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Computer Training How, Where, Do I Start?  One of the toughest parts of this question is, "Where do you want to go?"  And the corollary to that question is, "How much money and effort are you willing to put into it?"  I can assure you that you will get back, 100-fold-and-more, what you put into it.  But then, what is 100 times zero?  You have to put something in, in order to get something out.  Click HERE for more..

Quick Index - click on a topic for quick access to an item on this page.


1.   Web SEO Search Engine Optimization Through Well Built Pages MCSE and MCSA are often called upon to do other off-the-wall duties.  When you are called to do a web site for your company, read this, then remember; "Search engines do not index 'GLITZ' on a website.  The only thing that counts is WORDS.  This paper addresses some of the techniques of getting your web pages noticed by the search engines.  In writing, the old saying is, "A picture is worth a thousand words," but in SEO, "300 words is worth 1000 pictures."

2.   Nineteen (19) Words to Avoid on Your Resume  Yes, a solid training and understanding of computer technology, followed by certification as MCSE, MCSA, MCP, MCDST, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ACES Fiber Optic Installer, or Computer Security Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) are all needed.  BUT, if you can't write a GREAT resume, all of those certifications will go unnoticed. 

3,  Will Harper's TCP/IP Subnetting Cheat Sheet (html) HTML version of Will Harper's TCP/IP Subnetting Cheat Sheet.  Thick books have been written on the subject of subnetting TCP/IP in CIDR, VLSM, and Classful TCP/IP.  This one sheet, which can be created from memory in 30 seconds, CONTAINS EVERY ANSWER TO EVERY SUBNETTING PROBLEM that will ever be.  (If you don't believe it, just TRUST IT).

4.  Will Harper's IP Subnetting Cheat Sheet.doc Downloadable MS Word .doc version of Will Harper's IP Subnetting Cheat Sheet.  Thick books have been written on the subject of subnetting TCP/IP in CIDR, VLSM, and Classful IP.  There are numerous VLSM diagrams, that you may be asked to understand or memorize.  Why?  This one sheet, which can be created from memory in 30 seconds, CONTAINS EVERY ANSWER TO EVERY SUBNETTING PROBLEM that will ever be.  (If you don't believe it, just TRUST IT).  If you need some IP subnetting practice exercises, here is a couple of free websites, with IP subnetting practice problems and answers.

5.   TCP/IP.gif (source file for Tcp-IP.doc) Downloadable .gif, that contains the same information for the IP subnetting cheat sheet, except it is in .gif format, for those who may not be able to use the .doc version. 

6.   2003 Domains and Trusts.jpg Downloadable .jpg, which contains color-coded explanations of the various trusts which Windows 2003 will support, including the standard parent-child, two-way transitive trust; External Forest trusts; Foreign (or external ) domain trusts; shortcut trusts; and inter-forest tree-root trusts.  If you are observant, you will notice that this does not include the Windows 2003 realm trust.

7.  Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) Active Directory Policy Settings A downloadable and searchable ( MS Excel ) listing of ALL of the active directory policy settings for XP.  This happens to ALSO be a nearly-complete listing of all of the active directory policy settings for Windows 2003. Windows 2000 included a .chm help file for active directory policy settings, which was NOT included with Windows 2003.  Click HERE to link to this page...

8.   Kerberos Authenticaton.gif A .gif page showing all of the transactions involved in a client authenticating to a Kerberos Authentication server, receiving a ticket-granting ticket, then upgrading the TGT to a session ticket, then finally to access a trusted server to access resources.  This diagram assumes a single domain, but the concept can be extended to multi-domain Kerberos paths.

9.   Migrating NT4 Domains0.gif  This begins a series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  This depicts the domain architecture before migration begins. 

10.  Migrating NT Domains1.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  This depicts the domain architecture before migration begins. 

11.  Migrating NT Domains2.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  Showing the Windows NT Master Domain after upgrade to become the root domain in a new Windows 2000 Forest.

12. Migrating NT Domains3.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  Showing the Windows NT resource domains after conversion, and sites defined for each geographic, well-connected site. 

13. Migrating NT Domains4.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  Showing all former Windows NT resource domains, after migrating all resources to the newly-created root domain.  Note, the extra Windows NT PDC / BDC machines can now be recycled for other duties  Click HERE to link to this page...

