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So, will it work on my Mac?
Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in general
Member Name: missbrowneyedgirl
Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in general
Date: 20/07/01, updated on 20/07/01 (1250 review reads)
Advantages: I am sure there might be one, I just can't think of it
Disadvantages: waste of time, waste of money, waste of effort
Disclaimer: Be prepared for a completely biased opinion! I hate PCs and I particularly hate Microsoft and I have been sent on Course 2152B (Implementing Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional and Server). The prerequisites of which include successful completion of course 2151 (Microsoft Windows 2000 Network and Operating System Essentials), or equivalent knowledge, which I don?t have. Oh joy!
I decided on Monday morning that as much as I was annoyed about my boss sending me on this course and I was going to be away from my luscious Apple Mac G4 for a full four days, that I would try to have a positive attitude towards it. My boss as it happens had been (somewhat mis-) informed that if two employees qualify as MCPs (Microsoft Certified Professionals) that your company becomes a Microsoft certified Solution Provider. Not true but nonetheless there we were, in a class of eight people, eagerly awaiting the onslaught of the 2,500+ page training notes folder we had been given! The course itself was to be presented through lectures interspersed with demonstrations and practical exercises.
The first thing I noticed was that our classroom mousemats had been designed by one of the guys I work with. That quite amused me but also reminded me of the lovely studio where I work and how much fun they would all be having. All I needed then to really bring me down was the announcement by the trainer that the course was actually a 5 day course but we were going to cram it all into 4 days. Great! Not only was it going to be difficult but it was going to be skimmed too!
The first exercise was, as usual on the courses, was introductions. We had to tell everyone our name, company, job title and any previous experience with the product- in this case the Microsoft 2000 family of products (Server, professional etc.). And there was the first dilemma! Do I tell these people that I actually maintain a Mac network with PCs, running through a Mac server? Maybe not. And alt
hough honesty is always the nest policy it surely wouldn't go against me if I just omitted a little bit of the truth now would it? I admitted I had no Windows 2000 experience, which opened a floodgate of other class members admitting the same!
Luckily the trainer (why do I have a compelling urge to call him the teacher?) took this news quite well. He was very helpful and said even though we would struggle without the prerequisite qualification or experience, that he was happy for us to stop him at any time to clarify any concepts or terms we were unsure of. I was later to discover that this would have meant I stopped him roughly every 45 seconds but at least the offer was there!
The next part confirmed my existing beliefs in the poor quality of Microsoft products, although I hadn't realised until then that their shoddy workmanship also applied to the course materials they produce in addition to their software. The first module of the course was to clean install (as opposed to upgrading from an existing product) Windows 2000 Advanced Server on our PCs. The course material contains 120-day evaluation copies of both professional and advanced server. What Microsoft hadn't accounted for was the possibility of boot software (Boot Magic in this instance) preventing installation.
This theme continued through the entire duration of the course. Errors appeared on several members of the course's machines repeatedly (though never everyone, the same people or the same time!) yet Microsoft have provided no fallback for their software not doing as it should and there are no trouble shooting tips. In the long run this meant a lot of wasted time whilst the trainer fixed individual problems. In particular, the course involved obtaining and storing a set of scripts from the domain server which are suppose to configure the machine and install the necessary course materials. These caused permission problems on every exercise, and really illustr
ated the poor quality of Microsoft's product and support.
The course material itself was also of low quality with the slides being a Power Point presentation that my Gran (who has never used a PC before, and is partially blind) could probably make after 5 minutes training and access to the clip art folder. It was highly unprofessional with over-use of sound, clip art and colours. the course folder printed material contained spelling mistakes and discrepancies between the presentation, and the CD laboratory files. Also the trainer notes were littered with incomplete and sometimes technically incorrect answers.
The teaching method itself is also questionable as the exercises take the form of doing something the wrong way until you reach a critical error, the starting again and doing it the right way. On a personal level this only served to confuse me and on reflection I cant recall which way of applying the things we 'learnt' is the correct one. The timescale in which we were covering the modules was not enough to learn both a right and wrong way of going about things. I really think they have taken 'learn by your mistakes' too far in this case! Also the method of learning was basically following a list of click-by-click instructions, which in reality requires little if any brainpower.
This led t o a general lethargic attitude throughout the class and made the actual content of the lectures seem very boring. At times they became more of a stopgap between your next set of instructions than anything else! At one point in the course we spent nearly an hour doing a lab exercise on using the 'configure a printer' wizard! sad, but true and completely pointless! There were also occasions when we were hurried without completing exercises and reviews due to the tight schedule the course needed to adhere to.
Overall I don't think this course does Microsoft any favours and it certainly doesn't give you any
confidence in their products, support or ability as a training provider. As I mentioned, I am biased, but I really can't see this particular course being of use to anyone apart from an experienced administrator of a large corporate network that was due to migrate to Windows 2000. I wont say that I didn't learn anything, but what I have learnt is of very little use to me. I also can't comment on the value of the training as my boss paid and I don't know the cost. Let's just hope it was precious little!
The course must be followed by exam 70-21- and 70-215 in order to gain the MCP qualification. If I take the exams I will update you! Thanks for listening, I know I rant on a bit...;)
* 2152B Course Outline *
Module 1: Installing or Upgrading to Windows 2000
Installing Windows 2000
Module 2: Configuring the Windows 2000 Environment
Creating and Using Hardware Profiles
Modifying Startup and Recovery Options
Configuring Internet Options
Module 3: Connecting Windows 2000?based Clients to Networks
Configuring and Testing IP Addresses
Installing and Configuring Gateway (and Client) Services for NetWare
Module 4: Creating and Managing User Accounts
Creating Local User Accounts
Creating and Modifying Domain User Accounts
Module 5: Managing Access to Resources by Using Groups
Creating a Global Group
Module 6: Managing Data by Using NTFS
Using NTFS Permissions
Configuring Disk Compression and Quotas
Securing Files by Using EFS
Module 7: Providing Network Access to File Resources
Sharing and Securing Network Resources
Configuring Domain-based Dfs
Module 8: Monitoring and Optimizing Performance in Windows 2000
Using Task Manager and Event Viewer
Monitoring System Performance
Module 9: Implementing Security in Windows 2000
Configuring Windows 2000 Security Settings
Module 10: Configuring Printing
Installing Printers on a Print Server
Installing a Client Printer and Managing Printers
Module 11: Configuring Windows 2000 for Mobile Computing
Configuring Power Management Options
Configuring Offline Files
Module 12: Configuring and Managing Disks
Working with Dynamic Disks
Creating and Mounting a New Volume
Module 13: Implementing Disaster Protection
Implementing Fault-Tolerant Volumes
Backing Up and Restoring System State Data
Module 14: Installing and Configuring Terminal Services
Installing Terminal Services
Installing an Application
Module 15: Implementing Windows 2000 Clients
Creating an Answer File for an Unattended Installation
Running the System Preparation Tool
Module 16: Implementing Windows 2000?based Servers
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