Archive for the ‘MCT’ Category

Free Training, Labs, Videos and more from Microsoft, VMware and @TrainSignal!

January 28th, 2013

From 2001 until 2006 I would regularly do presentations on OMG THERE’S FREE TRAINING OUT THERE WHY AREN’T YOU USING IT. Which even culminated in the release of a Technical Offerings training deck as noted in this blog post I published in 2006 (Yes, Seriously, in 2006) Well, guess what. A lot of that data is STILL highly relevant even today! So… Let’s get started! :)

Training Videos

Microsoft

Kicking off the realm of training videos I’d like to highlight our good friends at Microsoft with their release of the Microsoft Virtual Academy!

Microsoft Virtual Academy - Learn about Windows 8

The MVA has a LOAD and I mean a serious LOAD of information, from Training Videos, Courses, Tutorials, Walkthroughs, even Tests and points and contests to increase not only the ‘fun factor’ but provide additional context in your education.   For those of you VMwarriors out there who will discard this and say BLAH, SHOW ME THE VMware STUFF.   I even did a little search for VMware in the “Quick Search” button and lo and behold lookie at the results!

Microsoft gets serious with VMware Virtualization solutions in Microsoft Virtual Academy 

So whether you are a rockstar, a seasoned professional or someone looking to get started and want to know where to get some good and valuable information without spending hours and $$$ in a classroom, this is definitely an excellent way to get started, so jump on in!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE FROM MICROSOFT?!?!

I know some of you are fighting the constant battle of “Damnit, can I attend Microsoft TechEd or not…” And with TechEd 2013 going to be in New Orleans I cannot blame you in the LEAST! But for those of you who just truly cannot find the time, the ability and are able to get away… something you should know.

ALL MICROSOFT TECHED CONTENT IS AVAILABLE FREE WHETHER YOU ATTEND OR NOT.

Yea. Seriously. It is.  It actually has been for like the last… Oh I don’t know… since 2004 I believe? And all of that past-content since they started posting and making it available online has been posted online.   For some reason I’m only able to find the 2012 content and the 2011 Archive but who really needs access to material on product versions which may not even exist or are supported anymore, if you truly need that let me know and I’ll find the link!

The Microsoft TechEd 2012 Content Catalog (and prior) are freeeeeeee!

TrainSignal

A lot of you are familiar with TrainSignal and the loads of great content they create, produce and respectively sell out there (You can get access to their paid training video series and content on their website, Trainsignal.com)  But when I reached out to their President asking, “Hey, you have any freeeeeee stuff!?!?!?” He pointed me over by here!  So here is a whole bunch of videos freeeeeeeeeeeee of charge!  And of course, don’t hesitate to check out the amazing content produced by the likes of Scott Lowe and David Davis and others!

OMG TrainSignal does Free Training Videos too?! Available on Youtube? Booyah!

Ya know… as an example here! :)

That should get you going on quite a load of stuff from Microsoft, to VMware, to Citrix and Cisco and beyond!   But let’s drill down a bit into VMware now…

VMware

When it comes to VMware there are loads and loads (and loads) of information in the world, and often we never really know where to start… Well, here is a place to start and it’s home is in YouTube!

OMG VMware has a LOT of Channels on YouTube!

Yea, that’s lame right? I mean on YouTube there’s like a dozen channels?!?! Well, there are. Just go and use them. BAM, and BOOYAH.

VMworld Presentations are FREE TOO LIKE TECHED?!?!?

Well, no. Not exactly. Sorry!   Although this last year VMUG Advantage did have a brief offer for free access to the VMworld content if you signed up for that…  I’m unable to find any data on it at the moment, so that may have expired, but it’s still worth checking out!

SHOW ME THE LABS BABY!

You asked for Labs and here they are! More labs than you can shake a stick at!

This picture 'borrowed' from http://wildlifeinthewoods.blogspot.com !

Err, okay, maybe that was a little too literal!   Let’s get on with our labs though!

FREE Hands On Labs from Microsoft!

The thing about Microsoft is… for 8+ years they’ve had FREE access to all of their products in a Try-Before-You-Buy model where you can DOWNLOAD any Product and play with it (okay, seriously that’s been around for going on 20 years) but they also instituted the Hands On Labs where the lab environments would BUILD themselves, provide you with a Lab guide to follow (or ignore) and learn and play with it that way.   Not to mention all of the content they’d have in the Hands on Labs at TechEd would be POSTED and made available for you to go in and learn, explore and beyond!

This isn’t something new, it’s been around FOREVER, Here are links to where you can access it (as it’s actually available in several places).

Disclaimer: When I wanted to test something out, I’d spin up a lab which was designed to ‘best practice’ and go in and do whatever I wanted, I mean it was a lab environment available in minutes. Why not? 

