Trainsignal.com has sent me a copy of their Windows Home Server (WHS) training video for review. Trainsignal was just named by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America. They produce training for subjects ranging from Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server, Exchange Server to CompTIA and Cisco Training. The training is geared towards IT professionals trying to stay current with technologies and also to provide computer based training for people looking to switch careers.
The full review is after the click...
When you pop in the disk 1 you are greeted by a simple menu system that allows you to jump straight to the training content you need. I started with the “Intro to Home Server Course” and watched as Scott Lowe introduced me to the training. I quickly moved to number 1 which is Scott’s lab setup. The training was recorded in his home with his own gear. He uses an EX470, Xbox360, and multiple PC’s in his home. Scott is the CIO at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri where he puts his 14 years of Information Technology experience to work serving the needs of the campus community.
When you watch the individual videos you will notice Scott using One Note to display the presentation. You can also see that he is using Camtasia Studio to capture his entire screen which allows you to view his Vista toolbar which shows his WHS healthy and green but updates are waiting on his Vista machine.
Scott’s training is not all presentation based. He also feeds his Xbox video into the PC and walks you through network setup so you can see it real time. The training is also very centered around the WHS console and Scott works through every function within it in a very detailed manner.
I was surprised to see so much basic networking in the training video. Scott dives very deep into network setup, TCP/IP settings, router settings and more. This is a good thing for beginning WHS users. Advanced users can always skip straight to the section they need.
Some chapters that merit mention are the Remote Access, Advanced Admin, WHS Media Sharing, Add-Ins, and Tricks. For instance, in the remote access chapter Scott goes over setting up the WHS for remote from start to finish including setting up UPNP on a router. He also goes over TCP/IP settings for those who don’t have UPNP compatible routers.
Scott discussed installing, managing, and using Diskeeper, AutoExit, KeepVault, Whiist, WHS Toolkit, and other Add-Ins. He spent a little extra time on the WHS Toolkit which I thought was very informative. If you have ever had connector issues this is a good video to watch.
View this Sample Video.
This training video is not only a great WHS resource but it’s also good for home users wanting to do more with their home network. You will learn everything required to setup your home network for file sharing, streaming, and other functions of the Windows Home Server.
I don’t think the TrainSignal WHS CBT is for the more advanced user. In my opinion it is targeting the beginning and intermediate WHS user. It is also a valuable resource for routing fundamentals and router setup for those who may be new to those. One thing to think about however is that many enthusiasts like me support family and friends networks. This is a great training for handing to that family member who just purchased a WHS and expects you to support it!
I also feel it is a great resource for Integrators and resellers to bundle with WHS packages for their customers.
Another positive feature of the training is that it is self contained. It does not have an installer so as long as you have the CD you can use it anywhere.
Like many other CBT courses, product updates tend to outdate the training. This training was shot mostly around January 2008. In other words, PRE-PP1. The Add-In’s discussed have also all gone through major revisions.
The Tips and Tricks sections outlines how to host Wordpress and Windows Sharepoint Services. These are some advanced techniques that are not fully covered within the video but Train Signal includes detailed instructions on PDF. Due to the amount of configuration this makes the video portion much more enjoyable to view.
Overall, this is a great training video for beginners and intermediate users. Advanced users will certainly benefit from the actual WHS training but the networking sections may be to basic. The best part about this video is the price! HomeServerShow listeners are able to purchase this training for the low price of $49.95 by using a promo code of WHS.
Follow this link to TrainSignal.com and use the promo/discount code of WHS during checkout to get the $50 off the normal price of $99.95.
Price - $99.95. $50 off for homeservershow.com listeners! Use discount code WHS to bring the price to $49.95.
Discount Code - WHS
Lastly, as a part of this review Train Signal has donated four copies of this training to the Home Server Show. I will give out two copies and Ian Dixon of thedigitallifestyle.com will give away two copies. Double your chances by visiting thedigitallifestyle.com. To be eligible for this giveaway simply leave a comment on this review post. A simple “I’m in” will do or you can comment about the review. Either way I’ll add you to the drawing.