Thursday, January 18, 2007

IE Mentor with Dynamips

Just like Internetwork Expert, IE Mentor now has provided Dynamips configuration file to practice their CCIE SP workbook labs. IE Mentor is well known as one of the best training provider for CCIE SP preparation. Their workbook is top of the line and I heard their bootcamp is worth the money too.

All of the information of how to use Dynamips to practice the workbook can be found in this link. The .NET configuration file can be downloaded if you are a registered user with IE Mentor.

Well, actually it's not difficult to make the Dynamips configuration file for any workbooks or any scenarios. But if someone has already made it available, why not to use it? And it's not only the configuration file, this offer also means that even there may not be official technical support available but you know there is someone out there that you can ask when you face a problem setting up the lab. And the priceless forum full of people discussing the setup will come up as well. So I'd say just go for it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Promise

One of the TV series that I like the most and watched recently is The Office. It's a unique comedy series offers documentary-style look at the 9-to-5 white collar work at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company. The central of the office is the boss, Michael Scott, who's described as "..believes he is the office funnyman and a fountain of business wisdom.. comes off alternately absurb and pathetic, but always hilarious.." There are some other characters like Pam, the office receptionist who bears the brunt of Michael's behavior, Dwight, the annoying assistant to Michael, and Jim the sales rep who together with Pam always finds ways to torment Dwigth.

After watching the full season 1 and 2, and half of season 3 continuously in 4 days, I have just realized how lucky I am that I have never had a chance to have someone like Michael as my boss. He's hilarious indeed, but I don't think I could stand him in real life. Watching Dwigth and all his superb moves must be funny on TV, but I guess it wouldn't be that funny if I had to face him as my co-worker.

(You may ask why on earth I watched The Office continuously in 4 days? Well, that's the only way to do it, isn't it? Same like when I watched Lord of the Ring 1-2-3 continuously, or Star Wars 1 to 6 in a day. Or perhaps it's more like when I watched full season 1 and 2 of Lost in 4 days, or Scrubs full season 1 to 4 in 3 days. That's the only way to see whether it's a good show or not. By the way, I watched Lost and Scrubs when I was jobless for a complete week. And it's obvious that Star Wars 4-5-6 trilogy is much better than the new 1-2-3 trilogy)

When I left my previous company to join Cisco, I made a promise to myself that I will not repeat the same mistakes that I did in the past: keep complaining about my job, whining about my office and bringing all my problems at work into my personal life. In a company like Cisco Systems that kind of promise should be easy to keep, right?

My office in Cisco is much better than Dunder Mifflin. The most thing that I like about it: free food. Anything inside the fridge is free for anyone. And we have a free vending machine. What kind of vending machine that can works without putting the coin? The one in my office. And that's not all, we also have Banana day every Monday. It means someone will come on Monday and drop lots of green bananas to the pantry. I normally take several bananas and put them on my table for few days until their colours turn to yellow. Green banana is no good, yellow banana is good.

I have my own space, an open partition with wireless network connection. My space is close to printer that I like to torture from time to time, close to the restroom, quite close to the pantry. It's more than enough, rite? And the other good thing about my office is: I never have a chance to stay in it for long. I keep traveling to my country for some projects so during my first 2 months in Singapore I spent only less than 10 working days in the office. How about my boss? He's a nice guy. A perfect boss. He always travels from one place to another place even more ofter than me, and all my communication so far has been through email or messaging. So it's quite rare for me to have a meeting with him other than the one through MeetingPlace. And we are actually based in the same office. So he's perfect.

What about the building? Well, can't tell you much. It's called Capital Tower in Robinson Road, Singapore. Next to the train station. This makes me happy since I can take Singapore train system and pop up directly near my office. But I can't take the picture of the building for some unknown reason. Last time I tried it some security personnel asked me to stop without telling me why. Perhaps because the building hosts several American companies. Or perhaps because I heard it hosts an office for some Singapore's VIP. So no pictures. There is a big fish pool on the ground full of.. fishes. This Singapore office perhaps is not as much fun as San Jose office (with all its facilities as I heard), but it's still better than the one in The Office. And it's my office. That's all I can say now.

How about my co-workers? They are all better than me. I'm a double CCIE.. so what? Everyone in my team is a CCIE. The guy sitting next to me is a Triple CCIE. One guy has two CCIE and JNCIE. And one of the sales manager is a double CCIE. They all have better experience than me. Some guys used to work for big organizations such as AT&T or NTT. One guy even used to work in San Jose as testing engineer. Most of them come with extensive experience in Service Provider market. And those guys are only the one I meet in Singapore office, not to mention other teams outside Singapore that may do more interesting stuff. So I'm nobody here. I'm just ordinary.

Well, I guess being ordinary in such wonderful place like Cisco is still awesome. But I need to do something that can make myself as competitive and useful for this organization. I need to show my values. I need to be able to set myself apart from the others. But I need to do it a single step at a time. Like passing my third CCIE in Service Provider track.

So now it’s time to make a new promise: CCIE in SP track within the next 4 months. I must focus on that target. Actually it’s my previous target, I’m a bit behind my schedule. I was supposed to pass it when I was still 30. You know what they say: it's better to be late than not doing it. So I have to start the journey from beginning and finish it this time. This is my promise.