Coolest Features of new NetPro (CSC)

Unanswered Question
Dec 14th, 2009

Hello all,

You can post here which features from the new site you like the most and why. The goal is twofold. On the one hand, you can suggest or give hints to others about how to get the best of the new site. On the other hand, we can all have the chance to say a more elaborate 'thank you' to the people who work in front of and behind the scenes for the new site to be up, running and continuously improving. To better serve the second purpose (and minimize post-migration losses ), let's try to avoid talking about bugs here!

The title of this thread is taken actually from Dan's suggestion in very long thread, which was recently closed by Dan (that's how the Guinness record for the longest thread ever got lost, despite our strong efforts in that direction ). As I was saying in that historical thread, I like the 'Incoming Links' feature found in pages which have CSC documents. If you embed a link in a post of yours in a Discussion, and link points to a document in CSC, when you go back to the document you can see a reverse association of the document with the Discussion. Here is an example document:
I find this useful because if search leads someone to a document and they have more questions, they can go to the relevant discussions easily and perhaps find additional information or perhaps avoid opening a discussion for things that have already been discussed. As for those who write the documents, they can update them more easily if an error or additional information is found from the associated Discussions.

In that long thread I also referred to the modules placed at the bottom of documents (which point back to CSC Discussions) and I was not very enthusiastic with those at the time. However, as Dan pointed out, those are now much better than they used to be in the old NetPro era. I had seen those modules being ported to the new site from an appearance perspective, but was prejudiced and hadn't explored them further. I went to the following document (yes, I "randomly" chose one that talks about BGP ):
and had the pleasure of reading the following discussion:
For those of you who might have similar prejudices, I would recommend not to miss them when some document puzzles you or need more information on a topic covered by the document you are reading. Overall, I think 'Incoming Links' next to CSC documents and modules at the bottom of documents complement each other as methods to associate documents with Discussions. They both need some type of intelligence, either automated and/or human, so I guess which method performs better for each topic will depend on various factors.

Best Regards,


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Overall Rating: 5 (9 ratings)
JORGE RODRIGUEZ Tue, 12/15/2009 - 10:41

Hello Maria/All

There are so many good features , but one that at least for me  see most rewarding , and definately a plus in new netpro system, is the ability from a one mouse click be able to  pop right  out like magic an image attachment from threads without actually having to download the image  attachement itself...  this is great to see net diagrams  in a very quick way, either clicking again to minimize the image and get back to the thread and do it back and forth to reference the image.. saves lots of time in downloading the attachment  - although the ability to download the attachement is there for your choice to save.

Great feature ..

B. Regards


marikakis Tue, 12/15/2009 - 12:40

Hello Jorge,

I agree with you, that there are a lot of good things in the new site. I also find useful the specific feature you described with the images.

I also like the 'status' messages, because they gave me the opportunity to enjoy some pretty good laughs!

I forgot to say in my initial post that there is a million dollar prize for the best feature described. If we can't decide, we will all share the prize. Up to now I was the only winner, but I've learned to get by on very little and it would be a real problem for me, so thanks for playing Jorge, and please take 5 dollars in advance!

Kind Regards,


Daniel Bruhn Tue, 12/15/2009 - 19:45

Hi Maria,

Thanks for starting this thread.  I hope some of our members can find some good tips on how to best utilize the new features we have to offer.  For those of you who haven't looked at the "My View" tab on the homepage I'd suggest doing so (you need to login to see it).  I find it a great place to personalize a single page to only show content that is relevant to you.



BTW: Can I share in this million dollar prize you're offering??

marikakis Tue, 12/15/2009 - 22:52

Hi Dan,

I have used all the features mentioned in this thread and still think the 'Incoming Links' is the coolest. Can't you guys do any better than that? You will be able to share the prize when I will send you the million dollar bill. Just remove your share before giving us the rest of the amount!

Thanks for thanking me. I hope you are grateful enough to fulfill two wishes for me:

1. A super-button feature disabling moderator's 'dig logs and re-post' feature. I have found a workaround for this, but I bet it won't last for long.

2. A permanent pink color for my own badge. I like my badge now, but won't last for long, and the next one I like will take a lifetime to earn.

