CEDIA’s Advanced Networking Boot Camp: Session One

Ed Wenck
Jun 27, 2016

Home Network“Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away”


Even the instructor has learned something.

Mike Maniscalco from Ihiji, who’s conducting the CEDIA Boot Camp on advanced networking, has just learned a handy way of recalling the seven open systems interconnection (OSI) layers. Instead of attempting to memorize the ridiculously long acronym PDNTSPA (which translates to physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application), an attendee suggests the food-centric phrase “please do not throw sausage pizza away” as a pretty elegant mnemonic.

The dozen-or-so integrators at CEDIA HQ chuckle their approval, as does Mike.

“I like pizza, so that’s perfect.”

Sauce-and-cheese substitute acronyms might be the only thing Maniscalco’s unfamiliar with in this universe. Day one, hour one of CEDIA’s Advanced Networking Boot Camp makes it clear that Mike’s bringing expertise in every aspect of networking installation and service, and he’s covering everything from the sublime to the seemingly ridiculous.

“Start with the physical layer when you’re troubleshooting a network for your client,” says Mike. “Ask them: Is everything turned on?”

There’s a knowing laugh among the guests. They’ve just taken something of an “intro” exam, so that Mike can gauge the knowledge of the group and begin to prep the attending integrators for the final exam they’ll take at the close of this three-day session. They’re all very well-versed in the basics, and after a broad overview of the agenda ahead, Mike dives into topics such as network documentation, segmentation via VLANs and software/hardware DMZs (yep, “De-Militarized Zones”), and much more. 

The group is representative of the modern home tech pro: some of the integrators have heavy AV backgrounds while an equal number have IT gigs on their resume. It’s an indication of how fast the technology’s moving — and proof that service after an installation job is ever more critical to a successful business model.

Every attendee has gear in front of them; live labs are critical components when it comes to CEDIA Boot Camps. As Mike stresses with a graphic: It’s better to learn by doing than by merely reading.

Mike next dives into the topic of security, which includes both camera setups for customers and protecting networks from bad actors. He stresses the critical importance of encryption and gives the group examples of how easy it is to hack some systems. (Spoiler alert: it’s painfully simple.)

The room’s rapt for the entirety of the first four-hour session, and Mike’s already covered a massive amount of material. There’ll soon be an inevitable distraction before it’s back to the data – lunch, of course.

And more than a few of us are hoping for pizza.

Learn more about CEDIA's Boot Camps, or check out the full list of upcoming CEDIA events.


  1. 2 Bjørn Jensen 27 Jun
    This is the mnemonic I personally have used since my first CCNA bootcamp years ago.  For the people with poor grammar I've heard others use the mnemonic "Please don't never throw sausage pizza away."  Either one works, so long as you know what they stand for.

    Sounds like a fun class!  Great instructor too!
  2. 1 Scott Soloway 27 Jun
    This is a terrible idea. While it will enable workers to know what to do, it will simultaneously prevent them from doing so.

     Every time someone tries using the mnemonic they will immediately stop working and go get a slice.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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