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Whew! CCIE 8776! posted 02/13/2002
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	I think the title says it all.  Took the lab today at RTP.  4th time
was the charm.  I don't know where to begin.  Might as well start with the
thank you's.  Thanks to Bruce, Val, and Fred at NetMasterClass.  Thanks also
to those on the list that I've either studied with or have helped me out in
the past with problems.  Thanks also to Paul for putting this great list
together.  As far as how I prepared, I might as well give the whole story.
Started working on Cisco about 2 1/2 years ago after going though the Novell
and MS Certs.  After getting NA, DA, NP, and DP, I passed the CCIE written
in October 2000.  Without really knowing how to study or what to prepare
for, I got my butt handed to me in January at RTP.  Didn't know much more
than your average CCNP would.  Tried again in April, but BGP killed me, and
again I didn't make it to day 2.  After that, I found a study partner
(Thanks Boris) and we worked pretty hard last summer.  Did all the bootcamp
labs, thought I knew everything I needed to.
	November 4 of 2001, figured I'd breeze through the lab.  I don't
know if it's true, but I heard the first couple of months with the new 1 day
format had a very low pass rate.  I know I could have used a couple more
hours to finish.  If anyone took the lab in Oct or Nov of last year and
failed, don't be discouraged.  I think they've scaled it back a little
	Fast forwarding to today.  After spending a week with Val, Bruce,
and Fred at the NMC-1 course, and doing nothing but working on my speed, I
felt pretty prepared.  Everything in the Doyle Volume 1 and Bruce/Val's book
made sense.  Though running a little low on sleep, I felt good this morning.
Roughly 4.5 hours into the test, we got lunch.  At that point I was done
with the IGP's and almost done with the EGP's.  In other words about 2/3 of
the way done, by my estimate.  At 1:30 I was done, but needed to go back and
work on 3 things I couldn't figure out.  A little discussing with the
proctor, and 2 of them were fixed.  But then I think I read too much.  I had
solved a problem one way, but realized the wording of the question might
change what they were looking for.  Checking with the proctor, I got the
impression that he really didn't like my solution.  So there I am, 1.5 hours
to go, and I'm making a somewhat major change :(  Looked OK, but with 1/2 an
hour to go, I noticed a 'neighborship' bouncing up and down :o  10 minutes
to go, got it all working, but didn't get a chance to completely double
check all my other work as time expired.  I know I left 1 thing unconfigured
(a 2 pointer), but started wondering if I'd made other mistakes.  They said
to expect the results tomorrow afternoon.  A plane flight back to New York,
and there's the email waiting.  8776!
	If anyone's wondering what I used to study, here's the short list:

Groupstudy!  Paul's done a great job.  There are certain people on this list
that should be flagged as must-reads.  I won't mention any last names, but
there are a couple guys named 'Brian' (both long-time CCIEs) that are a huge
asset to this list.  Thanks guys.

Doyle - Volumes 1 and 2 - Everything you ever wanted to know about IP, but
were afraid to ask.

Bridges, Routers, and Switches for CCIEs - Bruce Caslow and Val Pavlichenko
- Used edition 2, but I understand 3 is coming out soon.  This book covers
most everything.  I expect the new edition will cover more multicast and
QOS, and drop Appletalk and DECnet.  But still the most useful book I've

Halabi - Used 1st edition, but everything I was asked to do with BGP is in
that book.

Bootcamp labs - Worked though these with a partner, because his company was
cool enough to buy them for him, and my company wasn't!  Great preparation
and simulation for the test.

Various docs from CCO - Might as well go to the source!

Most importantly - NMC-1  Bruce and Val
explain the most difficult subjects very well.  A couple of things are a
little lacking in the book, but they cover those very well in the class.  Be
prepared to work your a** off that week though.  8:30AM to 11PM is the norm
that week.  But I highly recommend it, especially if you've come close to
passing before.

	Well, sorry to ramble on so much.  I'm off to bed for a L O N G

Thanks again,

Chuck Church
CCIE 8776
Sr. Network Engineer
Magnacom Technologies
140 N. Rt. 303
Valley Cottage, NY 10989
845-267-4000 x218
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