Summer School

Once upon a time I wanted to be an engineer, so I took a lot of math classes. Trigonometry, pre-Calc, Calc I, Calc II. Then I ended up switching to Chemistry (the 4 year college I transferred to had a great Chem program and no Engineering program, go figure) and my class load changed. I had to take a biology class and the instructor put down such terms as “average, mean, standard deviation” and I was lost. I’d never taken “slacker math” which is what all the engineer students called “Probability and Statistics.” So, in order to pass a course on biology I found a used Prob and Stats textbook at the local Goodwill and figured out how to do the math necessary to pass the course.

Lately I’ve found myself in a similar situation. In getting ready for the CCNA Security exam I’m following along with the CBT Nugget videos, and the instructor exclusively uses GNS3 on a Win 8.1 box as the software for the labs. Up until now Packet Tracer and actual hardware were what I’d used in my home lab, but what the heck, I’m a smart guy right? I can figure out this whole other program. So that’s what I’ve been doing, except instead of Win 8.1 (never bought it, have Win7 and 10) and somehow GNS3 changed just enough that the install and configuration videos available on CBT Nuggets doesn’t work with my gear.

So after about five days of trying to make it work, I hooked up a spare 300 gig HDD and loaded Linux Mint on it, and got GNS3 up and running with a Cisco ASA emulated inside of 3 hours. But the next challenge is the Cisco ASDM or CCP software. Next challenge is figuring out how to translate all the “now load up a management PC by setting up the Microsof loopback adapter” crap in the videos to the Linux version (thank you university of youtube) and installing the ASDM software on the emulated ASA.

This sort of thing is actually normal in IT. “You want to do this? Sure you can do that, but first you need to do that, the other thing, and sacrifice a chicken.” So that’s why content has been scarce, because I’m doing a lot of extra work all to save myself about a hundred bucks for an Ebay Cisco 5505 Adaptive Security Appliance. But…it’s one of those things where if you are in IT people expect you to be a GNS3 guy now because you can emulate a lot more hardware than just Cisco products, and damn if I shouldn’t have spent the time to learn all this crap before. Of course there won’t be a single GNS3 question on the CCNA Security exam, but sometimes you have to learn for the sake of learning, and not just to pass a test.

I have no idea when the content pace will pick back up, sorry.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Summer School

  1. B says:

    Firstly, never feed the trolls. That means apologizing to the vacuum that is the internet. Quite frankly I’ve been so busy I’ve only been able to scan your last few posts and we (I include you loosely) are in some backwater on the interwebs. I know we play a rock stars on tv but being a content creator in the digital age means saturation. I’m not talking saturation like you got a competitor or two but rather you’re a 20 something male living in India or China looking for a mate kinda saturation.
    Life is too short and the pace you put out content is perfectly paced for me. However, I don’t speak for the other guy that reads this blog (dw I believe). Seems like a relaxed fellow. He’d have to be to read your random thoughts and cacophony of technical information. Now I’m just being snarky 🙂


  2. DW says:

    No worries from my end and welcome to the current state of IT ( although I know you have been here a while ). GNS3 has improved quite a bit, so it’s a handy test tool for sure. As far as the test, the sad reality is you simply have to study to pass the test which is not reality and then go back and do the actual IT work correctly. The vendors will all disagree, but that’s just how it is unfortunately. Cisco is one of the more arrogant vendors around and expert at sucking up to govt as evidenced by their gear everywhere there is govt. The good news is SDN is improving every minute and solid alternatives abound. Which will result in much more flexibility and serious cost/maintenance reductions. We’re already using SDN wherever our clients will let us – and believe me – they love the costs savings!

    One question – why in God’s name are you using Win10? If you value privacy & security it’s the anti-christ currently. We’ll eventually get it tacked down and cortana exiled to hell, but right now it’s a crap-weasel os. Stick with Win7 or Win8.1 with classicshell and security hacks installed.


    • rthtgnbs says:

      Didn’t you hear? The Army is fast tracking Win10 deployment. I downloaded a copy so I could play around with it on a laptop and see what fresh manner of hell we were getting into.


      • DW says:

        Well you got the “fresh manner of hell” right! I did not hear of that fast track win10 rollout. I guess they are just conceding defeat in the cyberwar arena.

        Hell, China doesn’t even have to try and hack win10, they can just ride cortana’s coattails into every win10 box. Maybe they’ll push some fortune cookie ads onto the desktops, so at least you’ll have something to snack on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s