Archive for the ‘Microsoft Applications’ Category


The Big Question Rises How To Become Microsoft, Cisco, ComTIA Certified

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The big question rises how to become the Microsoft certified , All Microsoft certifications are acquired by simply taking a series of exams. If you can self-study for said exams, and then pass them, then you can acquire the certification for the mere cost of the exam (and maybe whatever self-study materials you purchase).

You’ll also need, at minimum (in addition to the MCTS), the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certs; as well as the Cisco CCNA cert.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) – This is the basic entry point of Microsoft Certifications. You only need to pass a single certification test to be considered an MCTS and there are numerous different courses and certifications that would grant you this after passing one. If you are shooting for some of the higher certifications that will be discussed below, then you’ll get this on your way there.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) – This certification was Microsoft’s previous “Developer Certification” meaning that this was the highest certification that was offered that consisted strictly of development-related material. Receiving it involved passing four exams within specific areas (based on the focus of your certification). You can find the complete list of courses and paths required for the MCPD here.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) – This is Microsoft’s most recent “Developer Certification” which will replace the MCPD Certification (which is being deprecated / retired in July of 2013). The MCSD focuses within three major areas of very recent Microsoft development technologies and would likely be the best to persue if you wanted to focus on current and emerging skills that will be relevant in the coming years. You can find the complete list of courses and paths required for the MCSD here.

The Microsoft Certifications that you listed are basically all of the major ones within the realm of development. I’ll cover each of the major ones and what they are :

Most people, however, take some kind of course. Some colleges — especially career and some community colleges — offer such courses (though usually they’re non-credit). Other providers of such courses are private… some of them Microsoft Certified vendors of one type or another, who offer the courses in such settings as sitting around a conference table in their offices. Still others specialize in Microsoft certification training, and so have nice classrooms set up in their offices.

There are also some online (and other forms of distance learning) courses to help prepare for the exams.

The cost of taking classes to prepare can vary wildly. Some are actually free (or very nearly so), while others can cost hundreds of dollars. It all just depends on the provider.

And here’s a Google search of MCTS training resources (which can be mind-numbing in their sheer numbers and types, so be careful what you choose):

There are some pretty good, yet relatively inexpensive, ways to get vendor certificate training. Be careful not to sign-up for something expensive and involved when something cheaper — like subscribing to an “all the certificates you care to study for one flat rate” web site — would, in addition to purchasing a study guide or two at a bookstore, likely be better.

If you want a career in IT, then you need to have both an accredited degree in same (preferably a bachelors over an associates), and also a variety of IT certifications. The MCTS is but one that you will need.

You should probably also get the Microsoft MCSE and/or MCSA. The ICS CISSP. And the ITIL.

There are others, but if you have those, you’ll be evidencing a broad range of IT expertise that will be useful, generally. Then, in addition, if the particular IT job in which you end-up requires additional specialist certification, then you can get that, too (hopefully at the expense of your employer who requires it of you).

Then, whenever (if ever) you’re interested in a masters in IT, here’s something really cool of which you should be aware…

There’s a big (and fully-accredited, fully-legitimate) university in Australia which has partnered with Microsoft and several other vendors to structure distance learning degrees which include various certifications; and in which degrees, considerable amounts of credit may be earned simply by acquiring said certifications. It’s WAY cool.

One can, for example, get up to half of the credit toward a Masters degree in information technology by simply getting an MCSE (though the exams which make it up must be certain ones which correspond with the university’s courses). I’ve always said that if one were going to get an MCSE, first consult the web site of this university and make sure that one takes the specific MCSE exams that this school requires so that if ever one later decided to enter said school’s masters program, one will have already earned up to half its degree’s credits by simply having the MCSE under his/her belt. Is that cool, or what?

I wouldn’t rely on them over experience (which is far and away the most valuable asset out there) but they are worth pursuing especially if you don’t feel like you have enough experience and need to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to land a position as a developer.

