Computer Certification/free of cost training
I am currently interested in ganing a better knowledge of windows xp pro + for client (not interested in windows 8), and server 2003-r2 and 2008 (active directory, dns, file services, dhcp) I have cpies of the respective operating systems and have been "toying around" in VMWare as "crash and burn" labs, but all that self-training is not going to mean anything wen i apply for job, i have to have certifications. do you know of any free of cost training for the operating systems listed? training can be full books on the topics powerpoint of even something that includes an "interactive test lab" where i can try the things i just learned to see if i tuely got the material and offer pre-module exam to seeif i already am knowledgale of that topic and post-module wrap-up questions that allow for me to sharpen my skills and to see if i need to go back and review the module before moving on. If you could help that'd be great!
There are several ways to get free "piecemeal" training (e.q. free intro video, the rest are pay), but very few opportunities for free training are out there. The best one out there currently is Microsoft's own MVA (http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/Home.aspx
), but they deal mainly in the recently released material, and probably will not help you much on the subject's you seek. Their server Virtual Labs (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb512925
) are a great way to get some hands-on time in a lot of diferent scenarios too.
Outside of that, most IT books (even MS Press) that are on XP/2003/2008 are usually extremely discounted and easily attainable, through B&M or even Amazon. I've also recently scored some incredible finds at the local $1 book store covering older technologies I had to research for projects and what-not. Although there are several great tech book authors out there, beware of the authors with little practical experience -- this usually shows up in reviewers comments. I find that anything MS Press (hard read sometimes), Mark Minasi, or especially William R. Stanek (his short books are excellent quickk references) are normally a cut above.
If you can scrounge up $99 for a months worth of video training, CBTNuggets (http://cbtnuggets.com/
) has an extensive library of well-covered topics like those you are interested in, and it includes ExamPrep to test yourself before you sit an exam. Remember, although certifications might get you in the door, only real-world experience and hard work will keep you there. Good Luck!