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February 28, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY
- Choose Your Textbooks Wisely

2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Cisco Revises CCNA, CCDA Recertification Requirements

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Real-World Technical Tips Here for You - SQL Server Magazine University e-Learning Center

4. WHAT'S NEW FROM CERTTUTOR LIVE! - Featured Threads: - Finish the Win2K Track, or Start the Windows 2003 Track? - Stumped on Subnetting? - Automatic Installation of Printers - Hot Threads - Official Word on Windows 2003 Certifications - Detecting Keyboard Loggers - How Do You Stay in a Job for Years and Years?

5. RESOURCES - Tip of the Week: Maintain a Practice Network - Question of the Week: 70-216

6. INSTANT POLL - Results of the Previous Poll: Windows 2003 Certification - New Poll: Home Labs

7. NEW AND IMPROVED - Learn More About the Inside of a PC

8. CONTACT US See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1.

COMMENTARY


(contributed by Orin Thomas, orin@lspace.org)

* CHOOSE YOUR TEXTBOOKS WISELY
As we reported in last week's UPDATE, Microsoft has released new exam objectives for its Windows Server 2003 MCSE certifications. Exam 70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment will go live sometime in April, and the rest of the core exams will go live throughout May and June.

The release of the new exam objectives is of significant consequence for book publishers who are working on MCSE exam-preparation textbooks. Until last week, most of these publishers were probably using the objectives that Microsoft had published for what was then called the Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) MCSE track, even though Microsoft later withdrew these objectives. The new objectives that Microsoft released last week differ significantly from the Win.NET Server MCSE exam objectives. Microsoft revamped the objectives, added a new exam, and assigned new numerical designations. The company wanted to make clear that these new objectives had little in common with those that it had originally posted.

The original objectives referred to Exams 70-275, 70-276, and 70-277; the new exams have the designations 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, and 70-294. Many of the first round of exam-preparation textbooks that hit the shelves will have been planned with the 70-27x objectives in mind. Although some overlap exists between the objectives for the 70-27x exams and the 70-29x exams, a 70-27x textbook probably can't adequately prepare you for a real 70-29x exam.

Keep this reality in mind as you consider the first editions of many of the popular exam-certification titles. No one writes a 900-page certification textbook overnight. Even a group of authors working in concert needs several months to put together a comprehensive textbook that deals adequately with all an exam's objectives. And yet within a few weeks of the release of each new exam, the certification section of your local bookstore will have new 2003 MCSE titles on the shelf. How well will these first editions map to the exam objectives, given that Microsoft has radically revamped the objectives?

Publishing companies need to balance good exam coverage with the need to get their products to the market quickly. Obviously, the market rewards the early arrivals. Regardless of quality, the first textbooks will fly off the shelves, in part because few alternatives will exist. As a result, authors feel the pressure to finish their manuscripts as quickly as possible.

But just because a publishing company is ready to push a textbook out the door doesn't mean that the book will address the exam objectives adequately or in a way that suits your learning style. If you're an early adopter, you must weigh your desire to be among the first to earn the MCSE 2003 designation against the possibility that you'll shell out money for textbooks that contain irrelevant material.

I recommend that you wait. Read a few reviews of the new textbooks before you commit to one. As always, the shelves will contain some gems and some dogs. If you can wait until next year, you'll know for sure which textbooks are worth their weight in gold and which are destined for the recycling bin. Be aware that many of the textbooks published in the next few months will be based on out-of-date exam objectives. Unless you have a desperate need to be certified as an MCSE on Windows 2003, it's probably be a good idea to take a "wait-and-see" attitude.
2.

NEWS & VIEWS



* CISCO REVISES CCNA, CCDA RECERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Cisco Systems has modified its Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) recertification requirements. Until recently, Cisco required that CCNAs and CCDAs recertify within 3 years. Now, if you pass a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) exam within the 3-year period, Cisco considers your CCNA and CCDA credentials recertified. http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/10/wwtraining/whats_new/recertification

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS: REAL-WORLD TECHNICAL TIPS HERE FOR YOU Train with the experts! Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to learn firsthand from Windows & .NET Magazine writers you trust: Minasi, Russinovich, Hill, Wells, Deuby, Moskowitz, plus Microsoft is sending the "Scripting Guys"--members of its TechNet Script Center. This event runs from May 18-21, 2003. Register today and save $300! http://list.winnetmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/ePpp0DRxWW0CXC0KXQ0Af

* SQL SERVER MAGAZINE UNIVERSITY E-LEARNING CENTER The industry's best instructors have teamed with SQL Server Magazine University (SSMU) to bring you the finest live online SQL Server training! Whether you're at the advanced level or just beginning, you'll find training to meet your needs. Plus, you don't have to leave your desk; events are delivered live through the Internet! Click here: http://list.winnetmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/ePpp0DRxWW0CXC067v0AO

