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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Marshall Kirk McKusick, George V. Neville-Neil
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An advanced resource especially for advanced students

The Design And Implementation Of The FreeBSD Operating System is the collaborative work of computer science and UNIX operating systems experts Marshal Kirk McKusick and George V. Neville-Neil. Covering FreeBSD version 5.2, this is an advanced resource especially for advanced students and users of the widely used FreeBSD system, which is commonly applied to Internet services and firewalls, high-availability servers, general timesharing systems, embedded systems that take advantage of FreeBSD's lean qualities, and much more. Chapters include an overview of FreeBSD's history, goals, and general design, and then delve into the nuts and bolts of its kernel services, process management, i/o system, network filesystem, network protocols, and much more. A complex and technical reference featuring diagrams and flowcharts summarizing how FreeBSD operates, The Design And Implementation Of The FreeBSD Operating System is a "must-have" in-depth work for anyone concerned with learning the capabilities, most efficient interfaces, fine-tuning configurements, and more details of FreeBSD.

Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: CCNA Virtual Lab, Platinum Edition (640-801)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Lammle, William Tedder
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not all it's cracked up to be

As a Cisco Academy student I bought this with the intent to supplement the lab activities and to do labs when lab time was not available. As another reviewer noted, the first thing it asks is if you want to upgrade. I am finishing the second half of the CCNA 1&2 book and this was a help with some of the early labs. As we got further I noted commands missing and not enough hardware can be set up to do the labs. I found the access-list command not working which blew away any ACL labs and practice. It just isn't worth the money for a serious student. I am upgraging to Router Sims NetVis 4.0 (actually the same engine this one uses, this is a scaled down version that Sybex resells). It has all the Cisco Academy semester 2 labs and looks like it covers all the commands. Appears to be a much more comprehensive simulator for about 80 bucks more. See the comparison at their web page.
This will give you a feel for router configs, but has too many limitations to be more than just a toy. If you are serious about CCNA lab and practice, you will find this lacking very quickly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent book for the exam

I studied almost exclusively from this book for the exam, and passed with flying colors. The practice questions are almost word for word the ones encountered on the Exam. I looked at a couple other books, and they were way off of the material needed for the exam.
It would be 5 stars, but the OSI model isn't explained as clearly as it could have been. I actually had to read a chapter from another book to get a solid understanding of the model.
Having said that, if you know the material covered in this book, and the material in the practice exams, you should be able to pass the exam.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MPLS and VPN Architectures, Vol. 1
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Ivan Pepelnjak, Jim Guichard
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
MPLS and VPN Architectures

I found this book a excellent reference and any person or company planning on deploying MPLS. The Notes are very helpful and assist with real issues.