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Professor Creates His Own Cisco Manual 318

yootje writes "ZDnet is running a story about a professor who made his own Cisco networking textbook, with 800 pages: "Computing instructor Matt Basham's suggestions for improving Cisco Systems' official training manuals fell on deaf ears for years. But he appears to have the networking giant's attention now." The professor made his book available for free on his website."
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Professor Creates His Own Cisco Manual

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  • by slusich ( 684826 ) * <slusich&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:49AM (#9620335)
    It's great to hear a story about someone who took it upon himself to do what was needed. Cisco was obviously not responsive to him, so he goes out and does it on his own. Not only that, he decides to share his work with everyone. Now hopefully Cisco has the common sense not to sue him for his efforts.
    • by MoonFog ( 586818 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:53AM (#9620353)
      Sue him for what exactly? He wrote the book and unless he's plagiarised some of its content, then they wouldn't have much of a case. Given his profession, I'm sure he's more than capable of writing this book on his own.
      He's the owner of the material, and I seriously doubt that he can be sued for anything at all.
      • by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:55AM (#9620367) Homepage Journal
        How about republishing Cisco's API without their permission? Cisco probably likes the revenues they get from selling their docs and their training manual.
        • But has he done that? My point was that they cannot sue him just for publishing a book, he must violate some copyright if that's to be the case. Could Deitel be sued for publishing books on Java and .Net?
          • Could Deitel be sued for publishing books on Java and .Net?

            Does the license for using / touching / seeing / feeling a Cisco router contain language that prevents dissemination of this type of info? Doesn't Oracle have a license that says you can't release benchmark information?

            • Benchmark information is not the same as functional descriptions. There are LOTS of 3rd party Oracle books available at bookstores.

              The benchmark restriction is because benchmarks are relative, and not necessarily indicative of performance. "SELECT * FROM table" is not relative. It does what it says.
        • by Jayfar ( 630313 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:05AM (#9620444)
          Huh?! What API? Unless your considering router configs as application programs, there is no API. And there are literally hundreds of books written about cisco configuration, beyond those published by/for cisco.
        • by mwood ( 25379 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:20AM (#9621122)
          TFA reports cisco as saying that they don't make any money off the training materials. Those are a cost of doing business, where in this case "doing business" is growing the market by turning out CCNAs and CCNPs. It's good to see a company remembering what its actual products are.

          And their product manuals are available for free on their site. Another wise investment, and a very inexpensive one.

          About the only areas where he'd have to be careful is others' copyrighted material (as mentioned above) and use of others' trademarks. Prof.s learn early how to avoid those problems or they don't remain prof.s very long.

          Now, if cisco didn't like this, they *could* apply pressure through the institution's relationship with them as a training site. But it sounds like they are going to avoid PR disaster and work with the author instead of against him. Good for them. I and my shares approve of listening to customers' concerns about our documentation.
      • In this day and age, with the current laws on our books, the fact that he hasn't really done anything to get sued for doesn't mean they won't sue him.
    • by gmack ( 197796 ) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:02AM (#9620430) Homepage Journal
      "About half the people in this program barely know how to turn on a computer, so we need to start with the very basics. The Cisco curriculum and texts assume a certain level of knowledge."

      I'm not so sure this is the best idea hes dumbed down the manual to make room for the computer illiterate.. shoehorning students with no technical background into a network administration course seems like a bit of a waste.

      There is a lot to be said for having a sepperate class to teach the basics.

      • Me (Score:3, Interesting)

        by simpl3x ( 238301 )
        I'm a designer, with some technical inclination, and frankly unless I'm engineering mission critical software, most of the concepts are not that difficult. Do this to open port xxx! So, when I needed to look at my IP Sec to understand how it needed to be programed without paying uunet to do it, I looked around for materials. There wasn't much as far as tutorials go, and uunet did do it for free anyway, but it was mostly just lines of "open port xxx." Oooh, punching holes in a firewall. But that saved me a g
      • That's actually a bit of a misquote...the people who come here are expected to know their way around a desktop and the internet...those are both very vital skills to succeed. We do tell them to go take the entire AS degree plan too...the A+, MCP, 2 courses in Linux, the CCNA and the CCNP (plus gen ed stuff)...Matt
    • Cisco was obviously not responsive to him, so he goes out and does it on his own

      Not responsive in what way? In not publishing the CCNA coursework for free? This is not some revolutionary text where none ever existed, it's a CCNA study manual. There are literally dozens of these, from every technical publishing house known to man, including Cisco Press. His is just cheaper than the others.

