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SecureCRT Feature - Alt Select

If you are a SecureCRT user, here's a feature that might save you some time. Let's say you have a list of information in your terminal window that you'd like to copy - perhaps the output of "show ip interface brief." However, instead of the whole output, you only want the list of interfaces, not the rest of it. Normally, you would just highly the whole output of information and then either paste it as is or paste it in a notepad window and delete all the stuff you don't want. 

This gives you the following output:

R2#show ip int bri
Interface                  IP-Address      OK? Method Status                Protocol
Serial0/0                  unassigned      YES unset  up                    up      
Serial0/1                  unassigned      YES manual up                    down    
Serial0/2                  unassigned      YES unset  up                    down    
Serial0/3                  unassigned      YES unset  administratively down down    
FastEthernet1/0          YES manual up                    up      
FastEthernet2/0     YES manual up                    up      
Multilink1        YES manual up                    up     

Well, there is another way. A much cleaner way...

SecureCRT Feature - Chat Window

SecureCRT Icon

If you are a SecureCRT user, you might find a certain feature useful when configuring multiple devices via CLI. The feature is called Chat Window and it's not what it appears at first glance.

When I first saw the Chat Window feature listed in the View menu, I assumed it was some sort of remote tech support option or a way to collaborate with multiple users. Although it is certainly possible to use it to "chat" using the IOS Send command, it is far more powerful as a quick way to configure several routers or switches at the same time. 

Here's how it works...

My journey to become a CCIE

I've been interested in technology for as long as I can remember. From my early beginnings of learning how to navigate the DOS command line interface on my dad's computer while he was off at work, to building my first PC (with 8Mb of RAM!). I've always had an interest and a knack for this stuff.

Over the past decade, my interest in networking technology has grown significantly. In 2001, I earned my CCNA while working at Cisco (on contract) and a few years later installed my first 6509 in a global financial company. Several certifications followed down the road including the CCNP and CCAI. I now teach Cisco curriculum part time while working as a Senior Network Engineer for a mid-size enterprise. My drive to learn has never stopped, in fact it just keeps growing the more I am exposed to this stuff.

The time has come to take it to the next level.

Several months ago I made the decision, after some serious research and discussions with my wife, to begin studying for the CCIE Routing & Switching Exam. I started by researching and reading everything I could find regarding the exam - Cisco's official exam page, other blogs that detail how they approached the exam, podcasts talking about the exam, etc. I spent a good month reviewing my options before I finally made the decision that absolutely, without a doubt I am going to go for it - no matter what it takes.

I've written this blog post to share my experience so far and hopefully help others in a similar situation to make the go-no-go decision.

Packet Pushers Show 114 – Real-Life CCNP With Jeremy Cioara

Studying for your CCNP? Like podcasts about networking stuff? Like to listen to Jeremy talk about certifications? Then you have to check out this podcast where Jeremy discusses the CCNP and other certification stuff with Packet Pushers hosts Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro.

Upgrade your Macbook Pro to a 1 TB hard drive

If you bought a Macbook Pro in the last couple years, like me, you may be pushing the limits of the factory installed 250Gb hard drive. So far, the factory installed Toshiba hard drive has been rock solid, no complaints. I just need more space than 250Gb.

As of right now, the current Macbook Pros come with 500Gb or 750Gb hard drives (with an option to upgrade to 1Tb).  Back when I bought, they had 250Gb and 500Gb options. If you want more storage in your Macbook Pro, read on!

Select a Hard Drive

The first decision you have to make when buying a hard drive is how much space do you want?

I figure storage is relatively cheap, so why not go as big as possible? After a bit of research, the disk I chose to go with is the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1 TB Hard Drive. The decision was mainly based on the size of the disk, but several reviews I read all stated the disk is quiet and reasonably fast for it's size. The price is right as well (right around $100US).

CCIE Salaries


It's been about a year and a half since I posted a CCIE Salary blog post. The data is readily available with some searching, but I figured I'd post it here for reference.

Much of this data is collected based on individuals filling out questionnaires and surveys. The sample sizes aren't huge, but then again, there aren't that many CCIEs on the planet. As always, there are certainly some outlying data points that would skew this data set if included. I've heard of contractors with CCIE certifications making several hundred thousand a year. Those types of positions are few and far between, and for those of you landing gigs like that - congratulations! So without further adieu, here's the data..

