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BlueWolf's Howl

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January 08, 2011

Goose Egg?

Yeah, there's a big ole goose egg for my 2010 reading stats. If you look at the banner year before that, you might wonder - what happened? Well, my eyes -didn't- fall out of my head. And I didn't get sick of reading. Nor did I get sick of learning and training. I merely switched to a different modality for a while (and started reading some books that I didn't completely finish - so they don't get posted).

One of the things I did manage to complete was a LOT of OpNet video training. You can never have too many tools in your arsenal when it comes to troubleshooting. If it's available to you, you should learn it and use it when appropriate. I am fortunate enough to be in a position that has OpNet ACE Analyst and was able to demo the ACE Live appliance. These tools are not exactly 'intuitive' and I was a little confused at the beginning. But there was plenty of training available.

As a customer, you are entitled to free training through their web site. The training was very good and it wasn't long before I was able to effectively use the products. Granted, I already knew quite a bit about traces before taking this training. And, the training is not geared towards a novice network engineer by any means. However, if you already use Wireshark effectively (not muddle through, but use it as a tool/weapon with ease), then you will really like ACE Analyst and get a lot out of the training.

One of the other training exercises in 2010 was building and rebuilding my Lab Rack. I built it in a rack on the 3rd floor in the lab. Then they remodeled the lab and I had to move it. I put it in a telco closet on the 1st floor near where my cube was located. Then they finished the lab and (at around the same time) I was moved to a cube on the 3rd floor. So I moved the rack back into the lab again (in a new and improved rack). Each time I had to connect and disconnect and reconfigure. But now it seems to be a more stable environment and I can start to build out from there (and hopefully work my way through the exercises). At least I'm (again) lucky enough to have a rack to learn with and follow along / work the INE workbooks.

Ah...how will I keep track of that? The INE workbooks that I have are thousands of pages of practice exercises. That has to fit in somewhere. I currently have Workbook I and Workbook II. I've had to download the updated versions since first purchasing them. Hopefully I'll be through them before it changes again.

And also...there are the distractions. We also have quite a few Network Instruments Portable Sniffers. I really ought to go through those manuals and learn what those buttons and tabs do with the trace.

So again, I am setting for myself a goal of topping my highest reading stat this year. I guess that's the only way to do it - challenge myself.

Posted by BlueWolf on January 8, 2011 12:10 PM