      I don't get what Cisco is supposed to be contrite about. They publish and print textbooks for courses they design. Th

    • by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:28AM (#9620599) Journal

      <quote>Before publishing the book on his own, Basham said he had contacted Cisco Press about publishing it, but it wasn't interested. After his free book appeared online last week, however, the company contacted him via e-mail requesting a meeting to discuss the program at St. Petersburg College.

      Company spokeswoman Goodwin said that Cisco is always looking for ways to improve the program.

      She said that although instructors are required to teach the Cisco Academy curriculum, they are welcome to supplement it as necessary. She also emphasized that none of the Cisco Academy students are required to buy any of the textbooks from Cisco.

      "Cisco has a long-standing relationship with St. Petersburg College," she said. "And we have a process-oriented quality assurance program with the (Cisco) Academy where we work collaboratively with institutions to solicit feedback. We are continually making improvements based on customer needs."</quote>

      Cisco obviously thinks this is as cool as most of us think it is.
    • by amaffew ( 794407 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:58AM (#9620872)
      Thanks guys...I am not a lawyer but have spent several years studying copyright and internet law...I even got the opportunity to lead a session at Harvard Law School one summer. Heck, one of the professors there, Johnathon Zittrain, even downloaded the book...he's an old-school chat room moderator turned internet lawyer...he and his colleagues have even taking pro-bono work to fight for open source rights. I think I have sufficiently covered my assets with respect to the book...it has actually been out for three years and I haven't heard anything so far. Besides I put some really specific phrases in there that help cast aside their chances. Thanks again. I will go out and read all the posts too. You should see the one on www.macpro.se that appeared in swedish! Gratis lärobok för Ciscos kurser Thanks again Matt PS if you download the book shoot me an email and let me know where you are located...I am keeping track on a map. Bashamm@spcollege.edu
  • Eeeeek... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:51AM (#9620347) Homepage Journal
    It's a 5.1MB Microsoft Word file.

    Oh the horror... The horror...

    Please, Mr Matt Basham, release this as a PDF, RTF or HTML file... Anything but Word. I ma willing to help if needed.
  • Still Wondering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:51AM (#9620350) Journal
    I'm still wondering why the governments don't require free and "open source" text for public schools. In college, the professors used to change the text every semester so that the students couldn't sell the books back at the end of the semester (likely getting kick-backs from the text manufacturers, no doubt).

    If just one state would sit down and even purchase some good works and make them freely available for modification and distribution, then the cost of education would be greatly reduced. Profs would be free to make changes at it fits their style so long as those changes are re-posted to the public. Students could read the texts online and/or print them.

    What am I not seeing here?
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:5, Informative)

      by rpbailey1642 ( 766298 ) <robert...b...pratt@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:57AM (#9620382)
      You're exactly right about getting kick-backs, as well as the fact that they collect royalties for every book they put out. My Biology teacher is friends with the author of my Biology book (this is the reason that we use it, actually) and he has stated that to stay current with the class, you need the new book. Unless, you're really cheap, in which case, you'll need to know that Chapter Five is now Chapter Seven, and other trifle changes like that. At $100 a pop, these guys are milking college students (and their delicious scholarships) for as much as they can.
      • by bje2 ( 533276 ) *
        Another reason they changed books (or atleast versions) at the college i went to was the kill the used book market...it you have to have the latest/greatest version of a book, or a new book altogether, the independent used book store can't complete with the Barnes & Nobles owned University book store...
        • Which is why when I was in school, I found people in my major and we shared books. Did homework together which inevitably cut down on the time it took. "You do number 1 and I'll do number 6." It was like distributed learning. Figure it out and then explain it to each other. This wouldn't always work, but it often did.
          • Re:Still Wondering (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Suidae ( 162977 )
            Figure it out and then explain it to each other.

