Underpowered

Possessing an MCSE certification means you probably don't need this book. It would simply be leftovers.

I was originally excited when I heard about this book. New Riders is publishing a great series of Windows NT books of late, and this looked like an excellent addition to the lineup. But when I actually evaluated the book, I was rather shocked. After thinking about its intended audience, perhaps this book was never intended for me anyway, and perhaps the same is true for most MCP Magazine readers.

The volume is meant as a guide for a power user who uses NT Workstation and wants to make the most of the platform. However, I suspect the majority of the readers of the magazine who have studied the MCSE NT 4.0 track will have already learned much of the contents of this book and have their study materials that cover subjects such as the ISO model, TCP/IP, and subnet addressing , ARC naming, troubleshooting boot failures, NT domain models, important performance monitor counters, ERDs, GSNW, and the NetWare Migration tool.

The book is structured into five sections, which include an overview of NT, "nuts and bolts of Windows NT" (hardware, booting, control panel, the registry), networking with NT, managing your NT system (backups, scripting, and tuning), and using NT on the Internet. The appendices cover sources of additional information, offer a Windows 2000 overview, examine performance monitors in detail, and discuss the software on the CD.

The best part of the book is the registry coverage, which includes the registry architecture, a discussion of important registry entries, and coverage of the resource kit tools that can be used to work with the registry. These 80 pages were probably the most useful in the book for me; I'll no doubt refer to them again.

The aspect I found most disappointing was the coverage of Windows Scripting Host, one of my pet topics. Sure, the command line parameters for wscript.exe and the contents of the .WSH files are described, but I found no description of the objects provided by WSH, which would allow users to understand what can and can't be done with it. Also, the six pages of sample code in this chapter are Microsoft examples that come with WSH; there's little description in the book of how the code actually works.

The CD offers evaluation versions of a number of tools for NT such as FAT32 for NT 4.0, (read-only) Diskeeper Lite, list server and news server software, XLNT scripting language, WinGate for sharing an Internet connection, and file undeletion tools.

Windows NT Power Toolkit isn't for everyone—most of us have access to much of this information already. However, I can see this being a useful book to recommend to the power users or those neighbors who keep hounding you for more information about working with NT.

About the Author

Greg Neilson is a manager at a large IT services firm in Australia and has been a frequent contributor to MCPmag.com and CertCities.com.

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