14. Migrating NT Domains5.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  Showing all former Windows NT resource domains collapsed, after migrating all resources to the newly-created root domain.

15. Migrating NT Domains6.gif Series of drawings which depict a migration path from a well-designed Windows NT Single-Master, Multi-Domain model to a Windows 2000 Single domain in a single forest.  This same model can be used in migration from Windows NT to a Windows 2003 Domain, with a few modifications.  Showing all former Windows NT resource domains collapsed, after migrating all resources to the newly-created root domain.  This is the final result. 

16. Understanding W2K/NT Mixed Mode Groups.doc The technical details of which objects and or groups can be placed into which Windows NT groups is sometimes overwhelming to conceive.  In reality, the issue is extremely simple, and is laid out in a one-page explanation here.  (Windows 2000, in Windows 2000 mixed mode uses the same group model as Windows NT does.

17. Understanding W2K/W03 Native Mode Groups.doc  Upgrading a domain or forest to Windows 2000 native mode or Windows 2003 changes many of the rules of which groups can contain which objects and other groups, and which can be nested.  This document, although slightly more complicated than the Windows NT / Windows 2000 mixed mode, helps to simplify this concept.

18. NT and Mixed Mode Users and Groups.gif  This is a .gif-based downloadable diagram which uses an analogy of user-objects, busses for global groups, and garages for local groups, helps to provide an easily-remembered model for understanding Windows NT / Windows 2000 mixed mode groups, and how they should be deployed. 

19. Windows 2000 Native Mode / Windows 2003 Users and Groups.gif  This is a .gif-based downloadable diagram which uses an analogy of user-objects, busses for global groups, and garages for local groups.  It then introduces the concept of a huge aircraft as a universal group, and aircraft hangars as domain local groups. This helps to provide an easily-remembered model for understanding Windows Windows 2000 native mode amd Windows 2003 groups, and how they should be deployed.  This is an 11x17 page which can be pieced together, if 11x17 printing is not available. 

20. Understanding Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Inheritance.doc Most students have problems with the concepts of inheritance of attributes by files and other objects in Windows 2000 and Windows 2003.  This downloadable document explains the concept of an object with multiple parent containers and explicit assignment of attributes and the rules for inheritance.

21. Understanding Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Remote Access Policies.doc  Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 RRAS Remote Access Policies are always confusing to students.  This short document boils all of the details down to a few easily-remembered rules.

22. Short Movie: Warriors of the Net.mpa  This is a very short multi-media presentation about the fundamentals of TCP/IP networking - from end-to-end, using an easily followed dramatization.  The movie is not technical, and takes a few licenses, which experienced TCP/IP gurus will recognize, but it makes a very good beginner understanding.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN THIS MOVIE OVER THE INTERNET!  DOWNLOAD IT FIRST!  To download, use the right mouse button and select "Save target as...."

Click HERE to link to this page...

23. Windows Key Shortcuts.doc  Systems administrators and systems engineers need to learn to use the keyboard, instead of "mousing around." There are several reasons for this, not the least of which it is MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE to use the keyboard.  In fact, it is not unusual to confront a situation  in which mousing is NOT POSSIBLE (Then, what do you do, if you don't know the keyboard shortcuts.)  This paper consolidates several readily available resources from the web into a single document - it is, still incomplete.

24. Spam, Malware, and Viruses; Wrong Solution! Wrong Target! Wrong Thinking.  A dissertation, by Will Harper, on why our traditional methods of dealing with spam, malware (spyware), and viruses is doomed to be a losing race with the cyber-mafia.  As long as there is a $buck to be made, they will be creating new ways to outsmart our best efforts.  

25. Passing ANY Certification Exam: There IS a scientific method   A response, by Will Harper, to a question about passing the MS 70-292 and MS 70-296 upgrade exams from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003.  The advice in this letter is timeless, and can be applied to passing ANY CERTIFICATION EXAM.  

26. DNS Troubleshooting Flowchart (Visio). A MS Visio-based flowchart, which can be used to trouble shoot most DNS problems.  It is designed for Windows 2000, but is pretty OS-neutral. 

27. DNS Troubleshooting Flowchart (gif) A .gif-based flowchart, which can be used to trouble shoot most DNS problems.  It is designed for Windows 2000, but is pretty OS-neutral.  Click HERE to link to this page...

