Writing a beginner's guide on any complex subject is a daunting task. To be successful, the author needs to provide enough information to make the reader comfortable with basic tasks without getting carried away with all of the technical possibilities. Typically, books available in this category offer a high-level overview and describe rudimentary technical skills that are generally too basic to be of any use to an experienced IT professional.
Windows Server 2003: A Beginner's Guide by Martin Mathews is an improvement over the standard fare and a better alternative for introductory training in either a class-based or self-study program.
|Bernie Klinder, Contributing Editor|
The book starts by focusing on the essential skills and concepts required of any new administrator. It has the organization and feel of a formal textbook or training manual and is divided into five general sections containing three to four chapters each. These chapters are subsequently broken down even further into short modules that explain concepts and teach basic tasks.
The individual modules are well written and feature plenty of callouts offering tips, warnings and helpful illustrations. Each chapter and section ends with a series of review questions to ensure that you understand the basic concepts. The logical progression and breakdown of complex skills makes it easy to follow along without feeling overwhelmed.
The problem is that the skills admins need to really master Windows Server 2003 are complex. Rather than take the beginner to an intermediate level, Windows Server 2003: A Beginner's Guide provides the novice with just enough knowledge to be dangerous: the technical equivalent of a sorcerer's apprentice who has learned a few tricks and can't wait to try them out. For the curious computer enthusiast, this is fine. For the professional administration staff, I would recommend the Microsoft Official Curriculum or other MCSE training guides.
About the author: Bernie Klinder is the founder and former editor of LabMice.net, a comprehensive resource index for IT professionals who support enterprise Windows and BackOffice products. Before joining SearchWin2000.com as a contributing editor and operating system troubleshooting expert, Bernie worked as a technology consultant for several Fortune 500 companies in northeast Ohio. For his contributions to the technical community, Bernie was reselected as an MVP (Most ValuableProfessional) by Microsoft in 2004.
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Know-IT-all Chapter Quiz: Windows Server 2003: A Beginner's Guide