CCIE Pursuit Blog

July 31, 2008

Internetwork Expert: $1,995 Mock Lab Workshop and Goodbye LockLizard

Scott Morris will be teaching some of the upcoming Mock Lab Workshops.  Not only that, but IE is knocking $1,500 off the cost:

Join Scott Morris for an upcoming CCIE Routing and Switching Mock Lab Workshop. Workshops are currently scheduled in central locations such as San Jose CA, Dallas TX, and RTP, NC. Each CCIE Mock Lab Workshop offers the student the chance to be led through Internetwork Expert’s exclusive Mock Labs with personalized feedback from a world renowned instructor.

Dates and locations:

September 22 – 26 – Dallas, TX
October 6 – 10 – San Jose, CA
October 27 – 31 – San Jose, CA
November 17 – 21 – RTP, NC
December 8 – 12 – Dallas, TX

This is the class that I attended in June and I really loved it.  At $3,500 I think that it was probably too expensive for self-financed candidates (my employer reimbursed my costs) but I definitely recommend the class.  The $1,995 price point is a great move.  This makes it one of the lowest cost live training classes and brings it into competition with Narbik’s boot camp.  Hell, for only $500 more than I paid for the workshop, you could do both.  🙂

I would suggest that if you are planning on attending the Mock Lab Workshop to attend it at least 28 days out from your lab (28 days from the end of the workshop).  The workshop will give you a good feel for how prepared you are for the lab.  If you’re not quite ready, then you can easily change your lab date.  If you get the thumbs up from Scott, then you can just as easily move your lab date up quickly as there are generally a number of slots open within 28 days of booking.

If you’ve completed any of the IE Graded Mock Labs, then I would check with IE before booking the class to see which ones (if any – they may have new labs now) of these labs that they will be using for the workshop.  I don’t know how long they will continue with the $1,995 price, so you may want to talk to IE about their reseat policy.  In my class there were a couple of guys who attended but did not do the labs because they were still early in their studies.  They planned to reseat the class at a later time.  That might be an option if you want to lock in the lower price.

In other IE related news, IE has decided to nix LockLizard.  LockLizard is PDF security software.  IE started using it with the beta releases of the new Volume I v5 workbook.  In order to open a PDF you needed to have LockLizard installed on your machine (Windows only – no Linux/Mac) and have a license from the publisher.  I used it briefly with the betas and it did make reading the PDFs a little sluggish.  I think that there were issues with needing to renew the license every couple of weeks and printing/number of computers used as well.  LockLizard was implemented to reduce piracy, but the end user experience was bad enough that IE is yanking it:

After reviewing the customer issues with our secure PDF application LockLizard we have decided to switch back to standard PDFs.   You will find in the next coming days that the existing products secured using LockLizard available through your members’ site account in standard PDF format.

The idea behind us using LockLizard was to cut down on the amount of piracy our support team has to deal with on a daily basis.  BUT if our measures to fight piracy cause our paying customer’s headaches then it’s not a good solution.

We have implemented a few new solutions to deal with piracy and one of them uses steganography to ensure that each user’s PDF is unique in addition to the standard watermarks (email address, IP address, etc).  This means that even if a user removes the watermark and reprints or converts the PDF into a new PDF it will still be identifiable by our support team as to who’s account it came from.  We had to add some bigger servers for this since the PDFs are generated on the fly.  We additionally had a crawler written that goes out and looks for pirated material and then automatically gets the files removed.

Lastly anyone want to buy a $10,000+ secure PDF application. 😉

Brian McGahan discussed this a bit further in the comments section:

From the beginning Brian and I have always struggled with the tradeoff between convenience to the user and protection of our intellectual property. When downloading free software or training or whatever from the Internet it’s easy to just write it off as being from some huge nameless corporation, and let’s be honest, none of it is that hard to find if you look for it. What is also easy to forget though is the amount of time and effort it took the author to produce it. Brian and I have invested literally thousands and thousands of hours of our own lives into developing these products, maintaining them, supporting them, and ensuring that they are the highest quality out there, so sometimes we do take it personally when we see them floating around.

Unfortunately for everybody any type of DRM is always a constant struggle between the numbers of legitimate customers who should be able to access their material that they purchased at their leisure in the most convenient fashion, and those out there that have to ruin it for the rest of us.

Hopefully this new steganographic solution will work out better, because from what we’re seeing of it now it’s very unobtrusive to the user, while nearly impossible to defeat. Unless of course you have memorized the exact output that every single “show” command in IOS is supposed to return

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1 Comment »

  1. I spoke to an IE rep earlier today, he told me that this is just an intro offer for now. It will go back up to the $2400-$2500 range. I didnt ask when it will go up, that thought skipped my mind.

    Comment by navfett — August 1, 2008 @ 2:42 pm | Reply


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