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A+ start plan: new idea.

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Dream_In_Infrared, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Dream_In_Infrared

    Dream_In_Infrared Nibble Poster

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    I have been PMing Jakamoko and asking all kinds of advice and from what he has said I have revised what I think I would like to do. [thanks for the help Jak :)] He suggested I open up things and ask a wider audience so here goes:

    1. I have checked out the VMWare Jak mentioned. It certainly sounds cool. There is the VMWare workstation 5 and the Microsoft Virtual PC. Are the two different products a much of a muchness? Is one 'better' than the other?

    2. Lab Manuals: I assume the idea is to utilise something like VMWare to run the Lab Manual software tasks in particular? [whereas having another poot to play with would be more useful for playing with hardware?]

    3. What are people's opinions of the Learn Key, Mike Myers, Instructional DVDs and/or CDs? If I was to go it alone I thought a combo of the Mike Myers Complete A+ book, lab manuals, VMWare and DVDs/CDs would cover all the bases.

    4. Having another poot to play with makes sense as I do not wish to lobotomise my main one. Do you think buying a second-hand one is a better option than building one?

    5. Am still not sure if I should go with NITLC or whether the ideas above would suffice to support a self-study approach? I have read many favourable comments about them both here and at other MBs.

    Thanks you for whatever advice you can give.
     
    Certifications: None :(
    WIP: A+
  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Right here goes... You talking about the A+ right... if so and you looking at learnkey get them! meyers is a legend and im using them and getting his book next week.. you wont be needing VMWare just yet... maybe get an old PC to "play" with - something you can take apart! Look at sybex's A+ Lab Manual or even Meyers' lab manuals... i cant tell you much about the provider but self-study is very possible!!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  3. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    1) They are much of a muchness, I used to use VMWare, but now I use Virtual PC.

    2)Spot on.

    3)Mike Myers = A+ God!

    4)Build your own, you will learn far more than if you buy one already built.

    5)The self study route will save you an absolute fortune. But in order to persue this route you will have to be able to motivate yourself and set your own deadlines.

    8)
     
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    1. I tend to "trust" VMware more but then, I run a lot of Linux VMs and currently, MS's Virtual PC doesn't support Linux. On the other hand, it is cheaper so maybe better for the budget conscious.

    2. If you don't have a great deal of physical space for a lot of hardware, Having one souped up lab machine running VMware makes a lot of sense. You can have a virtual network all in one box. Heck, if you configure one of your VMs as a router, you can have more than one subnet.

    3. For good mock test software, I tend to go with Transcender (clickable link). They are pricey, but they are good. Meyers is pretty much the king of the A+ authors. I've never used any DVD/CD educational materials so I can't comment about them.

    4. Actually building a PC would teach you a lot about hardware repair and maintenence but make sure you have a lot of patience. Things don't always go as planned.

    5. Self study vs a training provider is a tough one. Some people can self study just fine and pick up the concepts but other people seem to do better in an instructor led environment. I probably would never have been able to learn computer hardware by myself.

    As far as using VMware for the A+, I think its a bit of overkill. The only advantage would be if you wanted to run different Windows operating systems (9x, 2000, XP) on one machine to study for the OS portion of the exam. For the A+, there is no substitute for opening up a PC and getting your hands dirty.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Weemez

    Weemez Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey dude, cant answer all your questions but can maybe help a little.

    I'm studying with a training provider called Scheidegger, i thought about self taught but although i think i could have done the A+ on my own i will be doing further studies with them (N+ CCNA CCNP), when it comes to them i think i will need all the help i can get! Personally that way i have to meet goals within a certain time or it could take me forever to do and there are other reasons but i will stop there as we are only talking about the A+ just now.

    Mike Meyers... I bought the A+ all in one book as well as the work that is being supplied from my training provider simply because i heard so many good comments about it and thought it wouldn't do any harm to have aswell and i have to say i think it is excellent because with the training provider they concertrate more om the core concepts of A+ but the All in One book tells you more about the historical concepts of all the areas and goes a little beyond A+ and i feel this has given me a somewhat better overall understanding on the topics.

    So why bother with the training provider you ask! Because i had absolutely no background to IT before i started apart from my time in college and i dont count that as the subjects were so varied i didnt get a real grasp of any of the topics in detail. The training provider will have on-line classes on future topics, there are people on the end of the phone that will help me along my way and there will be the use of live labs when i start my Cisco work.

    I hope this helps but at the end of the day it is up to the individual, his/her experience and there needs and then looking at the options to suit those.

    All the best to you. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: HNC Computing A+ N+ ICND1
    WIP: ICND2
  6. Dream_In_Infrared

    Dream_In_Infrared Nibble Poster

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    Great replies. Thanks very much. This narrows it down a bit more.

    1. OK. VMWare sounds good but too much for A+. Is it worthwhile for N+ or better to wait until MCSA to go with this?

    2. Lab Manuals sound very useful. [this makes sense because they would go beyond testing pure knowledge and focus more on understanding and application]

    3. Seems like MM is revered as The A+ Almighty so will delve further into the Learn Key materials idea. I reckon that anything that shows and demonstrates things to me will help. [I am very much a visual and experitential learner]

    4. Seems like building a computer is the way to go. I remember seeing a thread somewhere about which suppliers would people recommend for which component within a computer. Will check that out and start reviewing books I have previously read on this topic as I already have a few ideas.

    5. Still not sure about self-study vs provider. Will ponder more on this.

    Thank you for your help. It has helped clarify quite a few things which is good as my perspective on all of this was decidedly foggy!
     
    Certifications: None :(
    WIP: A+
  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Just a word on VMware and the Network+. While VMware will allow you to create and network numerous virtual machines and even to create more than one virtual subnet, it can't give you the experience of physically designing and building an network. You still have to know how to make the connections so a piece of your education will still be missing.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. Dream_In_Infrared

    Dream_In_Infrared Nibble Poster

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    Sure. Thanks. Having heard people talk about work experience and hope to fill in this gap in such a manner. Either that or try to gain a low level job. Not sure how realistic either option is but they seem the best ways of achieving this.
     
    Certifications: None :(
    WIP: A+

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