            I and my classmates did the same thing. We found that it took about the same amount of time (or longer depending on how much beer was involved) but we learned the material better, since we had to know it well enough to explain it clearly.
      • All it takes is time (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:50AM (#9620801) Homepage Journal
        What I would try to do is check out the book from the college library and scan or photocopy the relevent chapters. Yes, illegal as hell, but when you're a starving college student, paying US$18 for 600 pages versus $100 for the physical Chem book (if you could sell it back, you'd get something like $30) is much more economical.

        If I recall correctly, not too long ago some folks had the bright idea of ordering their books from Canada/UK. Seems that the same exact textbooks there cost up to 50% less than in the states.

      • I'm still wondering why the governments don't require free and "open source" text for public schools. In college, the professors used to change the text every semester so that the students couldn't sell the books back at the end of the semester (likely getting kick-backs from the text manufacturers, no doubt).

        And later that same thread . . .

        You're exactly right about getting kick-backs . . .

        Oh, yeah! I'm a professor, and you should see the stuff we get from the textbook people: hot and cold runnin
        • Re:Still Wondering (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sphealey ( 2855 )

          Oh, yeah! I'm a professor, and you should see the stuff we get from the textbook people: hot and cold running Porsches, massages from scantily-clad young women (or men, if you prefer), big envelopes stuffed with cash . . .

          Not very much money in collge publishing compared to elementary school and high school. Richard Feinman recorded in great detail how, as a member of the California state textbook review panel (at least at that time, all textbooks used in California public schools needed the approval of

      • Re:Still Wondering (Score:3, Informative)

        by enjo13 ( 444114 )
        IANAUPBMWI (I am not a university professor but my wife is), but I would REALLY like to know how you get signed up for these kickbacks. After 4 years of PhD school it would sure be nice to get a little something extra back from that investment.

        It is true that she receives more textbooks every year than she can possibly read/investigate, at least for her changing a text book is more a very deliberate process. She's an Accounting professor, and she does change text books quite often. However, instead of some
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If just one state would sit down and even purchase some good works and make them freely available for modification and distribution, then the cost of education would be greatly reduced.

      Don't know about the cost saving thing, but wouldn't having a "freely modifiable" text book defeat the purpose of having standardized text books? If the bible thumpers in the midwest were free to remove objectionable references to Darwin and the PC nuts in the west were free to remove text that didn't match their PC creed
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bje2 ( 533276 ) * on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:59AM (#9620403)
      i'm not sure that would work...you need to have some "standard" teaching material somewhere...if you let every individual professor/teacher alter their text book according to their spercifications, things could get out of control...think about the viewpoint an affrican high school teacher in mississippi might have while teaching about the civil war...or a staunch anti-war believer when teaching about vietnam...children's views of events would eventually become skewed...that's why it's good to have standardized text books...

      of course, this relates mostly to elementary school & high school...obviously once you get into college, many teachers don't even use text books to begin with...
      • "...you need to have some "standard" teaching material..."

        Standard teaching material doesn't lead to a correction of skewed viewpoints. It just makes sure we only have ONE skewed viewpoint.
      • by Casca ( 4032 )
        So its better to learn about the civil war from the perspective of the white upper class, or of the vietnam war from the right wing conservative theocracy. Right? Children's views of events are skewed, you think the history that is taught in existing test books is what really happened? The right to pen history has been a spoil of the victor for ages, and nothing about that has changed.
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jefe7777 ( 411081 )
      once Harcourt, Editis, John Wiley and McGraw-Hill pack it up because you've killed off their ability to make a profit, i hope you have a talented army of volunteers ready to crank out some material.
    • Kick backs??? No need for that, at my school some of the professors wrote the textbooks they required us to buy. One chem prof would change the book slightly each year just to make more moola.
      • Yes. Dr. Zumdahl at UIUC does this. Now his wife is a co-author so the book is almost twice as expensive. All for a subject that hasn't changed since 1950*. /me hopes he doesn't have to use that god-forsaken book at UIC...

        * Yeah, yeah. Some things have changed. But not $200 worth of things :)
    • As the son of a university professor I know my dad and his professor friends have gotten tons of books from publishers free.

      They simply see a book they like, call up the publisher and identify who they are who they work for and they have a class of 300+ stupid first year students next semester/year and the reading material is not set for this course yet.

