Tuesday, January 26, 2010


What? An expert level certification for dedicated professionals who can manage, maintain and troubleshoot complex service provider IP NGN core network infrastructures? A CCIE track to develop capabilities to operate large, complex SP networks? To demonstrate skills required of a expert-level, Tier III or Tier IV support? And there will be IOS XR?

I'm not sure if this is necessary. I still believe the current CCIE SP track must be upgraded with the new equipments so we can have more scenarios that replicate the real-world network design and issues. Then the current SP track should be enough to build a strong troubleshooting skills and to validate the knowledge required to maintain a complex NGN network. If possible throw the traffic generator in the lab so the candidate will be tested with forwarding plane as well instead of only control plane function.
But that's just my personal opinion.

And since I'm more interested with network design, it looks like this new track is not in my best interest.

Btw, even Cisco really upgrades the equipment of SP track someday, since I have passed it I won't be allowed to re-take the exam. So once I'm free from the current night shifts that I'm doing, I may go ahead with something else. Go figure.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wrangler Unlimited vs. FJ Cruiser

I've been doing lots of onsite work during night time lately. In fact, I'm writing this while leading the implementation of the design within the maintenance window at the customer site. Just in case you are wondering how does it like, please watch the Night at the Museum movie. I'm doing something similar like Larry did, minus the animals… tiny cowboy… Attila the Hun… T.rex skeleton… and the cool night watchman outfit.

I used to think that while doing night work like this, onsite at customer site, I should be able to utilize my time to write something useful. A white paper. Or even a book. But in reality, with all the pressure during maintenance window, number of lab testing must be done prior to the implementation, and all communication emails back and forth with the customer, the only writing I can do is something that quite light. It may become a light reading for some or rubbish for the others. I have no extra energy to think about that, so here is the output:

As I have put my Range Rover Sport on the advertisement for sale, I need to get ready to buy its replacement once it's really sold. I'm looking for a car that I can use for extreme offloading, with at least 5 seats, enough space to carry my stuff, and with the price around USD 30k. After weeks of browsing many data sheets, lots of discussion with the owners, watching offroad videos on youtube, and reading the online forum finally I came up with two finalists: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited vs. Toyota FJ Cruiser. I still can't make up my mind until now, so I made the comparison below between the two. Mind you I did the comparison for the points that only matter to me.
1. Look
Advantage to: Jeep
Indeed the FJ cruiser has the retro look with "in your face" attitude. But wrangler unlimited has a classic and iconic look and it is more fun to drive since we can remove the top (and the doors, and the windshield) while the FJ doesn't even have sunroof

2. On road performance
Advantage to: FJ
FJ is a bit better on the road and less noisy. The most complaint from Jeep owners is it's not fun to drive the car on the highway. And I live in Dubai, which means I have to passthrough SZR and Emirates road in daily basis
3. Off road performance
Advantage to: Jeep
The power and torque look smaller, but Jeep has the reputation as rock crawler with the low gear ratio and superb suspension. Wrangler Rubicon is considered the best 4x4 that can be used in any terrain even when it's still stock
4. Re-sale value
Advantage to: FJ
No doubt for re-sale value for Toyota, especially when it's compared to American cars
5. Practicality
Advantage to: Jeep
Surprisingly I gave point to Jeep that is well-known as the most impractical vehicle. But I was comparing the comfort for the passenger (I still need the rear seat for family and friends) between FJ and 4-door wrangler unlimited, and with FJ's funky rear door access to the rear seat is a bit tight

6. Maintenance
Advantage to: FJ
Obviously Toyota is easier, and cheaper, to be maintained. Some complaints from Jeep owners are the radiator and the AC, made me wondering if the americans are capable to build the vehicle for this region (with its extreme heat)
7. Community in UAE
Advantage to: draw
FJ-UAE and Jeep community, I think they both have their own way to have fun!
8. 4x4 Accessories
Advantage to: draw
Based on my research so far there are so many 4x4 accessories available for both Jeep and FJ, with affordable price (compare to the accessories for the Range Rover Sport!)
9. Price
Advantage to: Jeep
Currently Jeep has a promotion (for Unlimited Sahara model) so the price is way below my budget. Being a Toyota, FJ won't give any discount nor even they are interested to negotiate the price
10. Supported by
Advantage to: FJ
The idea to buy Jeep Unlimited is supported by my close friend. But my wife is against the idea to get a Jeep and she thought FJ looks much cooler, even if it's more expensive

So final score is 4-4 with 2 draws.

If it was up to me, point no.1 is the most important so I would go and buy Jeep. But I'm afraid in reality the last point is the most important and will become the tie breaker ;) But again, the decision is only necessary after my car has been sold.

Now it's time to go back to the console.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Love, For Sale

Update: SOLD!
She's gone now. She's with another man.
What left are only good pictures. And memories...

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

My previous boss said there is no real competitor nor real friend, there is only real interest.

I'm glad to prove him wrong.

Real friends do exist, and I've passed through many happy and tough years with them.

Happy new year 2010 to all my friends and family.