So after Bred Reese got on the phone to Robert Williams at Certguard and told them what to do, they have contacted Ethan Banks. Ethan has returned to the web and indicates that all is well.
I am not so forgiving.
I won’t go into the circumstances surrounding CertGuard accusing Ethan Banks of cheating. You can read articles at other Cisco Blogs. Here is my take:
By Greg Ferro, CCIE#6920
In the course of my day-to-day work, people ask me what is a CCIE(tm)? I thought about this for some time. I wrote some notes. And this is what I came up with:
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling 8 foot computer racks and charming magnetic security cardswipes. I have been known to remodel SME networks on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of capital deployment, reliability and performance. I translate technobabble for Management, I write award-winning technical presentations and deliver them better than an American president announcing tax cuts.
I can recite complete chapters of the Cisco Documentation CD, backwards and, with little effort and at the same time, perform decimal to binary conversion for very large numbers.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike MIDI playing on a notebook. I can pilot computer trolleys up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I can rack Cisco gear faster than Arnold Schwarznegger can bench press. I am an expert in network diagramming tools, a veteran in web surfing, and know the Cisco Web Site better than I know my own family.
Just to keep it interesting, I occasionally tread water for three days while programming Cisco practice labs. I manage time efficiently and can complete a timesheet every week. In addition, I know the part number for every Cisco router cable.
Using only a Chinese AC power cord and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly rebuilt the network core of major co-location facility after the roof fell in. I used to play games, but now it’s serious. I am the subject of numerous urban myths and I am the creator of a few as well. When I’m bored, I test fiber optic cable, calculate power loss sums on UTP and the minimum refraction index for 50 micron multimode fiber. I mean, what IS the point of it ?
I understand that DLSW and Source Route Translational Bridging actually has a reason for existence. It’s not just IBM playing a practical joke. Really.
I enjoy urban guerilla activities. I can build a 802.11b parabolic dish antennae using surplus antennae from defunct satellite companies and a juice can. It has better performance than off the shelf products. I think that having a wind generator and solar array as power backup for my practice lab is not only responsible preparation, it’s environmentally friendly too. On Wednesdays, after work, I repair old monitors free of charge for my local charity.
I know that canonical to non-canonical conversion is not about religion, it’s about “ART.”
Microsoft geeks worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear, which I don’t understand — it was supposed to be funny. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number ten and have won the cash jackpot.
I can speak IPX NLSP, AppleTalk, ATM PVC, QoS, and BGP to name a few, and redistribute routes at will, with filtering, using non contiguous masks. I install IPV6 on customer sites whenever I can, just so I can play with it. Same for OSPF NSSA. Children trust me.
I can hurl squishy giveaway tradeshow toys at sales personnel with stunning accuracy, and ensure that the dweeb from administration gets the blame. I have charisma beyond normal mortals; if I didn’t the boss would have sent the other guy to this exam.
I once read Cisco Quality of Service, Caslow Bridges and Routers 2nd Ed, and Jeff Doyles’ Routing TCP/IP Vol2 in one day, and still had time to do practice on a Frame Relay multipoint network, using OSPF and IGRP, split horizon, route maps and ISDN. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket and I use a link state protocol to calculate the shortest path to get there.
I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. It was kind of fun having them follow me around. I know that security and privacy is a phantasm-like myth created by “security companies” to extract money from IT Managers who can’t implement a decent security policy. But it’s great fun to play with.
I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. I know exactly how much coffee my body will take to sustain me at peak function. While on vacation, I successfully negotiated with the hotel to fix their network in return for free accommodation. The laws of society do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact tech stock day trading. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.
I can originate default routes, conditionally, after redistributing from a classful distance vector protocol. I have made extraordinary four course meals using my Cisco 7500 lab router as a stove (after all its runs all the time anyway).
I breed prizewinning idioms. Fox Mulder knows my phone number. I have spoken with Elvis.
I am Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Number 6920. I do good work on Cisco equipment.
Originally published at Techtarget.
Update: And very much based on the this urban legend here http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blbyol3.htm as pointed out in the comments.
My traditional education consisted of textbooks and blackboards. Working on a DEC PDP-11 with punch cards doesn’t really count as ‘computer time’. I was also taught how to read a book, absorb information, and to process that information. In fact, this is so vital to most education systems that most people don’t even understand that your ‘mind’ has been effectively ‘programmed’ to ingest knowledge from a book or paper medium.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, all computers came with an enormous printed manual. Computer rooms had entire walls of bookshelves devoted to Operating Systems and Software manuals. When we wanted to learn something, we got the manual from the shelf and started reading. Successful companies had good manuals, bad companies usually did not. (1)
Then, we started to see the documentation on CD from Cisco, Nortel and DEC / Digital Equipment. So when I started something new, I would often print the entire manual, then read. Depending on the quality and the what I needed to do, the manual might get a deep reading, or more a scanning over to absorb the information.
And that was fine until I started travelling. Carrying several kilos of papers wasn’t much fun so I started to read the CD versions. It was slow and gradual, but the CD’s were portable and updated reasonably often. Certainly much more often than the printed versions were. Errors and omissions were fixed much more quickly. In the field I could quickly get to the documentation.
Then the documentation switched to being online. Cisco was very early to putting their documentation online. This led to them providing sample configurations and design documents. This was a real advance, as we could tap directly into the collective wisdom of Cisco resources, instead of having to experience ourselves in a project.
A few years back I made a decision not to print anything that I needed to read. I would force myself to read it online. I had a few reasons for doing this:
I needed to be hard on myself and archive material on my laptop, and not on the bookshelf.
The other big decision I made was to sign up to Safari on the O’Reilly web site. This cost me about £230 (USD440) for a year, and gives me access to every book I could ever need. I wasn’t entirely convinced at the time but took a chance and I have been very pleased that I did.
I now have access to EVERY Cisco Press book. Not only the books released this year, but also the books that are out of print. For example, you cannot buy Cisco Press EIGRP Network Design Solutions by Ivan Pepelnjak (which is the best book ever printed on EIGRP) but you can read it at Safari.
Not only Cisco Press, but every other text ever printed. I needed to write a Perl script the other day, and there are about twenty different books on how to do that. I needed to do some research on VMware, and there are dozens of books on that.
The more I read safari.oreilly.com, the more I am adapting to reading from the screen.
Some people had told me the most significant problem is that you can be easily distracted by email, web surfing and so on. I don’t have answers for this, you need to be disciplined to study and learn. You need to be disciplined about this too.
It has been painful, like most forms of learning (in this case more like unlearning). At the start my concentration span was much reduced, but over time I am getting better at processing information directly from the computer screen. For certain types of information, I am now more able to process it from the screen.
Occasionally, I will still print a section of manual, say no more than twenty or thirty pages of material that I can read when I am waiting for something (and hoping that the iPhone can do this for me).
In certain networks, it is difficult to get the time on your servers to be exactly the same as the NTP time on your network equipment. In this case, you want to force the Windows servers to use the same NTP Network time source as your routers and switches. But Microsoft Windows doesn’t understand NTP by default, it has its own ‘way’ of setting up NTP so you need a little tweak to make it compatible.