Thursday, November 23, 2006

Help with Cisco

For those of you just starting out in networking, especially Cisco networking, or for those of you who just want to share what you know, this is the place. I have spent the last 12 years working as a network engineer for the largest financial services firms, so I think I can offer some good advice to those just starting out.

Please feel free to post any questions you may have from your CCNA/CCNP classes or your own studying. I would be happy to help out where I can. If I can learn a thing or two as well so much the better!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

RoboForm for the Mac: 1Passwd

1Passwd 2.0 is out and it has some great new features. In case you didn't see my earlier post, 1Passwd is a password manager and form filler extraordinaire for the Mac. For those of you looking for a Mac version of RoboForm, you can stop looking. First, Siber Systems doesn't make one. Second, 1Passwd is all you need for the Mac. If you have used RoboForm on your PC, you can export your passcards to 1Passwd on your Mac.

If you are not already convinced about 1Passwsd, consider that it also prevents phishing attacks.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Great Cisco Books from O'Reilly

As promised, here are some great Cisco books from O'Reilly:

1. Hardening Cisco Routers by Thomas Akin

This is a small book, but every Network Engineer should have a copy in his/her library. Invaluable!

2. Cisco IOS Cookbook, (Second Edition) by Kevin Dooley, Ian J. Brown

The second edition adds MPLS, Security, IPv6 and IP Mobility. Real world examples makes this book a must have.

3. Cisco IOS in a Nutshell, (Second Edition) by James Boney

Keep this book handy, as you never know when you will need to reference that BGP command. A lifesaver!

More to come.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Best Study Guides for the CCNA, CCNP

Anyone looking to pass their CCNA and/or CCNP should really check out The Bryant Advantage

Chris Bryant also has an excellent blog, where he provides daily CCNA & CCNP questions.

Best books for CCNA, CCNP study

Excluding the Preparation and Certification Series of books from Cisco Press, here are my Top 5 recommended books to help you pass the CCNA and/or CCNP exams (these are MUST HAVE books):

1. Routing TCP/IP Volume I by Jeff Doyle
2. Routing TCP/IP Volume II by Jeff Doyle
3. Internet Routing Architectures by Sam Halabi
4. Cisco LAN Switching by Kennedy Clark, Kevin Hamilton
5. OSPF Network Design Solutions by Tom Thomas

I have some more excellent recommendations from both Cisco Press and O'Reilly - STAY TUNED!!!

Certification Magazine

For those of you going after your certs, and even those of you who are not, Certification Magazine is a great addition to your networking library. If you are consulting, this is a must read. And, you can't beat the cost - FREE!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Take a bite out of Apple

Yes, it seems like Windows Vista finally has a ship date. Good for Microsoft, finally. But, if I can impart any real advice with this blog, let it be this: BUY A MAC.

I was a Windows user for 12+ years and I have worked in IT all that time. I am a little embarrassed it took me this long to realize just how much time I was wasting with the PC.

I should add that there is, and probably always will be, a need for Windows. Thus, I believe Apple's decision to go with Intel processors is going to turn out to be one of the best business decisions of all time. The tide is shifting.....and people are a switching.

I don't think I will ever buy a PC again......all I need is my Mac, which now can run Windows if I need it to. Did you know that Macs come with text to speech software built in? I couldn't list all of the software built into OS X, which makes it so superior to Windows. Yes, Macs may seem a little expensive; however, when you actually look at what you are getting for the price - and consider what the same features would cost on a PC - it really becomes a no-brainer. GET A MAC.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Top 10 Books Every Networker Should Have

What's in your library? Cisco Press is celebrating 10 years - Congrats! - and you can choose your top 10 books here

The BEST FREE Network Tools

Anyone in need of a TFTP server or a subnet calculator? What network engineer isn't?

Download one or both at

RoboForm for the Mac?

When I switched to the Mac, the first thing I googled was "RoboForm for the Mac" - sadly, it does not exist. But, I did not despair long, for there was already a great product for the Mac that supported not only Safari and Firefox, but Camino and other browsers as well: 1Password

This is a great product - you can even import your RoboForm passcards.

For those switchers out there, check out the Switchers' Blog

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cisco TelePresence

If anyone has any real world experience with Cisco's new product, TelePresence Meeting, please share.

I saw Cisco's "spot" on Vanished and if this product looks half as good in real life, I'm sold.

Too bad about Vanished, though. Great show!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mac vs. PC

I am a long time PC user (over 12 years) and this past June I got my first Mac. All I can say now is.....there is no going back. To the PC, that is. And, I can say more, as well. I have always been a PC user, most likely due to Microsoft's stranglehold on the PC market. I had been aware of the Mac and its reputation for having a superior OS. However, it was really a case of out of sight, out of mind. I had no need for a Mac. If only I knew what I had been missing!

After having a Mac for 5 months, I can say, without equivocation, there is no way I would ever go back to a PC. NO WAY. And, the fact that my Mac has an Intel processor means I don't HAVE to either. Indeed, whether I like it or not, there still is a place for Windows in this world - the corporate world will probably be tied to Windows as they are still tied to the Mainframe. If I had my druthers, I would stay in my Mac OS X bubble and not come out; however, I can't be that boy and I need to use Windows now and again. Thankfully, my Mac and its Intel processor afford me two solutions: Boot Camp and Parallels.

Boot Camp, which will be integrated into Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, allows you to dual-boot your Mac; you can boot into OS X or Windows - just not at the same time. Parallels, on the other hand, is virtualization software, which runs as an app in OS X and allows you to run Windows within OS X. Thus, with either solution, I have my Windows issues addressed.

Plainly and simply, Macs just work better - they work like a computer should. In Windows, to install an application, or even to uninstall, you have to go through a whole setup process. And, when you uninstall, you may not be removing all of the application. On a Mac, to install the application, you merely drag the application's icon into your Applications folder. Done. To uninstall, drag the application's icon to the trash. Done.

The only feature I have enjoyed on Windows that is not on the Mac - and that I consider a worthwhile feature - is System Restore. This has saved me countless times. But, in thinking about it.....this is Windows, so I would need this feature. On a Mac, not so much.

I am not alone in my opinion.....Apple may only have 3%-5% of the market now, but have you seen all the TV spots?  Sales of the iPod have certainly helped Mac sales, not to mention positive reviews by people like Walt Mossberg

I would love to see Apple continue to grow and more people realize just how great the Mac is.....well, not too many people.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Study Aids

Has anyone heard anything - good or bad - about the new Quick Reference Sheets from Cisco Press? I would be interested to know if the CCNP Sheets (also called Short Cuts) were of any help in studying for the new exams.

What is the consensus for best Cisco study aid for the CCNA, CCNP, etc? My library is predominantly Cisco Press; however, I also like O'Reilly.

Any thoughts, opinions, etc. are welcome.