ryanrudolf's digital playground

curious, analytical, problem solver

Feb 12, 2018 - 3 minute read - Comments - linux

Study Study Study

I recently got a message asking how I prepare for certifications / exams. I just keep on studying, reading and lots and lots of practice! The hardware that you use also helps. Having an external display helps me a lot! Recently I was able to acquire a monitor for free! Company was disposing them and I was lucky enough to get it. It’s an old school 17inch 4:3 box type monitor. Linux was able to detect the external display, and by using i3 keyboard shortcuts and xrandr scripts, I can toggle the display to use the following - laptop screen only, external monitor only, mirror display or expand display.

I also use a Thinkpad T420s (thinkpad fanatic!) 2nd-gen Intel core-i5 laptop (released in 2012). It is a 5yr old laptop and quite old by todays standards, but by upgrading the components it can still work for a few years without any hassle. Most of the CPUs today focus on power savings / power efficiency in exchange of processor speed, so my 2012 CPU model could be at par in terms of procecessing speed. RAM is maxxed out at 16GB DDR3, storage is upgraded as SSD and cdrom bay removed in exchange of additional HDD storage. I maxxed out the RAM as I will be using virtual machines, and I’m also using SSD because of high IOPS (input/output per sec) needed by virtual machines for storage. If I will host my virtual macines on regular HDD, it will take a performance hit and will be slow compared to SSD. All in all, this hardware setup only costs me 150cad (laptop, SSD, hdd caddy, hdd, docking station and monitor. some parts are from my old system), and I can say I am already break-even and ahead as I have gathered 3certs already using this setup!

With that said, this is how my screen looks like, from left to right -

  1. vmware running 3 RHEL virtual machines concurrently. VM1 has multiple disks attached to simulate LVM. VM2 has multiple NICs attached to simulate nmcli commands. VM3 has samba and nfs services to simulate mounting remote shares.

  2. web browser with LinuxAcademy practice questions. I also use certdepot practice questions and try to simulate without googling.

  3. various terminal windows :) Upper left is for playing mp3s using mplayer. Upper right is for my main system. The middle terminal is for lab1 and the last terminal is for lab2.

And here is my mini work station in action!

Once I get tired of practicing, I play retro-arcade games using MAME using my Logitech F710 controller!

Lets Encrypt for HTTPS New NIC to the Rescue

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