Kind Regards,


Rob Huffman Wed, 12/16/2009 - 09:56

Hi Maria,

Great thread my friend +5 points for this direction and, of course,

the fantastic humor!

I'm going to ask for 2 cent$ from the overall prize money, as that is all

my contribution here is worth. I really love alot of things about the new site

and agree that Dan and Tim and the whole NetPro team is to be congratulated

on this success!!

I have been loving the "Browse" feature - just today I discovered that there are

447,463 Netpro members registered (WOW!!) and I also found an excellent

Top NetPro Interview with Joe Clarke from Cisco, both by using the "Browse"




marikakis Wed, 12/16/2009 - 23:48

Hi Rob,

I will try to keep my posts more serious from now on, so I won't be defeating the alleged goals of this thread ('try' is the keyword here ).

Yesterday I saw the numbers you mentioned (WOW indeed!) here:

It's also possible to see who is online (or at least logged in). I don't recall this being possible before.

And there are many search options there.

I also like avatars and pictures for whoever wants to use them. Some years ago I wasn't particularly curious, but as years go by and I get to talk to the same people many times, curiosity evolves. Besides curiosity, I think they make the pages look better (especially the avatars), and I get to see very quickly who responds to what. In the Discussions tabs we can see the username of person that replied last, which also helps in that direction.

(BTW: very nice picture you have in your profile Rob, please tell your wife a girl from the "**** herd" says she is very pretty! )

I also like the fact that people names do not show by default. This might seem to contradict to the previous things I was saying, but it's not. I know some of you like to respond to people saying "Hi Rob" for example and made relevant requests to Dan, but I think people should get to choose if they want to display this information. From my own experience I know there have been some exceptional times I wished people could not tell if I am a woman. Which brings as to the "pink badge" and I have to say I was not joking about that. Light pink please! (I think, once upon a time, a badge color close to pink existed, but the guys freaked out and it was withdrawn, can't tell for sure, sometimes I confuse reality with the stories I make up ).

Did I say I like emoticons? Those are more useful with jokes than with serious cases, but when it comes to jokes they can make the content more live.

Kind Regards,


Rob Huffman Thu, 12/17/2009 - 05:48

Hi Maria,

With all seriousness, please don't stop the humor and irony in your great posts

If there is no fun here, then what's the point after all. My wife (Carmen) will be happy to

hear your nice comments, but when she finds out that there are actually women in the

****Herd I will no longer be allowed to participate (Just kidding!)

I was originally dismayed that peoples names did not show up by default, but now I tend

to agree with your assessment. If someone wants us to know their name the post

generally includes a sign-off with something like;

Kind Regards - Maria


Cheers! - Rob

And if they don't then I just address them with something like;

Hi 10s23rty78yu_33NERDYxx1,

A couple of those and they generally climb on board

Keep up the great work here Maria (+5),



marikakis Thu, 12/17/2009 - 07:01

Hi Rob,

I understand, you don't have to say anything to her. Keep it for yourself. She might get suspicious about the context that lead to the revelation that you are married!

I won't stop having fun now that I started more aggressively, but humour is a risky business, especially in a multicultural environment. In Greece people are often sarcastic even about themselves, and I've seen this not being appreciated sometimes by people from other nations. I like English and American humour very much, but can't say I am familiar with many other kinds.  In addition, in these forums, humour is better received when you are doing it while also resolving some people's issues or being helpful in a more objective manner.

So, how about discussing the 'Friend' feature now? Do you think this is helpful? I would be interested to see statistics of its usage. As far as I am concerned, I could add say about 4 people as my friends as a symbolic gesture, but I would like to avoid angry wives knocking on my door!

