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Review MCTS: Microsoft Windows Vista Client Configuration Study Guide: Exam 70-620

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by tripwire45, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    MCTS: Microsoft Windows Vista Client Configuration Study Guide: Exam 70-620

    Authors: Michael Aldridge, Josh Evitt, Lisa Donald, and James Chellis
    Format: Paperback, 696 pages
    Publisher: Sybex; Pap/Cdr St edition (April 2, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0470108819
    ISBN-13: 978-0470108819

    Review by James Pyles
    April 10, 2007

    Just for giggles, I started by using the enclosed CD to see how it performed. I tried it on Ubuntu first but although the system mounted the CD, it couldn't read the information. Thus I resorted to using Windows XP. The disk has the entire book on it in pdf format in case you want to store it on your hard drive. I tried out the flash cards and test engine next. Unless I was using them wrong, they seemed to be demos rather than full-fledged software. They also included demos covering a wide variety of Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, and other cert exams. They performed well enough, but from the description on the back cover, I was expecting flash cards and exams focused on the 70-620 test (and if someone can point out my error and direct me to the full-fledged mock tests on the disk, I'll be glad to amend my comments).

    If you've ever used a Sybex Study Guide to prepare for a certification exam, the format of this book will be quite familiar to you. Since I know both Michael and Josh, I checked out the personal information about the authors in the Dedications, Acknowledgments and About the Authors sections. I saw alot of information about Michael and Josh but almost none referencing Lisa Donald or James Chellis, leading me to believe that Michael and Josh did most of the writing.

    The Introduction includes all you'd expect from a Sybex book in terms of what the book contains and how to prepare for this exam. There's also an Assessment Test or more accurately a "Pre-Assessment Test" so that the reader can see just how they stand on knowing Vista Client Configuration prior to actually using the book. I would have failed miserably so I skipped ahead.

    Chapter 1 contains the traditional "Installation" chapter including info on performing a clean install vs. an update. This would most likely apply to installing Vista on just one or a small number of computers and would be rather tedious if you were rolling out a Vista install on 500 PCs. Chapter 1 (as with all chapters) ended with a Review Exam to test the reader's knowledge of the concepts just covered. The answers immediately follow so you can check and see where you need to work harder.

    Sure enough, Chapter 2 moved right into Choosing Automated Deployment Options to cover those pesky Enterprise-level installs. Subsequent chapters followed a straightforward and linear progression from Configuring the Windows Vista Environment to Configuring the Windows Vista Desktop and so on. The "tear card" at the front of the book maps the test objectives to the relevant book chapters so you can verify what domains you have addressed as you move through the text.

    The "blurb" on the cover states that the book "Covers All Exam Objectives" and an examination of the book's contents seems to confirm this. The chapters are also peppered with numerous hands-on exercises so the reader can practice the skills being described. This is also consistent with the Sybex Study Guide series so no surprises thus far. In fact I found this MCTS book to be quite complete and the quality, everything I've come to expect from Sybex. The one thing I can't tell you is whether you are likely to pass if you use just this text since I haven't actually studied from it and taken the exam.

    I know from past experience in studying in general that no matter how well written a book is, it's best to have at least two major sources of information. As a likely companion to this book, I'd choose MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-620): Configuring Windows Vista Client by Ian McLean and Orin Thomas. Both of these authors are quite experienced and I trust them to produce a quality product (though I'd really like to review their book anyway).

    Kudos to Michael and Josh on a very fine first book. While I stop short of guaranteeing that this book is all you'll need to pass the 70-620 exam, I believe that you'll be in good hands if you use MCTS: Microsoft Windows Vista Client Configuration Study Guide: Exam 70-620 as one of your major resources in preparing for the test. Have at it and good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. Gary B

    Gary B Nibble Poster

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    I had Michael's book last week, regarding the flashcards and test engine

    You've clicked on the wrong link, you should be clicking where the arrows are pointing - see attached images
     

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    Certifications: MCSA 2003
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  3. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I've always been fond of sybex myself. Knowing how serious Mike and Josh take their writing and how they put everything they have into writing pratice exams I wouldn't expect them to do anything less with a book. They are the cream of the crop.
     
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  4. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I had a feeling it was something like that. Thanks for setting me straight, Gary. :D
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you get a chance to get your hands on the book, Mitzs, be sure to check the acknowledgement section, where I give thanks to the person who got me started on certification forums. ;)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    First off, thanks for a wonderful (and honest) review - we certainly appreciate it!

    Yes - we harvested some of the material from the 70-270 book written by Chellis and Donald, so that's why their names appear. Josh and I updated all of the content, and obviously, added more where necessary, and removing information that is no longer relevant.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  7. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I thought as much and it makes sense.

    Actually, it was slightly "nerve-wracking" writing a review of a book written by someone you know. You're right, my review is honest but I was just slightly worried that I might find something in the book that was less than complimentary. I decided to "take the risk" because in general, Sybex has a good reputation and I know you and Josh are quality professionals. I look forward to your future books. Cheers. :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you find something in the book that's less than complimentary, I'd expect you to throw it out there...

    ...I'll just blame it on James and Lisa. :p :twisted:
     
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  9. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Great review as always James, this sounds like a book for me to purchase soon too!

    You might want to fix this lonely typo though..

     
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  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Er - why is this a typo? (Hint - read some Shakespear! :biggrin )

    Harry.
     
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  11. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Isn't that "Shakespeare?" :wink:
     
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  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Yes - and I'm blaming *that* typo on the bottle of Aglianico I've just got though! <hic>

    Harry.
     
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  13. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    What do you mean IF I get a chance. I'm expecting a sign copy by both you and josh for my libary will go right besides Wills and Trips. :dry
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Gimme big kiss, baby.

    Just kidding... hey! watch that cane! ow!

    :inv
     
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  15. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Just send her the book and nobody gets hurt. :eek: :unsure :deal
     
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  16. Gary B

    Gary B Nibble Poster

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    I hope I don't end up being the only one on here who's actually paid for the book :ohmy
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'll make the others just send donations to my PayPal account. Hah! 8)
     
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  18. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I like you gary, your funny. Actual the writers usually only get a couple of the books for themselves. So They actually have a copy of their own book. And extra one or two more to give away. If mike got any extras they have prob already been promised. Trip got a free one from the publisher because he does prof reviews which he posts on several different sites. Which is more or less free advertisment for sybex. That has nothing to do with Mike or Josh.
     
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  19. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Yep...
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    No, they haven't yet been promised to anyone because I don't have enough to give to everyone. We only got 5 copies each.

    That said, I'm working on getting Sybex to provide some to the certification forums for giveaways and promotions... no promises, but I am workin' on it. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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