Home > Articles > Cisco > CCNA Wireless

The Portable Command Guide Series: What Is It, and Why Should I Buy a Book from It?

When you are looking for a book to support your certification study, your daily work, or a new project, it is easy to get lost in the sea of titles; which do you choose? Sometimes, you don’t need the whole story; this is where the "Portable Command Guide Series" comes in. Series creator Scott Empson offers an inside view to this handy series and introduces its features.
Like this article? We recommend

So there you are, standing in front of a wall of books in a bookstore (or maybe looking a screen of hundreds of titles in an eBook Store) looking for that one special book. Maybe it’s a book that will help you prepare for that certification exam that you want to pass; maybe you need something to help in your day-to-day activities at work; maybe you are looking for some help on a new task or project that you have been assigned.

Your eyes pass over a title that maybe you’ve never seen before: The Portable Command Guide Series.

Hmmm. Interesting. Those words catch your attention. Portable sounds good. Big bulky books are a pain to carry around. A Command Guide is always helpful. And it’s a series? I wonder if they have what I am looking for.

As the series creator and one of its authors, let me try out my best Al Pacino impersonation and “introduce you to my little friend”—the Portable Command Guide Series of books from Pearson Certification.

As an instructor of IT Technologies (mostly Cisco), I was always being asked by my students for the syntax of various commands. I found that the commands for the most part are easy to remember, but that there are just so many of them that it can become a bit overwhelming. So I created for myself something to help remember not only the command, but other info such as the location of the command. I called it my Engineering Journal.

I have long been a fan of my Engineering Journal—a small, portable notebook that contains little nuggets of information such as commands that you forget, the IP addressing scheme of some remote part of the network, and little reminders about how to do something you only have to do once or twice a year but is vital to the integrity and maintenance of your network. I only teach some of these concepts every second or third year, so I constantly need to refresh my memory of commands and concepts, as well as learn new commands and ideas as they are released by Cisco. My journals were the best way for me to review, as they were written in my own words; words that I could understand. At least, I had better understand them, because if I didn’t, I had only myself to blame.

I presented my Engineering Journals to Cisco Press in 2004 and pitched the idea that these may be of use to other IT Professionals. They liked the idea and The Portable Command Guide was born. That one book grew into a series of several books covering the CCNA and CCNP areas of certification. In 2010, Pearson Certification expressed an interest in expanding the Series into other technologies. Now here we are about to launch Portable Command Guides (PCGs) into the world of Microsoft and Oracle. Other areas are being explored as well.

So what is a Portable Command Guide?

  • A PCG is Portable. Small and light, it is meant to be carried around with you.
  • A PCG is about the Commands. It is the practical application of the theory, which is presented elsewhere—other books, websites, the classroom, etc.
  • A PCG is a Guide. It is not exhaustive, and it won’t contain everything.
  • A PCG is organized around either the objectives for a specific vendor certification exam (for example, The CCNA Portable Command Guide) or some other industry recognized set of skills (if no exam exists).
  • A PCG limits theory. Theoretical learning knowledge comes from those really thick books that sit on your shelf behind your desk or are stuffed in your locker.
  • A PCG is a complement to all the other resources out there. It is not meant to be a single source of all information on a topic.
  • A PCG is full of pictures and charts. Since we are focusing on commands, there aren’t a lot of words explaining the theory of the concept
  • A PCG can provide the reader with scripts to follow for basic operations. For example, in the CCNA Portable Command Guide there is a section on turning your Cisco router into a DHCP server. After listing all of the commands needed to turn a router into a DHCP server (including optional commands), there is an example with a diagram showing devices interconnected (along with IP addressing), and then a script of commands to follow to set up a router as a DHCP server. Not all commands from the DHCP section may be used, as some are optional, but you now have a set script to follow if you want to create the same server as practice on real gear.
  • A PCG includes blank, lined pages as an appendix called “Create Your Own Journal Here.” You can customize the guide to suit your own needs by including commands not in the book, something specific to your own job/network/program, etc.

That, in a nutshell, is the Portable Command Guide. It has been my constant companion for the past 10 years and has made my life a whole lot easier when configuring or troubleshooting my network. We here at Pearson Certification hope that you will find them of value as well.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020