Official Microsoft Certification

Below are all the Microsoft certification(s) I’ve earned thus far:

70-271 : Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System Certificate


MCDST 70-271 exam

Well I just finished my first Microsoft certified exam at the Prometric centre down in Edinburgh today. I managed to finish the whole exam in around an hour plus all the checking and last minute changes.

Everything was pretty straightforward and easy. I would recommend you to try the Tutorial first if this is your first time as well like me. It really helps you familiarise with the various different methods used in the exam.

Questions were pretty varied although I must say the hardest bit for me was the networking and sharing part. Some questions were rather tricky. I would recommend marking those questions those to be reviewed later. Surprisingly enough I didn’t get the question where you have to pick the correct steps from the list on the right and arrange them in order in the left. Something like this :

(This screenshot is taken from the CD provided by the training kit available to buy here : MCDST Self-Paced Training Kit: Supporting Users & Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System 2nd Edition: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting … XP Operating System (Pro-Certification))

(Click for larger image)

I’ve found those questions to be the trickiest when I was attempting the “Practise questions” in the Microsoft Press Readiness review suite.

I would really recommend the following book if you are thinking of attempting this examination. I’ve only spent circa one week with this baby and it really helped!

MCDST Self-Paced Training Kit: Supporting Users & Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System 2nd Edition: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting … XP Operating System (Pro-Certification)


Why I love my HP Media Server

I just can’t describe how much I am loving my new HP EX490 Media Server. I’ve had it running flawlessly for 2 weeks now. Everything just works, simples! It’s small dimension also means I am saving a lot of space. I’ve configured LightsOut to further conserve my electricity consumption.

Anyway, this post is to highlight the awesome (and what makes the EX490 stand out) feature of this Media Server – it’s built in interface system. Assuming that you enable Remote Access with the appropriate user settings, there’s endless possibilities to explore! If you go to the WHS console and go to Settings>Remote Access tab and change the website homepage to the HP Mediasmart Server homepage you will be greeted with this screen when you access your server’s https URL:

(Please click on each picture to get an enlarged version)

Now isn’t that just sexy! I personally feel it is miles better compared to the original WHS page. You can virtually do ANYTHING here, browse shared folder, stream videos, stream music, stream photos, remotely connect to your server (Remote Desktop) or other online computers in your network – the options are (virtually) endless here!

One of the features I love here is the HP Photo Publisher feature. It enables you to upload media (mainly photos) from your server to some of the popular media hosting sites as shown in the screenshot below:

However I think the icing on the cake is the Media streaming option. It has (in my honest opinion) the prettiest and most functional interface one can ever ask for. I’ve only enabled Music streaming but just check this out:

There is probably more to explore but for the mean time I’m sold. I think it’s just THE essential toy for any geek out there 🙂


Windows Home Server

After having some issues with my home built Home Server machine, I’ve decided to upgrade and go for the HP MediaSmart Server EX490.

I’ve been reading up on the HP Mediasmart server EX490 and it seems to be the right tool for my needs. I am so far very impressed by it. Very easy to setup and run anyone can do it!

Here’s a few pictures of my Home Server :

EX490 box

Front View
Rear View

I’ve also purchased 3 Seagate 2TBs Hard drives to boost the internal storage capacity up to the current possible maximum of 6TBs + 1TB from the system HDD.

Seagete 2TBs HDDs

I like how small and sleek the EX490 is compared to the machine I’ve built.

I felt a little bad for the old machine though so I did a clean reinstall of WHS on it with minimal addons. What I did next was to make it my “secondary” server. I use it with the sole purpose of making backups of important folders from my main server. This also means I can disable File Duplication completely on my main server.

I’ve found  Robocopy VERY useful in transferring files over from old to new server. Just write a simple batch script and just leave it running! No more stressful GUI stuff 🙂

I’ve also setup the secondary server with SyncToy 2.1 and used the built in Windows Scheduler to automatically sync important folders every day. I have also used an addin called LightsOut to further manage when my server switches on and goes into hibernation/sleep. You got to think about the environment (and your wallet) too!


Microsoft qualifications

Call me weird but I have decided to try and get a job in the I.T sector. Right now I am targetting mostly Tier 1/entry level roles around the United Kingdom so hopefully I would have some luck in this. I feel that I should fit right in (after I gain MS qualifications) and I have engineering and also (games programming focussed) computer background.

The first three Microsoft Certified examinations that I am attempting are:

I am really keen to start my career in the IT industry as I finally realised that is where my interests lie in. I have also bought the following books to aid my examinations:

MCDST Self-Paced Training Kit: Supporting Users & Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System 2nd Edition: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting … XP Operating System (Pro-Certification)

MCDST Self Paced Training Kit: Supporting Users & Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on Windows Book/CD 2nd Edition: Supporting Users and … on Microsoft Windows XP (Pro-Certification)

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-680): Configuring Windows 7 Book/CD Package