A+ All-In-One Certification Exam Guide

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9780072122664: A+ All-In-One Certification Exam Guide

-- Industry endorsement -- This book will carry the COMPTIA logo, the creators of the A+ exam. This endorsement will be displayed prominently on the packaging.-- CD included -- The Meyers A+ Certification Guide contains a CD with exam preparation questions, and bonus questions that can be purchased separately.-- What's New?-- In-chapter exam questions-- All new exam prep questions on the CD-- Updated information to covering the new Pentium III technology

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Review:

A standout from the usual mass of A+ guides, the A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide is an excellent book for preparation. It takes the welter of complex internal components that make up the modern PC and boils them all down into easily understood concepts.

Let me clarify for the non-English majors out there. Rather than cramming a dizzying list of computer parts down the reader's throat like most A+ guides do, Meyers starts from ground zero and presents the reader with the same sets of problems that faced the original designers of the PC: You have just designed a chip that can handle thousands of calculations per second. Now how do you talk to it? How do you get other components to communicate with it? How do you know when it's listening?

By explaining to you exactly how each part was designed to work with that central processing chip--and why--you not only understand how the PC works without months of rote memorization, but you have the additional advantage of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. In other words, you know where and why things tend to break down. Which is exactly what you want for the A+.

Meyers's explanations are very good, each one building on the previous topics, and there are scads of generally crude but effective illustrations. Another strong point is that Meyers gives you extensive photographs of computer components, jacks, and motherboards for the novice--study this book carefully and you'll never confuse an RJ-11 with an RJ-45 jack again.

If the book can be said to have a minor flaw, it's that Meyers always errs on the side of giving too much information. Rather than having you study for the exam alone, he genuinely wants you to understand how computers work in the real world. (For example, he devotes an entire chapter to electrical concepts and measuring with multimeters simply because he believes that power supplies shouldn't be just thrown away.) Generally this is an admirable approach, except for two notable instances:

  • A beginner studying for the A+ exam might be overwhelmed. But relax--if you can get even 75 percent of this book down, chances are you'll pass the exam without a hitch.
  • There are times a conceptual take is much more confusing than a simple listing. The chapter on memory management--a complex and oft-overwhelming topic for those of you who weren't trying to get Wizardry III to work on your PCjr in the old days--errs on the side of providing far too much information. Even with a personal background in troubleshooting memory problems for a living, the writing here was still bewildering. However, he does note that memory management isn't a major part of the A+ exam, and that you don't really need to know all of that to pass.

The majority of the book focuses on hardware, but the DOS and Windows chapters are fairly extensive and should be more than enough to help you pass. A minor kvetch here is that, in his efforts to be relentlessly thorough, he'll frequently give you scads of switch options, listed alphabetically, for old programs like SMARTDRV--including many near-useless or currently useless ones. The important options should have been ranked for easier study.

The book has 10 questions at the end of every chapter--they're not modeled after the A+ exam, but they are fairly tough questions nonetheless. There's also a 75-page glossary, four free practice exams on the disk (and an additional 500 that can be unlocked for $79), and--joy!--samples of the many utility programs that Meyers recommends during the course of the book.

This text is highly recommended and an extremely good option for the A+ student--it definitely is an "All-in-One" stop. --William Steinmetz

From the Back Cover:

"The pinnacle of A+ preparation." -Brent Marchbanks, Corporate MIS Director at Corporate Curriculum Director at Computer Education Institutes

"The best A+ book on the market. The hardware section is very good; it goes through the subjects point by point with superior documentation." --Rick Sylstra, Senior Advanced A+ Instructor at CEI

Prepare to pass the 2001 release of CompTIA's A+ certification exams with the #1 best-selling exam guide. Fully revised and updated, Mike Meyers' renowned resource covers everything you need to know to pass both the Core Hardware and Operating System Technologies exams. Inside, you'll find official exams objectives at the beginning of each chapter, helpful exam tips, end-of-chapter practice questions, and hundreds of photographs and illustrations. This comprehensive guide not only helps you pass the A+ certification exams, but also teaches you how to be an expert hardware technician.

Get full details on all exam objectives, including how to:

  • Install, configure, and upgrade microcomputer modules and peripherals
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot common module problems and system malfunctions
  • Implement safety and preventive maintenance procedures
  • Work with motherboards, processors, and memory
  • Manage printers and portable systems
  • Configure network interface cards
  • Install and configure Windows 9x and Windows 2000
  • Manage files, directories, and memory
  • Run programs and diagnose and troubleshoot common problems
  • Connect to networks

The CD-ROM features:

  • Hundreds of all-original questions in an adaptive test engine
  • Six practice tests
  • LearnKey video clips featuring Michael Meyers teaching key A+ topics
  • Useful tools and utilities for PC technicians

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