Well I finally polished off watching Day 1 of the IPexpert video on demand bootcamp. My plan so far has been to watch through each video section, really focus and try to understand everything completely, and take really good notes while I watch. On the configuration videos I have been going along with Scott as much as I can with the equipment I have in my basement. I got hung up on the more advanced frame-relay configurations that had 3 spokes + 1 hub because I ran out of DTE/DCE crossover cables. I understood it all, I just have not been able to practice them, which I know is important. I just received my shipment of 7 more cables, so I really need to go back to those videos and work through stuff like back to back frame relay, PPP over frame relay, multilink frame relay, and some of the more advanced topologies. I suppose I could have used dynagen as well, but I really like working with the real thing a lot!

That reminds me, I would really appreciate some feedback from the community on a few things. First, regarding practicing single topics that are covered in a specific video or whatever and not just doing full scale 8 hour massive labs — Do you guys rent time on racks to say go through the vod configuration sections 1 piece at a time, or do you just rent time for full labs? Or just have your own equipment/dynagen? I plan on starting the lab workbooks after I complete the entire video bootcamp. When you dive into a lab in a workbook, do you guys just bust it out for 8+ hours at a time the first time through, or break it up into sections? Can you rent time for certain sections and then save your configs so you can spread the lab out on your own time, or do you pretty much have to find an 8 hour block to donate to the router gods?

I ordered up the infamous “Routing TCP/IP Volume 2” today from Cisco Press. I am looking forward to “fresh meat” for reading, but at the same time I sort of fear it in a way. I KNOW that BGP is one of my weak points. For some reason I have always dreaded it. I look forward to conquering that problem : ) I think something I really need to work on is facing my weak points head on. When I am reading a book or doing something I know very well I feel confident and can get really into it…but when I get to one of my weak points like BGP, QoS, Multicast I have a tendency to not focus my attention fully, or to get sidetracked, or to make excuses like “oh it’s not a core topic…what are the chances…” Well, hopefully I will enjoy this book much more than “Cisco LAN switching” which I found to be nearly useless in my study despite it’s reputation.

– Joe

I have moved onto working with Narbik’s Soup To Nuts workbook just to make sure I have gone through it once before I head out to his bootcamp. I should be able to finish this in the next week or so. It all depends on what I can get done at home. The baby is having NO mercy whatsoever on us :). We just had to change his formula this week because he wasn’t digesting the previous one all that well. Up to the day we changed it he probably only slept a few hours a day. The weekends were getting exhausting for everyone. Hopefully that will change now and we will have everything back to normal.

I am hoping to get through a lot more of the soup-to-nuts this weekend and will make a solid schedule after that. I am looking to get back into the Internetwork Expert Vol II labs right after I finish this one up. I would like to complete four to five of them and then work on the five day bootcamp class on demand before heading out to Narbik’s. It is a lot of material, but I have time. I think anyways…