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Newsletter for Computer Education, Training & Tutorial Resources: Issue #3 - November, 2000

 

Newsletter for Computer Education,
    Training & Tutorial Resources

       *** ISSUE #3 - November, 2000 ***

             http://www.intelligentedu.com/

This Newsletter is only sent to its subscribers and
is available in late November, 2000 on the web at:
http://www.intelligentedu.com/newsletter03.html

And, if you prefer, it is available as an
Adobe PDF file (188kb).
                
Newsletter Archives are here:
http://www.intelligentedu.com/newsletter.html

Please forward this newsletter to all your friends
and co-workers who might be interested!


Table of Contents:

1)... Editor's Greeting

2)... The Best New Free I.T. Training & Tutorial Sites

3)... New Free I.T. Books & Book Sites

4)... University Computer Science Course Sites

5)... The Best Suggested Sites from Website Users

6)... New I.T. Training & Tutorial Link Sites

7)... New Desktop and Office Application Training

8)... I.T. Sites Worth Mentioning

9)... Frequently Asked Questions about Technical Training

10)... Please Support Our Training Mission



1) Editor's Greeting:


Hello and welcome to the third issue of the free monthly newsletter for Computer Education, Training, & Tutorial Resources web site. We are a non-profit web site and our mission is the training of those less fortunate who are seeking to become computer literate, both technically and from a user's perspective. For more information, please see the description of our computer mission near the end of this newsletter.

We want this newsletter to be the best one around. If you have suggestions, ideas, or feedback about this newsletter, feel free to email us at ">. Please feel free to send this newsletter to your friends and colleagues. It contains highly valuable information for anyone who is an I.T. professional or desiring to become one.

This third edition of the newsletter describes and links to 42 truly exceptional computer and IT education and learning web sites that we have researched and found to be of high value and worthy of your review and study. Via this newsletter, you have knowledge of and access to these sites before visitors to our web site do. When we state here that these are new sites, we mean that they are new to us, that we have recently discovered them and have rated them highly.

Please help support our IT training mission by visiting one of our sponsors, Compubank, and opening up an online banking account. When you do our special, non-profit training fund will receive $40.00. You also can earn $40 cash each time you refer someone who opens an account. Please Click Here to learn more:

Good luck with your computer studies and learning.
Jeff Love

Newsletter Editor and Webmaster
http://www.intelligentedu.com/

P.S. If you are looking for free information and resources about e-business and e-commerce, please visit this new site: http://www.ebiz-go.com. You will find free training courses and tutorials plus other resources that will help you build your online business and become more profitable faster.




The Technical Professional Power Guides:
http://www.trainingdepartment.com/library/default.asp#power

Designed with today's "techies" in mind, these are all brand new courses, written from the beginning to use the power and flexibility of the Internet to deliver the latest essential soft-skills training for technical professionals in the most flexible, user-friendly way. Courses include: The Techies Guide to Change Management, The Techies Guide to Decision Making, The Techies Guide to Interpersonal Skills, The Techies Guide to Managing the Younger Generation, The Techies Guide to Team Building, and The Techies Guide to Time Management.



Free Computer Training:
http://yourfreetraining.com/free_training.htm

These are three free online courses from Handtech.com. They are Windows 98, JavaScript, MS Exchange Server.



Enterprise Training Solutions:
http://www.enterprisetraining.com/resources.html

Free Demo Courses and downloads are available from this site. Courses are offered for MS Office, Windows, and some interesting courses, including Microsoft SQL Server 7.0: Implementing a Database - Part 1, Microsoft Windows 2000 New Features, and Microsoft Outlook 2000 Proficient User.



Stardeveloper.com:
http://www.stardeveloper.com/

Offers a wide range of tutorials on these topics: Active Server Pages, Java, Java Server Pages, ADO & SQL, COM components, XML, HTML, and incorporating databases into your website. Several of these are sample chapters of books.



