2010 in review

Posted on January 2, 2011. Filed under: News |

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 65 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 289 posts. There were 7 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 142kb.

The busiest day of the year was December 24th with 581 views. The most popular post that day was Answers for IInterconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) Practice Questions – Module 5.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for network topologies, icnd1 breakdown, ethernet standards chart, icnd2, and csma cd vs csma ca.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Answers for IInterconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) Practice Questions – Module 5 August 2009


ICND1 and ICND2 break down June 2009


Answers for Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) Practice Questions – Module 2 August 2009
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ICND1 break down — Network Topologies June 2009


Answers for Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) Practice Questions-Module 4 August 2009

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IT Practice Exam stage 4 is finished

Posted on January 9, 2010. Filed under: IT Practice Exam Support, News |

IT Practice Exam site-build stage 4 is finished. Now the CCENT practice exam has more question types — besides the existing single selection, multiple selection style questions, I added drag and drop, fill-in-blank, and testlet style questions. Try it out now!

The Exam interface are more user-friendly, I added legends and changed the layout of exam result display. It’s now a closer simulation for the real cisco CCENT certification exam.

In stage 5, simulet and router simulation style questions will be developed and integrated into the existing Exam system, more questions will be added to the question pool, so stay tuned.

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IT Practice Exam now have Fill-in-blank type questions

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: News |

I just get the Fill-in-blank type questions implemented. Here is the demo of Fill-in-blank style questions. My next goal is to implement testlet style questions and integrate the Fill-in-blank and drag and drop demos into the pratice test.

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IT Practice Exam Update

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: News |

After a lot of tests on windows, Mac and Linux for the major browsers, I finally get the drag and drop style question implemented. Here is the demo of drag and drop style questions. My next goal is to implement fill-in-blank style questions.

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IT Practice Exam stage 3 is finished

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: News |

IT Practice Exam stage 3 is finished. Now you will see pictures and question related tutorial and Explains link. Try it out!

In Stage 4, I will implement other types of questions such as drag and drop, testlet, simulet and router simulation. Keep tuned!

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Test for Java Web Start

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: News |

I find that Java Web Start could run on IT Practice Exam site, it could work here. Even though javascript tag is forbidden on, I can use the a tag to launch the Java Web Start Program. This discovery opens numerous exiting possibility for this site!

Launch HelloWorld from Java Web Start

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IT Practice Exam stage 2 is finished

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: News |

The database management module for IT Practice Exam website have been finished. I tested the records insertion, update and delete functions on the major browsers, it works well. Now I can insert many questions/answers to the database by just copying/pasting them into a text area. The database module then generates the corresponding mysql insert queries and adds records into the database. So far, I have inputed about 140 questions, more will be added in the future.

In my next update, I will attach pictures and question explanations to the questions. Keep yourself tuned.

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IT Practice Exam Site blueprint

Posted on December 13, 2009. Filed under: News |

I plan to build a sister website IT Practice Exam providing exam simulator for visitors.

I plan to build a website providing exam simulator for visitors.

Application Level Description:

Step 1, the User should input the following informations through the webpage.

  • The exam type, for example, “java interview” or “Cisco CCENT”.
  • The number of questions, for example 5.
  • With or without time limit.
  • multiple choice or single choice (or description).
  • (email address for follow-up?)

After the user press “Begin Test” button, an exam will be generated with a clock timing down. Then user answers the questions by clicking the radio buttons.

The test will end either when it times out or user presses “Finish Test”.

The system will give the following information as the testing result:

  • uer’s score, the time elapsed.
  • the correct answers.
  • user’s selections.
  • the link to tutorials of tested knowledge for each question.
  • some smart analysis about the test result.

Module Level Description:

This application have three-tier structure.

A database act as the consistency layer. Each test type should have one table storing the questions. For each question, there should be many corresponding answers. Some answers are correct, others are incorrect. A question may have pictures associated with it. There should be audit tables stores the testers’ statistics such as average score, which is used to decide the difficulties for questions.

At middle-tier module is used to collect information from website, query database and generate test questions. After test, this module collects the choices from webpage, compares them with database then sends the result to the analysis module. The analysis module then returns analysis result to the middle-tier module, so that it can generate html page showing the result.

Optionally, the following module will be added in the second stage:

  • email module to contact the subscribers.
  • a spider module which search the internet for questions and update the database regularly.

Implementation Level Description:

  • The network structure: have the mysql database, php hosted. The tutorials are hosted on At my local computer, I have another mirror mysql database installed, the local mysql database is updated by spider installed in my local network. The local network use dynamic domain name and PAT to interact with the internet. I will manually or automatically update the database with new data after some time interval.
  • The database structure: a database named “db_tester”. Tables include tb_question, tb_answer, tb_picture, tb_meta. The table tb_question has columns Q_ID, question, answers_number, asked_time, correct_time, links, create_time, update_time. The table tb_answer has columns A_ID, question_ID, answer, correct, create_time, update_time. The question_ID is the foreign key pointing to the db_question’s primary key Q_ID. The table tb_picture have columns P_ID, Q_ID, P_ID, data, create_time, update_time, where the Q_ID is the foreign key pointing to the primary key of table db_question. The table tb_meta have columns M_ID, Q_ID, create_time, update_time. This table is used for future upgrade if more types of imformation is associated with the questions.
  • The php middle tier structure: create a plugin based on poll plugin. Three module files: userconfig.php, display.php, analyzer.php. These three files maps to the three main functions: collect users configurations, display exam QA and exam results, analyze the user’s test results.

Design Considerations:

  • The free site server could be very slow sometimes, therefore the design should limit the page loads, use as little server resource as possible. To limit the expensive database operations, especially writing, most of the information should be retained in the web tier and middle tier. To limit page loads, all the questions and choices will be listed in one page at the first version of design. To avoid database access, program will query the database to get all the Question/Answers pairs and stores them in a Map after the user submit exam configuration form. To avoid loading the server, I prefer javascript to php whenever possible, in order to shift the computation to client side. When server side support is un-avoidable, try to use ajax instead of reload the whole page.
  • In the future updates, if I still using slow, I will develop a client side program with either applet or flash. This client side box generates each question in a separate page.
  • If I decide to shift to a faster site server, I can generates each question in a separate page, which have a parameter named “choice”. When user press next, page appends the current question number and the choice of the answers to the “choice” parameter then sends it to the next question page. At the end of the exam, the user press “finish” button, the “choice” parameter will be posted to analyzer.php.
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Sister site for IT Certifications is launched

Posted on December 5, 2009. Filed under: News |

IT Practice Exams, the sister site of IT certifications is launched.

This site provides free on-line Exams and Exam result analysis for IT certifications such as CCENT, CCNA, mcts 70-536. It also provides free IT related job interview questions and answers.

While IT Certifications features video tutorials; IT Practice Exams will feature interactive modules and data analysis engine. Together, they provide high quality IT self-training experience for end-users for free.

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