Martin Krejca, Anne Horve, Vemun Waksvik und Annemarie Hauge, Günter Herold für die tollen Fotos.

How 10 Year Olds Explain Cloud Computing
A conference call
Explore a Google data center with Street View

Ein Router hat wenige Löcher, ein Switch hat viele

Euroskills Gewinner 2013… so die treffende Bescheibung der Hauptbestandteile eines Internetdatenhighways für die Laien der Netzwerktechnik von DI Johann Moitzi.

Staatsmeisterschaft Enterprise ICT Team Challenge

Vom 21. bis 23. November 2013 fand die Staatsmeisterschaft im Bewerb Enterprise ICT Team Challenge als nationale Vorauswahl für EuroSkills 2014 statt. Ort des Geschehens war das Schulzentrum Ungargasse. Es gab 28 Startanmeldungen, die in einer Vorausscheidung gegeneinander angetraten. Die fünf besten 3er-Teams bestritten die Staatsmeisterschaft. Und wer hat gewonnen?

Hartung Felix / Puschmann Alexander / Rieger David GOLD
Kment Georg / Leitner Moritz / Steigl Dominik SILVER
Bock Jennifer / Herkel Dominik /Kaiser Olover BRONZE

Hartung Team EuroskillsGratulation an die Gewinner und alle Teilnehmer. Sie gehören in jedem Fall zu den besten Nachwuchstalenten in Österreich.

Das Gewinnerteam wird im Oktober 2014 an den EuroSkills in Lille, Frankreich Österreich vertreten. Wir halten die Daumen und wünschen viel Energie für die Vorbereitungszeit.

Der Dank für den engagierten herausragenden Einsatz ergeht an alle Teilnehmer, Lehrer, Juroren, den Skills Österreich und all seinen Partnern, für die Sachpreise von der Firma Cisco und Kapsch:

Direktorin SZU Mag. Dr. Martina Mikovits
Abteilungsvorstand HTL Mag. Peter Graf
MR Mag. Wolfgang Pachatz, Bmukk
DI Dr. Johann Moitzi
DI Michael Vogel
Mag. Johannes Neuhofer
DI  Gerhard Vitovec
DI  Christian Schöndorfer

Viel Erfolg für den Einsatz in Lille 2014 und alles Gute für die Vorbereitungszeit bis dahin!

Schulzentrum Ungargasse
Skills Österreich
Euroskills 2. bis 4.10.2014 Lille France
Diplomarbeit Secure Remote Administration

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