I think my main advantage was that I was able to get access to SANS Management 414 class via their self-study content using training dollars from work [direct link for more info]. While expensive, the 'do it on your own time' offering was much better for me than going to a class (which can also be expensive).
One of the other key features that I liked about the self-study offering was there were seperate MP3s of all the sessions plus the online course review material. This allowed me to binge listen to the audio content during my daily exercise, drives in the car, and while on travel (which happend about 5 times during my prep time before the test). The only bad news about all this 'listening' is that when I have a CISSP related nightmare I still hear Dr. Eric Cole's voice.
The package included printed slides for all the material (sync'd online to the audio feed): [Domain 1 - Information Security Governance & Risk Management; Domain 2 - Access Controls; Domain 3 - Cryptography; Domain 4 - Physical Security; Domain 5 - Systems Architecture & Design; Domain 6 - Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning; Domain 7 - Telecommunications & Network Security; Domain 8 - Application Security; Domain 9 - Operations Security; Domain 10 - Legal, Regulations, Compliance, & Investigation], and a copy of the following book - "CISSP Study Guide" by Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar, Joshua Feldman. Also included was a series of pre-tests both online and paper and then a full practice test that was online.
Once I went through all the material one time via MP3/Slides, I then deteremined when there was a class about 16 weeks/4 mouths in the future and signed up for that one. I found it very useful to have a target date on the calendar to motivate me to block out time for studying. I then spent every Off-Friday from work and ~4 hours each Saturday and Sunday studying the material up to the test week. The test was on Tuesday and I pretty much studied full time Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before the test. If my math is correct that was about ~250 hours of studying (not including the MP3 material listening which I continued doing during my exercise, driving, etc times up to the test).
In addition to the study reference material above, I also took a great deal of practice tests. If there was a test I could take I took it. My prevous experience getting a Windows OS certification and Security+ was that there was a ton on of value in reviewing as many questions as possible. This turned into a a pretty detailed stats tracking on how I was doing and where I needed extra focus. Here is the "final" view of my spreadsheet tracker I setup in Google Docs:
The other thing I did that really helped was that any question I missed during any of the tests I took and turned it into a 3x5 study card. I also kept the cards organized by the 10 major topic areas of CISSP. This helped me really focus on studying the areas that needed the most work. By the end I'm pretty sure I had 400 cards, and on the day of the text all I did before the test was drill through those cards.
What about the actual test? Yes, it was very hard. Definitely the hardest test I've ever taken. I was the last one to leave taking up all but the last 5 minutes before the scheduled end time. I don't know how well I did other than I passed. And since that was the goal -- mission accomplished!
If you have any additional questions, comments, etc. then please let me know.
[Originally written on 2/24/2012 but updated 2/23/3014]
I picked each one specific to issues I was trying to resolve where I use headphones. The HD202 cover my ears very comfortably, but aren't so noise reducing that if someone knocked on my office door I would still hear them. The MDR-XD-200 were 50% off, have excel sound quality, and are something you can wear for hours without much fatigue which is great for movies and audio editing. The Quiet Points were cheaper than the Bose that I had before the were stolen, and fold up pretty well in thier protected case for travel.
Even though I'm content, I find it very interesting to get other folks opinions, suggestions, recommendations, etc. on headphones.
Leo also mentioned that Headroom was a good site with more info. And the Home Theater Geeks podcast have several very detailed podcasts in their library about headphones. If you want to get very technical on headphones (and even some ear buds) these podcasts are highly recommended.
I was able to get a S510M that is marketed towards to Apple Mac users to work on Windows 7 by loading the latest ScanSnap software for Fujitsu for the S510. Once loaded and patched to the latest version, hook up via USB to the Windows 7 computer.
When I did this I got an error that no driver was available, but I went to Computer > Manage > System Tools > Device Manager and right mouse clicked on the Unknown device for the scanner. Choose Properties and then the Driver tab. Click Update Driver ... and then manually select the Fujitsu S510 driver to apply to this device. You should get a warning message saying it might not work but say OK.
Once that drive was applied to the Device the S510M (with S510 driver) showed up in the Imaging device area and scanning worked without any issues.
The main reasons I think this new version (2013) in the base model configuration (WIFI only with 16-GBs) is a big improvement over the last base model version (2012):
Form factor: the width is less so it is easier to hold in one hand
Upgraded internal specs (processor, sensors, etc)
Front and back facing cameras
Also comes with Android v4.3 (the 2012 edition is also supported)
That being said, one of the reasons that it took me more than six weeks (I'm writing this on 9/2/2013) to feel comfortable recommending this version was that the GPS interface had a bad hardware bug that made it pretty much useless for navigation. Since this is a critical feature for me I wanted to make sure there was a fix (released late in August) that addressed the problem. The fixes to v4.3 list below from Google did solve my issues. These fixes were also suppose to fix some touch screen issues but I never had those.
One of the reasons that I decided to not get the 1st generation of the Apple iPad Mini (released in November 2012) and try out the Google Nexus 7 (2012) was mostly: form factor (pretty wide to hold in one hand), cost ($299), no integrated GPS on the WIFI model, and non-Retina display. Plus I was able to get my Nexus 7 (2012) for $150 used via Craigslist (see review).
The one thing that I'm still not 100% happy about is that the camera on the back for "standard pictures" (5-MB) is not that great except in ideal lighting situations. But that is pretty much my only complaint.
