Sunday, January 29, 2006

Making the time to study - life style change

I am always amazed at how big a mental change I have to make in order to get back into the study habit. Maybe frustrated would be a better word. Anyway, I finally have put the investment in on getting materials to study and now have a small study group together to try and keep me on track to learn and practice all the info I need.

I think when you are working day in and day out you forget how much effort you have to go through to learn new material and to retain it for access in a quick format like an exam. At work I always know I can turn around and grab either a book, a reference manual or look up on the Internet about some subject. No such luck in a closed book exam format. It can be a wake up call for those who think obtaining a certification is just a matter of knowing the material, its knowing how to take a test in the format and parameters the certification test writers wanted you to know the material.

Who knows if it is worth the time and effort... but at this point I am gonna keep up the studying.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cisco Certification Forums Site is a forums discussion site for Cisco Certifications. I just got a profile for the site so I have no idea how good/bad/ugly it is. I typically read through newsgroups to keep up on stuff and answer a few questions here and there. Since there are so few sites that are really dedicated to Network folks it is worth mentioning them all.
- Ed

EnableMode Expert Site

I just ordered up the CCIE RS Written Study Guide from the EnableMode Expert site. Brad Ellis (CCIE #5796) is the technical writer for the material and I am excited to get the material to start studying. For over 500 pages of study material paying $100 is a good deal. Plus, it is current to the new 2006 written exam blueprints.
Brad also teaches over at Network Learning and they offer a bootcamp for the written exam. That looks interesting and might be worth the time after I make a few passes through his monster study guide.
- Ed

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Microsoft MVP - Mike Pennacchi

Mike Pennacchi with Network Protocol Specialists has just been awarded as a Microsoft MVP. Since there are only about 3,000 worldwide covering a wide varity of subjects it is a big deal! Congraduations Mike - it is exciting having such a talented individual join the fold.
- Ed

Thursday, January 05, 2006

EBCUG - NetScout Presentation

I attended the EBCUG meeting tonight where NetScout gave a presentation on their product. I will be using this product pretty soon as our tool for performance and reporting of our network. It does some pretty cool reporting that folks should definitely check out. If you are trying to do regular reporting on the performance of your network this is pretty much the Cadillac of solutions. If your shop has been running MRTG or Cricket for a few years but are itching to get more out of your tools this is the way to go.

Now I just need to find the time for the training class. Go figure.

- Ed

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Security Holes Found In RIM BlackBerry Service

Slashdot has a interesting article on a hack for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server solution. Hard to believe that a company as big as RIM with a product as widely deployed as the BlackBerry would still have issues with unencrypted data storage in their database design. Makes you wonder how many other products suffer from the same flaws.
- Ed

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year - resolutions?

Well, it is 2006. Hard to believe. Doug Spindler and I will be hard at work to make some Vista and IPv6 labs available sooner rather then later. We also are trying to get some exciting stuff going with Pacific IT Professionals and SFNTUG. With any luck we will have a very exciting year ahead.
I also think I need to get some certifications nailed down this year. I let my CCNP laps and I think I need to either get my CCIE written passed soon or figure out what Cisco cert I feel like getting.
This year, I am going to focus on some new subjects:
Virtual Machines

But I think I still need to keep up on:

I think that is plenty to try and keep current about.

Best wishes to everyone and good luck on your personal tech education goals. I know first hand how tough it is to keep up on everything.
- Ed