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Process Tampa Bay What I’m Up To

Scenes from UC Baseline’s “Networking 101” class

Here’s my daily view for seven hours a day for the next little while, as I’m part of the inaugural cohort of UC Baseline, the 5-week cybersecurity training program from Tampa bay’s security guild, The Undercroft:

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Last week was devoted entirely to the “Hardware 101” part of the program. Here’s a video summary of what happened that week, and Yours Truly’s in a fair bit of it:

This week is “Networking 101”, which is all about how the bits gets transferred across wires and air to our hardware.

One of the exercises is making our own Ethernet cables. I can do it — just, very, very slowly…

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We spent a good chunk of time setting up virtual LANs on our individually-assigned Cisco Catalyst 3750 programmable 48-port switches (alas, we don’t get to keep them), hooking up our Raspberry Pi 4 boxes (which we do get to keep) to them, and wiring our VLANs together via trunks:

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It’s a strange world, where IOS doesn’t Apple’s refer to “iPhone Operating System” — part of my usual stomping grounds as a developer — but in the world of network administration, it’s Cisco’s Internetwork Operating System:

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This is way outside my normal experience with networking, which I do at the application level, where I deal with data structures like arrays, dictionaries, base64-encoded data, and maybe the occasional data stream. This is the world of packets, frames, switching, and routing. I would still probably ruin a server room if left in charge of it, but after this course, I’d ruin it less.

do have a refreshed generalized concept of what happens at the lower levels of the network, and that’s the important thing for me and the sort of work that I do.

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