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(New & Improved) Essential A+ Essentials (2009 Objectives) January 5, 2010

Posted by examROAR in A+ Essentials (701), CompTIA Certification.
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A+ Essentials has been updated recently.  Of course you knew that!  Here’s a short summary of the added topics I found when comparing the objectives along with a few comments:

  1. Blu-ray (hi-def!) & solid state HDD
  2. Contrasting RAID levels (not much of an update)
  3. Voltage selector switch (not much of an update)
  4. Power supplies: Pins (20,24)
  5. Multi-core
  6. DDR3
  7. Projectors (but no mention of scanners!?!?)
  8. Multi-monitor
  9. KVM switch
  10. Symptoms: Heat, Noise, Odors (hmmm . . . these three have too much in common)
  11. Visible damage (no more “invisible damage “?)
  12. Vista (and all that comes with it such as UAC, Aero, Sidebar,etc)
  13. 64bit stuff
  14. Net. utilities: IPCONFIG, PING, TELNET (not a big change here)
  15. Factory recovery partitions and CDs
  16. USMT (what? this earns the “most unexpected addition to A+ award” and leaves me scratching my head)
  17. Latency (has nothing to do with milk products)
  18. Common ports (like in Net+, u need to know your ports: SMTP,HTTP, FTP, POP, RUBY, TAWNY,etc)
  19. Hub, switch, router (like in Net+)
  20. VPN (like in Net+)
  21. “Basics class identification” (OK, I’m guessing this has to do with IP address classes but if so it should have been listed with “Basics of IP addressing”.  Then again, it might be referring to the DMV driver’s manual)
  22. Coaxial cable (WTH?)
  23. BIOS security including TPM and intrusion detection
  24. Fingerprint scanner
  25. “Be culturally sensitive” (Don’t call the user a ‘noob’) 
  26. “Restate the issue or question . . .”  (ok, this one makes me think of the movie 40-year old virgin : )
  27. “Deal appropriately with customers confidential materials” (are they suggesting I negotiate for a higher bidder?)

Ok, all joking aside here, when you checkout the objectives for yourself at CompTIA’s website, you’ll also notice these changes as well as some new omissions.  Troubleshooting seems to focus more on symptoms while several legacy technologies have been removed.  For instance, AMR & CNR have been dropped from the acronym list.  Also, the XP boot files have been removed.

There appears to me to be some discrepancy between the acronym list and the objectives too.  For instance, IPX\SPX is no longer a “need to know” protocol but it still shows up on the acronym list.  The XP boot files don’t make the objectives but NTLDR & HAL are also still on the acronym list.  This makes me wonder if the changes in A+ is more about re-organization rather than content.

What’s notably missing from the objectives is the topic of virtualization.  I’d expect this to show up on the next A+ revision, however, especially b/c of Windows 7’s virtual XP Mode.

Ultimately, if your friend hands you an out-of-date 601 book, you’ll probably still be OK.  Just add to your study the latest in hardware (i.e. multi-core, 64 bit) and Vista.  If the latter scares you, don’t worry about it!   Vista has a lot to offer, despite the rumors.  More to the point, it’s the future (Windows 7 is VERY similar to Vista).