Epic times ahead

Its been a busy few weeks for us, so I haven’t got around to updating in a while, first and foremost I have an exciting new job in the offing, its a private sector based job and I am stepping away from local government employment for the second time in my career.  Something I am relishing with my career plan and the new challenges it will bring.

I also passed the 100-101 Cisco exam I had been studying for, which has given me the first half of my CCNA so I am now Cisco CCENT certified to cap off an excellent couple of weeks, following an intense period of revision and study in the run up to the exam.  It was extremely rewarding the feeling of passing it and it was not an easy undertaking as a self study topic and trying to cover everything, but I have it down now to hopefully help me turn it into a full CCNA within the next 3/4 months with a  bit of effort on my part.ccent_network_sm

Onwards and upwards now to 200-101 now for the full CCNA and finish my notice period heading to my new role.

 

Countdown to CCENT Exam

I made a leap and booked my ICND1 exam last week, a good friend of mine suggested a while back to get the date booked and give myself a target, so I have done that and have a little under a month to prepare now, I have a few CBT Nuggets videos to finish off with some practical labs on ACLs/NAT and IPv6 and the rest of the course guide book to get through (currently a third of the way through it)

Its given me focus I will give it that and I have also invested in a month of VCE Exam Simulator to get to grips with the question format, I wasn’t far off 50% on my first bash at an exam on there, which isn’t too bad considering theres topic areas which I just don’t have under my belt yet.

Interesting and scary three weeks ahead now 🙂

iOS 9 iPad mini woes

I have realised since the last iOS9 update that both mine and the wife’s iPad Mini (version 1) have both been crawling along horribly slowly and crashing out largely because of adverts on the devices when web browsing on the device.

It happens on Safari and Chrome and its made equally frustrating by the fact that Apple appear to be putting the device out to a legacy footing now, as its an older 32 bit device and apparently you can’t get adblocking software for the non-64 bit devices from my web searching relating to it, which may help the experience.

It seems a new iPad will have to be gotten for me and the wife at some point in the year when it becomes super unbearable, I am betting the next update to iOS9 here now.

Paternity Leave Ending….

Sitting here at the moment, enjoying the last few days of my paternity leave, the little ones are both keeping the wife and I busy, the eldest has decided that he won’t sleep in his room now, as his sister is in with us in her cot, so its extra fun being woken when he decides to join us through the night and she’s feeding every two hours like clockwork.

Everyone as I type this is sleeping soundly around me as I am still a light sleeper wide awake as usual.

I dread the return to work a little (though not the actual place, people or job itself) and have been contemplating going into business for myself part time on top of it offering IT support locally for the end/home user and small business and I have even been looking at Domain names and LTD company registration and everything which is involved with setting up a small business getting basically stuck with the dreaded procrastination rather than settling down and cracking on with the CCNA work, so its time to knuckle down again and get on with ICND1 booking and getting through the Odom tome that accompanies it.

Exciting Times

Changes

Well, the newborn is here and her brother has really taken to her, he doesn’t like her sleeping much when he’s about and likes to control the wife and I in relation to who gets to cuddle his beloved little sister, which is quite adorable, she’s fun and remarkably quiet unlike her brother before her, who was always great at making his presence known to us.

Christmas

Christmas has been joyful this year because of this addition to our family, though our house seems to resemble a wing of Toys’r’us now with the grandparents spoiling them completely and I also had a lovely present of the Apple Watch Sport, which means that I have pretty much fully embraced apple at this point as I type this on my trusty rMBP.  I had the present a little early so I got to use it in my last few days of work before breaking up for paternity leave and christmas and I found it was noticeable straightaway how I no longer missed calls when I did not register the phones vibrations from time to time in my pocket, the haptic feedback on the wrist is excellent, though it cannot fix the fact that signal is still awful on EE at work, though I am seeing if our firewall team can allow for WiFi calling to remedy that problem once and for all for me there now we have site wide WiFi up and running.

