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Tekcert's 3rd Birthday

Three years ago today, Tekcert.com was launched! 2012 was a busy year, both online and offline. I just wanted to write a quick blog post to recognize some milestone and throw a few statistics out there.

I'd like to begin by saying Thank you to all the readers for the support and participation with the forums and comments. It is a pleasure creating a place online that intelligent people can share knowledge and help each other out.

I have received a lot of encouraging messages that have been thankful and kindhearted to keep up with the posting. Many people have shared that they love the blog. I appreciate the kind words and encouragement and will do my best to keep up with the blog posts in between studying for the CCIE Lab exam.

So, that brings us to the stats! Here are some notable numbers for the past year:

Cisco IP Phone Vulnerability Enables Remote Eavesdropping

A recent Cisco Security Advisory details a vulnerability that allows "an arbitrary code execution...that could allow a local attacker to execute code or modify arbitrary memory with elevated privileges." In other words, if you have a Cisco 7900 series IP Phone on your desk, it can be totally pwnd.

This might not come as a surprise to those who have worked with these devices or other IP phones with programmable features. It's basically a little computer with a plastic phone shaped box wrapped around it. If this is a surprise to you or if you don't believe it, check out the video demonstration below.

Unlock your old iPhone

iphone

If you happen to have an old iPhone laying around that you no longer use and want to sell or repurpose it, then this bit of information might help you out. You might be asking "what does unlocking an iPhone do?" Good question, unlocking an iPhone (not to be confused with Jailbreaking) lets you use it on other cellular provider networks. For example, if you purchased an iPhone 4 a couple years ago for use with AT&T's network, you would only be able to use it on AT&T's network unless you unlocked it. After unlocking it, you can use that phone on other cellular provider networks that use similar technology as AT&T (GSM), such as T-Mobile.  If you want to use it on a CDMA network, such as Verizon, then you are out of luck as the technologies are different. So, that leaves us with the point of this post: How do you unlock your iPhone?

CCIE Boot Camp Review - Micronics (Narbik's) 12-Day

Studying for your CCIE? If you are, then you might be planning to take a boot camp to help you prepare. A lot of candidates use boot camps to help them prepare and there are many choices available to routing and switching candidates in particular. If you haven’t taken a boot camp yet and are still considering which one to attend or whether or not to attend one at all, then this blog post is written for you.

Save yourself some time with the default interface command

Command Line

If you configure Cisco equipment on a regular basis, you might find yourself in a situation with a large number of router or switch ports that need to be reconfigured. There are several ways you can prep your switch ports to complete your task:

  • You could do a "show run" and then build a script that includes the "no" form in front of each of the old commands, then apply your new script.
  • You could simply overwrite the old config with the new and then go do the no form of the stuff you don't want after the fact.
  • You could erase the startup-config then reload the switch and start from scratch (assuming the device isn't in production anymore).

There are probably another half dozen different ways of simply erasing the config and starting over, but there's one more option that this post is focused on today: the default interface command.

OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD)


I just picked up an OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Solid State Drive (SSD) to drop in one of my machines at home. It doesn't need much space, so 128Gb size should be more than enough.

The main reason for picking this up is the speed. The box that this is going in currently hosts several VMs and the storage is on a NAS. After installing this, some of that storage will be offloaded onto the SSD, which should make for some speedier response times than a 1Gb Ethernet connection to some spinning disks.

SecureCRT Feature - Alt Select

If you are a SecureCRT user, here's a feature that might save you some time. Let's say you have a list of information in your terminal window that you'd like to copy - perhaps the output of "show ip interface brief." However, instead of the whole output, you only want the list of interfaces, not the rest of it. Normally, you would just highly the whole output of information and then either paste it as is or paste it in a notepad window and delete all the stuff you don't want. 

This gives you the following output:

R2#show ip int bri
Interface                  IP-Address      OK? Method Status                Protocol
Serial0/0                  unassigned      YES unset  up                    up      
Serial0/1                  unassigned      YES manual up                    down    
Serial0/2                  unassigned      YES unset  up                    down    
Serial0/3                  unassigned      YES unset  administratively down down    
FastEthernet1/0            10.1.1.2        YES manual up                    up      
FastEthernet2/0            192.168.100.2   YES manual up                    up      
Multilink1                 223.254.254.198 YES manual up                    up     

Well, there is another way. A much cleaner way...

SecureCRT Feature - Chat Window

SecureCRT Icon

If you are a SecureCRT user, you might find a certain feature useful when configuring multiple devices via CLI. The feature is called Chat Window and it's not what it appears at first glance.

When I first saw the Chat Window feature listed in the View menu, I assumed it was some sort of remote tech support option or a way to collaborate with multiple users. Although it is certainly possible to use it to "chat" using the IOS Send command, it is far more powerful as a quick way to configure several routers or switches at the same time. 