If you are going to pursue a certification, I would recommend going after the MCSD (Web Applications Track) as it is a very recent certification that focuses on several emerging technologies that will still be very relevant (if not more-so) in the coming years. You’ll pick up the MCTS along the way and then you’ll have both of those under your belt. MCPD would be very difficult to achieve based on the short time constraints (passing four quite difficult tests within just a few months is feasible, but I don’t believe that it is worth it since it will be “retired” soon after).

No job experience at all is necessary for any of the Microsoft Certifications, you can take them at any time as long as you feel confident enough with the materials of the specific exam you should be fine. The tests are quite difficult by most standards and typically cover large amounts of material, but with what it sounds like a good bit of time to study and prepare you should be fine.

Certifications, in addition to degrees, are so important in the IT field, now, that one may almost no longer get a job in that field without both. The certifications, though, are so important that one who has a little IT experience can get a pretty good job even without a degree as long as he has all the right certs. But don’t do that. Definitely get the degree… and not merely an associates. Get the bachelors in IT; and make sure it’s from a “regionally” accredited school.

Then get the certs I mentioned (being mindful, if you think you’ll ever get an IT masters, to take the specific exams that that Strut masters program requires so that you’ll have already earned up to half the credit just from the certs).

If you already have two years of experience in working in the .NET environment, a certification isn’t going to guarantee that you will get employed, a salary increase or any other bonuses for achieving the honor. However, it can help supplement your resume by indicating that you are familiar with specific technologies enough to apply them in real-world applications to solve problems.

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70-646 Q&A / Study Guide / 70-646 Videos / Testing Engine

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You work as the Enterprise administrator at The network has a domain
named The servers on the network run Windows Server 2008 and all client
computers run Windows Vista.
The network contains more than 3,000 computers. wants to make use of
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) updates. You thus need to setup the appropriate
storage mechanism so that it provides high availability.
Where should you store the WSUS updates?

A. In a storage subsystem as a RAID 10.
B. In a network load balancing cluster.
C. In a newly created Group Policy.
D. In a Distributed File System (DFS) link that is configured to utilize several replicating targets.

Answer: D

Explanation: You need to keep the updates on a Distributed File System (DFS) link that uses
multiple replicating targets. This will ensure that the updates highly available. The DFS contain the
following capabilities: views of folders and files, that is a virtual organization where those files
physically reside in a network.
Reference: Step 4: Set up a DFS share

You work as the Enterprise administrator at The network has forest with two
domains named and The functional level of the forest is set at Windows
Server 2008.
A new security policy requires that the local guest accounts and administrator accounts
should be renamed. You have to ensure that the local guest accounts are disabled after it has
been renamed.
How can this be achieved?

A. By using a custom network profile.
B. By using a Group Policy object (GPO) for every domain.
C. By using a folder redirection on all the root domain controllers.
D. By using a ServerManagerCMD tool for the root main.

Answer: B

Explanation: You need to use Group Policy object (GPO) for every domain. With this you can
rename administrator accounts as well as renaming and disabling the local guest accounts.
Windows Server 2003 also permits you to modify the administrator account and guest account
names with a Group Policy.
Reference: HOW TO: Rename the Administrator and Guest Account in Windows Server 2003

You work as the Enterprise administrator at The network consists of a single
Active Directory domain named All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008 and all client computers run Windows Vista. has its headquarters in Chicago where you are located and a branch office in Dallas that
employs a number of helpdesk staff. You have to implement a new server named Certkingdom-SR10 in
the Dallas office. The setup policy of states that all helpdesk staff have the necessary
permissions to manage services. The helpdesk staff should also be able to configure server roles
on Certkingdom-SR10. You need to accomplish this ensuring that the helpdesk staff have the least
amount of permissions.
How can this be achieved?

A. You should make the helpdesk staff, members of the global security group.
B. You should make the helpdesk staff, members of the Server Operators group on Certkingdom-SR10.
C. You should make the helpdesk staff, members of the Account Operators group on Certkingdom-SR10.
D. You should make helpdesk staff, members of the Administrators group on Certkingdom-SR10.