      They then drop the names of a book from a competitor and say they have recently read that. By noon the next day there is a fed ex. package with a letter l
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:4, Informative)

      by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP AT ColinGregoryPalmer DOT net> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:34AM (#9620663) Homepage
      Just as a plug, free textbooks can be found over at Wikibooks [wikibooks.org]
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:3, Insightful)

      by isorox ( 205688 )
      The fact profs write their own textbooks and get you to buy them?
    • by xtal ( 49134 )
      This is the future.. it would be nice for fields like electrical engineering, where the core material was discovered and published several hundred years ago - but you still have to pay $200 every year or so for the texts. A standard reference text that could be improved, peer reviewed, and built upon year after year would be a tremendous boon to mankind. I think of all the useless projects and questions I worked out over the years, imagine if that work went towards improving a collective body of information
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:2, Interesting)

      by amaffew ( 794407 )
      Because the schools are having to rely more and more on self-sustinance. They have to become in reality "for-profit" agencies. The only trouble is they are forgetting about the best interests of the students. I did this as a wake up call, pure and simple...besides, I agree, it should be free to students. The really good teacher/administrators should be able to find grants to pay for equipment. Plus, if they design their curriculum correctly they won't need much of it...my entry-level computer security p
    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:4, Informative)

      by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:23AM (#9621156) Homepage Journal
      What am I not seeing here?

      Oh! Oh! I know! That the government isn't the answer to all problems?

      But that's just the Libertarian in me talking.

      In all seriousness, if you really think that this is a good idea consider pitching in to make it happen. I have my own project to this end, the Free Curriculum Project [nongnu.org].

      I also help out a bit with another, Free High School Science Texts [nongnu.org].

      I know that both or either project would sincerely appreciate your help.

      Both are focused on High School texts. Mine is biased to the United States of America, the other is South African.

  • as html (Score:5, Informative)

    by dncsky1530 ( 711564 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:55AM (#9620368) Homepage
    It's quite strange that it is not a PDF file.
    but is anyone wants the 5 meg html version it here []
  • Cisco has so much of the networking infrastructure market they obviously didn't care about the quality of their documentation. Luckily, there has always been a market for outsiders who can figure things out and explain them to others. Cisco would be smart to work with this guy.
    • If i remember correctly, Juniper is supposed to have a substancial share of the market. Something in the realm of a quarter.
      • Juniper has a big market share at the mid high end as thats where they fit, your not seeing junipers replaces 26xx gear as they dont have the convergent techs to do so (IP, Voice, Dial IN/OUT, Fax, intergrated switches, IDS etc etc etc) I think by dollar ammount for core routing juniper is doing realy well but it's not trickling down into the 2-5k a pop branch office router/switch/pbx/blender that everybody seems to be installing.

        BTW I thin the cisco press books are actualy quite good on a lot of subjects,
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've often suspected that some companies make the technical knowledge to use their products inaccessible to build up a loyal and fanatical following of technical professionals who know the real tricks.

      A certain popular DB company comes to mind. If anyone could set one up, more people would see that simpler solutions (mySQL, SQLite, etc.) would fit the bill 90% of the time, but as it is DBA functions are typically controlled in a company by a cabal that is heavily invested in their hard-won knowledge of a

  • They probably figured, "we can charge a ton for our cert's forever, because no one is going to take the time to write a book." OOPS! I hope other people follow suit and finally we will be rid of the "if you're not certified, you can't have learned it" business principle.
  • finally (Score:4, Interesting)

    by falkryn ( 715775 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:07AM (#9620449)
    good to see somebody doing this. I took the first semester Cisco course at my college, and yeah, the books weren't all that good. I haven't seen his work yet, but I do recall the first semester is exclusively going over the seven layers of the OSI model in sometimes painful detail. Can tend to throw the beginning student off, especially considering the OSI model is not much more than an academic tool anyway, TCP/IP is were its at in the 'real world'.
    • Re:finally (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jacer ( 574383 )
      The OSI model is used to describe the function of a network. TCP/IP can be mapped exactly to the OSI model as a four layer stack. So, academic tool or not, it's a standarized way to teach, that helps you branch off into TCP/IP, Netware, any other protocol.
      • Re:finally (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "The OSI model is used to describe the function of a network. TCP/IP can be mapped exactly to the OSI model as a four layer stack."

