IT Certification and Training Blog

.NET Quest, Part I: Installing Boson Software in a non-Windows Environment

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Jan 21, 2014 9:34:00 AM

By James Hanback

If you were ever into mid-1980s computer gaming, you might know about a little graphical computer adventure game called King’s Quest. At the time, the game was developed and distributed by a company known as Sierra On-Line. King’s Quest was a role-playing adventure game, which meant that your goal as player was to guide the main character, Sir Graham, through the three-dimensional computer-generated Kingdom of Daventry. You walked Sir Graham around Daventry (and beyond) by using the keyboard. You made him perform other actions by typing verb and noun combinations or phrases like “take mirror” to gather items you would later use to solve puzzles that eventually (hopefully) enabled you to solve the game’s ultimate objective. Sometimes the game’s interpreter couldn’t figure out what you were telling Sir Graham to do, and those were the times that you’d need to get creative.

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Tags: Dual Boot, Wine, Virtualization, James Hanback

Much Ado About Noting OSPF Area IDs in Dotted Decimal Format

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Nov 21, 2013 8:20:00 AM

By James Hanback

Time for a pop quiz. You have less than one second. Shout out the first term that pops in your head when you examine the following string of characters:

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Tags: Noting OSPF Area IDs in Dotted Decimal Format, James Hanback

How to Activate and Use Boson’s Digital CCNA Courseware

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Oct 23, 2013 9:51:00 AM

By James Hanback

Back in the early aughts I could sometimes be seen lugging around gargantuan certification study guides that—once I obtained certification—ended up either creating a sizable footprint on my reference shelf or propping my bedroom door open at night. Although printed books have been and always will be a convenient means of carrying information with you, tomes such as certification study guides can be cumbersome to juggle alongside your briefcase, your laptop bag, your lunch, and the various mobile devices you carry along on your daily jaunt through this thing called modern life. Nevermind trying to maintain that balancing act while crossing a busy intersection, trying to jam your car keys into your pocket or purse, and keeping yourself dry of the hot coffee that’s sloshing around in your travel mug.

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Tags: James Hanback, activating digital CCNA Courseware, javelin reader, activating ccna curriculum

Using Syslog to Stop the Mad Power Cycle

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Sep 10, 2013 10:05:00 AM

By James Hanback

If you’ve ever worked a help desk job in a small office environment, you might have unwittingly trained the end users in your company that a simple restart is the magical solution to every problem, from slow performance to a crashing application. It might even clear up your acne and cure that nagging cough you can’t seem to kick. Naturally, you know better. But over the many years that computer systems have entrenched themselves in every niche of our lives, some of the most common problems end users face have been most easily solved—at least in the short term—by a system reboot (or by pressing the Caps Lock key). So the user reboots and, hopefully, moves on.

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Tags: James Hanback, Syslog

Putting a Clock In It with Network Time Protocol

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Aug 21, 2013 10:14:00 AM

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Tags: James Hanback, Network Time Protocol, UDP, User Datagram Protocol

How to Tame a Wild OSPF Topology Using Router IDs

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Aug 14, 2013 8:54:00 AM

By James Hanback

You can pick your Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) router. You can pick your OSPF router ID. And if you don’t pick your router ID, the routing protocol will attempt to do it for you.

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Tags: James Hanback, OSPF Router ID, OSPF Router IDs

Troubleshooting Techniques

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Jul 31, 2013 8:49:00 AM

By James Hanback

We live in a hurry-up world.

There's the person behind you in traffic who leans on the horn if your brake lights don't go dark during the nanosecond that the traffic light is transitioning from red to green. There's the one behind you in the self-checkout lane who does the heavy sigh and eye roll bit because you must take the time to dislodge your rewards card from your wallet so you can start scanning your groceries (you knew you should have installed that rewards card app on your smart phone). Oh, and then there's the person who blows past you at the speed of light on a single-lane stretch of highway only to find you puttering up behind them at the next clogged intersection. You no doubt chuckle quietly to yourself as you await the go signal on such an occasion because you know that you've covered the same amount of distance and arrived at a simultaneous point with the speed demon, but at a lower fuel cost.

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Tags: troubleshooting techniques, bottom up, top down, divide and conquer, James Hanback, OSI network model

Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of the 802.11 Standards

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Jul 24, 2013 11:01:00 AM

By James Hanback

Let's see. If you overlay the 802.11a standard with 802.11b standard and subtract the 5-gigahertz (GHz) band, you get an approximate 802.11g standard. Then add back the 5-GHz band, add four multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) streams to get the 802.11n standard. Subtract the 2.4-GHz band, multiply the available MIMO streams by 2, and you get the 802.11ac standard.

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Tags: James Hanback, tips, 802.11 Standards, wireless networking, wireless standards

What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Why Do I Need It?

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Jun 18, 2013 9:06:00 AM

By James Hanback

Just when you thought it was safe to pull the curtains back from the windows and let the sun shine in on the bodies of all the defeated zombies of the weak password apocalypse, you find out that they're not really dead. You shored up your devices, your Internet accounts, and maybe even the combination on your locker at the gym with the strongest, most secure mixture of characters you could conceive. Nobody can guess them. Nobody can brute force crack them. You're gold, right?

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Tags: James Hanback, Two-Factor Authentication, password recovery techniques, social engineering

The New 200-101 ICND2 Exam: Changes and Thoughts

Posted by Kelson Lawrence on Apr 9, 2013 8:42:00 AM

By James Hanback

You've spent all these weeks and some of your hard-earned cash studying for Cisco's 640-816 ICND2 exam only to discover that there's a brand new Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) version 2.0 track. Cisco's 200-101 exam, along with its 100-101 ICND1 prerequisite, was announced on March 26 and is now available to candidates pursuing CCNA certification or recertification. Cisco also released a new version 2.0 of the composite exam, which is numbered 200-120. Among the many questions these new developments raise in your mind as you consider heaving your old 640-816 study guide toward the trash bin might be "Have I wasted my time studying for 640-816?"

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Tags: James Hanback, CCNA, ICND2 Revision, 200-101