Here's how it works...

My journey to become a CCIE

I've been interested in technology for as long as I can remember. From my early beginnings of learning how to navigate the DOS command line interface on my dad's computer while he was off at work, to building my first PC (with 8Mb of RAM!). I've always had an interest and a knack for this stuff.

Over the past decade, my interest in networking technology has grown significantly. In 2001, I earned my CCNA while working at Cisco (on contract) and a few years later installed my first 6509 in a global financial company. Several certifications followed down the road including the CCNP and CCAI. I now teach Cisco curriculum part time while working as a Senior Network Engineer for a mid-size enterprise. My drive to learn has never stopped, in fact it just keeps growing the more I am exposed to this stuff.

The time has come to take it to the next level.

Several months ago I made the decision, after some serious research and discussions with my wife, to begin studying for the CCIE Routing & Switching Exam. I started by researching and reading everything I could find regarding the exam - Cisco's official exam page, other blogs that detail how they approached the exam, podcasts talking about the exam, etc. I spent a good month reviewing my options before I finally made the decision that absolutely, without a doubt I am going to go for it - no matter what it takes.

I've written this blog post to share my experience so far and hopefully help others in a similar situation to make the go-no-go decision.

Packet Pushers Show 114 – Real-Life CCNP With Jeremy Cioara

Studying for your CCNP? Like podcasts about networking stuff? Like to listen to Jeremy talk about certifications? Then you have to check out this podcast where Jeremy discusses the CCNP and other certification stuff with Packet Pushers hosts Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro.

Upgrade your Macbook Pro to a 1 TB hard drive

If you bought a Macbook Pro in the last couple years, like me, you may be pushing the limits of the factory installed 250Gb hard drive. So far, the factory installed Toshiba hard drive has been rock solid, no complaints. I just need more space than 250Gb.

As of right now, the current Macbook Pros come with 500Gb or 750Gb hard drives (with an option to upgrade to 1Tb).  Back when I bought, they had 250Gb and 500Gb options. If you want more storage in your Macbook Pro, read on!

Select a Hard Drive

The first decision you have to make when buying a hard drive is how much space do you want?

I figure storage is relatively cheap, so why not go as big as possible? After a bit of research, the disk I chose to go with is the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1 TB Hard Drive. The decision was mainly based on the size of the disk, but several reviews I read all stated the disk is quiet and reasonably fast for it's size. The price is right as well (right around $100US).

CCIE Salaries

cash_pile.JPG

It's been about a year and a half since I posted a CCIE Salary blog post. The data is readily available with some searching, but I figured I'd post it here for reference.

Much of this data is collected based on individuals filling out questionnaires and surveys. The sample sizes aren't huge, but then again, there aren't that many CCIEs on the planet. As always, there are certainly some outlying data points that would skew this data set if included. I've heard of contractors with CCIE certifications making several hundred thousand a year. Those types of positions are few and far between, and for those of you landing gigs like that - congratulations! So without further adieu, here's the data..

Robotic Plane Avoids Walls

Robotics is an area of technology that both fascinates me and frightens me at the same time. Although it would be cool to have a robot that is self sufficient enough that it could do things for me, it's also scary to think what someone else's robot would be told to do (images of the terminator come to mind).

I found this video while reading the news. It demonstrates the use of some insane mathematical computations in the form of a remote control airplane that makes corrections to it's flight path to avoid obstacles. Watch the video to see for yourself (requires flash)...

End of Life announced for 3750/3560 G and E switches

Earlier this year, Cisco announced the end of sale and end of life for their 3750G, 3750E, 3560G, 3560E Catalyst switches. For some reason, I just received it in an RSS feed (not sure why there was a several month delay). But I figured I'd share the "news" since these are such a common platform.

The official end of sale date is January 30, 2013. As is tradition, support will be provided for 5 years following the last date of sale, so you have until 2018 for the last date of hardware support. If the Back to the Future movies hold any truth to them, we should have hover cars well before that date...

For reference, here's a quick list of dates:

Password Recovery on a Cisco 2500 Series Router

Command Line

If you have built a home lab (or are running really ancient hardware in production), you may find yourself in need of resetting the password configured on a 2500 series router. Depending on the router platform, the syntax is different. Here's how to do it on a 2500:

1. Reboot the router and send a break sequence to enter ROMMON mode. Break sequences can be sent using a Ctrl+Break key combination, or if you are on a system that doesn't have a break sequence, try using your terminal software to send a break sequence.

2. (optional) Type the letter O and hit enter. Record the existing setting, it's most likely 0x2102.

3. To reset the configuration register and have the router bypass the startup-config, type the following:

o/r 0x2142

To boot the router, type the letter i and hit enter.

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by Dr. Radut