Flash Kit Tutorials:
http://www.flashkit.com/tutorials/index.shtml

This site offers a collection of free Flash tutorials. Tutorial categories include Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, 3D, Actionscript, Special Effects and more. This is a great free training site if you want to learn Flash.



TLCC's Lotus Notes and Domino training:
http://www.tlcc.com/admin/home2.nsf/pages/free+course

Try a free training course on Lotus Notes. Once you submit the free registration form, you will be prompted to login and complete an evaluation request form. Developers can try four different demonstration courses:

- Beginner Notes Development (R4)
- Advanced Notes Development (R4)
- Notes R5 Application Development 1 (R5 client is required.)
- Notes R5 Beginner LotusScript (R5 client is required.)



What is Object-Oriented Programming?:
http://www.programmersheaven.com/file.asp?FileID=485

This pdf file explains what object-oriented programming is. The presentation centers around C++, but is not limited to facilities provided by that language.



Learn to Subnet:
http://www.learntosubnet.com/

A free lecture-based educational course on IP addressing and subnetting. This is an educational resource for networking professionals interested in the internet, TCP/IP and subnetting.



3) New Free I.T. Books & Book Sites:


Mastering Enterprise Java Beans and the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition:
http://theserverside.com/resources/ejb-book-roman.zip

This is a Free electronic download for viewing Ed Roman's book, 'Mastering Enterprise Java Beans'. This book costs almost $50.00 at the bookstores, but is now available for free from theServerSide.com. This is a must have book for those learning and understanding EJBs. Here is the home page url: http://theserverside.com/



Linux for S/390 - Free Book:
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg244987.html

This IBM Redbook will help you install Linux for S/390 in different environments, and documents basic system administration tasks that help you manage your Linux for S/390 system. It also provides an introduction to a wide range of services such as Samba, NFS, and Apache. You will learn what each service is, what it is capable of, and how to install it.



C and C++ Application Development on AIX - Free Book:
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245674.html

This IBM Redbook covers the subject areas that most often cause problems for developers when they migrate their C and C++ applications to AIX. The subjects explained include: Shared libraries, C++ templates, shared memory, compiler products and options, and measuring and improving the performance of applications. The book contains many source code and command examples to illustrate each problem along with recommended solutions.



DB2 Java Stored Procedures Learning by Example - Free Book:
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245945.html

This IBM Redbook aims to give the reader an in-depth understanding of the techniques and issues associated with the development of DB2 stored procedures written in SQLJ and JDBC. The extensive collection of sample code presented in this book and included on the accompanying CD-ROM was designed to run against DB2 UDB Server across the OS/390, Windows, and UNIX platforms.



Two Free Online Training Course Books from Netguru.net:
http://www.netguru.net/courses/courses.htm

These E-Books are complete, unabridged copies with all the images and information Netguru.net uses in its related seminars:

NetWare Bootcamp by Michael L. Hader - Free Course Book:
http://www.netguru.net/courses/bc/title.htm

Understanding Networking Technologies by Clayton Coulter - Free Course Book:
http://www.netguru.net/courses/ntc/title.htm



4) University Computer Science Course Sites:


San Jose State University Software Engineering Class:
http://www.edatamirror.com/openloop/education/classes/sjsu/sjsu_softwareEngineering/index.htm


All course and lecture notes are available for 5 semesters of this class. The objective of this course is to expose students to the essential principles of Software Engineering. The requirement analysis, design, prototyping, implementation and testing phases of a typical software development cycle are covered in detail. Different development methodologies and their associated techniques as well as tools are examined. The course material is based on current Object-Oriental and Internet technologies.



C++ Course 2000/1 from Cambridge University:
http://www-h.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/tpl/talks/C++course/

This is a crash course on C++ for Cambridge University 3rd year students and upward. It is based around 4 talks and the More C++ course, which was in last month's newsletter. These concentrate on the concepts that might be new or difficult for 3rd years.



