Audio CDs of Mark Minasi's "Securing Your Windows Systems" Seminar

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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.

Package contents

Package contents: click on the picture above for a higher-resolution picture

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!).

Price

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.

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 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:

Disc 4  Passwords and Logons
Track 1 none Volume introduction
2 148-156 The case for long passwords
3 157-169 Securing logons
4 170-177 How pre-AD logons work
5 178-185 Protecting pre-AD logons: summary
6 186-189 Kerberos basics
7 190-195 How Kerberos works

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:

  • The outline for the audio course, which parallels the live seminar, is at www.minasi.com/secoutln.htm.  It primarily covers Windows 2000 (Pro and Server), XP Professional, and 2003 Server, but it also includes coverage of NT 4, Windows 9x and ME where appropriate.
  • The table of contents for the audio seminar, which gives you a bit more information vis--vis timing and tracks, is at www.minasi.com/seccd/seccdix.htm
  • Physical contents:
    • 10 audio CDs, most written in 80 minute format, for a total of over 11 hours of lecture
    • Softside zip case for the CDs
    • A copy of the Audio Companion, more than 225 pages of PowerPoint slides GBC bound
  • 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 this sample section, which is from Disc 3, track 8 and Disc 4, Track 2.  It contains a PDF version of the PowerPoints used in the "why to use long passwords rather than complex passwords" section exactly as they appear in the Audio Companion.  We encourage you to download the lecture, the PowerPoints, or both. 
    • Click here to download 12.5 minutes (5.8 MB) on passwords
    • Click here (210K) to download the accompanying PowerPoint slides in a PDF file.

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.

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 three links below to go to our secure server.

  • US deliveries:  click here to buy the audio adaptation of Mark Minasi's "Securing Your Windows Systems" seminar at US$225 as described above.
  • US deliveries:  click here to buy the audio adaptation at the special price of US$125 (only available to those who have attended Mark's one-day or two-day-long "Securing Your Windows Systems"; please note the city and date that you took the seminar in the Comments field in the upcoming form).  Please note that the free one-day Microsoft Security Road Shows that Mark keynoted do not count, sorry!
  • Out of US deliveries:  click here to buy the audio adaptation for delivery out of the US.

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$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.