Mark Minasi's Installing, Managing and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Seminar:
the audio CD version

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We heard your (many!) requests, and we are now proud to offer an audio adaptation of Mark's popular two-day Installing, Managing and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 seminar.  You can find an outline of this seminar at http://www.minasi.com/2008class/ and a current seminar schedule at www.minasi.com/pubsems.htm.  On this page, we'd like to tell you about the product, point you to more information on it, offer some free excerpts so you can "try it before you buy it," and tell you how to buy it.

Package contents: click on the picture above for a higher-resolution picture
This isn't just a recording of a live class; it is, instead, an adaptation of the class, reworked and separately recorded.  We usually don't get the time to create and offer the audio version of a seminar until a year or two after the seminar's release, but Server 2008 is so big a story it is truly the most content we've ever packed into two days that we wanted to make this seminar available in CD format as soon as possible.  This audio presentation offers a learning format that you can listen to wherever you'd like at roughly a fifth of the price of the class. 

What's in the Package

The heart of the package is 17 hours of lecture recorded onto 15 audio CDs.  (15 CDs in a set, that's a record for us!)  They are accompanied by a spiral bound Audio Companion which is a hardcopy of the PowerPoint slides that Mark talks from in class.  The CDs are packaged in a side-zipper CD case.   

Price

The audio seminar costs US$300 per set for US residents, or US$225 for those who've been in Mark's 2008 Server Support seminar.  Our out-of-US friends can order a set for US$350 per set.  Please note that the $150 package is only available to people who have taken Mark's seminar, so if you order the $225 package then please tell us the month and city where you attended the seminar use the comment field in the checkout form, and thanks.  (And if you're thinking about also ordering the 2008 R2 course -- which is a completely different, no-overlap audio course -- then be sure to use the buying links at its page, http://www.minasi.com/2008r2audio/, for a significant combined-buy discount.)

A reader who'd previously purchased the XP seminar CD set asked wonder, "why this set is about $25 more expensive than previous sets?"  Two reasons.  First, our last Server set was the circa-2000 10-CD adaptation of the 2000 Server class, and we charged $225 for that.  This course is, again, 15 CDs, and eleven years of inflation have happened in the interim, and so we hope that you'll see that a $225 series on Server 2008 is fairly reasonably priced.  Second, we're employing a considerably higher-quality printing process raises our cost about $20 per set but once you see it, I think you'll agree that it was worth it.  The paper itself has a smooth, magazine-like feel that is more comfortable on the fingers and, more important, it supports a much higher-resolution printing process.  Server 2008 and Vista feature some very tiny print and icons and so some screen shots were hard to read when printed... until we found this process.

Details

We worked hard to make this package as useful and as good a value as we could.  To that end, let us show you more specifics of 

  • How we intended for you to use this audio seminar
  • How we made it easy to use as a reference
  • What you're getting

How To Use The Seminar

You'll get the most out of this audio seminar by listening to it start to finish (although not all in one sitting, of course!) while referring to the Audio Companion book; that's the optimal setting.  That doesn't mean, however, that you can't learn from the seminar without the Companion close to hand, not at all.  Mark wanted this seminar to also work well for those listening in the car or exercising; that's one of the reasons that he decided to restructure the seminar specifically for the audio recordings.

Of course, with any learning experience, dividing your attention between two things (like driving and listening) means that you won't pick up as much as quickly.  That's why we've broken the CDs up into ten-minute tracks:  that way, it's easy to re-listen to a particularly techie part.  And, as you'll see in a minute, we've made it easy to look any particular topic up.  Which brings us to...

How We've Made It Easy To Use This As A Reference

Once you've been through the seminar once, you'll probably find that most of what we covered sank in the first time, but that you need to review a topic or two in detail, or that you listened to the seminar back in January but are only starting to actually do the work in June and so you need to refresh your memory on the specifics of how what the heck is the difference between an "enlightened" and an "unenlightened" virtual machine under Hyper-V.  We've gone to great lengths to make that easy.

Each Topic Sits Entirely On Its Own Disc

Insofar as was possible, we've tried to put entire topics onto a disc or two of their own.  We did that if you wanted to review, say, Hyper-V while driving somewhere, then you need only grab discs 8 and 9, rather than needing to bring the whole 17-disc along and having to figure out where the lecture on Hyper-V starts.