Subdivision for Modeling and Animation:
http://www.multires.caltech.edu/teaching/courses/subdivision/

All course notes are available for this 1998 SIGGRAPH course by Professor Peter Schrder. This course provides an introduction to Subdivision, a technique to generate smooth curves and surfaces, which extends classical spline modeling approaches. It covers the basic ideas of subdivision as well as the particulars of a number of different subdivision algorithms. Here are more courses Prof. Schrder has taught: http://www.multires.caltech.edu/teaching/courses/.



Raj Jain's Computer Networking Site:
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/~jain/

This web site by Raj Jain, Professor of Computer and Information Science at Ohio State University is the most comprehensive learning site for computer networking that I have ever seen. If has literally tons of resources and tutorials available to you for free.



5) The Best Suggested Sites from Website Users - 
Every month we will feature some of the best suggested IT training and tutorial sites from the users of our website. Here are this month's sites:


Gurukulonline:
http://www.gurukulonline.com

India's premier eLearning portal for the IT industry, offers both free and fee-based online e-learning courses. Their free courses include Java Certification Guide, Java JDBC, Java RMI, Java Server Pages, Enterprise Java Beans, XML, and Introduction to WAP. Their Free courses are listed here:
http://study.gurukulonline.com/coursecatalogue.asp.



A+ Free CompTIA Certification Practice Exams:
http://www.geocities.com/aplus_practice_exams/index.htm

Helps you practice and pass the CompTIA Core and Win/Dos A+ Certification Exams with 10 free practice exams. This site focuses on the new adaptive CompTIA certification exams #220-121 and #220-122.



Netscape's Developer Central:
http://devedge.netscape.com

Netscape DevEdge Online offers technical documentation, sample code, software downloads, newsgroups and other resources for Internet application developers. Covers HTML, Java, HTML, Javascript, XML and Security.


6) New I.T. Training & Tutorial Link Sites:




Al's Programming Tutorial Links:
http://alslinks.virtualave.net/

Many links (rated very good to poor) to free tutorials in Assembly, Borland C++ Builder, C, C++, DirectX, Game Development, General Programming & Source Code, Graphics, Network Programming, OS, OpenGL, Reference Material, Registry tips & tricks, Visual Basic, Web based language tutorials, and Win32 API.



Virtual Computer Library:
http://www.utexas.edu/computer/vcl/

Locate online guides to major operating systems, hardware and software, networking technology and the Internet.

http://www.utexas.edu/computer/vcl/acadcomp.html
US Computer Science Depts. - List of U.A Computer Science departments, organized by state.

http://www.utexas.edu/computer/vcl/journals.html
Online Computing Journals - Index of computer journals, with abstracts of articles or full text available online.



7) New Desktop and Office Application Training Sites:


Front Page 2000 Tutorials:
http://www.dwwd.com/graphics/tutorials/fp2ktutorials.htm

These are excellent Front Page 2000 tutorials covering many functional areas of this application. Several links to other tutorial sites are also on this page.



Graphic How To & Tutorials:
http://the-internet-eye.com/HOWTO/default.htm

Graphic Application Tutorials in Photoshop, CorelDraw 9, Corel Photopaint, Paint Shop Pro, and others.



Free Library at Informit.com:
http://www.informit.com/

Informit.com offers free books on Desktop Applications and other topics. Free registration is required. After you register, click on the Free Library tab, then look at the menu on the left margin for topics such as Desktop Applications, Desktop Publishing, Graphics, etc.



8) I.T. Sites Worth Mentioning:


Virtual University:
http://www.vu.org/

Their Fall 2000 Calendar has been announced and the Enrollment Desk is now open. They have a simple $15 registration fee per term and you can take up to three classes concurrently. There are no "per class" tuition fees. The $15 charge is a processing fee and is non-refundable; however, if you are dissatisfied with your learning experience at VU and wish to cancel your membership, your fee will be cheerfully refunded. Courses offered this fall include: HTML 1: Web Design for Beginners, HTML 2: Enhancing Your Web Site, Build Your Free Web Site on Yahoo! Geocities, Getting Started with Microsoft Office 97/2000, Search Engine Secrets Revealed!, Introduction to HTML Forms, Javascript for Beginners, Mastering the Internet, and Exploring the World Wide Web.