CCNA

I have also resolved to sort out my ICND1 exam with absolute priority in the new year now, it’s the only way I will effectively change my working situation to better ends for my family, barring a lottery win in the meantime, I have watched the majority of the CBTNuggets videos now to be happy enough with that content, next step is to get through the ebook of the official CCNA material, a friend suggested that I book the exam to get myself prioritised to work towards it with major effort, which isn’t a bad idea either and I now only wait for the local Pearson centre to come back online when available to see if I can schedule it to have something to aim for.

Star Wars : Force Awakens [Spoilers]

I am a massive fan of the series, was excited in the build up to seeing it, but I couldn’t help feel disappointed overall after watching the most recent outing, I understand that it was a homage to the original trilogy in its making, but I just cannot get past the gaping potholes that stare at you and the complete lack of gravitas some of the characters had, coupled with the lack of quality I felt or story development.

The fact the plot basically ripped off the prior films with a thinly veiled advanced plot, felt more like a remake then a new film at times, the new alternative to the death star was a star killer (i.e. bigger version again which can take out more than one planet in a sitting)

Pre-Christmas Busy Time

This is probably going to be a last blog post for a while, given that my wife is due to give birth in a couple of days and I can’t wait, couple of job opportunities came off but it seemed that I fell at the last hurdle, which only served to show me how much I know I want to look for new challenges and also how much more I need to  book my ICND1 in January and really go for it.

 

Boot Camp fun and Home Networking

Part of the changes at home with the new arrival on the way, mean that I have had to store my PC (something that I am surprisingly not sad at doing, considering the dust it attracted and the heat that the 500w PSU generated, more than 90 minutes and the room was horribly warm) and having to vacate the spare bedroom/office, I have located all files from my PC to a nifty WD NAS device and all is working well so far.

I decided to take the plunge and bootcamp the 2014 MBP I own to cover both needs with OS and found out a few things the painful way, I realised mainly that because I work in IT, I am non-compliant in following instructions and thought I had read enough to know that bootcamp assistant would only be needed by me to partition the disc for installation and I stick a normal windows USB stick to install it onto my machine, two days I fiddled for a couple of hours in the night wondering why it did not work and had a persistent message about being unable to install onto a GPT partition, I tried everything I thought would work including me downloading the bootcamp files to stick on the USB sticks.

I decided late last night to just follow the wizard and let it build the installation stick as it wanted after reading the assistant and lo and behold it hit gold and worked fine, so I am finally up and running, though I still have to work out how to get windows to play ball with the retina resolutions and font sizes.

I also realised the other day that I had to install a small switch in my house, as the connected devices had gone over the connections supplied on the Superhub, so the home network is expanding now to a surprising size, especially with our location needing a home wifi/3G access point to be able to make call on our mobile phones.

Lab up and running

After a bit of progress with Packet tracer and a little bit of frustration at some commands not working, I decided to try and grab some cheap equipment on eBay, I am following some CBTNuggets and the tutor recommended some equipment I set about trying to source second hand, but I ended up having better luck than that, I finally noticed a UK supplier selling lab kit on sale on eBay.

I now own an 1841 Router, 2x 3550 switches (their the better L3 switches than the 2900 series, and an assortment of cables (power/USB-Serial/Console/LAN) so good for other CCNA Certs and beyond.

IMG_0417

I had a bit of fun with the connecting the USB/Serial cable that I bought off eBay, as it wouldn’t work initially and I had to master drivers on the Mac and find a decent freeware terminal program, but its all up and running now and makes better sense of what I am doing.

Online Learning – Microsoft Virtual Academy

This is another excellent facility that I used for training when I was researching my virtualisation technologies with a project a little over 18 months ago, I hadn’t realised until recently that it offers their own MVA certifications when you have finished so it was an incentive to go back and sort out the remaining 10-15% of the modules I had completed to add to the CV, well worth taking a look if expensive training modules with providers is not an option as it is with me, going down the self study route with my CCNA/CCENT.