BTW: Rob, please stop rating my posts or my badge will turn yellow/gold before Dan has a chance to respond to my request! Yellow makes me look pale, and gold has "good resistance to oxidative corrosion and excellent quality as a conductor of electricity", so it could better be used in special electronics and astronaut helmets! (Hmm, if you tell your wife I said this, she might not be suspicious about anything anymore )

Kind Regards,


marikakis Fri, 12/18/2009 - 00:22

Hi all,

One more thing. I like the Overview tab in the subsections. I tend to use the Discussions tab more often so that I am able to see active and inactive Discussions. However, after following a particular Discussion for 2 weeks now in Wan, Routing and Switching (another opportunity for Guinness record and I am again a participant, this record by no means will escape me ), I came to appreciate more the capability of being able to jump to the last post in a Discussion using the Overview tab. I still have the threaded view to 'flat' for general performance reasons and the Overview tab helps me to not reconsider this setting on a case per case basis.

Kind Regards,


marikakis Fri, 12/18/2009 - 02:08

Hi again,

A couple of more things. I see it is possible for me to Edit Thread using "sidebar box 'ACTIONS'" (yeah, copy-paste from the page code ), which also means that the 'tags' can be edited, as well as the 'Subject'. I haven't actually done any of those, but have seen in another thread the author changing the 'Subject' to declare issue as resolved. Maybe we could encourage authors to change any one of those sometimes, if it seems appropriate to do so.

In the same sidebar box 'ACTIONS', I see that I can 'Move thread' to another NetPro community section. So, author has the option to move the thread if another section is more appropriate, instead of opening duplicates.

And of course all the other options in this sidebar box look very useful, although I haven't used anyone up to now.

Kind Regards,


marikakis Fri, 12/18/2009 - 04:33

Quick question: If somebody adds you as a friend, do you have to do some type of approval or is approval implied by not removing them (although you should because they are sometimes wicked )?

Daniel Bruhn Fri, 12/18/2009 - 07:14

Hi Maria,

You do need to approve them first.  If someone 'friends' you under the 'account' drop down there will be a link 'items waiting approval'.  You'll need to approve or deny them there.



Rob Huffman Fri, 12/18/2009 - 06:40

Hey Maria,

I have to rate great posts, so Gold is in your future Maybe Dan can

perform some reverse Alchemy and turn Gold to Pink (Hahaha!!)

My wife is very, very cool! You can't post up 10,000+ posts without

an understanding wife. I try not to spend too much time "Nerding"

(as she calls it) while we are together. So no worries here.

Canadians love self-deprecating humor as well, so this I why I love

to poke fun at myself first and foremost As you said, humor is

not always welcomed here, but for the most part it is. There are

some pretty funny people here who keep me coming back!

(Leo comes to mind!)

As for "Friends" - you can't have too many!!



marikakis Fri, 12/18/2009 - 07:45

Hi Rob,

Yes, Leo is really funny! But you guys sometimes say jokes about baseball, drinks I have to look up in Wikipedia, etc., so sometimes I can't get it fast enough to laugh as loud as your jokes deserve. This is my fortune among you and is fine actually.

Thanks for resolving my question about 'friends'. I was puzzled because our well-known wicked moderator used his super-powers once again! (wicked from merriam-webster: "going beyond reasonable or predictable limits : of exceptional quality or degree ). I hope you guys like the "fastball" part . I also hope he will use those super-powers for the good purpose of turning my badge pink, perhaps with the the reverse alchemy procedure you mentioned!

Don't worry, I don't have many friends because my levels of friendship are binary represented by a single binary digit. That doesn't mean I don't like talking to people however, and I consider some people here as friends in some other sense (you know, in logic circuits besides 0 and 1, there can be a high impedance state, ok this tri-state metaphor might not be perfect, since 3rd state means disconnected circuit, but anyway ).

I have posted some things about 'History' feature (now trying to be more objectively useful after all this post ) in another thread, because Jon asked before I had a chance to update this thread (which has kind of become my personal blog, but anyway):

Kind Regards,


p.s. Kind of missed Dan's post while writing this in small doses. Dan, is there a hope for me to mask my badge with pink color or should I forget this admittedly strange request?

Rob Huffman Fri, 12/18/2009 - 08:41

Hi Maria,


First double post here...sorry about that



Rob Huffman Fri, 12/18/2009 - 08:40

Hi Maria,

Back to the question @ hand (loved the fastball reference +5)

I took Dan's advice and went to the "My View" page, excellent

way to customise the NetPro look and feel. Great tips my friend.+5




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