Recent Articles

IP Subnetting Part 1 - IPv4

Despite the large number of jokes in high school about never needing to use mathematics after graduation, the art form known as IP Subnetting requires a solid grasp of math based on binary numbers (0, 1).  In this first part of my devoted attention on IP Subnetting, we'll focus on Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addressing, some history, and the methods available to make IPv4 addressing go farther.

Understanding the "network" command

Many network engineers seem to misunderstand the use of the network command in routing protocols on Cisco IOS, especially once they see the usage in BGP.  This occurrence happens more frequently with those studying to become a CCNA, but may not be obvious to experienced engineers either.  Based on my own experience, I have very distinct memories of confusion when the concept I understood was first corrected by a more experienced engineer.  So let's breakdown the confusion.

Troubleshooting with OSI Model

At Layers 1-4, there are several tools or tricks available to quickly verify normal operations.  I have routinely used each of these tools for many years and expect many of them to be familiar.  Many of these tools are technology-specific, meaning that one tool has an application with one technology but not another.  I should also caution that the list below is not intended to be exhaustive or complete.  It's just a collection of my thoughts on what I find really useful.

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Primacore.net is Relaunched

To celebrate the new year (and lessen the sad memory that was WordPress), we've completed the first major milestone in redesigning our website.  We don't need to rehash all the sordid details of what has transpired, but here' a high-level summary.

  • Previously, both RouterLabPrep.com (now defunct) and Primacore.net ran on Wordpress.  While it provides some nice options for those who want to focus on content, the restraints it enforces on the site design and the templating system made it impossible to be as flexible as needed.
  • Some time was spent developing a custom CMS from the ground up so the functions required were exactly what the site needed.  As luck would have it, we eventually were turned on to MODx Revolution 2.0 and it really has fit the bill.  Like any new system, a learning curve exists between the time of introduction and the point of comfort.  The concepts in MODx Revolution are similar enough to the general concepts of our home-grown CMS that the learning curve was only a week or so to work out all the features.
  • So, the relaunched site is running MODx Revolution for most of the content, though selected items will remain static.  The elegent part of running a CMS with Apache as the webserver comes in the package known as mod_rewrite, which hides all the ugly URLs behind clean, simple ones.  We'll devote some space on the site to detail our experience with Apache, PHP, and MODx Revolution…at some nebulous point in the future, that is.

Give us your thoughts on the new site layout and it's reorganization.  We have a site credits page that should provide even more insight.  ttfn