Table of Contents

The Audio Companion book includes a table of contents for the audio seminar.  We've put that TOC on-line at http://www.minasi.com/2008class/audio/s2008trkguide.htm.  Here's a few sample lines from that table of contents here:

Disc 9 Hyper-V cont.
Track 1 none Volume introduction
2 268-276 Hyper-V hardware requirements; hypervisors
3 277-283 Installing Hyper-V; Hyper-V architecture
4 284-292 Hyper-V MMC; building virtual machines with Hyper-V
5 293-305 Creating NICs and legacy NICs; enlightened and unenlightened OSes and drivers
6 306-311 Enlightened drivers cont.; Integration Services
7 312-316 Integration Services cont.; VM settings
8 317-320 Licensing; disaster recovery
9 321-323 Additional Hyper-V issues; Hyper-V limitations

The TOC is organized by discs.  This particular disc, number 9, is the second of two CDs covering server virtualization and Hyper-V.  The table shows that the first track doesn't correspond to any of the PowerPoints, as it's just the brief introduction to the disk.  The second track covers PowerPoint slides 268-276, and discusses hardware requirements what you'll need to make Hyper-V work.  The third track covers what actually happens when you install Hyper-V.  You can then see that the discussions on enlightened virtual machines are on tracks 5 and 6, so you'll know where next to go in order to learn more about enlightened VMs.  The TOC also shows that (for example) if you wanted to follow along with the discussion on Tracks 5 and 6 in the Companion then you'd just turn to slides 293 through 305 to follow Track 5, or slides 306-311 to follow Track 6.

Audio Companion Book

The Audio Companion also simplifies using the seminar.  Take a look at the Audio Companion:



We printed it with two PowerPoints per page so that screen shots are easy to read and diagrams are easy to understand.  (Years ago we experimented with printing one PPT to a page but you then end up having to turn the book sideways, as the slides print in landscape rather than portrait mode.  We then could have bound it on the side but it turns out that the pages are too long for the binding and the book tends to fall apart.  So two slides to a page seems to work best, particularly with our new printing process.)  It's spiral bound so that it lies flat without needing you to keep your hand on the book to keep it open to your place.

The Companion also makes finding things easy.  Take a closer look at another page and you can see:



Notice a couple of things here.  First, the slide number — 301, in this case, one of the slides about "enlightened VMs."  As you listen to Mark's lectures, you'll hear that he refers to the slide number frequently, so that it's easy for you to locate a PowerPoint slide to follow along with.  We also use the slide numbers in the table of contents, as you saw, and on the face of the CDs, as you'll see.

Notice also the boxed "9/5" reference in the lower left-hand corner.  That's useful when you're browsing through the Audio Companion book and find that just seeing the PowerPoint slide doesn't provide enough background to help you review a topic.  "9/5" means that you can quickly find the audio lecture that accompanies slide 301 by listening to CD number 9, track 5.  

Finally, the CDs themselves have labels that help you find things.  Here's the face of Disk 1:

There wasn't room on the CD to put more extensive information, but each CD includes a volume title which broadly describes the lectures on that volume.  Then the CD label lists the tracks and the slide numbers covered in that track; for example in the photo above you can see that track 4 covers PowerPoint slides number 5 through 6.  We hope that between the table of contents, the volume/track references on the slides, the slide numbers and the slide number references in Mark's lectures that you find it simple to use the lectures both for primary education and then later for review of specific topics.

What You Get (And Where To Download a Sample!)

To summarize what's in the package, with links where possible:

  • The outline for the audio course, which parallels the live seminar, is at http://www.minasi.com/2008class/.
  • The table of contents for the audio seminar, which gives you a bit more information vis--vis timing and tracks, is at http://www.minasi.com/2008class/audio/s2008trkguide.htm.
  • Physical contents:
    • 15 audio CDs, some written in 80 minute format, for a total of over 17 hours of lecture
    • Softside zip case for the CDs
    • A copy of the Audio Companion, over 300 pages of PowerPoint slides, spiral bound to lie flat
  • Samples:  there is simply no better way to know if you'll like a product than to try it before you buy it.  So if you'd like to get a feel for the presentation flow and Mark's style, feel free to download a sample from the Server Virtualization / Hyper-V section.

