Tags: free stuff, Windows Server 2012
What is truly free in this world? Well, there’s the air we breathe, but not the water we drink (it costs $1 in the vending machine), or a summer blockbuster (it costs $12, and they do not take free passes).
The sad truth is that most things in this world are not free. However, you can get actual free training on Microsoft Windows Server 2012.
Last month, Microsoft delivered a FREE Windows Server 2012 Jump Start virtual class that was presented by Microsoft Evangelist Rick Claus and President & Lead Architect for holSystems, Cory Hynes. The class covered an array of topics, and Rick and Cory did a great job of explaining each of them. If you missed this class, you can still watch the HD-quality video recordings on TechNet (links below).
If you do not have several straight hours to devote to watching these videos, don’t worry about it. Each module is broken down by topic and lasts for about an hour per module:
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (01): Core Hyper-V
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02a): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 1
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02b): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 2
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03a): Storage Architecture, Part 1
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03b): Storage Architecture, Part 2
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (04): Continuous Availability
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05a): Multi-Server Management, Part 1
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05b): Multi-Server Management, Part 2
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06a): Security and Access, Part 1
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06b): Security and Access, Part 2
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (07): Remote Connectivity and Networking
• Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (08): IIS, DHCP and IPAM
Each module is informative and does contain demonstrations of the topics. Most importantly, each module is engaging and not at all boring. Rick and Cory relate these topics to the real world environment. They also made a few jokes along the way which I very much appreciated. While Rick and Cory probably will not get their own special on Comedy Central, they did help make the time pass quickly.
If you’re curious about Windows Server 2012, if you plan to get certified in Windows Server 2012, or if you foresee having to install Windows Server 2012 at your office in the near future, I recommend that you check out these videos. I had the opportunity to take the 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 beta exam in early June, and I sincerely wish that I had watched these videos before attempting the exam.
Along with the 70-410 exam, Microsoft plans to release the 70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 exam and the 70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services exams in the Fall. Before attempting any of these exams, I strongly recommend you take a few hours to check out the modules from this class. I’ll say it again: It’s FREE.
What’s better than free training? Okay, you could be watching “Live and Let Die” for the 25th time on the James Bond marathon. But you know how this one ends, James Bond gets the girl and defeats the bad guy. You can’t say you know how each of the Windows Server 2012 modules will end, so why not enjoy a marathon of Microsoft Jump Start virtual videos instead?
Until next time,
Tags: free stuff
Are you an unconventional IT certification candidate? Web 2.0 savvy? Engaging? Active on social networking forums? If the answer to any or all of these is YES, you may be the perfect candidate for us!
We are looking to sponsor an atypical IT certification wannabe that can commit to a self study regimen (we provide all materials), complete a certification exam (we reimburse your exam fee), all while chronicling your certification journey in the social media matrix (sites and access provided).
We get e-mails every month from IT newbies asking what the best approach to cracking the IT world is? What certification is worth most to employers? And the most popular (and sensitive) question these days, how much will it cost me to get certified? While we do our best to be objective and honest with our advice, we’re also aware that it’s been a long time since our first exam. We’re somewhat immune to the nerves, commitment, stress and anxiety involved in taking that first IT certification exam. So in order to give you the most honest, useful, and legit advice before making the leap into the IT world we’re looking to follow the chronicles of our very own Cert Guy/Gal.
Here’s our win-win solution:
One (or two) lucky guys/gals walk the road to certification and share with their peers the experience of preparing, learning, sweating and succeeding. All the while the Transcender Team follows you on your journey to see what your road blocks are, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and hopefully provide some useful tools and guidance along the way. As with every fun idea, we’ve been asked to impose some parameters in the fine print, so for the details and info on how to apply go here: IT Certification Candidate and Social Media User.
We encourage anyone & everyone who’s been on the fence about IT certification to send us your info and help us help you start this new adventure!
Tags: #windows7, 70-680, 70-685, 70-686, free stuff, study resources, Windows 7
Eric Clapton had a song on his Money & Cigarettes album many years ago called “Everybody oughta make a change.” Microsoft recently made some changes by releasing the new Windows 7 operating system and some corresponding new exams:
- 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring
- 70-685 Pro: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
- 70-686 Pro: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
The 70-685 and the 70-686 exams just recently ended their beta period. I expect these exams will be released in a couple of weeks, while 70-680 is already available.