28. RJ11 Wiring Diagram (gif) color-coded wiring chart for standard RJ-11 (telephone base cord)

29. RJ45 Wiring Diagram (gif) color-coded wiring chart for network RJ-45 patch cable termination.  This diagram is for EIA/TIA 568b.  To wire EIA / TIA 568a, reverse the orange and the green wires.  For a cross-over cable, wire one end as TIA 568b and the other end as 568-a.  Note:  Home-made patch cables are for emergency use ONLY.  The commercial patch cables are FAR BETTER. 

  • 1. They are made of flexible, stranded wire (in-wall PVC and Plenum wire is solid and inflexible),
  • 2. They have special RJ45 connectors which penetrate the stranded wire and hold the mechanical-electrical connection better (solid cat-5 or cat 6 wires have, at best a couple of points where the connector has penetrated the insulation and is TOUCHING the solid wire - simple movement can quickly de-rate these connectors to the point that they will not pass category 5 or cat6 specifications, even if they passed rigorous tests minutes before).
  • 3. They have been precision-built and, in most cases, certified for Cat 5e or CAT-6 specifications (not just tested for direct current (DC) continuity). 
  • 4. They usually have support for the wire at it's entrance, that is not typically available for "loving-hands-at-home" copper cabling.  IT AIN'T CHEEP TO SAVE MONEY ON PATCH CABLES!!

29a.  How to construct a Cat 5 Cross-over cable - step-by-step This is a pretty-good step-by-step illustrated tutorial on how to construct a Cat 5 cross-over cable, complete with pictures of the cable construction and the tools required. A cross-over cable is, actually a cable with TIA 568a wiring at one end and TIA 568b at the other (resulting in the "cross-over").  This same process can be used to construct a straight-through cable - just be sure that the color codes follow either the TIA 568a or 568b standards at BOTH ends.

29b.  Did you ever see a VAMPIRE TAP for THICKNET or 10BASE5Well here is a photograph of one on wickipedia.  It is a little hard to see in this picture, because the thicknet is cut off flush with the Transceiver (the Yellow part).  You can see the 15-pin AUI or DIX cable connector on the side facing you.  There is a picture of the AUI or DIX connector ends also on Wikipedia, but it doesn't show the cable (which is thick, like SVGA cable).  Notice the sliders that connect the 15-pin connector to the NIC and Transceiver.  Here is a picture of another size of Vampire Tap, with the Thicknet attached.  This picture is blurred, but it shows that there are many shapes to these thicknet transceivers.  This view shows a hand-drawn depiction of a vampire tap, but it is pretty well done.  Important in this view is the cut-away of the vampire tap part - the bottom part is the actual transceiver.  This view shows another hand-drawn picture, but it is important because it shows the 10BASE5 Thicknet network end-to-end including the 50 ohm terminators at both ends, the vampire tap and thicknet transceivers, the AUI cables, and the NIC cards.  This view is also hand-drawn but it shows another configuration for 10Base5 Thicknet LAN.  It includes the termination at both ends, the single-ended grounding for the shield, the Vampire tap connection and an "N-type" connector.  The N-type connector required that the thicknet coax be cut and then the screw-type connectors attached to the ends.  This picture shows a "terminal server," which was actually a multi-port transceiver - single-port transceivers could also be N-type, instead of Vampire taps, but vampire taps were more common for single-AUI transceivers.

30. LDIFDE Creation Template (mdb) This is a work-in-progress.  It contains the data table for LDIFDE parameters (for users).  It needs an input form and a report form.  If someone decides to complete the project before I do, please send back the completed project (or any part of completion)

31. LDIFDE Creation Template (txt)  This is a text-based template, but it should have a file extension of .LDF not .TXT.  I have posted it as a .TXT, because browsers don't know how to open .ldf files.  You will need to rename it to .ldf.  You can use it as a model for creating LDIFDE input files.  Actually, LDIFDE is an older utility than the the new Windows 2003 DSADD and DSMOD commands, but LDIFDE is more powerful than either of these (and it sure beats clicking away for days, doing GUI-based Active Directory User Property changes).

32. CSVDE User Creation Template (csv) This is a .csv-based template for creating CSVDE input files.  It contains all or most of the attributes that CSVDE is capable of setting.  CSV input files can be created in a text editor, but that is not a very efficient way of working.  MS Excel is very good for editing a template, which can then be saved as a .csv and input to the CSVDE command.

