|  BlueWolf's Howl   | Comics and Art  | Higher Level  | Photography  | Poetry and Stories  |
|  Chess  |  Letterboxing  |
|  2003 Blogathon Archive  |   2005 Blogathon Archive  | 8th Layer Archive  | Blue702 Archive  |

BlueWolf's Howl

« Ambitious Little Wolfpup | Bluewolf's Howl | Configuration Handbooks »

March 08, 2009

Of Mice and Men

Well... Murphy tapped me on the shoulder as soon as I made my plans. OF COURSE - I had to get called into work this Saturday. More than just the time spent on-site, it really blew the whole day for me as far as studying. I got some reading accomplished Friday night and Saturday morning, but the rest of Saturday was shot.

So I doubled my resolve and continued to plow through my list and spent all day (and night) Sunday with my nose in a book. I managed to get through the first two books on the list. But, reality forces me to realize that I'm not going to be where I want to be by Wed. So I rescheduled the exam for the 18th.

Although I previously read the Wireless book, it was a good refresher to re-read it. Although it is supposed to be a 'fundamentals' book, I've seen a lot of other materials cover Wireless concepts much better. This book gets a bit too into the weeds on radio and antenna mathematics and doesn't really cover the practical aspects that it claims. One too many times it chickened out on presenting a concept -- "well, since there isn't a standard for ___, the details are what distinguishes various vendors and the details of the implementation are proprietary." I'm going to have to rely on the Appendix G and Appendix H on the CD for the CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide to cover the Wireless material more thoroughly. Of course, I also have a CBT on Wireless that may be a bit more helpful.

On the plus side, it was good to see the Layer 1 and Layer 2 wireless material covered so thoroughly. There were a number of 'oh yeah' moments when I remembered things that were in my head, but have since slipped my mind. It also covered the 'history' of how some things came about. They present the problem that they're faced with and then what solution the industry came up with to resolve the problem. Case in point - wireless transmissions are unreliable. There's quite a bit of noise and interference. Yeah, how come it doesn't just garble the hell out of everything, eh? Well... to combat that unreliable medium the wireless card sends mutiples of the same info. They first started out with (as an example): if you want to send the binary data "01110010" the wireless card sends triples of everything --"000111111111000000111000" - this way it has three times the chance of getting there correctly and then 'error corrects' itself upon receipt. Kind of like the Minority Report. Then they came up with various ways of putting this in a matrix so that no matter what's lost, you can still figure out what the *real* original message was ... kind of like that email that everyone has sent around with all the misspelled words that you can read... yeah, like that.

Pretty nifty. However, it also makes you wonder... How many times have you sat at the laptop and tried to pull up a web page and cursed at the monitor for that damn wireless network being so slow? In reality, the laptop isn't slow at all. It's pretty fast - and it's doing a whole lot of stuff behind the scenes to make it all work nice for you and give you that page you requested. Yeah, no matter how many times it has to transmit and retransmit - or beg the AP for talk time - or any of the other million things that it does. When you really see the guts of all this magic, you wonder why it ever works at all...

The OSPF Command and Configuration Handbook was a quick and easy read. It will probably be more helpful as a reference for the lab. Nothing new from what I saw... All those commands were covered in context in the previous materials on OSPF. I'm expecting the BGP Command and Configuration Handbook to be the same. But it was also a good refresher since it gives you another review of the commands.

Next update when the next few books get added to the 'done' pile.

Posted by BlueWolf on March 8, 2009 11:51 PM