The active bridge can be reprogrammed ``on the fly'', with loadable modules called switchlets. To demonstrate the use of the active property, we incrementally extend what is initially a programmable buffered repeater with switchlets into a self-learning bridge, and then a bridge supporting spanning tree algorithms. To demonstrate the agility that active networking gives, we show how it is possible to upgrade a network from an ``old'' protocol to a ``new'' protocol on-the-fly. Moreover, we are able to take advantage of information unavailable to the implementors of either protocol to validate the new protocol and fall back to the old protocol if an error is detected. This shows that the Active Bridge can protect itself from some algorithmic failures in loadable modules.