33. Cisco Router Rollover RJ 45 Adapter diagram This diagram maps a DB9 to RJ45 Adapter in such a way to emulate a Cisco rollover cable.  With this small adapter in your toolkit, you can access the console port on Cisco routers, using a standard, Straight-through, CAT 5 patch cable.

Following are three snippets from Microsoft's web site, which I consider Required Reading, if you are studying for the Microsoft ISA Server 2004 certification (70-350).  The official Microsoft Learning Product study manual MS 2824 covers these, but not in sufficient depth.
34.  ISA Firewall Server 2004 Required Reading - 1: readme.htm

35.  ISA Firewall Server 2004 Required Reading - 2: isastart.htm

36.  ISA Firewall Server 2004 Required Reading - 3: isa2000migrate.htm

37.  Digital Signal Modulation.  Modulator/Demodulator (MODEM) technology.  This page contains three examples of digital signal modulation - The classical MODEM uses a carrier wave modulated with a digital signal  for its modulation scheme.

38.  Using a command-line to de-mystify the Windows Task List.  For instance, when you use ctrl-alt-del | Press T | then select the Processes tab, you have a wonderful resource for troubleshooting Windows - But, Wait!  What's running behind all of those lines with just "svchost.exe" for a name - could it be a virus or some other rogue program? There are high-end utilities to look behind this, but the ever-present command line (DOS command) has an answer.  Just hit Start | Run | Cmd, and type in: tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq svchost.exe" It will fill your screen with details about those svchost processes.  You can just open a command line and type: tasklist /? to find out how to run that very powerful set of utilities - or you can download this text file and see both the command explanation, and an example query and response.

39.  Cheat-sheets for almost everything This free web page contains a bonanza of cheat-sheets for almost every thing that someone involved in computer training would need (and a bunch of things that you Guru's may find nice to have).  It contains Cheat sheets for keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Word, Excel, and you-name-it.  It also includes another batch of cheat sheets for html, Java script, CSS Cascading Style Sheets, creating links and banners and more: Network and Video cabling cheat sheets: Database and SQL cheat Sheets for several SQL databases: Outlook, Word, Excel command cheat Sheets: Dreamweaver: Cisco Commands, Vista, DOS Commands, Linux Commands: Programming and scripting languages cheat sheets; including php, Java Script, Python, ASP, Open GL....And MORE.

40.  Trial Software CD keys.  Learning MUST be accompanied by hands-on use of the actual operating systems and Software.  Often, the keys get separated from the CD, causing the CD to be useless.  The XP 120-day trial software is no longer downloadable from their web site.  (All HyperLearning students can obtain a CD copy of trial software, at no cost, by asking.)  The key for XP 120-day trial CD is F4G28-BX7J6-KPV4C-TXJJQ-6P38Q.  You can still download a copy of the Server 2003 software from their download site, and get the key at the same time, but if you already have the CD, the key for the Windows Server 2003 32-bit 180-day trial software is H66CY-YJGY7-K796T-GCXJK-YJM76

41.  Troubleshooting computer performance issues.  This is a copy of a Q & A between a HyperLearning Trainer and a student.  The help files are very helpful, as are Microsoft documentation on the web - and an uncountable number of forums, blogs and etc.  Unfortunately, the very wealth of computer performance troubleshooting an monitoring can be a confusion factor for beginners.  This information just covers the basics, without the tons of additional information. 

42.  Administrator Password Tips from a Master Hacker - He is paid to find security vulnerabilities  The author of most of these comments is a computer security professional, who has asked that personal identity not be disclosed.  This author is currently employed, full-time, in a position that requires travel around the globe regularly, to different locations to attempt to "hack" the computer security.  (The author also wears a white hat - so don't be afraid to follow this tip.)  Click HERE for the master-hacker password tips...

43.  DOS is DEAD; (long live the Windows Command Line) PowerPoint Presentation.  DOS, which most computer training newbies think is "dead" lives on, for the old Gurus and smart Microsoft administrators.  Now it is just called "the command line."  There is a huge number of command line utilities included in the off-the-shelf Windows installation, and thousands of professional and amateur computer programmers are writing new command line utilities every day.  A great many of these utilities are free, for the downloading - some even come hidden in obscure directories of high-priced, high-powered enterprise software.  If you plan to make use of this command line powerhouse, you must first become familiar with the command line basics of -- DOS???  Yep!  The attached PowerPoint presentation was developed to supplement the HyperLearning Technologies A+ Training program.  Includes student hands-on exercises. 

