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BlueWolf's Howl

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January 14, 2010

A Gift of Opportunity

Sometimes things just fall in place. I spent almost all I had on Vol I and Vol II the other day. Yes, it was pretty expensive. [Not as expensive as a Boot Camp, but pricey.] I woke early this morning and did some 'window shopping' for some rack time tokens. It was disheartening. Sure, I could have bought a few tokens and tried out a rack slot. But, I really can't afford it until at least next payday. I could already see that it was going to be expensive. So I had resigned myself to working what I could out of Workbook I using dynamips and my very old pile of equipment.

Granted, I have a Frame Relay switch. I have 4 old 2500s - one of which is an access server. And I have two old switches - a 1900 and a 2900 XL ....oooooh. Not getting too far with that, am I?

So I was a bit down today and spent quite a bit of time worrying about where to get the money for rack time. At the end of the day, I got a visitor. My future boss (who happens to work in the same building) sent one of his guys over to show me what was available in their lab and let me know that I could use as much of the equipment as necessary. They have a lot of extra equipment that is really 'stored' (read: collecting dust) that I would be able to rack and practice on. I don't have badge access to the area, but the other section of the lab is normally staffed round the clock and I could enter there and use the lab.

Wow. I'm so excited, I can hardly breathe! So make a mental note: Let other people know that you are working towards this credential. You never know who may be able to help or in what way others can help. I knew these guys had a lab area. I knew where it was. But I wasn't sure if they would open it to me - or if that was even appropriate to ask about... And now I don't have to ask - since it was offered. And I'm going to jump on it.

I know that one of the questions that people in my situation want to know is: how much rack time is it going to take to get the CCIE? And, of course, it depends on where you are in your skill level. But, just like the reading - I'm going to keep track of how many hours I spend so that I know what it took me to get there. The hours I spend on that rack will be logged under the "Work Rack" column. But, again, that will only get me so far. Once I get through a reasonable amount of material, I can switch off to the INE racks for some of the other labs and probably at least one or two graded Mock Labs. Yeah, that's something that the Work Lab environment can't do for me --> grade the lab at the end. And face it, a graded lab for $200 is worth it - rather than finding out if I'm 'ready' by spending $1400 on the real lab...

All I need is the opportunity -- I'll put the work in to make it happen.

Posted by BlueWolf on January 14, 2010 07:52 PM