been a while..

I feel like a horrible blogger.  I haven’t updated in a few weeks.  We’ve gotten into the full swing of this transition at work, and I’ve been working like a dog.  I haven’t had a day off in two weeks, and there’s no stopping in sight.

I currently work in a Foundry shop, but with our recent acquisition, we are in the process of plannning our migration to Cisco.  By August, our entire corporate network will have been re-IP’d and all gear will be standardized on 6500’s, 3750’s, 3800’s, and a few 7200’s.  I’m excited about the transition, but it’s a lot of work.

Because of everything going on, I haven’t had any time to really study or focus on labs.  The Skingers at Trainsignal were very cool in hooking me up with training materials for BSCI, BCMSN, and asked me to review the CCNA materials.  I’ve been through the BSCI videos twice, and they were awesome.  After failing the exam in february, I went back through the videos and paid attention to the sections where I was weak.  Chris Bryant had a way of explaining things so that they make sense, and he was very thorough with the material.  For some reason, I missed some topics in the books that he made sure to touch upon.  I’ve been really impressed with the VBT.  They’ve allowed me to take as many notes as I want without having to stop mid page to write, then continue.  Things seem to flow much better.  Also, having Chris pull up the racks with different topologies to demonstrate configurations and what he’s teaching is awesome. 

I’m also considering selling off some of the gear in my rack to make room for a mac mini and/or iMac.  I figure by the time I put money into RAM and flash upgrades for some of the 2600XM’s, I can get a mini, anyway.  Add a few USB nics to the mix, and I’d be set.

BTW, what’s with this new dashboard look on wordpress?  I don’t think I care for it very much.


I haven’t abandoned this blog.. I haven’t stopped prepping for the BSCI exam, although I definitely didn’t have as much time as I wanted to last week.  My goal was to take the exam again by Friday.  Instead, I my youngest was hospitalized, and I spent half the week camped out in a hospital room.

We have visitors from our new parent company this week.  Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak in some study time in the evenings.

got some rack time in

I managed to get about 6 hours of solid rack time in today. I started at the beginning of the authorized self study guide and worked through all of the chapter labs. I’m pretty solid on EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, and redistribution as far as BSCI is concerned. I forgot where to place a summary address in IS-IS and had to look that up really quick. Aside from that, I was pretty solid.

When I got to multicast, I ended up taking a 15-20 minute breather to find a multicast traffic generator for Windows. After a quick google search, I settled on LiveCaster. It’s an MP3 streaming utility, and gives you some decent options for configuring your streams, and advertising with SDP/SAP. I’m still shaky on multicast, but getting to actually work through the labs today helped solidify a few things.

I am going to finish putting the rest of my section notes into word docs this week, go back over the multicast videos from trainsignal, and try to sit the exam again by thursday/friday.

is-is notes

I have taken a ton of notes from the Authorized Self Study Guide and from the Trainsignal videos. I think I’m at about 50 or so pages between the two sources. As an extra review, I’ve been working on moving my written notes to word docs. I already did that with OSPF and EIGRP (although I’ve updated my own doc files since I posted the originals). I just finished my IS-IS notes, and I’m getting started on BGP, redistribution, and multicast.

I am attaching my isis notes to this post. At some point, I’ll probably create a single post that I will attach all of my notes to. I’d like to take some time to add some small lab scenarios to my notes with config snippets, as well. I think that helps to solidify things and gives me additional visio/configuration practice.



Braindumps and companies like testking, pass4sure, and actual tests have been around since I started taking certification exams in ’99. I was always under the impression that they degraded the quality of the certifications and the amount of work that people put into their certs. There have been two threads on testking over at groupstudy in the last two days, and not one person has said anything about it. I’m curious as to why.

For those that do read this blog, what are your thoughts on this type of thing?

Trainsignal BGP

I made it through the four videos on BGP from Trainsignal yesterday. I think the total length of that section was about 4 and a half hours. WOW. Those videos covered a LOT more on BGP than either of the books I’ve read. I was really surprised to see that I was missing/lacking that much on BGP. Hopefully that will help increase my scores on the BGP section on my next BSCI attempt.
If I can wake myself up a little bit, I am going to start the multicast videos this afternoon. I’ll spend some time doing labs over this weekend and try to make another attempt at the exam next week. I’m starting to get nervous about taking it again. blah. I have a ton of notes on IPv6, IS-IS and BGP that I need to throw into word docs/outlines and get posted. having those notes for OSPF and EIGRP helped me a lot. I need to focus on getting that stuff all into electronic format for my own study purposes.


My wife managed to keep the kids out of the bedroom long enough for me to get through the IPv6, IS-IS, and Route Map/VLSM/NAT videos from Trainsignal yesterday. I still don’t understand how I did so poorly on the IS-IS section of the BSCI exam two weeks ago. I knew EVERYTHING covered in that video.

I learned some stuff in the IPv6 video that I didn’t know, but I’m still a bit foggy on the 6to4 tunneling. I am going to go back through the authorized self study chapter on IPv6 tonight and see if I can solidify that topic for myself. If I can make it through the multicast sections today/tomorrow and redistribution by Tuesday, then I am going to try and schedule my re-take of the exam for late this week. If not, I’m going to give myself next weekend and take the exam next Monday.

I’m disappointed. I REALLY wanted to be well on my way to knocking BCMSN out of the way by now. I guess I’m just going to have to push harder to get this stuff done.