A Step in the MCSE Direction
This book, while thin in some areas, will help young IT workers get a better grasp of Windows 2000.
This book is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting
to learn about Windows 2000, providing an overview and description
of the many new features of the operating system. The material
is in a well-organized and easy-to-read format. The two-color
text format, blue titles with black body, and a large font
size make reading this book a real pleasure.
The book's most powerful feature is its set
of step-by-step walk-throughs covering every major feature
in Win2K. This makes it easy for either a novice or a
more-advanced user to quickly find and configure most
of the features.
The 22-chapter book starts with a well-designed
and detailed table of contents. Each chapter consists
of a set of MCSE exam objectives, an overview, explanation
of all related concepts, a set of complete hands-on walk-throughs
and a key point summary. It also includes a study guide
containing a set of assessment questions, scenarios and
lab exercises. The chapters are grouped into six concise
sections, each covering certain aspects of the OS: introduction
to Win2K; installation and configuration; managing and
securing resources; networking and interoperability; monitoring,
optimizing and troubleshooting; and resources.
Included with the book are two CDs containing
the BeachFront Quizzer exam-simulation software, Micro
House Technical Library demo, VMWare 2.0 trial version,
Diskeeper 5.0 trial version, Undelete 2.0, Adobe Acrobat
Reader, the e-book version of the book in .pdf format,
and a set of .avi files with demonstrations of the labs
in the book.
That's a whole lot of material packed into
one book; the good news is that even if you don't use
all of these tools, you'll probably find some that can
help you understand the material. Frankly, I found the
AVI files very helpful. There are more than 80 of them
on the CD, and each one covers a full hands-on demo of
a particular Win2K feature as is described by the author.
The exam-simulation software is good. However,
the questions aren't as in-depth as I would have liked
and are overly simplistic. It's a good start for a beginner
candidate to get familiarized with the type of questions
they'll find on the certification exams; however, for
a more serious MCSE candidate, I'd suggest other exam
alternatives, such as Transcender (www.transcender.com),
the Best Tests (www.thebesttests.com) or the Microsoft
Press Readiness Review Exams, all of which are great choices
to fully prepare a candidate for a tough Win2K MCSE exam.
As far as other utilities on the disk, I
found the Diskeeper 5.0 very useful. It's a limited 30-day
evaluation and a fully functional version of the actual
product that allows for defragmentation of several volumes
of the same hard disk simultaneously-something that the
Win2K disk defragmenter can't do.
I didn't find VMWare 2.0, which allows for
multiple OSes to run simultaneously on the same computer,
as helpful. In order for a Win2K MCSE candidate to fully
learn about networking, a home lab is essential. No simulation
software will equal the actual hands-on, Win2K experience
you can get by using a home network.
The Micro House Technical Library demo was
a good start to access Win2K-related technical information
on its Web site. However, I have found the white papers,
technical articles and the Microsoft Knowledgebase (all
from Microsoft) more valuable in learning about Win2K.
Besides, all the Microsoft content is free!
If you're using this book to prepare for
Win2K MCSE certification, you'll find that it lacks the
depth necessary to grasp both the Active Directory and
Network Infrastructure exams. For example, the author
dedicates a full chapter to TCP/IP, but doesn't explain
IP Security in detail nor how it works. He also doesn't
cover NAT editors or WINS. Some of the IPConfig utility
optional switches, such as /registerdns and /displaydns
aren't even mentioned in this book, even though DNS plays
a major role in Win2K deployment.
The book, however, does provide solid coverage
for both the Win2K Professional and Server exam objectives
and would make an excellent supplement to any exam-preparation
strategy, especially for users new to Win2K. This book,
together with my personal favorites-the Win2K online help
and the Windows 2000 Professional and Server Resource
Kits available from Microsoft Press-can give you a solid
foundation in Win2K and provide valuable assistance in
becoming an MCSE.
This book presents its material in a very
orderly fashion, and it's fun to read and easy to grasp.
It covers topics in a logical step-by-step manner, and
the examples are solid and clear. The author, combines
a high level of technical expertise with a clear presentation.
I do wish there were two volumes instead of one. This
would have made this book lighter (for more than 1,500
pages of material) and it would have allowed more information,
avoiding some of the shortcomings mentioned above. Overall,
though, this is an excellent book worth reading.
Behzad Nazardad, MCSE, MCP+I, has been in the field of
computer science engineering for 13 years. He holds a
bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering
from California State University, Long Beach. Behzad currently
works as an IT trainer and Win2K consultant. He works
for several companies and provides special training, mostly
to companies overseas. Behzad can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.