        The presentation and session layers are lumped into TCP/IP's application layer where they belong. How then, does teaching the OSI model, where these two layers are explicit, help in the student's understanding of network protocols? What useful purpose does teaching the concepts of presentation and sessions have when they are almost orthoganol to the topic at hand? (I'm struggli
    • Re:finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @11:06AM (#9621699) Journal
      Can tend to throw the beginning student off, especially considering the OSI model is not much more than an academic tool anyway, TCP/IP is were its at in the 'real world'.

      It's good to know how the OSI model works, especially when troubleshooting tricky layer 2, 3, and 4 network issues. That being said, when I took the CCNA test they only had about 2 questions on it. They were something like "Which of the following are layers in the OSI model" or something really basic like that. Anyway, my instructor had a really good way to remember the OSI model that I still remember to this day (took the class in 1997):

      All People Seem To Need Data Processing.

      The letters in this saying correspond very nicely with the layers in the OSI model:






      Data Link


      Hope this helps those of you studying for your CCNAs (judging by enrollment numbers in these college courses, there's a lot of you.)

  • Great pricing scheme (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mark_Uplanguage ( 444809 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:10AM (#9620476)
    I've seen some of the initial comments here and if you notice that the price of the book is $25 for the printed version, of which Mr. Basham get's $5 (20%) and the publisher gets the rest. Honestly I don't have the time to figure out what LuLu.com's expenses might be (since I have no idea the cost of bandwidth to download 5MB), but this seems like a VERY valid business model for homegrown authors to go to. Good luck to LuLu.com and my they break open the gates of good reading at reasonable costs!!!
  • Useful Contribution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XeRXeS-TCN ( 788834 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:11AM (#9620482)

    I think that this is a very useful contribution to anyone who is looking for information on Cisco networking. It's definately a "middle finger" to big companies who are so set in their ways, they are unwilling to take advice from people in the field who have the qualifications and experience to make a genuine contribution to their documentation.

    In many ways, it also reflects the spirit of the Free Software movement, in many respects. It reflects the frustration of a constant refusal to fix issues with something released in what is, in certain respects, a proprietary format, and the result of writing a version, which is then distributed for free. It's good to see :)

    Speaking of which, I wonder if Mr Basham could be convinced to release the text under a free license, like the GNU FDL... possibly not, if he has already made arrangements with publishers, but it might be worth looking into...

  • What??? (Score:4, Funny)

    by morgdx ( 688154 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:15AM (#9620505) Homepage

    Networks need manuals? I thought you just had to make sure no-one knocked the patch cables out.

  • Bad Self Publishing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RoscoeChicken ( 73509 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:16AM (#9620508)

    Self-published textbooks will only work when some sort of feedback mechanism is in place to offer an indication of the quality of the book.

    For years, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the engineering college subjected undergraduates to an extremely poor thermodynamics text self-published by an influential department chair until the thermo scores started to slide on the state EIT exams.

    • by salutor ( 664890 )

      I would challenge the notion that there is a distinct category of books that are self-published. To some extent the categories of publisher and self-publisher are anachronistic.

      I've made the argument that there is no such thing as self-publishing [salutor.com] in more detail elsewhere, but to summarize:

      • Many independent publishers publish the work of a small number of writers.
      • Many writers establish "publishing companies" to distribute their own work.
      • And at this point, technologies like Lulu.com make publishing ac
  • Cisco books... (Score:5, Informative)

    by !ramirez ( 106823 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:17AM (#9620524)
    Cisco Press books are, without a duobt, the best technical manuals (from a manufacturer) that I have yet read. Anyone who simply bashes on the 'networking academy' crap is doing a serious disservice to the legions of people who have progressed far beyond that simple standard of networking knowledge.

    I imagine that a large number of people who have never read Jeff Doyle's "Routing TCP/IP" Vols. I & II, or Kennedy Clark's "Cisco LAN Switching" will comment about this article - read any dense technical manual by either of the above, or Bassam Halabi, or Priscilla Oppenheimer, or any non-entry level book, and see what I mean.

