Blazing the Trail to the 70-216 Summit
Mike Meyer's Passport opens doors for newbies and experts alike.
- By David W. Tschanz
- September 01, 2002
When I was younger, I received my first passport. It was a magical moment.
That thin booklet opened the door of the rest of the world to me and suggested
endless trips to storied destinations I yearned to see. Some of these
journeys were complete disasters and I couldn't get away fast enough.
Others took me to places full of wonder, excitement and enchantment.
Mike Meyer's Certification Passport Guide series provides a lengthy itinerary.
Some of the stops are pretty rough, and you can't get wait to get out.
Others are fabulous finds that make the whole trip worthwhile. Such is
the case with Mike Meyers' MCSE Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Administration
Certification Passport. Don't let the length of the title put you off—this
book is fabulous. Using Passport 70-216 won't guarantee you a passing
score on what may be Microsoft's toughest core exam, but it'll make studying
an admittedly dry subject a lot easier and more enjoyable.
The principal reason for this is that author Rory McCaw possesses exceptional
communication skills. This is the first book of his I've read, but it
won't be the last. I submit him to your short list of superb technical
The book itself is well organized and covers the objectives for the exam
in workmanlike fashion. As with the entire Passport series, each chapter
is broken up into a series of travel-related topics. Itineraries list
the official exam objectives covered; ETAs provide information on the
amount of time needed to complete each lesson; and Travel Advisories offer
expert advice on critical topics. Concise definitions of key terms and
concepts make-up the Local Lingo, and Travel Assistance is used to suggest
resources for more information. There are the requisite Exam Tips to warn
you of common pitfalls and points to ponder. Checkpoints designate the
end-of-chapter questions, answers and explanations. The book also contains
a simplistic Career Flight Path to help you determine where to go next
on the certification trail. The book comes with a practice exam on a CD
using the ExamWeb test engine. The book does a thorough job covering the
exam material, and McCaw and the editor receive credit for minimal grammatical
and factual errors.
Regrettably the book does not have a glossary. There were a few minor
annoying typos—I couldn't understand the books insistence on calling
it an Lmhosts file rather than an LMHOST file. Although the test questions
on the CD aren't very representative of the actual exam, though those
at the end of the chapters are useful.
The book's strength is that it takes a dry collection of mostly technical
information and makes it accessible to everyone. McCaw isn't merely gifted
at explaining things, Passport 70-216 borders on literature. That fact
makes this book's value immense. Because the student wants to read, he
ends up liking the subject. The beauty of Passport 20-216 is that both
newbies and experienced network administrators can read it and benefit.
For that reason alone, it belongs on your bookshelf.
David W. Tschanz, Ph.D., MCSE, is author of the recent "Exchange Server 2007 Infrastructure Design: A Service-Oriented Approach" (Wiley, 2008), as well as co-author of "Mastering Microsoft SQL Server 2005" (Sybex, 2006). Tschanz is a regular contributor to Redmond magazine and operates a small IT consulting firm specializing in business-oriented infrastructure development.