Audio CDs of Mark Minasi's "Securing Your Windows Systems" Seminar
We are now proud to offer an audio adaptation of Mark's popular two-day Securing Your Windows Systems seminar. You can find an outline of this seminar at http://www.minasi.com/secoutln.htm 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.
We've been asked to do this for years but lacked the time to adapt this seminar until now. To be truthful, Mark's class is far more enjoyable in person, but we've heard from a lot of you that while you'd love to go to the class that IT budgets are tight these days. This audio presentation offers a class 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 10 hours of lecture recorded onto 10 audio CDs. They are accompanied by a GBC 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. Each CD holds no more than 74 minutes of content, so you should be able to play them on any player. And Sony hasn't gotten within a mile of these CDs, so you needn't worry about copy protection (sorry, we couldn't resist -- but please don't copy them!).
The audio seminar costs US$225 per set for US residents, or US$125 for US residents who've been in Mark's "Securing Your Windows Systems" seminar. Please note that the $125 package is only available to people who have taken Mark's seminar, so if you order the $125 package then please tell us the date and city where you attended the seminar -- use the comment field in the checkout form, and thanks. Note also that this offer extends both to those who've attended the newer two-day version as well as those who joined us for the older one-day version. It does not apply to folks who've only seen Mark keynote Microsoft's Security Road Shows (after all, they were free!) Out-of-US orders cost US$325 per set.
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 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 to block anonymous users and null sessions. We've gone to great lengths to make that easy.
Table of Contents
First, the Audio Companion book includes a table of contents for the audio seminar. We've put that TOC on-line here. Here's a few sample lines from it:
The TOC is organized by discs. This particular disc, number 4, continues the discussion of passwords from the previous CD and continues on to internals of how LM, NTLM, and NTLMv2 logons work under the hood. The CD is divided into tracks that are roughly ten minutes in length, making it easy to skip to a particular part of the talk. In the example above, the TOC shows that the first track is just an overview of what you'll hear on that disc. The second track explains why I think that requiring long passwords works better than requiring complex passwords. The third track talks about how logons actually work under the hood, and so on. The TOC also shows that (for example) if you want to follow along in the Companion that the "Kerberos basics" track's lecture covers PowerPoint slides numbers 186 through 189.
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.) It's GBC 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 -- 103, in this case. 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 "2/8" 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. "2/8" means that you can quickly find the audio lecture that accompanies slide 162 by listening to CD number 2, track 8.
Finally, the CDs themselves have labels that help you find things.
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 10 through 17. 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:
How to Buy The Audio Seminar
Ready to buy? Great! Then here's the fine print, please read it:
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.
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:
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$125.
Does this include all material handed out at the course?
Yes; class attendees get a bound printout of the 453 PowerPoints, and buyers of the audio course do as well. The book is printed double-sided two slides to a page, GBC 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 power point?
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.