Book Reviews

A Win2K Pro Guide that Hits its Target

This Win2K Pro study guide will appeal to a broad audience, from novices starting out in IT to advanced Win2K implementors.

As a Microsoft trainer, for Windows 2000 certification training I can heartily recommend New Riders' MCSE Windows 2000 Professional Training Guide by Barker and Harrison. It's a well-organized, comprehensive text that is aimed at preparing those who plan to take the 70-210 Windows 2000 Professional exam. The guide should appeal not only to career-changers and NT 4.0 MCSEs who want to upgrade to the Win2K-MCSE, but also to experienced Win2K professionals. Barker and Harrison successfully present a vast quantity of material through a variety of methods. Excellent descriptions, superb tables, graphics, and screenshots are only the peak of what a reader encounters.

Barker and Harrison organize the text around the seven main objectives covered on the Professional exam. Each chapter covers one main objective and all corresponding subordinate objectives. Readers who need to brush up on one topic or task can easily find the appropriate section. Just knowing facts will not get you certified in Windows 2000. You must have some hands-on experience.

This book, through a variety of instructional features, helps to point out relevant experiences that you might encounter during the test. Each chapter contains "Step-by-Step" boxes to walk the reader through hands-on tasks. In Chapter 1, which covers Installing Windows 2000 Professional, the "Step-by-Step" boxes move the reader through several installation options that include running the Setup Manager. These are "mini how-to" manuals. "In the Field" sidebars are also distributed throughout the book to provide the reader with information that, although not directly relevant to the exam, can be very helpful in day-to-day networking. "Exam Tip" boxes are also abundant, helping the reader focus on skills and facts that have a high probability of being on the Professional exam. It's like being with an instructor who every so often says, "You can expect to see something like this on the exam." "Case Study" sections are abundant in order to help the reader apply the conceptual knowledge gathered to that point. A Scenario is presented followed by a detailed Analysis. These are excellent.

One of the best features of Barker and Harrison's text are the end of chapter exercises. Under the title of "Apply Your Knowledge," the authors reinforce the facts and tasks covered in the chapter. They do this through lab-type exercises, Review, and Exam questions followed by an answer key. The "Apply Your Knowledge" sections are comprehensive exercises that can help you make sense of a ton of material. Part II of the book is a Final Review.

The chapter called "Fast Facts" is 64 pages long and worth the price of the book. It summarizes all the major points covered on the Windows 2000 Professional exam. I found it to be the most helpful part of the whole book. In a short 64 pages, I found one of the best study guides I've seen.

The only drawback with this text is a shortage of final exam questions at the end of the book and on the accompanying CD. The book contains 58 questions with answers and the CD has just more than 200 questions. I have found when preparing for an exam that a test bank of 400 questions is optimal. Most career changers in my classes feel that the more questions there are, the better.

Still, the MCSE Windows 2000 Professional Training Guide is an excellent investment if you are seeking certification. It can be used for self-study or to supplement other training methods. It will probably have wide appeal, from career-changers to NT 4.0 MCSEs who want to upgrade their certification. Even experienced Win2K folks find it useful as an excellent technical resource. I heartily recommend it.

About the Author

Warren E. Wyrostek, M.Ed., MCNI, MCT, MCSE+Internet, CIW CI, CCNP is devoted to technology education. Warren's main joy comes as a Contract Trainer in Prosoft, Microsoft, and Novell technologies. At heart he is a teacher who loves what education offers.

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