    Besides, all of the entry-level Cisco knowledge focuses on the OSI model and BASIC network troubleshooting. If you REALLY wanted to learn that and not be led by the hand thru a technical school, you would read "TCP/IP Illustrated" by W. Richard Stevens.
    • by w1r3sp33d ( 593084 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:44AM (#9620743)
      I can't agree more, Doyle's TCP/IP I&II are two of the best books I have ever read. Don't mod me funny, I am not kidding.
    • Re:Cisco books... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by illumin8 ( 148082 )
      Cisco Press books are, without a duobt, the best technical manuals (from a manufacturer) that I have yet read.

      I agree wholeheartedly. Especially Basam Hallabi's Internet Routing Architectures. (No affiliate link) This book taught me how to establish BGP routing policies, and is considered fundamental reading by almost anyone on NANOG.
  • Certified (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bigbutt ( 65939 )
    Well, it's for CCNA which is an ok beginning. Downloading now to see if it'll help with my CCNP recert.

    I got my CCNA simply to understand networking better and the environment at work. The company paid for a CCNP class so I felt I had to give it a shot and got my CCNP 5 months after the class ended. Now that I have to recert, I'm studying the Switch/Router books and, even though I didn't work as a network engineer, much of the material is familiar.

    Do you know what they call someone who received the lowest
  • by gladmac ( 729908 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:27AM (#9620587) Homepage
    How can they argue that they do not overprice their books [in the US] when you can pick the same book up in Europe, for much less. And what is really funny... it even says on them "Not for sale in the US" [because there we have this really good thing going on with the other publishers about not going below $0.2 per page EVER].
  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by GodHead ( 101109 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:34AM (#9620655) Homepage
    Offering a 5mb file on slashdot...

    That takes balls.
  • by ChrisCampbell47 ( 181542 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:34AM (#9620662)
    For those of you who refuse to download MS Word docs off the web (due to virus payload concerns), repeat after me: "Google is your friend"

    After clicking on a link below, click on "View as HTML" on the resulting page.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sp college.edu%2Fstar%2Fcisco%2FMatt%2Fpreface.doc [google.com]

    http://www.google.com/search?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sp college.edu%2Fstar%2Fcisco%2FMatt%2Ftextbook.doc [google.com] *

    It's a gigantic HTML file and may give your browser fits, but at least it's not a MS Word doc file.

    [* looks like Google hasn't parsed that big doc into HTML yet, maybe they will soon now :) ]

  • PDF File (Score:5, Informative)

    by sagenumen ( 62467 ) <mtrillo@gmaSLACKWAREil.com minus distro> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:02AM (#9620908)
    I converted the MS Word to a PDF and it is available on my school's server. They are going to hate me:

    http://www.lehigh.edu/~mlt3/textbook.pdf [lehigh.edu]
  • by originalhack ( 142366 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:04AM (#9620925)
    The good professor is really trying to study just how many people will blindly open a word doc from an untrusted source. What do you want to bet that opening the document in word triggers a counter somewhere?
  • by homerskid ( 725428 ) <homerskid@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:07AM (#9620960)
    I've been doing this same thing for years now....guess I just never thought to put it up on /. :-)
    Several years ago, when I was studying for my certs, I decided to compile all my material into a book.
    It has since grown into two separate books, one for the CCNA and one for the CCIE.
    While they used to be free, I decided to begin charging a small fee (10 bux), but only enough to cover the costs of my website -- incidentally, I've never really been able to recoup that.

    If anyone is interested, the books, along with loads of free material are available (both online and downloadable) at gdd.net [gdd.net].
    Please note that I do like for folks to register, but it is free and rather painless ;-).
  • Word?! Yikes. (Score:4, Informative)

    by muonzoo ( 106581 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:26AM (#9621196) Homepage
    Surely if you wanted to typeset / author a book these days, Word wouldn't be your first choice of editor. Especially in acadameia. Docbook, LaTeX, even the ROFF family would seem more portable in terms of generating useful output. Oh well.

    Once upon a time, Word really stuggled with documents over 256 pages. I'm sure that's fixed, but what about revision control, and single point of truth? Surely it has to be a pain to incorporate all your examples in the Word document as copies of what you were really using.