The Dictionary of Programming Languages:
http://users.erols.com/ziring/dopl.html

A compendium of computer coding methods assembled to provide information and aid your appreciation for computer science history



OO SoapBox:
http://www.progsoc.uts.edu.au/~geldridg/cpp/

This site is a great collection of links covering the spectrum and essence of Object Technology which have been found useful in trying to gain a better understanding of OO Methods, Languages (C++, Eiffel, Java and others including Smalltalk, Objective-C, Dee, Blue and many more .. ) and their features.



9) Frequently Asked Questions about Technical Training:

Each month Jeff Love will answer one of the frequently asked questions we receive about computer and technical training and career development. They will be archived on a separate FAQ page on our website after several months.


Nov. 2000 FAQ: I'm interested in earning a MCSE certificate. There are a LOT of private training centers that offer a 288 hour MCSE track. Most charge between $3000 to $4000. My question is: will these schools be OK for someone who has no networking experience or knowledge? I get the feeling such schools are "crash courses," teaching only enough to pass the tests. What should I look for in evaluating these types of schools?

Answer: The answer depends on what you want to get out of the program. If you are looking to have the certification for yourself just to gain some more information about Microsoft products and networking issues, then the courses will be fine. They will move quite quickly - especially in this boot camp type setting - so you might get lost.

If what you would like, however, is to get a job in the I.T. field - I would sincerely suggest that you not look at certifications until you have had the chance to play with and learn several of types of technologies. And the best way to accomplish this is to get an internship or entry-level helpdesk position with any company that'll take a chance on you.

You are correct in your feeling that the schools, for the most part, are simply crash course study guides for the exams. People have come out of them saying that they really learned nothing but how to pass the tests - and that's not good if you need a job based on that information. Not because you didn't learn the rote material - but because you don't have the hands-on time necessary to fully be able to adjust the information to any given technical problem situation.

As for experience in the schools... well, that is going to depend on the schools themselves. Some are good at the hands-on approach - but keep in mind they are still trying to cram years of experiential learning into a few hundred hours. This simply doesn't work unless you have a 100% accurate photographic memory. The best method of learning is to get hands-on experience along with the training. A good training firm will have you actually performing at least some of the tasks you need to learn in a computer learning lab. But watch out for a tight scheduling system. If you need to reserve the lab 3 days in advance, then their usage rules are too strict. Also, make sure that you get access to an expert and mentor to ask any kinds of questions you may have.

I always advise training candidates to ask the following three questions to the training center they are considering, then select the one that has the best answers to all 3. Here they are:

1) What percentage of your graduates pass the certification exam(s)? The higher the percentage, the better.

2) What percentage of your graduates are offered IT related jobs? Again, the higher the percentage, the better. Also, a successful and experienced job placement service is a mandatory requirement.

3) Do you offer a money back or 'repeat the course' guarantee if I do not pass the exam? You should be able to repeat the classes as many times as you like as long as the class is offered or until you pass the certification exam. Only accept those that make this offer.

Ask to see a list of recent students to contact as references--There's no better way to gauge a training firm's effectiveness than to ask the people whom the trainer was training. Be prepared to cut them a little slack here, though, because they may not want to impose upon their customers (and their customers may not want to be imposed upon by you). Still, if a former student is willing to discuss a trainer with you and offer a recommendation, that's a powerful testament.

You should take the time to check out these references. They must give you some, if they don't, then forget about them. Also, ask the references what they paid for their courses, and don't be afraid to ask for the same rate if they received a better deal than you were offered.