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:
http://www.certtutor.net/registration/index.cfm

FEATURED THREADS

* FINISH THE WIN2K TRACK, OR START THE WINDOWS 2003 TRACK?
With Microsoft's recent release of Windows Server 2003 MCSE requirements, many people are now wondering whether they should finish the Windows 2000 track or move on to the new one. See this thread to find out what others think and to offer your opinion.
http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=14&threadid=37927

* STUMPED ON SUBNETTING?
In this thread, BikeBoy receives some great subnetting lessons from beradio, Taz69, and others. Stop in to see how well you know your 1s and 0s or to pick up some new tips.
http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=15&threadid=38017

* AUTOMATIC INSTALLATION OF PRINTERS Scripting is a powerful administrative tool. See this thread for some suggestions about using scripting to automate printer setup.
http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=10&threadid=37973

HOT THREADS
* OFFICIAL WORD ON WINDOWS 2003 CERTIFICATIONS
http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=13&threadid=37913


* DETECTING KEYBOARD LOGGERS
http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=10&threadid=38027


* HOW DO YOU STAY IN A JOB FOR YEARS AND YEARS? http://certtutor.net/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=38018


5.

RESOURCES

* TIP OF THE WEEK: MAINTAIN A PRACTICE NETWORK
A mistake that all of us make at one time or another is trying something new on a live network. The results can be unpleasant. Never practice on a production network. The server you lock up or the application you crash could be your last--at least at your current place of employment! Keep a training network handy and up to speed so that you're not tempted to try out something new on the real deal.



* QUESTION OF THE WEEK: EXAM 70-216
This week's question will help you prepare for Exam 70-216: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure.


QUESTION
You work on the network that the figure at the following Web site represents:

http://www.certtutor.net/common/training/images/exhibit18a.jpg


Workstation Indigo has the following TCP/IP properties:
- IP address: 128.250.213.74
- Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
- Default gateway: 128.250.213.250

Workstation Hydrae has the following TCP/IP properties: - IP address: 128.250.213.68 - Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 - Default gateway: 128.250.213.249

Server Aurora has the following TCP/IP properties: - IP address: 128.250.214.23 - Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 - Default gateway: 128.250.214.251

Server Arctica has the following TCP/IP properties: - IP address: 128.250.214.24 - Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 - Default gateway: 128.250.214.250

Server Australis has the following TCP/IP properties - IP address: 128.250.214.25 - Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 - Default gateway: 128.250.214.250

You know the following: - Workstation Indigo can ping 128.250.214.251. - Workstation Hydrae can ping Server Arctica. - Server Australis can ping 128.250.213.250. - Server Aurora can ping 128.250.214.250 but not 128.250.213.249.

Which is the most likely explanation for this scenario? (Choose the best answer.)

A. Router Delta has shut down. B. Router Gamma has shut down. C. Server Aurora has a malfunctioning Ethernet card. D. Hub Beta has shut down. E. Hub Alpha has shut down. F. The cable between hub Alpha and router Delta is broken. G. The cable between hub Beta and router Delta is broken. H. None of the above.

ANSWER The correct answer is F--The cable between hub Alpha and router Delta is broken. To arrive at the answer, trace the individual "ping paths" (i.e., the paths that the packets would travel in each case).

6.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF THE PREVIOUS POLL: WINDOWS 2003 CERTIFICATION The voting has closed in the CertTutor.net nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Will you pursue a Windows Server 2003 certification?" Here are the results from the 140 votes: - 50%: Yes - 34%: I haven't decided yet - 16%: No * NEW POLL: HOME LABS The next Instant Poll question is, "Have you set up a home network to help you prepare for exams?" Go to the CertTutor.net home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, or c) No, but I'm planning to. http://www.certtutor.net

7.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INSIDE OF A PC Prentice Hall released "Upgrading and Repairing PCs Training Course: A Digital Seminar From Scott Mueller," a CD-ROM boxed set that incorporates video, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and animation to recreate the classroom experience. The course teaches you about the motherboard and processor architecture and BIOS function and setup; how to disassemble a PC, troubleshoot common PC hardware problems, upgrade or replace memory, replace motherboards and install processors, and use PC repair and maintenance tools; and understand how data is stored on a hard disk. Pricing is $62.99. Contact Prentice Hall at 800-282-0693. http://www.phptr.com

8.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- orin@lspace.org

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- rcarson@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line or body)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CERTTUTOR.NET UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Email Customer Support -- certutorupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR CERTTUTOR.NET UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

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