44.  Wireless routing, router and client setup lab pdf download.  Hyperlearing teaches live labs for A+ Wireless routing.  Each pair of students will set up their own wireless network and test it for "internet connectivity."  (Since the classroom is inside a firewall with web proxy access and internal protected networks defined in ISA Server 2004, the "internet" is simulated by creating an IIS server with a test page, in the main classroom subnet.)  This is a PDF version of the lab procedures, minus the procedures for setting up wireless WEP Security and wireless WPA security.  These procedures will be added soon. 

45.  Network+ training slides and homework assignments We publish some of our class notes and PowerPoint slides on our web site for our students' use.  You may view the progress of a typical N+ student's training path, if you wish - there are also some VERY useful Networking and subnetting tutorials on this page.

46.  Quick-and-easy-dual boot installation of XP and Vista.  Unless you are just entering the computing race, you WILL NEED TO USE XP FOR SOMETHING!  Dual-booting has been much easier is previous versions of NT-compatible OSs.  Vista is not hard, it is just a little obscure.  If you are upgrading from XP - the dual-boot option is as simple as it has always been, just opt to install to a different PARTITION or physical drive (you may need a partition-magic or a clone to make space for a separate partition - in most instances, just pick up a new drive and install Vista to it).  If you bought Vista pre-installed, or if you have already done a standard Vista install, you will need the attached XP to Vista dual boot tips.  Click HERE to view the XP to Vista dual boot tips.

47.  Register a Transcender Cert exam download key or Transcender CD Key.  HyperLearning Technologies endorses and provides all full-program students with Transcender certification practice exams.  These may be downloaded directly from Transcender - or - if requested, we will provide a CD and a KEY.  Registration of these keys are NOT difficult - but also not transparent.  Click HERE to find detailed step-by-step instructions for registering and/or downloading the Transcender practice exams.

48.  Free A+ and Network+ Certification evaluation pre-tests.  All students applying for computer training at HyperLearning Technologies in the A+, Network+, MCDST, MCITP, MCSA or CCNA certification training programs are required to pre-take and submit both of these exams.  Guests are permitted to take the exams, if they wish.  There is no particular pass-fail score for admission to a HyperLearning Technologies computer training program - the results will be used to determine where to begin a training program.

49.  Build Business Value in Small Business with a Small Business Server.  Small businesses are caught in the middle for IT automation.  They can't afford to invest in expensive computer software and hire super-expensive computer systems engineers.  As a consequence, small businesses are at a disadvantage when competing against their larger business competition.  Usually it's the owner or manager who has to give up all of their personal time, to do mundane tasks, related to business administration, when they would rather spent that prime time with their family (or developing new leads).  Click HERE to download and view a Microsoft powerpoint presentation about a low-cost, minimum maintenance SBS solution, with a very fast ROI; Build Business Value in Small Business with a Small Business Server.

50.  ISA Server 2004 Course 2824B Exam 70-350 practice tests:  Module-by-module ISA 2004 certification student homework and practice tests:

  ISA 2004 module 1   ISA 2004 Module 3    
  ISA 2004 Module 2   ISA 2004 Module 4    

51.  When you SHOULD move the Windows Pagefile (and when you should not) There are tons of advice about moving the pagefile - but when is it best NOT to move it.  This paper will clear that up.

52.  Vista Training Acronyms and Definitions.  This is a work-in-progress.  There are hundreds of new acronyms you will need to know and use to learn (an administer) Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008.  This is just some of them

53.  Security+ learning aids.  Two Excel spreadsheets, developed by former students and trainers, to aid in passing the Security+ exam.  The majority of the information in these were developed for the old S+, But S+ 2008 has not changed significantly in the underlying data.


 


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<p><a href="http://www.willharper.com">Will Harper, MCT, MCSE: Security, CTT+, A+, Network+, Security+</a> Free tutorials and study material for computer certification training MCSE, MCSA, MCP, A+, Network+, Security+, CEH, CCNA. Specializing in Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, Element K, and Transcender learning products.</p>