I rescheduled the exam. It's now set for the 31st. There were just too many red flags going up and there's no reason for this to be so hard.
As I was trying to push myself to plow through the SkillSoft course, my Internet connection went in the crapper. My last weekend before the exam, I spent Saturday at work involved in some interesting troubleshooting. It involved doing some packet captures and analysis with Wireshark. More on that in another post... However, that killed Saturday and I took Tuesday off as comp time. After a late morning dentist appointment, I stopped by Starbucks to study my notes. OMG. It used to be a nice place to read and relax. The music was turned up so loud that I felt like I was in a coffee bar instead of a coffee shop. I left and went home, spending the rest of the day troubleshooting my Internet connection with Verizon.
Yeah, I'm dropping packets and it's resulting in a very frustrating online experience. Within 15 min you'll see a bunch of packets being sent but not going anywhere. This causes browsers to freeze. Then it clears up all of a sudden with no intervention. Of course, I had to go through the process of the 'tech support game'... where they try to help you with all the things that commonly happen to other people... I had to tell each successive tech that -- no, it's not a resource issue. No, I don't need to clear my cookies and my history. I'm on a machine with 8 GB of RAM, Quad Core processor, Terabyte hard drive and Vista Ultimate. I doubt it's a matter of my hard drive space being full. Ha. As I wait for call backs, I continue testing to provide more information each time. No, it's not the premise wiring. I've tested all 3 phone jacks - one in the kitchen, living room and bedroom. Same thing. I'm doing a continuous ping - it's not the OS. I've tried this on Vista and Fedora Core (Linux) with the same results. I don't have a cordless phone and my microwave is not on. Finally, my 'resolution' is to find that I can save $10-20 (using a bundle package) by upgrading my speed from 768K to 5M... Yeah, I like faster for less money. Also, this will change the port and device that I currently connect to at the CO (telephone Central Office) - which is what we were going to try next. That is being installed today and should be done by the time I get home tonight.
So with Saturday being devoured by work, Tuesday being devoured by this Internet issue... yeah, not exactly the signs you want to see. This means all is not well - so I pushed the test out another week. That gives me time to finish the SkillSoft class without cramming. It also gives me an opportunity to work through the labs on the PEC site. Cisco's Partner E-Learning Channel has two free labs which cover using the IDM. They weren't working and I had to put in a ticket with them to get those fixed. As I was troubleshooting, Cisco was emailing to let me know that they are fine now. Wow. Now that seems like things are starting to fall into place. Once my connectivity gets fixed/upgraded, I'm digging into the labs. I'm sure I'll be blogging about them soon. I've found them to be helpful in the past - even sometimes using them other than the way they were designed. ; )
Posted by BlueWolf on July 23, 2009 06:03 AM