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Running Lean

By ToolMan2010 ·
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Passing and Failing the CCNA Exam

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

About 5 years ago, I was working for a company that performed security assessments. We frequently ran into cisco router access lists that needed to be evaluated, so I started studying up on Cisco commands, etc. I found a neat book that had a lot of concise information and when I finished it, I ran right down to a testing center and passed the CCNA exam.<br /><br />Now I work at a place that is almost 95% Cisco equipment. I deal with pix, router, and switch configurations everyday. I troubleshoot VPN connections, sniff network traffic, and write scripts to access devices at 50 sites. I paid $125 to take the CCNA exam back in the summer and got my hat handed to me. (This means I <strong>didn't</strong> pass.) Missed it by less than 75 points, but I had studied for about 30 hours using a CCNA prep guide.<br /><br />It wasn't that important to my employer that I pass that exam, but I did want to put "CCNA" on my business cards.<br /><br />My wife asked what I wanted for Christmas this year and I asked for simulator software so I could work on OSPF problems in an environment similar to the exam test questions.<br /><br />Am I ate up or what?

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Passing and Failing the CCNA Exam

by andyw In reply to Passing and Failing the C ...

<p>Check out SemSim for the source of that simulator.  They had a deal going on that was pretty good.</p>
<p>Tell'em I sent ya! ;-) </p>

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Passing and Failing the CCNA Exam

by andyw In reply to Passing and Failing the C ...

<p>Check out SemSim for the source of that simulator.  They had a deal going on that was pretty good.</p>
<p>Tell'em I sent ya! ;-) </p>

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Geek Gifts

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

I started reading the discussion on Geek gifts posted here at TR yesterday and by the end of the day, I had ordered from almost every website that had cool stuff. Fortunately, I found my wife's present early. Man, what a hard way to make a living. The best new technology this year from the catgory of things I never thougth of is the Light Scribe. You can print your own monochrome disk labels directly to the non-media side of a DVD or CD. I cranked out my first two disks and have decided that a lot of my relatives are getting picture disks instead of a Christmas Card. More about my online shopping spree: I bought airzookas, ninja guns, cross-over cable adapters, dvds, and T-shirts. I hope shipping goes well.<br />

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Python Cookbooks, working through errors in the sample code

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

Python runs better on Linux. Hands Down. The things I can do in my Win32 envornment are pretty cool, but there are handicaps. I was working from the new Python Cookbook on Friday and found a neat recipe for calling the notepad program to present editable text to a user and then read the edited text. The author had used a command to spawn the notepad program and several versions of the command will not work on a Win32 system. Since there is not a lot of documentation on this particular command, I got a chance to trial and error all day. At about 10 minutes before close of business, I found the solution. I hope I get good mileage out of the new recipe.<br /><br />While I was working through the possible options, someone kept chatting with me on IM. You hate to block them becuase they are nice, but I need a better way to get my work done when they get in a chatty mood. Maybe an IM agent that chats back with responses like "How does that make you feel?"<br /><br />This is my 3rd blog entry. I don't think anybody reads the blogs, but it gives me a chance to sort through to see if anything really interesting is happening in my day.<br />

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Wireless Hacks

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

<br />I was on the road last week, working at several of our sites that depend on long-range wireless for connectivity. I needed some deeper background in wireless, so I found two books that helped very specifically with my systems. The first book was "Wireless Hacks" and the second was a quick reference from Cisco Press. Using background from the books, I was able to improve the connection at one site tremendously. The remote point is on a barge on a river and it's location changes with the level of water in the river. There are about three workstations on the barge. As we tweaked out the radios to get the best connection, I was able to get a 1ms response consistently to devices up in the office on land. I still saw a spike about every thirty packets or so, but the users saw no latency in surfing and email applications. One tip, we set up a persistant ping and this semed to help keep the connection consistent. We added this to one of the workstations as a maintenance step during working hours. My guess is that the ping traffic keeps the radios from going to any kind of idle state.<br />  <br />

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Dealing with an Xbox in my house

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

It seems so long ago that I purchased our first Xbox. I got it home and hooked it up. We played for about four hours and went outside to start cooking something on the grill. My black lab puppy chewed through both controller cables. I taped them up with electrician's tape and it worked ok for a while. I discovered that keeping up an Xbox is quite the maintance challange. <br /><br />Yesterday, we discovered that the Xbox has more problems. I gave my oldest daughter some money to go get a new one. Why not? we already had the infrastructure in place. They have not come down a lot in price. She tells me we can buy one from GameStop as a used unit for about $130. <br /><br />She bought some dance pads with microphones so they can dance and sing and be scored on their performance. I just want to shoot big rocks and play missle command. I think my wife is buying me a GameBoy game that has most of the Atari classics on them.<br /><br />But it is great to have everybody home. My oldest is having a gingerbread house building contest tonight with her friends. Last year we laughed at ghetto houses with gingerbread crack dealers. This year, they are planning on several entries with trees through the roofs and blue tarps covering up the holes. <br /><br />If I don't get a chance to get back here, Have a Merry Christmas. For those atheists here, may you find the courage to beleive in something other than your own skin.<br />

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Air Rockets - Coolest Present I bought for myself

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

I bought an air rocket from the same site that I found airzookas. This rocket uses air pressure for propulsion. It works surprisingly well and entertains for hours. I only changed one thing about using the rocket. I did not pump it up with a bicycle pump, I used a 12V compressor. I also noticed that the discs that you use to regulate how much pressure builds up before it shoots, they change characteristics with the temperature. The colder the temp, the stiffer the disc, and the more pressure it takes to burst the disc.

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Battle of the Ages - CLI vs. GUI

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

Last year, I wrote over 9000 lines of Python code. 95% of this code helps me manage Cisco devices. 99.99% of this code only works from the command line. <br />Every time I start on some code to use a GUI interface, I get wrapped up in making it the "best" user interface. I had much rather spend my time writing more efficient code. One of my most challenging pieces of work has been to mask stored passwords. <br />Should I be working on GUI interfaces or plunging on to write more code that only I can run? I am the Lone Network Ranger after all.

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My First Paid Programming Job

by ToolMan2010 In reply to Running Lean

Under the heading "Who Cares?"....<br /><br />My first resume had 13 computer languages listed at the top. Thank God I listed BASIC. Computer Science Corporation was looking for someone to take over a project that had been started in GW BASIC. They called me in, interviewed, and offered me the job because I was nuts enough to list BASIC. <br /><br />There were hundreds of lines of GW Basic code. I went out at lunch time to a local computer store and bought a copy of Quick Basic. I changed numerous lines of code to work with the compiled version, compiled what we had into an exe file and it ran so fast, they asked me to go back and put in delays because it looked like the program wasn't doing anything.<br /><br />The second stage of the project was to transmit ascii-file forms across a modem connection. I went out and bought procomm plus the next day at lunch. I scripted the transfer process and threw in some zip compression to make the transfer zoom. Again, it worked too fast and they needed the government to feel like there was more going on, so we added some delay.<br /><br />I left soon after to pursue a career in the Air Force. I heard from my boss that they hired a COBOL programmer to rewrite it all in COBOL so it would slow down and there would be more code to show the customer. Sometimes you have to really understand what the big picture is before you get upset that it isn't being done the fastest, quickest, or most direct way.<br />

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