The kind folks of Ucertify.com have offered people who read this blog post with a discount you can get a 10% discount for this product using the following code:
You can download this product at:
Founded in 1996, uCertify is a leading provider of exam preparation solutions for certification exams of all the major IT vendors. uCertify products provide certification candidates a complete coverage of exam objectives with extremely realistic practice tests, comprehensive study notes and guides, and other value added features to help them to excel in the exams.
This kit is supposed to help you train and pass the MCSD exam:
Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
Which is quite the mouthfull
Microsoft has the complete description here
Why would you need such a thing
- To prepare for a MCSD exam
- To train yourself without taking any exams
- To use it as an interviewing tool
Allthough when taking into account it's price, I think the only thing this should realisticly be used for is as a study guide for the exam.
What do you get in a Prepkit
You get the ucertify prep engine which is the quiz engine used to ask you the questions get the answers and give you extra information when you review the questions.
Next to the quiz / review part there are also some other helpers to get you to where you want to go:
- Exam Objectives - What are you studying for
- Study Notes - A whole lot of what is x ? questions
- Articles - Background information on things (.Net / Framework etc)
- How To's - Illustrated walktroughs
- Study tips - Where do you need to lay your focus
Look and feel
The look and feel is quite solid and modern. "
You can see that there was quite a bit of polish has gone into the looks of the application.
The amount of questions, notes, articles etc. seems good to me.
There are quite a few practise tests and the quality of information looks to be very good.
If you want to get a look and feel of how the application works and what the questions are like you can download a free sample from the internet which includes the application. The only thing is that a lot of the content on it is locked.
This means you get a pretty good idea of what you get when you get the whole thing.
Ucertify has quite a bit of competition in the testing / exam preperation field some of it's competitors are:
Ucertify seems to be at the top end of the market in terms of features / price.
Ucertify vs the Competition
Testking - Seems to be cheaper all round but only offers a question / answer engine. It is a more familiar brand but I'm not sure it actually offers better value for money.
Braindumps - Is free and seems to offer actual tests + community answers it feels more like cheating then like a preperation tool.
Exam Collection - Offers questions / answers only which seem to be community supplied. Price is very low as well.
Ucertify vs a course or book
A course will definitely take more time and probably more money I think this prep kit for me would be more effective then assignments with teacher corrections.
A book, this defininately beats a book by having the information organised in a way that it's very fast to access and offcourse being able to do tests to monitor progress beats a book hands down :)
I think that if you want to get certified this is a product that you can use to save a lot of time without making you feel like you cheated.
It also comes with a money back guarantee, which means that you can get your money back when you don't pass the exam.
For me personally I think this prepkit could easily be the only thing I would need to pass the exam (together with some practice with all the things inluded in the exam).
That to me justifies it's current price of euro: 41,20.
Nokia and it's software a .Net developers take on things.
First off I would like to say that I started this quest with a good amount of confidence that I would be pleased about things on the software side of things. But each time when I look further it starts to look even worse.
So let's begin my little review of the state of the modern phone + it's pc software.
I set out this little quest to copy about 200 name / phone number pairs to my mobile phone.
My mobile phone is a Nokia N73 which runs on the S60 3rd Edition platform based on Symbian OS v9.1.
This means that it supports Java, Python and Symbian C++ as programming languages. Which seems to me like it should be easy to do what I want with it.
I mean I only want to copy a couple of addresses in there and I'm willing to whip something up to get there.
The existing program which can be downloaded for free from Nokia to do the communication work is: Nokia PC Suite.
It's quite a big program, and the parts I'm interested in work quite slowly and with a horrible interface.
There is another version coming up in a while which looks to be even worse. (total install size around 440 MB) 70 MB for an updater.
At those sizes it really doesn't look like something I want to install on my PC.
At first I was overjoyed to see that Nokia developed an SDK to help developers out with programming what is needed for the things I wanted to do, i was even getting some nice ideas in my head of applications which would work like a sort of msn like interface with your phone contacts list and a chat / message history of what you sent / received to the currently selected person on your contact list. Which would mean that I would finally be able to Text message as fast as my friends, well actually quite a bit faster :)
After registering on the Nokia forum (this registration process could use some work) I was able to download the SDK, there were even examples in VB.Net and C#, how good can it get :)
My happy feelings about this unfortunately ended there, that SDK didn't contain all the possibility's of the Suite instead it only contained some file operations.
So for my cause this seemed absolutely hopeless, since the bar had been raised a bit I figured I would be better of using someone else his work this also didn't go as smoothly as planned. It seems that there is an API out there which Nokia supplies, you just have to become a member of a Pro Network and fork over $4000 this might be excluding the membership fee of $800 a year.
Since the cost of entering is quite high this also means that the applications for things like updating your addressbook aren't available for free.
That is barring the standard Nokia PC Suite.
Or at least that's what it looks like after spending quite a few hours googling and otherwise scouring the internet for applications which would make this possible.
The salvation seems to be in the fact that the Nokia PC Suite does have a synching option with MS Outlook. So the contacts will be added to my phone with with Outlook as the middle man.
Still this whole adventure does feel like Nokia is trying to make a buck from the developers instead of really trying to provide the best service and getting the best platform out there. Too bad, because if they openened up their API Í'm sure better alternatives for their own software would arrive and that might be a big selling point for the people who are turned off by their current software offering.
State of the PC interface software: Not very good from my point of view
State of the API's surrounding it: Very limited or pay up
In other words don't try this at home and if you want to do anything just work with the standard software no matter how much it pains you :(
What others have tried / done
A guy wanting to write his own importer as a midlet
An effort for a thunderbird contacts sync program