Answer: D

Explanation: To add the helpdesk staff to the Administrators local group will give full
administrative access to an individual computer or a single domain. The user must be a member
of the Administrators group to change accounts or stop and start services or install server roles.
Reference: Using Default Group Accounts
Reference: Securing the Local Administrators Group on Every Desktop

You work as the Enterprise administrator at The network has a domain
named The servers on the network are configured to run Windows Server
2008 and the client computers run Windows Vista. has its headquarters in Paris and branch offices in London and Stockholm. You are in
the process of devising a file sharing policy to ensure standardization throughout the network.
Your policy needs to ensure that the offices are able to access the files using the
universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. In the event of a server failure files should still be
accessible and the minimum bandwidth needs to be utilized.
You need to determine the components that need to be added to your policy?

A. You should add a DFS namespace that is domain-based and uses replication.
B. You should add the Hyper-V feature to your policy.
C. You should use failover clusters with three servers, one for each office.
D. You should add a DFS namespace that is server-based and uses replication.

Answer: A

Explanation: To comply with the CIO’s request, you need to use domain-based DFS namespace
that uses replication. To implement domain-based DFS namespace, the servers need to members
of the Active Directory domain. Furthermore, domain-based DFS enables multiple replications.
Multiple DFS replicas also provide some fault tolerance.

You work as the Enterprise administrator at The network has a domain
named All servers on the network run Windows Server 2008 and all client
computers run Windows Vista.
The network contains a Windows Server 2008 failover cluster that in turn hosts a
database application. During routine monitoring you discover that the database application make
use of almost half of processor and memory usage allocated for it. You want to make sure that the
level of performance is maintained on the cluster.
How can this be achieved? (Choose TWO. Each answer forms part of the solution.)

A. By using the Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM)
B. The using event subscriptions.
C. By using the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
D. By establishing a resource-allocation policy for process-based management.
E. By establishing Performance Monitor alerts.

Answer: A,D

Explanation: You need to use Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM) and set up a
resource-allocation policy for process-based management. The Windows System Resource
Manager (WSRM) enables the allocation of resources, including processor and memory
resources, among multiple applications based on business priorities. You can set the CPU and
memory allocation policies on applications. Furthermore, Windows System Resource Manager
(WSRM) does not manage address windowing extensions (AWE) memory. It also does not
manage large page memory, locked memory, or OS pool memory.
Reference: Windows System Resource Manager Fast Facts

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Best Windows 8 apps this week

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Thirteenth in a series. Microsoft released the company’s fiscal second-quarter results on January 24 and to the surprise of many the company’s Windows division did well despite PC shipments being down during the same period.

Windows Store has recovered from last week’s low number of new store apps. This week, 928 new apps were listed in the operating system’s US store, an increase of more than 31 percent over last week. Free apps, on the other hand, only increased by 136 this week while paid apps made a huge jump to 5,801 from 5,011 the week before.

A large part of the paid apps this week are desktop apps that developers can add to the store which, technically, are not Windows apps but desktop programs — meaning the “real” increase of store apps is lower than that. Since there is no option to display only desktop apps, it is hard to tell how these programs are inflating the number of apps available in store.


This week’s big launch is the official CNN app for Windows 8 and RT. The news app displays the day’s top story on the front followed by a listing of latest stories and the various news sections that you may know from the site if you visit it occasionally or regularly.

Reports include photos and textual contents but also recorded videos from CNN that you can play (again) using the application. A right-click opens a contextual menu that you can use to access various sections of the site including your access history. Here you get a list of articles, videos and galleries that you accessed recently.

The CNN app lacks search capabilities at the time of writing.

World TV (free limited, paid $1.99)

World TV offers pre-recorded TV clips to users of the application. Only a handful of TV channels are free to access including CNN and BBC Entertainment while the majority of channels including ESPN, Fox Sports or NBA TV are only available to users who purchased the application for $1.99

A clip starts to play right after you open the application. You can switch clips using the thumbnail bar at the bottom of the screen and switch to full screen mode to view contents in HD quality without distracting interface elements.


