Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock

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Thursday, 18 November 2004

Uber RAM

I've decided since I'm going to be administering predominantly Solaris (blerk) in my new job, I should probably brush up on it a bit. I really hate Solaris, and I plan on bagging out Solaris 10 once I've actually had a thorough look at it (it really doesn't seem to have changed much in terms of user-space since Solaris 2.6, but I'd like to check that for myself).

Apparently the minimum requirement for RAM for Solaris 10 is a whopping 512MB, which I was rather taken aback by. The Ultra 5 under my bed, that used to be used predominantly to read me the weather in the morning as an alarm clock (Festival is a wonderful thing) only had 128MB, so today I managed to acquire another 512MB of RAM from the controversial CLUG character who is always peddling hardware. So now what is probably the crappiest box in the house has the most RAM.

Annoyingly, the two 256MB sticks I bought today are double-height, and Sun, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the DIMM slots should be half underneath the floppy drive, so the net result of the additional RAM is that I can no longer put the floppy drive enclosure in the box, and I have a gaping hole in the front. Oh well.

[20:06] [tech] [permalink]

On believing what other people say of your abilities

So I'd been planning on having a crack at doing the CCNA exam, more or less cold-turkey, because several people (including at least two with the CCNA certification) said I'd pass it without a problem.

So with Uni out of the way for the year, and few days up my sleeves before I had to start my new job I thought I'd book myself in for the exam and give it a shot.

I spent yesterday morning doing a spot of Googling to get a feel for the material, and I started to think that maybe I didn't know enough in some of the areas. It was too late to cancel or reschedule, so I had to go through with it. I figured if I was going to blow my money, I might as well blow it trying to pass, rather than not showing up.

I rocked up to the local Prometric training centre and gave it a go. The delivery of the exam was pretty ordinary. It was all computer-based, with a mixture of various types of multiple-choice. I enjoyed the simulator based ones because they're the ones where you actually have to think a bit more and do something vaguely real-life (which is why I enjoy the Red Hat Certified Engineer exam so much). The format of the exam sucked in that you couldn't proceed without answering the question in front of you, and you couldn't go back and revise your answer later, so you had to be damn sure on the spot, or else write the question off as a guess.

Turns out that I failed. Golden rule: take with a grain of salt what others say about your abilities before ploughing into the unknown. In hindsight, my Cisco exposure is broad, but in that breadth, I haven't gone into enough areas in enough depth to pick up the knowledge to pass the exam using my general knowledge alone. Areas that I need to work on are VLANs and routing protocols, particularly OSPF and (E)IGRP. The pass mark is pretty high as well. I think I was about 100 points off the pass mark, and I'm not sure if that equates to an inch or a mile. The possible score ranges from 300 to 1000, with about 850 being the passing mark.

So I think I'll buy a book and focus on how the various routing protocols tick, and have another crack in a few months.

[14:49] [tech] [permalink]

Adieu

Well I had my last exam on Wednesday. Two exams in one day really sucks. My brain felt like mush by the end of the day, and I think I might be starting to come down with something (it's always the way, as soon as you can take a bit of a break, your body just goes to pieces).

I'm a bit worried I might have screwed up my Finance subject, but I only have to wait anxiously for a couple of weeks.

At this stage, I don't intend to go back next year, but I'll see how I'm feeling once I'm settled into my job, and I've got my results, and I know how many subjects I've got left. I'm entertaining the idea (assuming I have four subjects left to get to third year) of studying part-time next year, just so I can get to third year. Then I'll probably throw the degree back on the shelf until such time that I'm feeling rich enough (or game enough) to take another year off and try and get over the line.

[14:24] [uni] [permalink]