Audio CDs of Mark Minasi's Windows XP Support Seminar
We are now proud to offer an audio adaptation of Mark's popular Supporting XP Professional for Support Professionals seminar. You can find an outline of this seminar at www.minasi.com/xpsupport.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're always a bit skeptical about offering an audio version because 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
It's Not The Whole Class... But It Can Be
The Windows 2000 Server audio course is ten CDs -- why is the XP class only seven? One major reason is that the XP course includes Mark's discussion of tuning and monitoring systems, and we've already offered that as a separate CD. We didn't want those who'd purchased the Tuning CD to feel that they'd been sold the same material twice. So if you want the entire XP class then we recommend that you pick up a copy of the Tuning CD at http://www.minasi.com/tuneaudio.htm and at that point you'll have the whole course.
The audio seminar costs US$170 per set or US$99 for those people who've been in Mark's Mastering Windows 2000 Server seminar. Please note that the $99 package is only available to people who have taken Mark's two-day XP seminar, so if you order the $99 package then please tell us the date and city where you attended the seminar. (There's a comment field in the checkout form.) Thanks!
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 (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 not to simply record a live seminar, but instead 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 cover 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 a clean and pristine migration. 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, includes the sections on working with profiles, including a procedure to perform a previously-undocumented feat -- attaching any profile to any given user. 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. The TOC shows that the first track is just an overview of what you'll hear on that disc. The second track contains information about the various ways that you can allow a user's settings to move with him or her, as well as introduction to how profiles work, and some initial discussion of local profiles. The TOC also shows that if you want to follow along in the Companion that the track's lecture covers PowerPoint slides numbers 103 through 108.
Audio Companion Book
The Audio Companion also simplifies using the seminar. Take a look at the Companion:
We printed it with two PowerPoints per page so that screen shots are easy to read and diagrams are easy to understand. (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 the page and you can see:
Notice a couple of things here. First, the slide number -- 120, 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 "D6 T8" reference in the lower right-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. "D6 T8" means that you can quickly find the audio lecture that accompanies slide 120 by listening to track 8 on CD number 6.
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, like "Introduction and XP Networking." Then the CD label lists the tracks and the slide numbers covered in that track. 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 will not be able to, 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 Security book and seminar.
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$99.
Does this include all material handed out at the course?
Basically yes. You get the lecture and a printed copy of the 298 PowerPoint slides that Mark's lecture works from, printed double-sided two slides to a page, GBC bound (so it lies flat on your desk for easier viewing). You don't get the part of the course that covers tuning systems but you can buy it on CD separately, as mentioned earlier.
Will you sell overseas? Please don't make the shipping overseas too expensive!
We clearly want to offer the product to all of our clients but the extra complications of overseas shipping will sometimes get in the way and we've got to finish researching what's involved with overseas sales first -- so we're just starting with the U.S. and Canada. As to the cost, we'll just pass any extra shipping costs along. We intend to offer free FedEx or UPS Ground shipping; any shipping costs above that we'll just pass along to the buyer. Getting the things through Customs would also be the buyer's job. Again, apologies, it's the only way that we can do foreign sales, as we simply don't have the staff to handle each country's Customs details.
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?
When creating his first audio seminar series (the Windows 2000 Server one), he tried recording three live seminars, thinking that'd be the easy way to get the CDs done, but it didn't work. Ultimately Mark 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 re-recording and editing the seminar just for CD, including a revised 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.