Storm is a weather application for Windows 8 that uses your location, if you allow it to, to display current weather conditions and forecasts for that location.

Additional locations can be added to the favorites to have weather reports displayed for them automatically when the application is open.

A click on a location opens a detailed weather forecast that not only displays temperatures for four periods of the day — morning, afternoon, evening and night — but also lists wind strength and direction, precipitation and a two week forecast.

Last but not least it is also making available maps, radar, US warnings, precipitation and temperature.

Charming Reddit

The other way to search Reddit. Charming Reddit concentrates only on pictures which is great if you are regularly browsing Reddit for the latest photo kick. Instead of having to do so on site, you can simply open the app and check out various picture categories of Reddit right here.

The app displays the pictures in a photo Stream that not only displays thumbnail images of each pic, if available, but also the up and down votes, the comments it received and the description that was added to it by the original thread starter.

A pull-down menu at the top enables you to display top scoring, new or controversial pictures posted this hour, day, week or all time. Basically, if you love Reddit’s photo section this app is for you.

Hint: the wallpaper category offers some great wallpapers for your desktop.

Simple Note

If you use notes as reminders of work or other activities / events then you may find Simple Note quite useful. As the name implies, it is one of the simpler note taking applications available for Windows 8. All you can do is create new notes, by entering a title and description and that’s about it.

While this may not be enough for users who need to add images, documents, links or other information to notes, it should do it if you like your notes plain and simple. The program iterates through all notes on the start screen so that you have them always in reach when needed without having to open the application first.

A couple of things would be helpful though, including setting expiration dates or reminders.

World Clock

The app displays the date and time of various locations. It ships with a selection of cities, including Beijing, London, New York and Tokyo by default, which you can add custom cities to if necessary.

The application furthermore displays information about the time zone, as well as sunrise and sunset for the selected location. The more services options that you see on the screenshot above lead to the Time and Date website where you can configure those.

The developers plan to add information such as weather information, embedded city maps or nearby airports and cities in future updates.

Snap FX

Paint does not really cut it when it comes to image editing on Windows 8. Desktop users can install free programs like Paint.Net or GIMP to improve the capabilities, but RT users are more or less stuck with Paint or whatever the store has to offer to them.

Snap FX is a program that makes many basic image editing tasks a breeze. You can use ot to change various parameters like the image’s brightness, sharpness or saturation, crop the image, rotate or flip it, or apply one of several Instagram-like filters to it to change its look and feel completely.

What’s missing? Options to resize the image to a particular size for one, or the ability to add text to it.

Edited images can be exported to Facebook or the local picture gallery.

Duck Duck Go is my search engine of choice and the launch of its Windows 8 app needs to be celebrated. Why I prefer the search engine over Google or Bing? Because it protects your privacy, does not put you in a filter bubble and makes available so called !bangs that you can use to redirect searches to other search engines.

If a search for Windows 8 apps does not return the expected results on DuckDuckGo, you can add !g to the query to load Google’s search results right away or !ghacks to search on my site. These !bangs exist for lots of sites, Wikipedia, Flickr, popular search engines, tech blogs and more.

The app makes available many of the features of the search engine, but !bangs and the majority of “goodies” are unfortunately not yet supported. Still, if you are looking for a different search engine that offers great results, I suggest you give it a try.

Open Map

This app brings the OpenMap project to Windows 8. While not the official app, it makes available the majority of features that Open Map supports. You can browse any location on a map and use the mouse to browse and zoom in or out of it.

A right-click opens a basic menu with options to set locations and get directions. The app lacks a couple of features right now including the ability to enter the name of a location to be taken there directly.

Cloud Manga Reader

If you can’t get enough Manga Cloud Manga Reader for Windows 8 is another application that helps you get your daily Manga fix.

It makes available a catalog of Manga comics sorted by series including Naruto, Bleach, Vagabond or Dragon Ball to name a few. A click on a series opens the chapter list in full screen. From here it is just the matter of selecting a chapter to read to load the Manga right in the interface. As far as I can tell, all Manga offered here are translated to English.

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