Interview with Roger Kresge Certified Netware Engineer

interview-with-roger-kresge-certified-netware-engineer-photoIt’s funny who you meet online. Some people become sources of great information, and Roger was one of them. I looked on Google for him, but all I could find was a book he wrote about Intranets.

Originally published on November 20, 1995.

I am humbled by Roger Kresge. My main business is network and computer consulting and in my main business I am the terminator. I’m the guy they call when they’ve tried everything and can’t fix it. Roger is the guy I call when I can’t figure it out

So, why do you care we are interviewing Roger? Well, he not only possesses the knowledge of three normal people, but he freely shares this information on various messages forums such as RIME and Usenet. He never tires of answering the same questions again and again and is never at a a loss with a possible solution. It is because of people like Roger that the on-line world is prospering and growing. Well, Roger and private chat rooms

You can contact Roger at!

PG: You are quite a qualified fellow professionally. Can you list your qualifications and describe them? With the Novell qualifications can you touch upon what it took to make it there?

RK: Novell CNA, CNE, ECNE and CNI.  Soon to be Master CNE as well.  4+ years learning PCs starting as a hobbyist, then into telephone tech support (and network specialist), and finally as a systems engineer and classroom instructor.

I found that I was very interested in networking, so worked extremely hard at learning everything I could get my hands on.  Most of the knowledge that goes into the certifications is self-taught and/or based on much field experience.  In addition to the certifications I’ve had articles published in trade magazines like “Network Administrator”, and co-authored a self-teaching book (yet to be published) on obtaining a Novell CNE.

PG: What is the question you are asked most when it comes to supporting a NetWare network? Why do you think folks ask it?

RK: I don’t think there is any one question, but I see an awful lot of people who don’t bother to read the manuals.  I think they expect that managing a NetWare network and file server will be something they can play around with until they get it right, and they forget that their company’s entire operation is riding on the availability of their network.  Guesswork doesn’t work.

PG: Obviously you don’t answer questions on-line for a living. What do you do for a living?

RK: Primarily spend my time working as a Consulting Engineer for Inacom Information Systems in Lancaster/Harrisburg, PA.  I consult on the design, implementation, installation, configuration, maintenance, etc., of customer networks large and small.  I’ve worked on everything from “mom and pop” shop 5 node networks to Fortune 500 multinational networks.

PG: Do you think the direction Novell is taking is good or bad?

RK: Yes.    Seriously, there is good and bad in everything.  They make great products, but can’t market for squat.  Microsoft makes pathetic to mediocre products but has an incredible marketing machine. I’d like to think that quality product will succeed over marketing hype, but I’m also afraid the hype may win out in the end.

PG: There have been recent changes in the CNE program. Is this how you would have changed it to make it better? If so, why? If not, why?

RK I’d have gone to the current “performance-based” testing years ago. I’m glad Novell has added an across-the-board requirement for certification in NDS for all future CNE candidates.

PG: Describe some of your hands on networking experience in real life. What was the most challenging installation you have wrestled with?

RK: That’s gotta be the 60-site frame relay network I helped build for a two-county consortium of public school systems.  It included routing requirements for Appletalk using AURP, TCP/IP primarily for management, allowance for IPX in the future, and was required to bridge LAT.  The hardest part of it may have been designing the addressing scheme.  But then again, it may have been even more difficult getting educators to understand and cooperate with my company’s need to make a profit (i.e., my team was not on an unlimited time budget).

PG: What hobbies do you have?

RK: Computers, reading science fiction, and I’d like to get into model railroading when my younger son finally moves out to go to college next year.

PG: What is your home computer setup like? Do you have a LAN at home? If so, describe it.

RK: I’ve got a NetWare v4.1 file server running on a NEC Powermate 386-16, 10Base2 with a spare connection for my Compaq Aero laptop, plus a 486DX2-66 that I built myself from parts.  The network is primarily used for testing and experimenting.

PG: What type of music do you like? What groups?

RK: In my previous career I was a radio personality/disc jockey for nearly 20 years.  My preference leans toward oldies, but my car radio is tuned to the local classical music station.  I can’t stand most commercial radio that I hear today, so I don’t listen to it.

PG: What sports do you like? Why?

RK: To watch, hockey (Phildelphia Flyers and the AHL’s Hershey Bears), baseball, football.  To play, I used to play a lot of tennis.  Today I coach a slow-pitch softball team in the local church league, and play pitcher and first base.