A+: Core Module Study Guide (Certification Study Guide 0)

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9780782123449: A+: Core Module Study Guide (Certification Study Guide 0)

CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association) is updating the industry-leading A+ certification program on July 31, 1998. A+ certifies the competency of service technicians in the computer industry. The program is developed by CompTIA, which is supported by major computer hardware and software vendors, distributors, resellers, and publications. To become certified, a candidate must pass two modules: the Core module (which covers hardware and essential concepts) and the DOS/Windows module (which covers DOS, Windows 3.1x, and Windows 95).

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Blessed are the troubleshooters. When personal-computer hardware breaks, repairing it can baffle even the most proficient software expert. That's why the world needs hardware wizards, and the best gauge of hardware wizardry around today is the A+ certification. If you're out to earn your A+ ticket, David Groth's A+: Core Module Study Guide is an excellent resource.

At first glance, the book does have a few drawbacks. Some information is out of date: SCSI-3 long ago progressed beyond the proposal phase, and there's no mention of Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE) disks, DVD drives, or universal serial bus (USB) ports here. Plug and Play is treated in these pages like the shaky new technology it was several years ago. The Pentium II CPU gets only cursory coverage, and there's no mention of Celeron. AMD and Cyrix--the companies--get brief nods, but the chips they make are not addressed separately. Also, the accompanying CD-ROM could have been a better learning tool (the test simulator has a kind of clunky interface and it doesn't provide answer discussions or references to the text).

Component and CD-ROM details aside, though, A+: Core Module Study Guide provides a solid introduction to the general operation and key subsystems of IBM- compatible personal computers. Readers get the goods on electronic theory, volatile and nonvolatile memory, processors, peripheral buses, printers, and networks. A key feature is the in-depth coverage of isolate-and-test strategies that are essential to effective troubleshooting; readers find out how the various subsystems work together and are taught to diagnose a multitude of system failures. The book even includes trade information, detailing how to treat customers respectfully and how to work safely. And each chapter of the book concludes with multiple-choice questions, the answers to which appear in an appendix. --David Wall

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