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Networking



Book Title : CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate : Study Guide (640-507)
eBook download format(s) : PDF
ISBN-10 : 0782126472 
ISBN-13 : 978-0-782126-47-1 
Author(s) : Todd Lammle et al. 
Publisher : Sybex Inc (Jun 2000)
Section : Networking
Book Review:

Amazon.com
Some child psychologists will tell you that you should never talk down to your children. Rather than spoonfeeding 'em baby talk, you should speak to your kids using big words and long complex sentences--which is tougher on the kid at first, but ultimately makes them a lot smarter than they'd ever be from just hearing "goo goo ga ga".

In much the same way, Sybex's CCNA Study Guide is a book that uncompromisingly presents complex material and expects you to live up to it. While the explanations are dense and often intimidating, once you get through this book, you'll be ready to face--and pass!--the treacherous CCNA exam.

Todd Lammle assumes that the reader has a passing familiarity with basic networking concepts, and he launches straight into an in-depth review of the OSI networking model without even mentioning what hubs, routers, and switches are. He then works his way into explaining TCP/IP and TCP/IP subnetting, a notoriously confusing concept for beginners, and in truth, mid-level techies may be temporarily confused here as well.

Unlike many other CCNA study guides, which touch briefly on subnetting and then provide a list of common subnet masks for rote memorization, Lammle really wants you to understand why certain masks and address ranges work. His objective is for his readers to be able to compute subnets on the fly--a task which many network professionals fake to this day--and as such, he takes you deep into the binary mysteries of TCP/IP. The explanations here are real migraine-inducers, but that's more the fault of TCP/IP's innate complexity than Lammle's explanations. Lammle himself admits that he expects his audience to have to reread the TCP/IP chapter at least once--but if you take the time to bear down, do the math, and really study, you'll never need to read another chapter on TCP/IP subnetting again.

The next sections of the book deal with Cisco routing commands, and it is here that the CCNA Study Guide truly shines. Cisco router commands are infamous for providing the user with floods of information, and the incoming tide of network statistics often sends fledgling CCNA trainees into info-shock. When you have three pages worth of data zipping by on your screen, how do you decide what the important bits are?

Lammle does an extremely good job of walking his students through the various Cisco commands. He explains what each command is meant to do, shows how it's done, and then shows you what you should be looking for after it's done. The chapters here are methodical, thorough, and dense, but they hang together excellently. The only problem is that Lammle assumes you'll be practicing these commands on an actual router--and many CCNA students don't have a practice lab to work with. However, if you purchase the CCNA Virtual Lab, a highly recommended piece of software that simulates Cisco routers in an connected environment, you'll have the next best thing to hands-on router experience. A preview edition of the Virtual Lab is included with the book.

The last section of the book is devoted to WAN protocols, and this part of the book is slightly disappointing. While the details presented in the WAN chapters are solid, they seem slightly out of proportion: while Wide Area Networks, and in particular, ISDN, are a reasonably large part of the CCNA exam, the ISDN section here is all of 20 pages. It's not that there's not enough to pass, but Lammle doesn't provide his usual wealth of details in the final chapter.

Like every good certification book, there are quizzes to test your skill, and you won't be lacking for choices here--seven "open answer" questions, 20 multiple-choice questions, and hands-on workshops grace the end of each chapter. The book ends with a 60-question final exam. The questions are moderately hard, and are a good test of your overall comprehension, but you can probably expect to find harder questions on the actual exam.

Rounding out this book is a voluminous hands-on walk-through of Catalyst 1900 Switch configuration, a comprehensive list of CCNA router commands, and a 70-page glossary. In short, this guide is like a stern teacher: it's not always easy to follow, and it's sometimes frustrating. But by the time you're finished, you'll understand the material better than you could have ever dreamed. --William Steinmetz

Book Description
The CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, 2nd Edition remains an affordable and reliable way to attain the core internetworking knowledge needed for Cisco's CCNA exam. Cisco recently changed the exam number (old version: 640-507; new version: 640-607) and question formats (simulation and drag-and-drop questions have been added), but they left the exam objectives intact. This book has served many successful CCNA candidates as the cornerstone of their exam prep program, and can do the same for you. Written by Todd Lammle, a renowned Cisco internetworking expert who knows exactly what it takes to pass the test, this study guide includes:

* Preliminary assessment test

* Focused coverage of key Cisco internetworking topics

* Written and hands-on labs

* More than 300 challenging review questions with explanations

* Two bonus exams

* Electronic flashcards for PCs and Palm handhelds




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