Interesting Fact, some of the types of labs and solutions available out there which you can play and learn from:

  • How to setup a product from scratch, like Sharepoint, Microsoft Exchange, SQL
  • How to MIGRATE a product from one version to another (like those products mentioned above and more)
  • How to Develop in a language like C#, Visual Studio, Azure, PowerShell and more
  • How to do other advanced types of things
  • Alllllllllllll the labs that were available at TechEd, so you know what that means… and if not, check it out!
  • You can find TechEd Labs in the Additional Content section here with this Microsoft TechEd Virtual Labs flask icon next to it!
  • Here at the MSEvents site there are a number of Virtual Labs on the “Virtual Labs” tab to choose and play from!
  • At the TechNet Virtual Labs site you can dive a little deeper on more Microsoft Technologies…
  • Looking to dive even deeper, the MSDN Virtual Labs site will take you there.

So if for a minute you thought this was going to be easy, or a single click site with all the answers. HAH.

FREE HANDS ON LABS FROM VMware?!??!

Well, not exactly.. I mean, sort of, kind of… but, well, let me explain.   VMware recently announced “Project Nee” my dear friend Simon Seagrave talks about about it here at his blog.  But ultimately, what Project Nee is intended to be is… VMware Hands On Labs publicly available online.  However it is still in Beta at the moment.   You can follow details of the VMware Hands On Labs by going here to the VMware Hands On Labs community!

 

Some additional places not even mentioned but you should check out, and all of the cited links for easy access and consumption:

 

So hopefully those of you out there who are looking to stay relevant, continue educating yourselves, maybe even heading down the certification track and whatnot will find this of benefit.   I won’t lie to you, I’ve used these resources countless times over the years and I encourage others to.   If you have any other sites to suggest, toss em into the comment section… This is an epic resources to reference from here until well.. until I write another one ;)

Educate and Enjoy!

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Posted in .NET, Careers, Certification, Cloud, Education, Evangelist, Exchange, Free, Hyper-V, Informational, Licensing, MCT, Microsoft, Sharepoint, SQL, TechEd, Technology, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, Windows Server | Comments (6)

IT Grand Prix Day 0 – Red Team takes the Capitol!

June 1st, 2010

Welcome to Washington DC! Is what we would have heard.. err.. no, but seriously :) Hi! We are here in the Capitol as the starting point in our whirlwind tour for Charity, Non-Profits, Education, Learning, Consulting, Technology and innovation!    Also known as the IT Grand Prix sponsored by Microsoft and NPower working with non-profits and more!   Most of us arrived either last night, or this morning, but nonetheless we are all here!   So, how did we start off the day?!

Unloading at the White House?!Daniel and I on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Me and Lincoln kicking it old style! The flag of America in such majestic flow in the wind

After eventually getting from the airport to the shuttle to the hotel, I took a walk over to meet my fellow Red Team member Daniel Nerenberg and Gold Team member Susan Ibach who waited for me on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.    On the way to meet them, I did pass by the White House where I took this photo of apparently Biden taking advantage of the fact that Obama was back in my native Chicago and moving some things out! err… I mean something else entirely! Though tweeting my ‘joke’ about that resulted in a rather awkward snafu of ‘auto-correct’ gone wild :)

Get on the Bus - FrontGet on the Backpack Get on the Bus - Back Just outside the realm of the bus! oh my! 

In all, it was a good start off to what is already a fairly confusing (intentionally) adventure of working with non-profits, charities and others as we travel our way over the next several days before finally descending upon New Orleans.      For those who had not seen our ‘agenda’ so to speak, here is the breakdown of where our travels will take us:

  • Tuesday, June 1st – Washington DC
  • Wednesday, June 2nd – New York City, NY
  • Thursday, June 3rd – Houston, TX
  • Friday, June 4th – New Orleans, LA

After which point, we take a brief moment to relax before each of our respective responsibilities take charge at TechEd, whether it is running labs, working a booth, interfacing with customers, or in my case – Covering the event for the Media, Press and general community so you can get a unique perspective on stuffs, so to speak :)

 Look at me on the Front Page of the Chicago Tribune - Middle left

And if that doesn’t wrap up the day.. Enjoy this little story my good friend Jorge sent me… Notice: my little picture/name are there on the left/middle.   I guess that’d translate into.. I made it onto the Front Page of the Chicago Tribune! :)    In the meantime, if you have not already joined the Red Team! Please do so :)  It’s for our charity NetHope that we are trying to win $10,000 for!

Enjoy, and look forward to sharing the festivities and events of Days 1 and beyond for you!   Take care and talk to you soon!   – Christopher :)

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Posted in Certification, Charity, Education, Get On The Bus, ITGP, MCT, Microsoft | Comments (0)

Microsoft Exams, Second Shot and 50% off?!?

