Archive for June, 2006

Rebuilding an Older Computer

June 16, 06 by kenrich

My computer at home was having problems recognizing my AGP video in an old system I was putting together. I think there was an IRQ conflect between the built-in video and the AGP video memory or something like that. Even though I disabled the onboard video in the BIOS, the system refused to recognize my video card.

It wasn’t like the video card didn’t work. I’d still get graphics but even when I tried to install the correct drivers for the card, the system didn’t recognize the device. I finally ended up giving up on the AGP port and just went with a PCI video card. It’s not AGP, but it still runs about 40x faster than the AGP card I had installed.

Next I’m going to have to re-install the sound card I used to have installed. After reverting back to the onboard sound card, the speakers are generating some really annoying noises that are definitely not normal. Once this is done, it should make the computer complete (well unless I install a bigger hard drive that is).

Microsoft Exam 070-316 Training Materials

June 15, 06 by kenrich

So I read this study guide from Microsft called “Developing Windows-based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C#”. I thought that after studying this book thoroughly, I would be totally prepared for my Microsoft certification exam. Good thing that I looked into additional training material.

It turns out that this study guide amounts to not much more than a really large primer. In order to be prepared for the exam, you need to either take a training class or buy a full-fledged training application for windows. I chose the latter and am using the TestOut MCAD preparation kit. It contains tutorials that work just like the classroom.

So far, I’ve learned a ton of new information that wasn’t covered in the Microsoft test. The total training time for 070-316 is 50 hours. A lot of that is videos where an instructor walks you through the process of building an application and adding features to it. I would definitely recommend this product to others.

Actually, the primer book does server one good purpose. If you are totally new to .NET, it provides you with a foundation for the class library and object-oriented programming. This is one thing that the TestOut package doesn’t include. So you can see that different training materials can overlap and just using one source is usually not sufficient. The one exception to this rule is when you take a real class – usually the instructor knows exactly what you should study for and won’t leave you hanging.

Microsoft Windows-Based Applications (C#)

June 13, 06 by kenrich

Recently, I’ve been studying for my in order to update my skills. I’m working towards the MCAD (Microsoft Application Developer) certification. So for the past two months or so I’ve been studying for Microsoft C# – Windows-Based Applications (070-316). This will be the first step in reaching my certification goal.

I’ve had to delay the test date once already and may have to do so again. Judging from some of the practice exams that I’ve taken, a lot of the exam questions are not based on information presented in the Microsoft study guide. There are little idiosyncrosies and gotchas that you need to watch out for when taking the test. It would be impossible to memorize every aspect of the Microsoft .NET Framework, so my goal is to just focus on the most commonly-used features.

I’m really glad that I found out about this before I took the test and not after. I really can’t afford to pay for repeat tests and I prefer not to pay more than I should. The real question will be whether or not I can get this first test out of the way before I head out on vacation in two weeks. That is my goal since I don’t want to spend my whole vacation studying for this test.