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December 13, 2002—In this issue:
- The Certification Train Changes Tracks—Again
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- CompTIA Announces New Home Technology Certification
- The Microsoft Mobility Tour Is Coming Soon to a City Near You!
- Get the New Windows & .NET Magazine Network Super CD/VIP!
4. WHAT'S NEW FROM CERTTUTOR LIVE!
- Featured Threads:
- NTBackup Problems
- The Dreaded "Blue Screen of Death"
- Win2K Security Book Recommendations
- Hot Threads:
- Microsoft Changes Certification Strategy Yet Again!
- Server Suddenly Demanding Passwords
- Taking the 70-218 on the 17th
- Link of the Week: Hacking Exposed
- Tip of the Week: Back Up Your Installation Media
- Question of the Week: Exam 70-217
6. INSTANT POLL
- Results of the Previous Poll: Linux
- New Poll: An OS for the Home
7. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Learn to Upgrade and Repair Your PC
8. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Will Willis, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A recent Microsoft announcement about changes to the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and MCSE certifications has left many IT professionals feeling railroaded yet again. If you've spent any time pursuing Microsoft certifications, you know that change and controversy are nothing new. In fact, the last time that Microsoft handled a certification upgrade without significant controversy was in 1996, when the company rolled out Windows NT 4.0. More recently, Microsoft's decision to retire the NT 4.0 MCSE exams and certifications—and the subsequent decision to retract the retirement of the credential—are now infamous and still fresh in people's minds. As a result, the company has a delicate path to tread to retain the trust of its certified professionals.
Last year, as people began to wonder whether they should certify in Windows 2000 or hold out for the Microsoft .NET exams, Microsoft announced that exams on the two tracks would be interchangeable. In other words, you could mix and match exams from the two tracks to earn MCSA or MCSE certifications. This approach made sense because it protected the Win2K track from instant obsolescence, but it wasn't adequate going forward because people who took the time to certify on the .NET exams wouldn't necessarily differentiate themselves from people who took the Win2K exams or mixed and matched. Therefore, earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the certification tracks will no longer be interchangeable. Microsoft says that in response to customer feedback, it's making the .NET certification track independent of the Win2K track and offering current Win2K MCSAs and MCSEs the chance to take one or two upgrade exams to update their certifications to .NET.
The meaning of this announcement depends on where you are with your certifications. If you're already a Win2K MCSA or MCSE, you don't have to take an update exam to remain an MCSE, so whether you want to spend the time to update your certification is up to you.
If you're just getting started with certifications and haven't invested much time and money in Win2K-related resources (e.g., books, training courses), you're almost certainly better off waiting for .NET, despite Microsoft's recommendations to the contrary. I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't study, because much of what you learn about Win2K is transferable, but you should skip the certification step unless you feel like doing it.
If you're an NT 4.0 MCSE, be prepared to have to certify on .NET (or Win2K) to retain your certification. Microsoft hasn't announced any specific plans yet with regard to NT 4.0-certified professionals, but I think it's likely that the .NET track will mark the end of the line for the NT 4.0 certification, just as the introduction of the Win2K track brought an end to the NT 3.51 track.
If you're already well into the Win2K track, you should finish that track instead of waiting for .NET so that you don't lose what you've already invested. Microsoft won't require you to take the upgrade exams to maintain your certification status, and your certification will be good at least until the next round of exams.
Microsoft has received a lot of criticism for once again changing the rules halfway through the game, and the company's claims that these changes resulted from "customer feedback" are rather dubious. However, the changes do make sense. Now the question is whether people can get past Microsoft's continued bungling of its certification program and the feelings of betrayal to see the logic behind the changes. Time will tell.
2. NEWS & VIEWS
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), best known for its popular A+, Network+, and Linux+ certifications, has released a new certification for people who install and configure home technologies such as home security, audio/video (A/V) equipment, and home offices. To earn the certification, you must pass two exams. The first exam, Residential Systems, addresses the fundamentals of computer, lighting, water, security, and telecom systems in home environments. The second exam, Systems Infrastructure and Integration, addresses wiring standards (both electrical and data) and the skills required to integrate all the electronic systems in a residence into a coherent whole. For more information about this new certification, see the CompTIA Web site.
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4. WHAT'S NEW FROM CERTTUTOR LIVE!
CertTutor.net Live! is the Internet's number-one training and certification discussion board. Each week, CertTutor.net Live! receives thousands of posts about Windows XP, Windows 2000, Cisco Systems, and more. We've selected three of these posts to feature here in CertTutor.net UPDATE. To join in the conversation at CertTutor.net Live!, register at the following URL:
RK encountered an interesting problem with NTBackup when he upgraded to Windows 2000. The current NTBackup handles previously used tapes differently than it used to and seems to be missing a command that lets you eject tapes. How can RK configure NTBackup to work like it did under Windows NT 4.0?
Gem069 has had trouble with his system since loading utility software that seems to have created a conflict with other applications. Now, Gem069 wants to wipe the machine and reload—but keep personal information such as email, contact data, and browser favorites. If you've migrated a machine or are planning to, don't miss the useful information in this thread.
Dtangent is looking for a good book about Windows 2000 security. See this thread for several recommendations, including Ian McLean's "Windows 2000 Security Little Black Book" and some free online books.
The "Hacking Exposed" book series provides a great introduction to the world of practical server and network security.
Everyone knows that copying software is illegal. However, under certain circumstances, the practice is not only perfectly legal but a good idea. If, for example, you copy the installation media for your OS, applications, and other software, you can store the original software, license keys, and other license information off site. This precaution keeps your original installation media from getting scratched or misplaced and, more importantly, protects you in the event of a fire or other catastrophic event.
This week's question will help you prepare for Exam 70-217: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure.
You're investigating Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) roles in relation to the number of domains and forests. The total number of FSMO roles (all roles are being used) is 21 in an environment with one or more forests and one or more domains. Which of the following statements are false? (Choose all that apply.)
- There can be one forest.
- There can be two forests.
- There can be three forests.
- There can be four forests.
- There can be five domains.
- There can be six domains.
- There can be seven domains.
The correct answers are A—There can be one forest; B—There can be two forests; D—There can be four forests; F—There can be six domains; and G—There can be seven domains.
You can't have more forests than you have domains. Hence, the following equation applies:
2F + 3D = 21
(where F <= D
and F >= 1 and D >= 1)
Using this equation, you can run through the options:
F = 2, D = 5.6 = Not allowed
F = 3, D = 5 = Allowed
F = 4, D = 4.3 = Not allowed
D = 6, F = 1.5 = Not allowed
D = 7, F = 0 = Not allowed
6. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in the CertTutor.net nonscientific Instant
Poll for the question, "Do you have any experience with the Linux OS?" Here are the results (+/- 2 percent) from the 85 votes:
- 41%: Yes, I've experimented with it.
- 24%: Yes, and I use it regularly.
- 35%: No.
The next Instant Poll question is, "If you were to restage your home PC, which Microsoft Windows family would you choose?" Go to the CertTutor.net home page and submit your vote for a) Windows 98, b) Windows NT, c) Windows 2000, d) Windows XP, or e) None of the above.
7. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, email@example.com)
Prentice Hall released "Upgrading and Repairing PCs Training Course," a digital seminar from Scott Mueller that walks you through the inside of a PC to show you how to perform essential upgrades. Featuring more than 6 hours of digital-video instruction, the seminar shows you how your PC works and how to upgrade key components, including memory, motherboards, processors, expansion cards, optical drives, and hard disks. The boxed instruction set costs $69.99. Contact Prentice Hall at 800-282-0693.
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