So, with all things considered, I do recommend the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet if you are in the market for a 7" tablet. I use it everyday effectively for: email; personal productivity; social media; consuming media (news, podcasts, blogs, RSS, video, etc); navigation; games; and tracking stuff (notes, references, health, etc).
UPDATE (11/24/2013): Now that there is a 2nd generation Apple iPad Mini with Retina display I did consider purchasing it, but decided that since I use the GPS everyday for navigation that I'm staying with the Google Nexus 7 (2013). Plus the price difference is something to consider. There are rumors that the 2013 edition will get a new list price of $199 which will mean there is a $100 price difference.
At this point I don't have a good solution recommendation for myself or others that like what they have currently in Google Reader. I'll be check options out over the next month or so. I don't have a huge sense of urgency as there is still time to make a discriminating decision.
Things I liked about Google Reader:
mostly text-based outline views;
can view content & sync in browser, iPad, & Nexus 7;
simple to add & delete feeds;
search through all my feeds;
can organize feeds in folders;
easy to mark folders read;
see only new posts;
star/mark posts for future reference; and
easy to share what I find interesting.
If you have a good recommendation then please let me know.
UPDATE (7/10/2013): I decided on Feedly. It works well via the Web and on Andriod. I've had no issues and would recommend it if you need an RSS reader.
Just a friendly reminder to all my fellow runners, joggers, walkers, etc. out there exercising on the road -- the all electric cars are 'super quiet' and if you are listening to audio with headphones on they are even harder to hear.
I almost got hit by one the other morning. Mostly my fault for not being as aware as I should.
I've noticed recently that since I carry my iPad around with me everywhere that I've been getting a lot more questions from people I know and meet about what type of tablet they should get. While I follow the mobile market as close as possible, all my current experiences are with an iPad.
Related to this topic, is my ongoing evaluation of Windows 8 on a touch screen enabled HP laptop, the release of Microsoft Surface/Windows RT (no experience), and the new Apple iPad Mini (no experience).
So, I decided to expand my experiences and look for a used Google Nexus 7. I was able to pick one up locally here in San Diego for $150 (25% off list) so that sealed the deal.
So here is my first impression after opening the box. Nice hardware -- the rubber back feels great in my hands, and the smaller form factor (~7-inch) is excellent. To be honest it really brings back memories of the Apple Newton. In fact, one of the cases I had for my Apple Newton, that I was using for my Marantz recorder, easily holds the Nexus 7, so that is my case at the moment.
After using the device pretty much full time this past weekend, the current Andriod OS (4.1.2) is suprisingly easy to use, and I haven't found too many issues or problems I couldn't solve on the device. It is defintiely more technical than Apple iOS, but that shouldn't cause any real issues, even for a novice. The comments from others in the mobile analysis arena that there is now parity between this version of Andriod and iOS. I think this is a pretty accurate assessment from my short testing.
I find the integration with Google very tight, and if you are a heavy Google user (Gmail, Docs, Reader, Maps, Play, etc) than the Nexus 7 is an excellent tablet. The new Google Now is a very good tool that floats up information that is pretty meaningful to me (weather, calendar items, sports scores, traffic, etc). I also think the Widgets on the home/main screen are very power for getting quick updates to key information.
Some things that are working against me with the Nexus 7: no rear-facing camera (I use my iPad camera daily); trying to not purchase any software that I've already paid for iOS; screen seems to get dirtier than the new iPad (about has bad as the original iPad); and missing some core applications that I have on iOS (some games, native Toodledo app, iThoughtsHD, etc).
Some useful Nexus 7 features: integrated GPS and NFS; micro USB charger; Google Wallet; integrated speaker is similar to the iPad (maybe not as loud but good enough); and software buttons on the front for back, home screen, and running applications (ie. scrolling app switcher).
While I had some application gaps, there was a relatively high parity in standard applications that I use regularly on iOS: Amazon shopping, Bible, Camera+ alternatives, Drive, Evernote, Hulu Plus, LastPass, Dropbox, Netflix, PocketBible (alpha), RedBox, and Stitcher. It is also good to know that there are really two main application stores: one from Google (Play) and one from Amazon (AppStore). I recommend checking both to see if there is a possible deal between the two.
So, am I going to keep the Nexus 7 in my toolkit? I think so, but it might not be my main tablet. I'm going to keep using it as my main tablet for the next week or so and then re-evaluate my options.
That would also include trying out the iPad Mini. And I think another option is one tablet for home (aka the iPad) and one for being out-and-about (the Nexus).
I was able to successfully upgrade to Apple iOS 6 (Apple's What's New Page) on my iPad without any issues. Here are the "new" things I enabled:
No Not Disturb: 9 pm to 6 am
Limit Ad Tracking
Reviewed all my Privacy Settings
Clock (setup a bunch of cities)
I also had no problems updating Conrad's iPad 2. Conrad is very happy with the new iOS 6, but when I asked him what specifically made him happy he wasn't able to pin any one thing down. ;-)
I am kinda bummed that Passbook isn't for the iPad yet. And the Panorama feature for the Camera that is in the iPhone/iPod isn't available on the iPad.
I also agree that Maps are in the need of work. Here is a picture of downtown San Diego where the Star of India is at: just an outline of the Star of India (ghost ship?) and there is a monster of some sort coming out of the water at the pier to the north of where the Start of India is at.
UPDATE (3/23/2012): I was also able to update Christy's iPhone without any problems.