One week down… CCIE Bootcamp

One week down? CCIE Bootcamp

Well I am sitting here recovering from what has been a intense first week of the 10-day CCIE R&S Bootcamp from the guys over at INE.

The course itself is nothing short of brilliant and I don’t think you can get a better course for your money on the market at the moment.

The first week was spent going over the core topics; switching, IGP’s, BGP, MPLS and MPLS VPN with the second week left for the smaller but for most people harder subjects such as multicast, PfR, QoS etc.

Bootcamp format

The bootcamp itself is quite a challenge as it runs from 9am every morning until 8pm most nights and once that is over there is some lab work that you can be doing to cement some of the things that have been taught on that day.

Brian really is an awesome guy and you can tell that he really knows what he is talking about, the bootcamp itself doesn’t have a single Powerpoint presentation or video, instead it is just Brian talking and drawing on a virtual whiteboard for 9 hours a day (along with some CLI work as well).

My thoughts

One of the things that has amazed me this week is that you may thing that you know a subject pretty well until Brian starts to go over it, he talks about every process that is ran when OSPF creates it database for instance and is able to talk you through every line in a particular show command so that you know exactly what is going on.

One of the most important thing that I think I have learned this week is that the CCIE exam is not just about memorising commands and typing them in as fast as you can on the lab day but instead is about a particular though process, thinking hard about what they are asking and then executing it in a clear and precise manner.

This weekend I’m having a weekend off from the studies as I have a friend coming down and we’re going to go see the sites of London but come Sunday night I am going to get back on the MPLS ‘homework’ and then back into some advanced MPLS stuff on Monday morning.

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Off-topic: Why won’t my Mac sleep?

I recently had an issue where one of my Mac’s would not go to sleep whatever you tried.

I had checked that the energy saver settings were set to go to sleep after a specific amount of time.

I had also checked all the open apps to make sure they didn’t have an option to force the machine not to go to sleep but alas still nothing.

It turns out there is a little known command that can be used to check why your Mac isn’t sleeping, in my case it turned out to be Spotify that was open (not playing music, but was telling the system it was).

The command itself is pmset -g assertions

When you run that command it will show up whether you have any assertions currently keeping your system from sleep, you are looking for anything with PreventUserIdleSystemSleep in it.

Davids-MacBook-Pro:~ david$ pmset -g assertions
23/08/2012 09:14:09 BST
Assertion status system-wide: PreventUserIdleDisplaySleep 0 PreventSystemSleep 0 PreventUserIdleSystemSleep 1 ExternalMedia 0 UserIsActive 0 ApplePushServiceTask 0 BackgroundTask 1

Listed by owning process: pid 120(coreaudiod): [0x0000000100000a19] 00:00:05 NoIdleSleepAssertion named: "'AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,1:0'.noidlesleep" pid 1444(iTunes): [0x0000000100000a18] 00:00:05 PreventUserIdleSystemSleep named: "Nameless (via IOPMAssertionCreate)" pid 4074(helpd): [0x0000000c0000094a] 00:33:59 BackgroundTask named: ""

Off-topic: How to capture traffic in monitor mode on a Mac

It used to be something that couldn’t really be done on a Mac but I have just read through the documentation and it turns out that anything 10.6+ has the ability to automatically put an Airport card into monitor mode.

If you want to give this a go it is as simple as changing the framing mode when capturing on Wireshark, once you start capturing it will put the card into promiscuous mode and you will be able to see all traffic and not just the traffic to/from your machine.

Script – Applescript for connecting to terminal server (Cisco)

Whilst I have been studying for my CCIE I have been lucky enough to have access to a rack of equipment at my workplace which pretty much (apart from some different WIC’s etc) matches the INE topology.

When I started out I used to manually connect to each device using its rotary port number from the terminal server but this soon got pretty old!

I use iTerm for all my terminal needs on OSX (if you haven’t got it then give it a try) and decided to look into whether it would be possible to automate all of the connecting to the lab devices.

What I have cobbled together is a script that will launch iTerm and then telnet into each of the 10 devices whilst also naming the tabs according to the device name.

The script itself is pretty simple and if you think it would help you out then I have uploaded it here.

Its bootcamp time….

Well tomorrow I’ll be jumping on a train down to London to take part in the INE 10-day CCIE bootcamp with Brian Dennis.

As part of my lab preparations I don’t think I could do any better than getting Brian himself to run me and a few others through our paces.

I’m sure it’ll be an intense 2 weeks however I will try and get a couple of posts written up at the same time.

I’m also trying to put together a ‘CCIE Wiki’ over at for anything that I don’t think warrants a post (or where I can’t be bothered writing it up as a post) so feel free to take a look.