With CIM Router Basics, you can gain an understanding of routing principles and the Cisco IOS® command-line interface (CLI), which is used to configure and manage Cisco routers. Offering self-paced instruction and practice, this robust learning tool gives you a quick and cost-effective way to acquire Cisco knowledge and expertise. From an overview of the Cisco IOS CLI architecture to the application of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), you’ll learn how to configure Cisco 4000 series routers for basic operation, how to establish connectivity between routers in an internetwork, and how to perform fundamental maintenance tasks. Based on techniques developed by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center engineers, you’ll practice router initialization, status evaluation, password recovery, updating software images, and TCP/IP and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) configurations. An excellent preparation tool for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam.
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When it says basics, it means basic. The software is fine and runs well for what it does, but it doesn't offer that much for the beginning student and practically nothing for the prospective CCNA--making it very pricey for the environment it offers. Be warned.
The program starts off with several pages' worth of instruction on routing basics, but all told there are probably about 30 pages' worth of data total in Cisco Interactive Mentor Router Simulator. The data is sparse but fairly well written, getting the few points across that it needs to--and hyperlinked generously to various definitions and illustrations for those not familiar with routing concepts. There are extremely simple pop quizzes that show up, throw out a softball question or two, and disappear. The real selling point of this is the CIM Simulator, which emulates a Cisco router and allows you to fool around with it.
The method of teaching on the simulator is fairly simple--you get into the simulator and press "Play," and a cheerful female voice tells you what commands to press and what buttons to push to get the "router" to do what you need it to. A command reference is a button-click away. The exercises cover a couple of basic topics--simple configuration, password recovery, downloading images from TFTP servers, and TCP/IP and RIP configuration. It does well at getting the user to understand the basic functions of these two sections.
Unfortunately, that's the main problem with the software. The CCNA covers many more topics that aren't covered here--things like LAN switch configuration, IGRP and EIGRP, IPX, IP filtering, frame relay, and ISDN... The list goes on. You can enter almost any Cisco command and get the dreaded, "This simulator only supports a subset of the command set a real router offers; please use only the command you're instructed to," including such standbys as "shutdown," "interface," "ping," and "show interfaces." For $150, one would hope that this software would at least get a potential CCNA up to speed beyond the simplest of commands, but apparently not. Given that for $80 you can buy sets of books that will almost guarantee a pass for the CCNA exam and give you a much better router overview, this seems light.
In short, this isn't a bad program, it is just very overpriced for the content it offers. If the price drops to below book levels, you might wish to consider it. --William SteinmetzFrom the Publisher:
Test-drive the Cisco Interactive Mentor network simulators with three free browser-based demos available from the Cisco Press Web site. With audio/video components, animation, tutorials, quizzes, reference material, configuration labs, and troubleshooting labs, the CIM products are the only comprehensive network simulators available from Amazon.com.
The Cisco Interactive Mentor products do not require you to spend more money on another book in order for you to use them. These are true stand-alone products; all the reference material you need to complete the labs and acquire the knowledge is fully contained within the CIMs. Just search for "Cisco Interactive Mentor" to find all six CIM products here on Amazon.com.
Whether you are preparing for a Cisco certification or just need to get some network experience, turn your desktop into a training lab with CIMs. Visit the Cisco Press Web site for more information on Cisco Interactive Mentor.
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