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on 13 March 2007
This book is for lack of a better word, Excellent! the book is really well written and i feel is aimed at the right level. This book in is more practical than theory. The books split into two main sections which is lessons and revision for the exam. The lessons are split into three sections theory, practical Then reinforcement questions. The book all the way holds your hand through each example and doesn't really drop you in the deep end at all which is good. There is an exception and that's the first chapter which isn't in the exam and is there to teach you about the different flavours of server 2003. The questions at the end of that chapter throws you off and make you feel like you've learnt nothing. but since its not in the exam don't stress about it.

The book says that its aimed for someone who has been working with server 2003 18 months. This in my opinion is wrong because you cant have been working with server 2003 successfully without reading the book first.The level that the book is aimed at is for the person who is confident in working with computers. If you can install drivers,OS,configure the folder options,dabbled in networking computers together and aren't afraid of the dos command line and know what bat files then this is your level. This book is lessons and not references so you might not go back to it once you have read it. One thing i find great is this book is self contained and from my opinion is all the reading you will need for the exam.

be warned though this review is only for this book in the series the other books that i have read are the same format but are aimed at a completely different level and some of the have a lot more theory than practicals!

Now to get the full use of this book and follow its examples and allow you to explore some of the elements in the book you will need

2 computers (1 if you use virtual pc's but for complexity 2 is good)

1 comp of which with Xp pro, NOT xp home or media edition!

computer you will run 2003 needs 2 hard disks

Both computers have to have network cards and cat5 cable connecting them

1 Internet connection for verifying server 2003 and installing the updates

1 printer

You can use just one computer with 2 hard disks but the list above is if you are lucky enough to have that stuff lying about.
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on 24 March 2007
What an fine book and a pleasure to work through.

Having previously used Microsoft training materials for MCSE on NT4, I approached this book with a little anxiety but that soon evaporated.

The authors seem to be be good both at W2k3 and at training with a result that they effectively teach you "how it works" not just "how to work it".

Concepts are developed in a logical order and technical terms are defined precisely if a little concisely. For example, when discussing the attributes the different types of security and distribution groups, the detail is expressed in very few words. Nevertheless the words are worth meditating upon.

The practical exercises have been beautifully crafted to both generate understanding and to make the information memorable. One "trick" is an exercise that produces a configuration that, quite honestly, seems a bit odd. A supplementary exercise introduces another tool or feature that you use to alter the configuration to what you find not odd. It teaches you two features, shows their relationship and it sticks in the mind.

The book's authority is enhanced by the rarity of errors. I only noticed one important subject error which was related to the way Group policy controls Terminal Services Devices.

The book's recommendation to have a Gig of unallocated space is perfectly fine for the exercises on dynamic disks. However. If you want to do the WSUS practical work, make sure you have 12GB of free space.

The times suggested for each lesson were rather on the short side (for me). I regularly spent two or three times more.

Learning was a pleasure through this book and has made me competent in using W2k3 server as well as passing the exam.
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This was the second book I used to prepare for this exam. The first was Craig Zaker's. Both had advantages - both had disadvantages. The disadvantage of this is its shear volume. It has so much material (all of it good) but if you are working on a time line it is a lot to work through.

This book presents extensive exam preparation materials, going through section by section the requirements of the exam. It will help you learn to think and answer in "Microsoft speak".

There are lots of materials out there if you just want to pass a certification exam, crams, sims, testking ... but if you really want to learn the materials, you need to work with it. This book with its wide range and extensive exercises will help you learn hands on. It is an excellent resource, and will be a reference book I use for years to come.
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on 10 April 2009
This book does have its faults but they are far outweighed by the excellent, clear and detailed explanations of all topics.
Reading this book will not only allow you to pass the exam but also give you a decent understanding of the technologies touched upon meaning once you actually pass the exam you will actually be able to back it up.
I relate it to passing your driving test. This book will teach you to drive and pass the test where as other books may only teach you how to pass your test. Just.
If you think the latter is the easier option you will be quickly found out by your colleges so I think it really pays off to get this book.
Cannot recommend it enough.
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on 28 February 2010
Great book to prepare you for the 70-290 exam. Ordered it and waited just days to arrive also the tracking feature was up-to-date and the courier HDNL are spot on with delivery. Have used them since as the service is great and reliable.
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on 4 September 2009
This is a really short review, the book is exactly what is needed to pass this exam I passed with a score of 1000 however I have been using Server 2003 since it appeared and have attended 2 courses. As with every Microsoft exam all the answers will not be in this book as they like to throw in the odd question from other areas. With this book you will achieve a solid foundation for what is needed though, but do make sure you do everything.
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on 14 March 2011
nice book but very dryly written ,to prepare 4 the test Im using it with cbt nuggets, i dont think its enough to pass the exam without other recources,
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on 7 September 2007
Bit overly technical in places and not much entertainment included, but certainly had everything needed to easily pass the exam.
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on 21 January 2008
This is by far the best book for the 70-290 exam.
It comes with software that will allow you to take practice exams just like the real thing and is structured in such a way that you can test what you've learnt after each chapter.
I got 94% because of it!

Get this book before you get any others.
Dan
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on 4 May 2015
Helped alot.
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