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PC for practical study

Discussion in 'A+' started by misanthrope, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. misanthrope

    misanthrope Bit Poster

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    hello, i'm working my way through the Mike Meyers guide, i've finished chapter 3. it's early but i've got a concern about the practical element of home study & want to understand what it entails.

    i have my own pc, i'm trying to understand if i'm going to need to go out & buy another one. my existing one has a slave drive which i could boot for software installation etc.

    obviously the ideal scenario would be to have a completely seperate pc with it's own keyboard, mouse & monitor. just wondering what you all did? how soon in the book do you need to start working practically? in the exams, is there a practical exam where you would have to bring in a PC?

    thanks.
     
  2. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    well seeing its been quite a few years since I did my a+ im proberbly not the best person to reply, but saying that as far as I know I dont believe there are any practical tests in the A+ its all sit down exams in front of a computer clicking the right answer.

    I would think it would be better to have a seperate computer for studying as if per chance (and im not saying you will but its a possiblilty) you do something wrong and it kills a major component then you will have no pc at all and put all your data at risk.

    The A+ has never needed up to date pc's to study with as by nature when the exams are written they are created for the current set of hardware. So have a quick look at the books you are studying and work out what level of spec they talk about mostly and buy something similar either from ebay/computer fairs or even freecycle has some sometimes.

    Dont spend a huge amount on the hardware then it doesnt matter quite so much if something goes pop.

    good luck for your A+
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  3. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hi there

    I'd recommend getting an old PC - maybe seeing if friends or family have some old contraption sitting in the loft and gathering dust that they'd be glad to offload onto you. If not, then maybe get one cheaply at a computer fair. The one I had didn't even work, but I found having a spare PC very handy just for taking to pieces, identifying components, practicing removing and inserting various parts, that kind of thing. As Dales rightly said, the worst thing you could do is practice on your main PC and then something goes pop.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    contact your local recycling centre they may have some PCs around. I got one from my local centre with the minimum specs for running xp on it. It was really cheap too.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    there is no practical in the proper A+ exams,we got a practical as part of the college exam.It wasn't very difficult.

    You are missing out on a lot of the other hardware stuff though if you are only reading a book.

    There are some great second hand pcs 1ghz upwards for £50 or thereabouts on ebay if you want to take a pc apart and rebuild and use for various things,including networking,which you should be doing as part of your studying for the exams.

    You will need to know some windows xp settings for the exams so i'd use xp if you aren't at the moment.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  6. misanthrope

    misanthrope Bit Poster

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    thanks for the quick replies, i'll get a stand alone system capable of running XP.
     
  7. pfairbrother

    pfairbrother Bit Poster

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    I'm studying for A+ at the moment and I've managed to acquire a couple of old pcs to meddle with. I got an old pc running w98 from a friend who was about to dump it and I got another from ebay for £40. I've installed w2k instead of w98 on the first machine and the ebay one is running XPpro. I'm using Tripwire's streetsmarts book and hopefully it'll help me understand and cope with the hardware and os topics covered by A+. I'm also using Mike Meyer's All in One (I'm on the 2nd read through) and his A+ passport book for supplementary revision (also ok to carry around for reading away from home)
    Basically get a hold of at least one other pc that you can take to bits and fiddle with. Reading about the components of a PC might get you through the exam but the real 'hands on' stuff is a must if you expect to work as a PC Tech or do helpdesk work.
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-271)
    WIP: A+. 70-272
  8. misanthrope

    misanthrope Bit Poster

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    thanks pfairbrother. regarding the AIO guide i've just finished reading microprocessors & the review questions underlined the need to read it more than once. i'm thinking first time is a superficial overview & second time round i'll make study notes & answer the questions.

    from the practical aspect, does the AIO guide actually take you through a step-by-step practical processes or is it more inituitive where you decide for yourself? how is streetsmart of value? of the two books is that the one more likely to serve as a practical how-to-do-it manual?
     
  9. pfairbrother

    pfairbrother Bit Poster

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    Streetsmarts book covers all of the problems a pctech is likely to face in a year. It is graduated in its tasks so starts out nice and basic i.e. upgrading RAM sticks. A must have book IMHO.
    Meyers books is excellent and will provide you with all the necessary theory you will need to pass the test and understand a lot of the concepts but will not prepare you to do the job as well as Streetsmarts could do.
    Don't be put off by the cpu chapter in the AIO - interesting stuff but it did give me brainache as well! :o
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-271)
    WIP: A+. 70-272
  10. misanthrope

    misanthrope Bit Poster

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    does the AIO prompt you when you are reading when you should try a practical task or do you just read about the theory & then decide the practical you want to do under you own initiative?
     
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Agreed... plus, it certainly doesn't hurt that the author is our very own tripwire45! :thumbleft
     
    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+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  12. pfairbrother

    pfairbrother Bit Poster

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    This is what I am doing misanthrope:
    I read the AIO from cover to cover and did the tests at the end of each chapter recording my scores. I managed to average 8/10 Then I began my thorough second read through, took notes whilst reading and again did the end of chapter tests. I am now averaging 9/10 after the first 7 chapters.
    I also read the relevant sections in Meyer's passport revision book just before doing the tests.
    I have decided to intersperse the tasks in the streetsmarts book in between chapters from the AIO but there is no structure to what I do - I just do some practical when I'm a little jaded from lots of reading. As I said Streetsmarts is nicely graded so the easier tasks are at the beginning of the book and because of that I am approaching the practical tasks in the book order at the moment. But that could change!! Just do what you feel like and when you feel like but I would still recommend sticking to the chapter order as it appears in the book. I am sure Messrs Meyer and Pyles spent a fair amount of time deciding on the order of things as it appears on the page.
    Anyway that's my way - you might try a different approach that works for you.
    Another hint - book your test after the first read through. Then you have a date to work to and that will motivate you to keep on track.(Although you can reschedule online if you're not ready)
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-271)
    WIP: A+. 70-272
  13. misanthrope

    misanthrope Bit Poster

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    ok that's what i needed to know, have some rep.

    i've got to get another PC & a couple more books. i'm just reading AIO like a novel at the moment, so i need to be a bit more focused.
     

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