I would try to negotiate on their price. Prices are usually not always set in stone. As with most competing businesses, many training firms (but not all) will match or beat a competitor's price in order to get your business.

If possible, visit their actual training site. Check out the classrooms for yourself to see if they will facilitate your learning. Pay particular attention to the following items:

Hardware--Each course should include a setup guide with minimum hardware requirements to teach the course successfully. There are some basic requirements common to all good training centers: every student computer must have a CD-ROM drive; every classroom must have Internet connectivity; every classroom must have an overhead display capable of displaying 256 colors; and every instructor computer must have a sound card and speakers for the multimedia segments of the class.

Acoustics--If possible, visit a class in session and unobtrusively linger for a minute in the back of the classroom. Assume this is where you'll end up if you take the class here (you never know what traffic will be like that morning), and make sure you can hear the instructor, as well as the other students.

Display--Microsoft officially requires that overhead projection devices capable of 256 colors be used in the classroom. Some training centers opt for a large-screen television solution instead, but this isn't a Microsoft-approved option, mostly because the resolution doesn't approach that of a monitor or projection device; text can be very hard to read on a television. Also check the lighting in the classroom: is there a dimmer switch so that you can still read your courseware while viewing the slides on the screen? And make sure there is a screen; some CTECs project the image onto the whiteboard at the front of the classroom, which creates an annoying glare.

Ergonomics--How comfortable are the chairs? How much space do you have for your materials on your desk? Is there enough room for the instructor to maneuver in between rows in order to help all students during labs without disturbing others? These may not seem like obvious questions to consider when visiting the site, but the answers to these questions will probably figure significantly in your ability to concentrate in place for eight hours each day.

Ask them to provide the names of some of their trainers. Many firms use contract trainers to teach their classes, which is well and good. Ask them if they use contractors, and if so, ask for information, such as resumes, on the contractors they use. Many training firms use the same contract trainers repeatedly and stand behind them. Others, however, hire contractors sight unseen through a broker or through classified ads.

You can also ask for to see copies of course evaluations--so you can review other student's feedback and opinions of the trainer. Look for specific comments on the evaluations, because they mean that a student was motivated to do more than just check a box on a form. Assume that the evaluations supplied to you are the best the trainer has to offer. If no comments appear, you can presume that nobody was enthusiastic enough to sing the trainer's praises.

If they refuse to provide the evaluations, that's a major warning sign, because it means the evaluations probably aren't something they want to brag about. Don't accept alibis like, "We don't keep that information; Microsoft does." All training centers can print reports of electronic evaluations from any class they've ever taught from a private web page Microsoft maintains for that express purpose.

And lastly, of course, they have to be an approved Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC). This means they have Microsoft's seal of approval for their curriculum, caliber of instructor, and facilities (though variations obviously exist between sites).

I hope this helps you. 
intelinfo - Jeff Love


10) Please Support Our Training Mission:

Support Page

How You Can Support Our IT Training Mission - By purchasing quality products through the links on the Support Page on our Non-Profit Computer Education, Training & Tutorial Web Site you can help support our IT Training Mission. When you purchase products there and also click on the advertising links on our site and in this newsletter, you will be helping people who want to learn to use computers in an Information Technology career.


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Computer Education, Training, & Tutorial Resources:

Home Page: http://www.intelligentedu.com/  
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A new, free, non-profit I.T. educational and training portal web site. We have compiled, categorized, described, and linked over 1250 sites that will be of keen interest to computer science students and instructors and others seeking free training and knowledge about computers. All areas are covered, from programming to systems administration to networking to the internet. Visitors can learn and study for free how to program in Java, how to develop and maintain a simple or complex website, how to network an intranet, how to use MS Excel or FrontPage and many more computer related learning activities. They are able to study and learn all about computers and I.T. via Free training, courses, tutorials, books, guides, documentation, articles, tips, notes, and help. Also offered are free technical and user training courses co-branded with Freeskills.com. Check us out today.


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