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This program is supposed to provide complete desig
This program is supposed to provide complete design and simulator environment that is useful for learning various important aspects of router and network functionality. When testing this program, several aspects attracted my attention. First, if you try to work in a full screen window it won't be possible because this mode is not supported. If you go to 'Network Designer' and try to design a network, when you try to connect a switch with any other network component the program will crash and the next message is shown: 'ODBC â€“ call failed'. I hope this problems are only in the demo version, which I've tested.
As the producer suggests, one should read a good part of the 'Help' file before starting to use the program. It doesn't accept short commands so, if you are familiar with a Cisco router IOS commands you can't type the short version of them because it won't work.
In the 'Lab Exercises' you will find some exercises very well organized. This part impressed me. You'll find a timer in the left part of the screen which shows you the remaining time for completing the exercise. Under the timer you will find the 'Current Instruction' section where you can see the action that must be performed by your next instruction. The last section is the 'Lab Instruction'. Here you will find all the actions you need to perform and which are shown, one by one, in the 'Current Instruction' section.
On the upper right side of the screen, you will see the 'Lab Description' section. Above the work area you'll see four buttons: 'Show Network', 'Show Answer', 'Flash Note', 'Score Exit'. If you click on the 'Show Network', obviously, you will see the network in use for this test. The 'Show answer' button will show you the instructions line by line or all at the same time which I think is a good thing and, for further help, if you click on the 'Flash Card', you'll see a brief description on what you'll have to do. And finally the the 'Score exit' button. This feature is supposed to show you the score and close the simulator but, if don't do anything in the simulator and press this button, obviously the score will be 0; if you complete the simulation, regardless of how many bad instructions you'll give, the score will be 10 out of 10. If you start the simulation and give some instructions but don't finish it you will score nothing, nor 0 or 10 and the answer will be 'You have scored Of 10'.
I know that the router's IOS (the operating system of a router) doesn't offer a very good looking interface but this program's interface could be a lot better. I look forward for the next version of this program.
Pluses: If offers a lot of information.
Drawbacks / flaws: The user interface looks like in the early 90's. You can't design your own network topology because it doesn't work, yet.
In conclusion: We look forward for the next version and we hope it will be better.
version reviewed: 1.0
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