David Groth et al A+ Complete Study Guide

ISBN 13: 9780782128024

A+ Complete Study Guide

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9780782128024: A+ Complete Study Guide

A study guide written from a repairperson's perspective covers CompTLA exam objectives, core hardware and operating systems technologies, network software, applications support, and operating system troubleshooting.

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Review:

The A+ Complete Study Guide, Second Edition is interesting, mainly because it is neither fish nor fowl--it tries to prepare the reader for life in the field, yet ignores some critical new technologies that are pretty much required knowledge. It readies you for the A+ exams, yet entirely skips some of the lesser-tested sections. But in the end, the book becomes a fish with wings, because in spite of these drawbacks, it's engagingly written and astoundingly comprehensive when it counts.

First, the good news: the folks who wrote this book know what they're talking about, and can write rings around most of the other certification writers. Many certification books are written as if you're a Thanksgiving turkey waiting to be stuffed with a miscellany of acronyms and computer facts, whereas the A+ Complete Study Guide actually takes the time to explain things from a repairperson's perspective, giving tips and hints along the way. The book is peppered with real-life examples, reminders of good practices, and history that will help you to understand why things are the way they are today. (They often don't make much sense anymore, but there was a reason for that way back then.) If you're looking for a friendly teacher, this will do nicely.

The end of each chapter is punctuated with a summary and 20 multiple-choice questions, all of which are pretty close to what you'll find on the exam. The explanations given for the answers are terse and don't necessarily tell you why the other answers are wrong, but they suffice.

The book takes some shortcuts along the way, however, and has some odd focuses. The idea is to prepare you for what you'll find in the field, and it frankly admits that practically no one is going to work with DOS commands or 80286 processors anymore. As such, it barely mentions DOS at all, giving a brief list of commands and some quick takes on memory management, and gives Windows 3.1 only a side note, not even bothering to provide pictures. However, there is a staggeringly large section on Windows 95/98 installation. Admittedly, DOS and Windows 3.1 questions are very few and far between on the most recent round of A+ exams, but all it takes is two or three surprise questions to shoot a big hole through your score. Fortunately, the section on the more recent (and more often tested) Windows 95 section is very thorough and should prepare you without a hitch.

Unfortunately, although the field preparation is a good idea, it leaves off mentioning some major technologies. The A+ Complete Study Guide barely mentions that it is possible to burn a CD-ROM in your own home, and doesn't even touch on video accelerators. Although it's tough to keep up with the ever-changing world of hardware, it would have been nice to have some newer technology.

Still, in the end this book means well, and it will serve you in your quest for an A+ certification, as it has for thousands of others. If you can overlook some minor flaws that (probably) won't get in the way of your passing, this book comes highly recommended. --William Steinmetz

From the Publisher:

This new edition of the A+ Complete Study Guide is your key to success on CompTIA's new A+ exams-Core Hardware and Operating System Technologies. Organized for optimal learning, this book maps to the latest CompTIA objectives and provides a pedagogically proven approach to learning the topics on which you'll be tested. Best-selling author David Groth applies his years of classroom instructional experience to the task of clearly and concisely explaining how PC hardware and software work in the real world.

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Groth et al, David
Published by Sybex Inc (2001)
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David Groth et al
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