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Old 09-18-2003, 11:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Madison WI
System Admin. Suggestions ?

I'm in the process of taking prerequisites for the CIS: Systems/Network Administrator associate's degree at my local tech school. I have major questions and little knowledge to start with. I'm planning to get some general intro. books on networks. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'm also a Mac user, so I feel like buying a PC laptop and networking with the Mac would be a little informative. How applicable is XP on a home system to a business environment? ( I'll get XP pro.) I can use a windows machine, but feel like I should be familiar with all aspects of the Windows system before I jump into the specialized classes.
Also- how is the interface on servers? From any machine on the network logged in as administator? On the command line? Just wondering. Any info for me to ponder would be appreciated. ( I'm still at least a semester out, and really want to do some prep. work. )
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: RI
You'll more then likely want at least some form of windows because very few places that I know of use a Mac for any serious networking.
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Old 09-19-2003, 06:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Virginia, USA
can't say that i'm a network pro. but have done some work as a network tech so here's my 2ct: apple's are great and getting better as osX matures but haven't caught on for network/server setups. most major servers run unix or linux b/c of the stability issue. unfortunately unix is pretty difficult to learn but gurus are in high demand... may be worth looking into that. as for pc's: probably a good idea to go w/ mcse training of some sort since most business focus interoffice networks on win2k network os's. hope that helps.
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: City Gecko
xp @ home is like having a car but no where to go. It's more fun to have other cars on the road to play chicken with (ie. set a network up). Never used anything but the pro version, so knowledge is limited, but It's the domain system and the permissions that are different, IMLK (in my limited knowledge).

We use either Remote Desktop (Terminal Service) or Dameware to remote admin the W2K/XP servers and its pretty good. Leaves obvious security holes, but allows us to admin 24/7 all our severs (we're global). Dameware is awesome for desktops, cause if it ain't on the remote host, and you have the right access it installs itself! (without a reboot). Remote Desktop makes you login to the server your trying to admin, so a local PC admin, won't allow server admins unless they have the right account.

Although you wanna do something, try WSH (windows scripting host) with the right accounts. Basically a helpful (depending on usage) virus. Good idea but f'ing scary.

EDIT: Also you probably don't want an XP desktop, you'd get more value out of a server/client arch. Although would be 'spensive to set up. Try getting your training course to set up a TEST domain and clients.
MSCE's are good but I'd rather hire people with hands on experience.

DBL EDIT: On a networking side it's the XP domain structure thats trickyish. Although the best networking experience outside an OS I got was setting up a public/private structure (NAT/No NAT) on my DSL router. That effected the lowest few layers of the stack. (Took a month to get stable, self taught!)
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Last edited by Mad_Gecko; 09-19-2003 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 09-20-2003, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Springford, ON, Canada
I run my network on two xserves. They replaced 5 netware 5.0 machines. It's a good setup, but I do miss NDS and mucking about with file permissions on OSX gets tiresome after awhile.

As for XP, 90% of my client machines are on XP pro with the remaining on 2k pro.
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Old 09-20-2003, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Madison WI
Thanks for the replies! That helps already. I am beginning to learn unix on OSX, and so far I really enjoy it. It is actually unix that got me thinking about computer-related careers in the first place. My school only offers one course in unix as part of the Network Specialist program or as an elective in the Net. Admin. program. The Admin. program sounds more useful to me, but I know nothing. Any thoughts/ experiences as to which is more marketable in the real world ? Thanks again folks! This is my family's future we're talking about, so I'm really grateful for what you've written so far and look forward to anything more you have to add if you feel so inclined.
BTW- I've heard that programming jobs are being farmed out to India, so I'm avoiding the programming field per se, although I'd like to learn programming also.
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