Robotic Plane Avoids Walls

Robotics is an area of technology that both fascinates me and frightens me at the same time. Although it would be cool to have a robot that is self sufficient enough that it could do things for me, it's also scary to think what someone else's robot would be told to do (images of the terminator come to mind).

I found this video while reading the news. It demonstrates the use of some insane mathematical computations in the form of a remote control airplane that makes corrections to it's flight path to avoid obstacles. Watch the video to see for yourself (requires flash)...

End of Life announced for 3750/3560 G and E switches

Earlier this year, Cisco announced the end of sale and end of life for their 3750G, 3750E, 3560G, 3560E Catalyst switches. For some reason, I just received it in an RSS feed (not sure why there was a several month delay). But I figured I'd share the "news" since these are such a common platform.

The official end of sale date is January 30, 2013. As is tradition, support will be provided for 5 years following the last date of sale, so you have until 2018 for the last date of hardware support. If the Back to the Future movies hold any truth to them, we should have hover cars well before that date...

For reference, here's a quick list of dates:

Password Recovery on a Cisco 2500 Series Router

Command Line

If you have built a home lab (or are running really ancient hardware in production), you may find yourself in need of resetting the password configured on a 2500 series router. Depending on the router platform, the syntax is different. Here's how to do it on a 2500:

1. Reboot the router and send a break sequence to enter ROMMON mode. Break sequences can be sent using a Ctrl+Break key combination, or if you are on a system that doesn't have a break sequence, try using your terminal software to send a break sequence.

2. (optional) Type the letter O and hit enter. Record the existing setting, it's most likely 0x2102.

3. To reset the configuration register and have the router bypass the startup-config, type the following:

o/r 0x2142

To boot the router, type the letter i and hit enter.

APC 9211 MasterSwitch Password Reset Procedure

I recently purchased an APC 9211 MasterSwitch PDU for my home lab. I wanted the ability to remotely power up and power down devices so I can lab while on the go and not have equipment running 24/7. This specific device was acquired from a liquidator on ebay for less than $100 USD, which compared to the newer Smart PDUs on the market is a fraction of the cost.

This device has been discontinued by APC for quite some time, however these things are rock solid and so far this unit has been performing quite well. However, there was one problem when I tried to manage it... the previous owner didn't clear the password and I was locked out.

Linux crippled by a second

If you administer Linux servers or network appliances running Linux under the hood, you may have had to deal with high CPU utilization as a result of the Leap Second that was introduced this past Saturday. In fact, as a result of this leap second and some key software not being equipped to handle it, Amazon Web Services and many other web sites took a performance hit.

If you haven't heard of a leap second before, it's simply the addition of one second to the UTC clock to realign time with solar time

Turn your Mac into a TFTP Server

If you are working on some gear and need to tftp a config off a box or upload a new version of code, you might find yourself scratching your head when it comes to setting up the TFTP server built-in to Mac OS X. I know I did. This little tutorial is meant to show you how to quickly and easily get TFTP going on a Mac (in my case, a Macbook pro running Snow Leopard (Update below for Mavericks)).

First, download TFTP Server. The developer's site has a copy. Once the dmg is open, drag the application to the applications folder to install.

Tekcert Forums - One Year and Counting

I like to recognize milestones when they come along... birthdays, anniversaries, project deadlines. So, I'm taking a few minutes to recognize that the Tekcert forums were opened up one year ago today.

In that time, we've had many users sign up and create posts, or simply respond to someone else's post. Here are some statistics for the first year:

Users: 691

Forum Threads: 215

Thread Comments: 690

Percentage of Site Traffic: 2%

Obviously, these forums are no where near as large or well traveled as other sites. That isn't really the goal I had with creating them though. If they have helped people get answers to questions, then they are serving their purpose.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up and posted questions and comments!

How to do Crtl+Break sequence in SecureCRT without a Break Key

Command Line

So, for the past couple years I've been using a Mac Book Pro for the majority of my writing, but still relied on a Windows platform for most of my command line work. I recently was faced with the need to perform a password reset on a device using Secure CRT on my Macbook Pro, and wouldn't you know it? There's no Break key! Here's how I got around this issue, if you have another way to do it, please feel free to share in the comments below.

1. Start out by establishing your console connection.

Cable Un-Management

This video has been out for a while and I'm sure many of you have seen it, but I have to share for those who haven't. Don't let this happen to your data centers...

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by Dr. Radut