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Re: CCIE #12274 [7:76092] posted 09/24/2003
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Congratulations, Kevin!!

>>> Kevin Love 9/24/03 1:41:07 PM >>>
Hey Team,

While I haven't been a very active poster here due to my incredibly busy
schedule, I have been a very active "lurker" here for the past several
and I sincerely appreciate all of the great insight that has come from the
stimulating, and sometimes humorous, discussions that happen here.  I
especially appreciate the insights of the likes of Chuck and Priscilla (and
many others), who have significantly helped shape my understanding of
complex issues by breaking them down and explaining them in a way that
somebody as dumb as I am could understand.

I passed the CCIE lab two days ago in San Jose on my 2nd attempt.  It is
such an incredible relief!  Unlike many others, I wasn't finished soon
lunch and left with the rest of the time to check all my work.  In fact, I
was working frantically almost right up until the end and left with very
little time to check my work (though I had been pretty meticulous about
doing each task correctly as I progressed).  I was dubious about whether I
had passed, though I was confident that I had done a good job and that if I
hadn't passed, it was by a close margin.  Like everyone else, though I had
mastered the core material, I saw several things that I had never even
of before, but with a good familiarity with the documentation CD (thanks
mostly to a doc cd map that my study partner made), I was able to find just
about everything pretty quickly.  Remember, you don't have to know
everything, just know where to find it!  The documentation CD is your only
buddy when you get in there!  That leads me to on HUGE piece of advice
(tattoo this one on your forehead) - in addition to studying the doc cd,
whenever you learn something via some other means, cross reference it to
doc cd, so you know where to find it if you see it again!

By way of promotion (and I have absolutely no vested interest in either
company, and neither one even knows I am doing this, so I do it
while I naturally used a lot of study materials in preparing, including
several professional lab workbooks, the one that I recommend heads and
shoulders above the others is the DOiT lab workbook from  I only wish I'd had it before my first attempt - I
little doubt it would have saved me the extra attempt.  The depth of
networking knowledge that Bruce Caslow and Val Pavlichenko have shine
through in the DOiT scenarios, not only in the complexity and difficulty of
the scenarios but in the issue spotting explanations that they provide.  I
can't tell you how valuable the issue-spotting section was for me in
- it made ALL the difference!  I highly recommend this book!  Indy Teller,
who pretty much runs the NMC show, is one of the sweetest ladies I've had
the opportunity of meeting and bent over backwards to get the workbook into
my hands a little before it was actually available so I could have as much
time as possible to go through the scenarios.  I attended their RS-NMC1
class back in January and have had nothing but a positive experience with
them.  I highly recommend both their classes and the workbook.

Also, all of my lab time over the last several months has been spent on's rack.  Their equipment is great and the prices are very
reasonable.  JC, who handles the rack scheduling has been very good to work
with.  He is, himself, a CCIE and does his best to make sure that their
equipment stays updated with the latest software releases being used in the
actual lab.  As more focus is being given to converged voice & data
networks, he has added an IP phone to the lab so candidates can practice
things like DHCP option 82 relay agent configurations.  I understand he is
also very close to assembling another rack for those wanting to prepare for
the security CCIE, complete with a VPN concentrator.  I anticipate using
their rack as I head off down that path.  They have 12 routers (three of
which have ISDN connections and four of which have voice capability), 2
3550s, ATM & the same ISDN sim used in the actual lab, put together in such
a flexible physical configuration that there's no scenario that you can't
with it.  They've really put together a rack that is second to none!

Well, I've gone on and on.  The bottom line is, CCIE is a doable goal.  If
somebody as dumb as me can do it, you can too!  It's not easy, but it's
worth it!

Kevin Love, CCIE #12274
(Do you have any idea how good it feels to be able to sign like that?!)
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