    Does someone have a good place to chuck it in PDF form? I'd be quite happy to render it from Word to PDF. (At least that's slightly less evil).
  • by Diabolical ( 2110 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @10:38AM (#9621367) Homepage
    Downloaded the thing and read a few pages... he starts almost imediately with a nono regarding websites. Screenshots of websites where to find information complete with arrows to parts of that image... nice.. What if Cisco revamps their website?

    459 pages is the page count of this book... at least.. that's what MS Word 2k is telling me.

  • This book sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @11:36AM (#9622049) Homepage
    • Lesson 1: Finding CISCO's web site.
    • Lesson 2: Opening a "MS-DOS" window on Windows 95/98. (Not an NT-family OS, even though this is a corporate networking class.)
    • Lesson 3: Installing a network card. ("Try to see how a Token Ring NIC differs from an Ethernet NIC.")
    • A little further along, there are chapters on binary arithmetic, hex arithmetic, IP addressing, and the symbols Cisco uses in their manuals. Then, immediately after the chapter on IP addressing, things suddenly get complicated:

      • You are the network administrator for an upstart website publishing company. They have offices in two adjacent buildings on different floors. Lately, they have realized the costs of their individual Internet accounts far exceeds the costs of installing and maintaining a T-1 line. As the network guru you are to design a network that will utilize FDDI between the buildings. The west building uses floors 3, 4, and 5 for the sales and admin staff. Here you will want to use a CISCO Catalyst 5000 with a FDDI module, a management module, and a 24-port switch module. From there each floor will distribute access via a CISCO 1924 switch to each of its 20 nodes (workstations, servers, and printers). The east building uses floors 1 through 5 for the design and engineering staff. Here you will want to use a CISCO Catalyst 5500 with a FDDI module, a management module, and a 24-port switch module. You will also have a CISCO 2610 router with T-1 module, and a Kentrox CSU/DSU for your full T-1 line. Your ISP, ComBase has sold you two blocks of 62 IP addresses: 198.74.56.x (1-62) and (65-126). Combase will also provide the DNS services, unlike most ISP's where more than 24 IP's are ordered. Design your network, including cabling and grounds, to include all IP's, subnet masks, gateways, and anything else you need to include.

      This is before they've mentioned how to configure, operate or use any of that stuff. Wierd.

    Some quotes:

    "Supercomputer--See Nasa, Berkely, MIT, etc. Kind of like the W.O.P.R. in Wargames."

    • Re:This book sucks (Score:3, Informative)

      by amaffew ( 794407 )
      Keep reading...that is the stuff for the section on "Networking Fundamentals." MPLS? Come on...this is a CCNA book...that comes later in CCNP...there are tons of books out there at the CCNP and CCIE level some are good and most are bad...not too many people try to write the entry level stuff because you have such a wide audience with such a variety of learning styles...you really have to cover all the bases...later on you will see some more fun stuff like writing a pseudo-protocol inspector using ACL's a
  • by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spamNO@SPAMpbp.net> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @11:39AM (#9622093)
    The Word format [pbp.net]

    The PDF format [pbp.net]

    Leech away.
  • Word file? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @12:00PM (#9622312)
    I'm appalled. Not because it's a Microsoft product, but because Word does such a shoddy job of handling large files. It should have been written in LaTeX, then published as a post script or pdf. For those not familiar, Word chokes on that 5MB file. You can write entire books in LaTeX (or magazines since those technically contain more data).
  • by Percy_Blakeney ( 542178 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:47PM (#9625642) Homepage
    After reading the first couple of chapters, I must admit that I am not impressed. My first impression is that he has a lot of experience with Cisco equipment, but doesn't have an in-depth understand of networking principles. For example, while introducing the OSI model, he says:

    Layer 5: The Session Layer... This is the layer that says "HEY!" I want to establish a networking session. In fact, if you have internet access from your home computer then you may even see the message "establishing session" during the connection process.

    That's just wrong. The OSI model is different from what actually happens in the TCP/IP protocol stack. The Presentation and Session layers aren't actually present in the real TCP/IP world, so claiming that something happens there is incorrect. That "establishing session" message is taking place either at the Application or Transport levels, but not at the non-existant Session layer.

    In addition, his informal prose ("old school", "friggin", etc...) gave the book a definite unprofessional feel; some people may think the book is more accessible this way, but I felt that it was a bit sloppy.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.