How to Buy The Audio Seminar

Ready to buy?  Great!  Then here's the fine print, please read it:

  • At present we are only selling online through credit cards.  If you want to buy with a check then please drop a line to our assistant at Assistant@Minasi.com.
  • If you want to order from somewhere other than the US, then we can accommodate you, but (1) we've got to charge more because it's more work to ship out of the US, and (2) after a lot of research, we've seen that the most cost-effective way to ship things out of the US is to just send it via international mail.  That means that you're responsible for duty and taxes when the CDs get to your country.  Apologies, but we have to charge more for the extra handling and mail costs.
  • The cost for US residents includes free USPS first-class mail.  If you'd like to arrange a different sort of shipping then just include a note to that effect in the "Comments" field that you'll see in the next screen; our assistant can arrange for it so long as you've approved us to charge your credit card for the extra shipping.
  • Because of the high risk and attendant cost of Internet credit card fraud, our online e-commerce system will only ship to the billing address.  If that's a problem, then just email us, again at assistant@minasi.com.

Still more questions?  Then look over our OAQ (ONCE Asked Questions) below or drop our assistant a line.  We're happy to help out with any questions.

To buy, just click one of the four links below to go to our secure server.

  • Click here to buy the Server 2008 audio seminar for US residents ($300)
  • Click here to buy the Server 2008 audio seminar for non-US residents ($350)
  • Click here to buy the Server 2008 audio seminar for previous attendees of the Server 2008 Support class (please note in comment field when and where you took the class) ($225)
  • And remember, if you also want to pick up both the Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 courses -- they are completely different, no-overlap courses about two completely different pieces of software, as 2008 R2 is not a free, automatic upgrade from Server 2008 -- then please use the "To buy" links on the R2 page, http://www.minasi.com/2008r2audio/, for a significant price break.  Again, thanks!

Many thanks!

OAQ (Once Asked Questions — questions we've been asked at least once)

What is the license on this recording, what are the restrictions on using this?

None; the only rights that we claim are the standard rights that any copyright holder has under U.S. copyright law — the same rights that you'd have if you purchased a book.  That means in particular that you may:

  • Convert the product to another format, like MP3 or WMV, for your personal use.
  • You may lend, sell, or give the product to someone else, so long as you transfer all copies; there's no problem with lending this to your buddy Sam, so long as it's not possible for both you and Sam to be listening to them at the same time.  If you made MP3s out of the recording and you give the recordings to  Sam, then you've got to either delete the MP3s or give them to Sam, also.
  • And of course it's never legal (or very nice) to offer copies of copyrighted materials via programs like Morpheus.

Will you offer an audiocassette version of the recordings?

Unfortunately we don't have the staff to do that, apologies.

Will you offer an MP3 version of the recordings?

No, mainly because of the complexity of multiple formats and media.  We're doing this mainly in response to customer requests and we're not really audio producers we just don't have the staff to create and maintain versions of this on audio CD, cassette and MP3.  Apologies to anyone who's really inconvenienced by this, again please understand that we're a very small shop and Mark needs time to work on his books (he's way behind and the publisher has a contract out on his life already).

Will there be a special price for people who've attended the seminar?

Yes, absolutely.  Anyone who's been in the class will be able to buy the set for a lower price, US$150.  

Does this include all material handed out at the course?

Yes; class attendees get a bound printout of the 622 PowerPoint slides, and buyers of the audio course do as well.  The book is printed double-sided two slides to a page, spiral bound so it lies flat on your desk for easier viewing.

Will you sell overseas?  Please don't make the shipping overseas too expensive!

Absolutely, it's a top priority to be able to serve our out-of-the-US friends.  After a lot of research, we've seen that the most cost-effective way to ship things out of the US is to just send it via international mail.  That means that you're responsible for duty and taxes when the CDs get to your country.  Apologies, but we have to charge more for the extra handling and mail costs.

Are there going to be any downloadable samples so we can convince the boss to buy?

Sure; see the download links above.

Does Mark do demos that I would be missing or is the seminar exclusively off PowerPoints?

One of the reasons that this has taken so long is that Mark tried recording several live seminars and decided that simply "canning" the live seminars wouldn't be good enough — the periods of time when he's sitting at the computer demonstrating things to the class simply don't work on audio recordings.  So he's spent weeks reworking the seminar, and then recorded it in front of a class of two helpful attendees, then edited it just for CD, including a revised set of PowerPoint.  Wherever there is a "demo," it's driven by screen shots in the PowerPoint.  That's why there are only two PPTs per page... there aren't a lot of these screen shots, but they wouldn't have been readable otherwise.  Mark has, however, kept that to a minimum so that people who can't follow along (such as when driving) can still benefit from the audio presentation.