December 8th, 2010
CompTIA A+ Certification exams usually change every three years to reflect changes in the industry, the new exams usually have new numbers, and once you achieve A+ Certification, you keep it for life.
Starting in January 2011, none of these will be true. CompTIA’s current 220-701 (A+ Essentials) and 220-702 (Practical Applications) exams will be replaced by new exams with the same exam numbers! What’s new? Windows 7 coverage. Windows 7 has been such a big success at both the retail and corporate levels (unlike the unloved Windows Vista) that CompTIA decided not to wait to roll out changes. But wait, there’s more!
Because the new 2011 CompTIA A+ Certification exams will be ANSI certified, CompTIA A+ Certifications will no longer be “for life” as with certifications earned in the past and up through December 31, 2010. Instead, the new A+ Certification CE (continuing education) will be good for three years. Fortunately, CompTIA has created a list of many activities A+ techs might already perform that are good for CE credits.
So, if you want a lifetime CompTIA A+ certification without worrying about CE credits or Windows 7, there’s still (barely) time to get yourself to a testing center. To get yourself up to speed, I’d suggest getting a copy of my book CompTIA A+ 220-701 and 220-702 Cert Guide and using its extensive print and DVD-based resouces to prepare yourself.
December 5th, 2008
My tenth book, Unleashing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center, has just been published by Que.
It’s a complete guide to the Windows Media Center feature in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions. Special features include:
- How to connect standard and HDTVs and home theater systems to your PC
- How to watch and record TV and movies
- How to find your favorite actors, directors, and genres
- How to use WMC to help you with fantasy sports
- How to play both casual and high-performance 3D games from your WMC desktop
- How to access media on other PCs through WMC
- How to use an Xbox 360 as a Windows Media Extender
- How to use Windows Media Center, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Movie Maker to make WMC even more powerful
- Where to find the best third-party programs that make WMC even more powerful
- How to watch TV on your WMC PC, even if you don’t have a TV tuner
July 4th, 2008
If you’ve reached this blog via my guest post at The Dawn Patrol, welcome! Many thanks to Ms. Eden for allowing me to speak to her readers. While you’re here,Â I hope you’ll find usefulÂ informationÂ to help keep your computer running smoothly.
This blog is primarily about my full-time work as a technology writer and consultant. I do most of my day-to-day blogging at Maximum PC’s newly-remodeled website, and also blog from time to time at Amazon.com (where my current and older books are available for purchase) and my publisher’s developer-oriented website, InformIT.com.
To get a taste of what I think about topics that are more important in the long run than the latest computer or photography gizmo, see the Beyond Technology – Thoughts on Ultimate Issues (God, Life, Right and Wrong)Â section of this website.
Have a wonderful 4th of July – and beyond.
December 20th, 2007
Many thanks to the men and women who attended my talk on Windows Vista SP1, “What’s In It for Business?” yesterday at Owensboro’s Colby’s Restaurant. The Greater Owensboro Territory Information Technologists (GETIT) asked a lot of great questions about Windows Vista and SP1. Some also purchased my new book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed – a great gift for Vista users.
Both GOTIT and its sister organization in Evansville, GETIT,Â sponsor outstanding speakers on technology issues monthly. Check out upcoming events at the GETIT/GOTIT information page hosted by the Evansville Public Library’s website.
September 23rd, 2007
In several of my recent articles at the Maximum PC website, I’ve put on my investigative journalism cap to find out what’s behind the headlines of some major stories:
- Learn more about how Skype’s VoIP system works – and why it stopped working in August.
- Discover how Sony created yet anotherÂ potential entry point for malware in the driver software for its USB memory stick/fingerprint reader
- Find out the disadvantages of the new Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 – and how to get around them
- Explore the reasons why Monster.com’s security breach revealsÂ that today’s phishers want to make it ‘personal’ – and thus,Â harder to stop
For more no holds barred analysis, see what I think about the new and improved features in Microsoft Windows Vista, and how to use them better, in myÂ book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: an Insider’s Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista. It’s now available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, BooksaMillion, and other fine bookstores.
June 5th, 2007
I’ve been blogging regularly for several months at Amazon.com as well as elsewhere. If you haven’t caught my Amazon.com blog yet, here’s what you’ve been missing:
- How to use the Windows Vista Recovery Environment (unlike Windows XP’s Recovery Console, it works – and you will understand what it’s doing)
- How to help Windows XP and Windows Vista share folders with each other
- How to find out how much working RAM Windows has, and why you may need to add more than you think for adequate performance
- Coverage of Windows Vista Ultimate Extras: useful added features, tools, and (let’s be fair) a bit of additional eye candy as well especially for Vista Ultimate users
Thankfully, it’s not too late to dive in. Enjoy!
March 7th, 2007
MaximumPC is my favorite hard-core, take-no-prisoners, tell-it-like-it-is computer magazine. My article, Windows Vista Survival Guide, is the cover story of the March 2007 issue on newsstands now.
Grab a copy today!
March 7th, 2007
In addition to blogging here at Traffic Circle 2.0, I also blog on technology subjects at Amazon.com. Here’s a collection of my recent technology posts:
- A Japanese technology company is offering a great free Sidebar gadget you can use in Windows Vista to compare your system’s performance to others and to help you plan system upgrades. See Using Vista’s Windows Experience Index to Plan Your Next Upgrade to learn more.
- Put full-motion video on your Windows Vista Ultimate edition desktop as wallpaper with the newest Ultimate Extra, Dream Scene Preview, in More Vista Ultimate Extras.
- If you’re learning Spanish and want a unique way to polish your skills and learn home networking at the same time, check out the Spanish-language version of my Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Networking. See The Spanish/English Home Networking Connection for more information.
- I contributed five chapters to Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista, the latest volume in a long and respected series from Windows experts Bob Cowart and Brian Knittel. For details, see Vista, Vista Everywhere…Part 1.
- Windows Vista Ultimate edition users get free utility and other programs through the Ultimate Extras feature. Learn more about the first two (a BitLocker full-disk encryption setup program and a Texas-style poker game) with Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Now on Tap.
- Who’s the most likely suspect in a cyber-crime case? Discover the answer with Who Is Sabotaging IT Installations – It’s Wally!
- I’ve written two books on do-it-yourself PC diagnosis and repair: PC Help Desk in a Book and Leo Laporte’s PC Help Desk. Confused? Read Battle of the PC Help Desk Titles to learn which book’s the best for you.
I’ve also written a Viewpoint op-ed for BusinessWeek.com recently: Getting the Skinny on Vista Security. Read it to learn how Microsoft is finally taking security seriously, and the missing pieces you need to provide when you install Vista.