So far things have started out with a bang and we are getting into the basics of IOS and configuring switches. We learned how to set the host name and configure some basic security, as well as enabling the Vlan 1 management interface on the switch. This is where I am thankful for the strong command line background that being a long time OpenBSD user provides me. On a side note I cannot believe that Cisco still uses an MD5 hash to encrypt the secret to gain access to Privileged EXEC mode. Didn’t OpenBSD basically deprecate MD5 years ago!? It looks like security on routers and switches is decisively lacking.
The command structure has some parallels to the Unix shell. Force of habit has me using CTRL C to move out of command modes and tab to complete commands. Some of the other students are complaining about the command line and saying that it is taking them longer to achieve what they want and why Cisco doesn’t have a GUI. They do have a GUI but few people really use it because you the CLI is faster once you get good at it. People ask me how I am getting this so quickly and it has to be the Unix background.
Switching is really dry and boring. Of course we haven’t yet gotten into VLANS and Spanning Tree Protocol yet. I really don’t understand anything beyond the very basics of this. I know that Spanning Tree Protocol is supposed to help alleviate routing loops but anything beyond this, as they say, It’s all Greek to me. Routing actually fascinates me and I cannot wait to take a deep dive into that subject.