I had the opportunity to take all three of the beta exams.
- The 70-680 test covers a wide cross-section of topics: migrating your computer to Windows 7 and other deployment issues, configuring applications and Internet Explorer, understanding IPv4 and IPv6, configuring network settings, configuring BranchCache, configuring Mobile Computing, understanding backup and recovery options, and monitoring Windows 7.
- Look for much more in-depth coverage of deploying Windows 7 on the 70-686 exam, from migration to clean installations and the attendant hardware requirements. The 70-686 exam objectives cover deploying images, deploying application packages, designing client configurations, and overall troubleshooting.
- The 70-685 exam covers troubleshooting desktop application issues, networking issues, security issues, supporting mobile clients and maintaining Windows 7 clients. This test was pretty straightforward, in my experience. You had to be very familiar with the new GPO policy settings that affect Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Since I troubleshoot more than I deploy Windows 7, I found the 70-685 beta exam to be easier than the 70-686 exam. The 70-686 exam was the hardest one of the three, in my humble opinion. You really need a lot of experience deploying images and experience with the System Center suite of products.
Unfortunately, when I was prepping for these exams, there were not a lot of resources available. However, more resources on Windows 7 are being released every day.
Deploying Windows 7 free e-book – download the Deploying Windows® 7 Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet Magazine for free via download (thanks, Born To Learn). This is a great resource for prepping for the 70-686 exam when it is eventually released.
Free Windows 7 book chapters PDF – Safari Books Online is offering a combo pack of several chapters from four new Windows 7 texts – download it at http://www.safaribooksonline.com/technet/windows7/?cid=200910-my-technetnewsletter-win7.
Transcender’s 70-680 practice exam (written by yours truly) has 160 multiple-choice and interactive test items, plus 226 flash card items. Check it out here: http://www.transcender.com/product.aspx?product_id=Cert-70-680
Global Knowledge released a series of free whitepapers and blog posts on Windows 7. Here are a few to start you off:
- Windows 7 Review Guide
- How hard can it be? Upgrading Window Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate (I)
- How hard can it be? Upgrading Window Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate — part 2
- 6 Things Every IT Department Should Know about Windows 7
Here are Free Windows 7 Training Videos — 5 introductory training videos on Windows 7.
If anyone has a favorite Windows 7 study resource, let me know and I’ll add it to this list.
Here’s a rundown on the certifications for Windows 7. If you pass the 70-680 exam, you can achieve the following:
- MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration
If you pass both the 70-680 exam and 70-685 exam, you can achieve the following:
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7
If you pass both the 70-680 exam and 70-686 exam, you can achieve the following:
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
A lot of people say that a lot of companies are not adopting Windows Server 2008 as fast as Microsoft thought they were going to. This is probably true. The economy has not been good over the last two years. However, there is strong evidence that Windows 7 will be widely adopted in a short period of time. New desktops, laptops, and netbook computers will have it installed (and I haven’t heard a rumor of a downgrade license option). The U.S. government has the 8570.1 directive to require certification for all government personnel involved in Information Assurance. There will be a high demand for Windows 7 skills. You should take Eric Clapton’s lead and make a change. Get certified in Windows 7 before everyone else does.
Tags: cert idol, free stuff
Don’t let this chance pass you by. You have ten days left to cut a short (30 seconds to 2 and a half mintues) video explaining why you deserve to be voted Transcender’s Cert Idol.
If Transcender’s study guides and practice tests helped YOU land the certification of your dreams, tell us all about it. Click the logo to be taken directly to the contest’s entry site:
Tags: blogosphere, free stuff
If you are writing an IT blog, we want to visit. Not to worry. This isn’t the ”sleep on your couch until you throw us out” kind of visit. We just want to check out your blog. Leave us a comment with a link and we’ll come check it out.
If you would like to receive a FREE Transcender practice test to review on your blog or give away to a reader, leave us a comment. Nothing says love to your readers more than giveaways!
Tags: free stuff, TechEd
The big week is fast approaching and we would like to invite those of you lucky enough to be going to Tech·Ed in LA to come and see us at the Transcender booth (#737).
Troy’s Swag Checklist
Here’s a list of swag to watch for while you are at Tech·Ed. I call this Troy’s Swag Checklist.
• You will receive a voucher worth 50% off your next exam. Score!
