Product Reviews

Training on the Go

Transcender's TransTrainer provides a worthy alternative to busy professionals.

In the world of telecommuting, the virtual office and the mobile office, more professionals are constantly on the go. Typical classroom training has become impractical for many, so where does the consummate technical professional turn for training? Read a book? Think again. Perhaps it's time to take a look at computer-based training, otherwise known as CBT.

Transcender's TransTrainer is an ideal solution for mobile professionals interested in updating their technical prowess and putting more acronyms after their names. For a reasonable price, you can get yourself an "instructor in a box." Well, not really a box, but a CD-ROM. Of course, you can download one if you choose (and if you can afford a 13.5MB download process). Transcender is known for its "test prep" guides. With this offering, Transcender moves into the training industry, complementing its other products such as TranscenderCert (exam testing simulation) and TranscenderFlash (a flash-card system).

Once you get past rebooting your PC (wasn't rebooting was a thing of the past with the release of Windows 2000/XP?), TransTrainer provides hours of easy-to-use operation. In evaluating TransTrainer for Microsoft Operating System Technology (which prepares you for CompTIA's A+ Operating System Technologies exam), I found it to be very appealing. The screen was simple, and the layout concise.

The screen is spit into two panes: On the left, there's an outline, and the right side is the viewing pane. At the top are three navigational tabs: Contents (default), Index and Search. Finding a specific topic was simple. On the bottom of the outline pane, which doubles as a navigational portal to any topic the exam covers, there are three buttons. The first button takes you to a Notes area for personalizing a topic. The Reference button came in handy while locating additional information on the Internet. Finally, a full glossary is included for those not-so-simple terms.

On the menu bar, you can view supplemental material. While on a particularly long flight, I found the continuous Play All feature useful as it kept me from constantly having to click on the Play button to move onto the next topic. The video and audio were clear and easy to understand. Just make sure you have a fast CD-ROM drive and plenty of RAM.

I enjoyed this CD so much, I purchased TransTrainer's product for Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Management CD as an aid to an instructor-led class. If you're a busy professional or simply a neophyte, this CBT by Transcender is for you. Not only will you save money, but also time (and time is money, right?). All you road warriors need look no further for a solid training solution.

About the Author

Michael Rodgers, MCSE+I, MCSA, MCT, A+, is a professor at Dyersburg State. He has seven years' experience as a technical trainer and consultant for Piranha Technologies, a network and security managed solution provider.


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