Mac OS X Deployment 10.5 T3: Review

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As promised, here is my review for the Mac OS X Deployment 10.5 T3 that I attended this last week.  First, the location.  Of course I'm biased, but I have always loved Chicago, and as such enjoyed the trip Villa Park and Oakbrook Terrace.  The hotel was nice, and the location of the training facility was fairly easy to get to.  The only problem:  no sidewalks.  It makes it difficult to walk when you don't have sidewalks, and there isn't enough room to walk on the street (without getting hit).  Other than that, the location was nothing to complain about. The materials:  There are quite a lot of material for this class, and I was a little concerned that it would be impossible to fit it all into a 2 day training.  Luckily, that was the thought of the course developers as well, and as such the training was extended to 3 days.  That fits in perfectly with my training schedule I have planned for the University, so I didn't complain. The Subject Matter:  There was still a lot that I wanted to cover but couldn't in the class, mostly those focusing around the command line.  But then, there is a separate class for that, which I will be attending in two weeks.  ^_^  But those important topics, such as deploying through the command line, and imaging through the command line, were covered in depth.  Also planning, scaling, and third party utilities for managing a deployment option was well covered.  One really nice thing I liked about the class was a mandate for the student to immediately apply what they have learned to a real world situation.  They do this through a Deployment planning sheet, which the trainer should have printed out for each student.  We didn't have it, but it was made available to us in PDF form, and there is a link that comes with the learning materials to PeachPit's website for the same PDF.  Once the form is filled out, the last chapter talks about real world solutions in many large companies, school districts, and training centers, and gives the student time to go through their document to see what they find useful, and what they don't need, in their deployment of OS X.  The Requirements:  It is essential the student have a command of both the Mac OS X GUI and have command line experience before starting this course.  Basically, students would need to have completed at least the Server Essentials course, and be able to manage a UNIX command line experience.  Why?  Because at the beginning of the course you are just expected to set up your computers with little assistance from the book.  At this point, it is expected that the student knows already how to set up a brand new install of Mac OS X. The command line experience would be more along the lines of familiar with syntax of commands.  Most, if not all, of the commands used are Mac OS X Utilities and not your typical UNIX commands, yet the syntax is the same and therefore the student needs to be familiar with that syntax.  There may be some situations when troubleshooting is necessary, and as such the student will need to know how to get to the man pages.  Something else that would be important before taking this class is having troubleshooting knowledge, and an understanding of what you are being prepared to learn.  This way if something doesn't quite work they way it's written in the book, you can step outside of the given examples and find alternatives.  That's part of learning, something that many students I have had in the past didn't quite understand.  It requires reading/studying ahead of time, asking questions, and being attentive.  The Pace:  Unlike both Support and Server Essentials where we pend a lot of time trying to catch the class up after some really long first setup exercises, this class is paced just right for the materials.  We as a training class (of 10 trainers) finished with plenty of time on the last day to cover some topics more in depth, and that was with us doing the majority of the optional exercises.  So with a typical class at this level, the pacing will be such that students will have some time to play with some configuration, or perhaps have a long lunch as a thank you for coming to the class.  Overall, it is the best designed Apple training course I have attended so far.  The materials are well designed, the pace is just right (low to medium cognitive load), and the course talks well to adult students (through Constructivist methods).  This is a class that may not run often here in Utah, but will most likely be a well attended class when it does.  It is by far my most favorite class to date.  ^_^  Also, I'd like to say thanks to everyone that attended, because they gave me some very welcomed constructive criticism, and the Master Trainer was a great host.  If only the Cubs could have won all three games I was there, rather than just one of the two.  Oh well, there is always next time.