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Computing Fundamentals Learning Guides

We've gathered all our learning guides and tutorials about computing fundamentals. You'll find resources about hardware and software, memory, processing and peripherals.

Need more information before you get started? See our definitions for computer, hardware and software.

  • 64-bit basics for Windows administrators -- For businesses depending on complex data analysis, faster processors are becoming mandatory. Even Windows administrators who have no clear-cut timeframe for moving off their 32-bit servers need to evaluate their long-term buying plans, now that Microsoft's newest server software, such as Exchange 12, Longhorn and R2, will be running on 64-bit machines. This guide is designed to give these admins some of the information they need to do so.

  • Active Directory Plan and Design --In this section, learn how to develop a solid Active Directory design strategy. Find tips on Active Directory planning, including the keys to designing domains, sites and organizational units. After that, move on to the final section of our Active Directory Learning Guide, which focuses on the changes that have been made to Active Directory since Windows 2000 Server.

  • Active Directory Management -- This comprehensive tutorial provides the information every administrator should know, from the basics of Active Directory to tips and explanations regarding DNS, replication, security, migration planning and more.

  • Memory Basics -- This guide explains the various memory form factors and chip types. In short, you'll walk away understanding the basic difference between SO DIMM and MicroDIMM, and be an expert on how to choose memory for your server or workstation.

  • Troubleshooting Computer Memory Problems -- What causes computer memory failure? How can you diagnose a computer memory problem? In this guide, Windows administrators will learn how to troubleshoot and prevent computer memory problems.

  • Domain Name System (DNS) Guide -- In this section, learn about the Domain Name System and how it works with Active Directory. Find information on how DNS functions, plus resources on DNS server configuration, design and security.

  • Group Policy Objects -- You can use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to control almost every aspect of your computing environment. This guide breaks down the basics of GPOs, and offers helpful tips for managing them and keeping them secure.

  • Printer Management -- Printer management in Windows is more than simply sending print jobs to a network print queue. Printer management also entails configuring, fine-tuning and troubleshooting problems – not the least of which is dealing with the quirky ways end-users use them. This resource guide examines common printer management issues, and provides tools and tactics Windows administrators can use to optimize printer performance in their organization.

  • Scripting Guide -- This Learning Guide will give you resources that will help you learn how to script and when to script, and will also point you to other valuable scripting resources.

  • Scripting Guide for Beginners -- Scripting is a lot simpler than it looks. If you begin at the beginning, you can save yourself substantial time and effort.

  • Patch Management -- In this step-by-step guide, Brien Posey outlines several must-dos to help you ensure the correct patches are applied in a timely manner.

  • Microsoft Group Policy -- This guide offers links to resources on Microsoft Group Policy. You'll find articles, book excerpts and expert advice covering best practices and pitfalls to avoid, troubleshooting advice, and more.

We've got lots more! Check out the full collection of WhatIs.com quizzes to test your tech mettle on a wide range of subjects. You'll find quizzes about careers and compliance as well as a wide range of other topics, including databases, networking, programming, backup and recovery and much more. Want to learn more? See all our computing fundamentals definitions.

This was last updated in March 2010

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