• If you locate an MCT (like me in the Hands On Lab – nudge, nudge) you can have the voucher UPGRADED to one that lets you purchase an exam for USD 25.00 (that’s such a deal, they’re usually $125.00!!)
• You can combine either of these vouchers with the Second Shot program, so you could potentially get two shots at an exam for $25.00 instead of $250.00!!!
• If you are an MCP, you get a baseball cap simply by showing your ID card or transcript (you can print that on the spot).
We’ll have some nice stuff for you at our booth in the Exhibit area as well (#737). You can enter a drawing to win any of the following great giveaways:
• A brand new iPod Nano. Score!
• A free copy of our new 83-640 Practice Exam with Virtual Lab-Based Testing. Score!
• A free download of one of our other practice tests.
You will probably see Josh there as well as other nice folks who are not on the development team, but play important roles in helping us to be the premier certification test prep company.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I will be working for Microsoft as a Technical Learning Guide (as well as representing Transcender) in the Hands On Lab area. Even if you have attended Tech·Ed in the past, you may not have experienced this particular track. I highly recommend the Hands On Lab as a way to either try out a new technology or hone your skills for an exam attempt. This year’s setup offers some new features. All of these tasks can be done in the same VMs that host the labs:
• You can create a personalized Learning Plan to help identify resources and tasks to achieve certification or learn a new technology.
• You can use a practice test to help prepare for a certification exam.
• Although actual certification testing will not be done at TechEd, as in years past, you can still register at an off-site center in LA and take your exam while you’re out there.
• You can identify the exams that are required for a certification.
• You can register for a free Second Shot at the exam of your choice.
• You can access what Microsoft is calling Learning Snacks, small and easily digestible concepts about new technology
Speaking of labs, there will be 400 computers set up in Pods, organized by technology type, that host about 200 different Hands On Labs. This is the area that I will be working in, so come by and look for the short, wiry guy with a ponytail and glasses. That will be me.
For those of you playing along at home (i.e. not attending the conference), you can still get access to many of these labs through Tech·Ed Online: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/teched2009.aspx?tab=virtuallabs.
There will also be prep sessions for some of the more popular exams (listed below). These are included in the schedule when you use the schedule builder. Here’s a sampler:
MCITP is the new MCSE
SQL Server 2008 – 70-433
.NET Framework – 70-536 and 70-502
SharePoint Services – 70-631
Active Directory – 70-640/642
Windows Server 2008 – 70-646/647
Exchange 2007 – 70-236/237/238
Come to the Jam session
As in the past, Microsoft will be holding a jam session for all frustrated amateur and former professional musicians (like me). Here’s the information:
Jam on IT
Date: Thursday, May 14
Time: 6 pm-11pm
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center (West bldg)
You’ve asked for an evening to socialize and have some fun, so we’re taking over the west side of the convention center, providing plenty of great food and drinks, and networking opportunities like Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and the Women in Technology program — WomenBuild. You can also rock the house at the famous (or infamous) Tech•Ed Jam Session, hosted by Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin of .NET Rocks! We hope you’ll grab an instrument, jump on stage, and raise the roof.
Hope to see you there!
Tags: free stuff, industry news
I have subscribed to so many technical newsletters that some days my inbox is fairly inundated with them. I get newsletters from Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, CompTIA, Apple, and many other IT companies. But as I often complain, most vendors newsletters focus only on that vendor’s products. Because I receive so many of them, I often must choose which newsletters to read thoroughly and which to just scan.
Recently, CompTIA announced the CompTIA SmartBrief, a daily IT industry newsletter. Out of curiosity, I decided to subscribe to see just what was included.
I like what I am seeing. Every issue includes the following sections: Industry Updates, Technology & Trends, Education & Training, Policy Watch, and CompTIA News. But what I found most interesting is the fact that the articles featured in the newsletter feature a wide variety of IT product vendors, including Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, HP, SANS, and others. Finally, I have found at least one source that includes news from across the spectrum of the IT industry.
You can subscribe to CompTIA SmartBrief at http://www.comptia.org. Look on the right-hand side for the CompTIA SmartBrief to discover the subscription options.
Tags: free stuff
There’s still time to register for the several free webcasts (aka LiveMeetings) being delivered by Microsoft. I have signed up for these in the past and found them a really valuable way to orient myself regarding exam materials and topic coverage.
Certification seekers, you may be interested in:
As George would say, Knowledge Is Good.