A business runs on its software, which means that it's possible to make a very nice living by maintaining the hardware that enables business software to go. The CompTIA A+ professional certification is the generally recognized token of accomplishment in the areas of Intel-compatible hardware configuration and the hardware-related parts of the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. The A+ Certification Bible is a comprehensive guide to the subjects successful A+ candidates are required to understand, according to CompTIA's published statements of exam scope. Author Ed Tetz does an admirable job of telling readers what they need to know for the exam, though when on the job some may wish for more practical information. For example, Tetz explains how the NTFS 5.0 filesystem--a feature of Windows 2000--is better than the earlier version of NTFS that shipped with Windows NT, but he doesn't alert readers to the extensive woe they can expect to encounter if they attempt to make the two versions of NTFS exist on the same drive. The problems are not on the A+ test, so it's sort of moot, but this is the kind of troubleshooting challenge an A+ technician can expect to see on the job.
Wish lists aside, this hardcover volume gets the job done as far as A+ test preparation is concerned. Its prose is clear, and illustrations--including the photographs that traditionally detract from books about hardware--add to readers' understanding. Each chapter concludes with multiple-choice questions and free-answer scenarios. An annotated answer key for all questions and scenarios appears on another page. --David Wall
Topics covered: Everything CompTIA says candidates must understand in order to pass the two A+ exams (220-201 and 220-202). Content runs heavily to hardware, including techniques for configuring and troubleshooting hard disks, memory, motherboards, and processors. Sections deal with the points at which Microsoft operating systems--mostly Windows 98 and Windows 2000--interact with hardware. There's coverage of networking to the extent required by A+, as well.
Built around the exam objectives for easy reference during specific objective focus, A+ Certification Bible contains extensive self-evaluation opportunities to help you determine what areas need additional study. Comprehensive coverage allows you to maximize the information, and tailor your study to your own needs at any level of experience.
Covers: Exam 220-201 and 220-202