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There is no doubt that the world of computers and networking is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment that requires constant learning and retraining. A person who learns how to fix computers and administer a network must be familiar with new and old technology to become effective and to be able to adapt to this world.
This book has several objectives. First, it prepares you to take and pass the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Second, it prepares you to excel within the network environment.
This book is intended as an introduction to local area networks, starting with the OSI model and going on through the popular network protocols, technology, and services. The book does not focus on one specific network operating system, but instead covers the three most popular network operating systems: Microsoft Windows Servers, Novell NetWare, and Linux. This gives you an introduction to all three and allows you to compare and contrast them. To reinforce key concepts, there are questions at the end of the chapters and several lab exercises throughout the book. In addition, the book lists important websites that will allow you to go beyond the text to find more information when you encounter problems.
As you go through the book, you will notice that a lot of information is repeated. This gives instructors the option to teach some chapters out of sequence if they desire. In addition, I have found that the best way to teach (and learn) this material is to repeat the information several times and to combine it with hands-on exercises.
To use this book, you should be A+ certified or have equivalent knowledge and have a general understanding of Microsoft Windows, including file management and the control panel.
I would like to thank the following reviewers for their invaluable input: Phillip Davis, Del Mar College, TX; Sam Guccione, Eastern Illinois University; Jeffrey L. Rankinen, Pennsylvania College of Technology; and Rob Robertson, Southern Utah University.