April 30th, 2010

There’s only two months left until June 30th! Yea I know you have a lot on your plate between now and then.. but for those of you who are certifying.. and happen to be taking any of the following exams – You get not only a Second Shot at taking the exam… but you also get 50% off?! Whoa! Half off?!?!

So, for those of you who are not so sure what all of the obscure numbers listed really seem to reflect to in form of exams.. here is the breakdown of what gives you a SECOND SHOT and 50% off! (Remember – Second Shot is available for all exams and all countries… but this 50% off deal is limited to these exams listed!)

70-432 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-450 PRO: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
70-452 PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
70-562 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
70-564 Pro: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-693 Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator
70-669 TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring
70-682 Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
70-659 TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
70-652 TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring
83-640 TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

Microsoft Certification Exam Vouchers with Second Shot and 50% off!

So, just like all of my other announcements around vouchers and such… let me know if you need vouchers and I’ll give you what I can! Second Shots! 50% off! 20% off,10% off vouchers!

Hit me up via email, comments, twitter, facebook! etc :)

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Posted in Certification, Education, Free, MCT, Microsoft | Comments (3)

Act now to get 20% off or a Second Shot on your Microsoft Certification Exams!

March 19th, 2010

I get a lot of emails, tweets, IM’s, comments and more about getting 20% off your certification exam!  And I know I’ve discussed this in the past Increasing your Microsoft Certification Discount from 10% to 20%, Certification and MeasureUp Discounts 20% off Certs! and You deserve a Second Shot at Microsoft Exam’s, until June 30th, 2010! – and even more than that, but I won’t bore you with the other redundant links!

What this really means is… I’ve said this a damn lot! So why am I saying it again?!!$!?   Because June 30th is coming up, and that is when all of the vouchers will expire – Second shot AND the 20% off vouchers! So what this means to you is… Let’s get rid of all of my vouchers!

I currently have vouchers for EVERY country which give you a “Second shot” on your exams – so if you want insurance if you fail, let me know and I’ll hook you up!

If you want 20% off on your Certification Exams though, I’m limited to the following countries:

AUSTRALIA
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM
BRUNEI
CANADA
DARUSSALAM
ENGLAND
GERMANY
GREENLAND
GUAM
ICELAND
IRELAND
ITALY
JAPAN
LUXEMBOURG
NETHERLANDS
NEW CALEDONIA
NEW ZEALAND
NORWAY
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
PORTUGAL
SINGAPORE
SPAIN
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UNITED STATES
VANUATU

It bears repeating – I only have vouchers with 20% off in the above mentioned countries.   It’s either 20% off or Second Shot – Only!

As far as how many of these vouchers I have available.. most of the countries I have 10 or 20 total.. except for the US, where I have ~150 vouchers left.  So don’t be afraid to ask for as many vouchers as you need!

Now get out there and get certifying before this opportunity passes us all!

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Posted in Certification, Education, Free, MCT, Microsoft, Technology | Comments (0)

You deserve a Second Shot at Microsoft Exam’s, until June 30th, 2010!

February 8th, 2010

Okay, I was partly holding off on publishing this because at first I thought it expired REAL fast, but apparently, that’s changed! so here you go! It’s good until June 30th, 2010! woohoo!

Have a Second Shot at your Microsoft Exam!image 

If you guys remember my original post Certification and MeasureUp Discounts 20% off Certs! that story is still true – so the ‘approved’ countries will still be able to get 20% off which can make your exam costs as little as $100 USD! (Fill in the blank of your respective country :)) However, if you don’t want to get money off and instead want to take your chances at the exam at full price YET if you happen to fail (No one ever fails, right? Especially not ME?!? :)) This will give you a second chance at the exam for free then!

So, in USD terms, here’s a breakdown of the values!

  No Voucher 20% off Voucher Second Shot Voucher
First Try $125 $100 $125
Second Try $125 $100 $0
Total! $250 $200 $125

So, by looking at that, wow! There is a definite value in taking advantage of this Second Shot Program! However, if you KNOW you’ll pass the first time and you live in an ‘approved’ country, then the 20% off voucher is definitely valuable.  Otherwise though, jump all over this Second Shot offer, as far as I know it’s available in EVERY country, which is great, and the fact it ALSO run’s until June 30th, 2010 – means you’re all winners all around!

So, just like before, feel free to email me, contact me on facebook, twitter @CXI, even linkedin (or you can comment here) – Whatever means is comfortable for you to get these vouchers.  I don’t have any limits, and I want you to pay as LITTLE as possible for your certification! (In the event you didn’t catch it, this is all free :))

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Posted in Blog, Certification, Education, MCT, Microsoft | Comments (0)

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