Where can I download 120-day evaluation versions of Windows 2000/2003 or other MS products?
As you may recall, my first and most important tip is to "Learn by Doing". There are many ways to practice the skills you want to teach. You should base your studies on practice and practice and guess what? Practice. Don’t take my word for granted. Try everything out yourself. Build a home network, wreck it and re-build it. Try it all for yourself, and if you get to a point where you can’t do something yourself, go wreck someone else’s computer.
Work with the product. Use your imagination. Envision a scenario. Plan the scenario. Implement the scenario. Install and configure, try the various features, create error situations and troubleshoot them. Ask yourself questions about the process. Push the boundaries. Be conscious as you click the Next button.
To better your understanding of the OS you should use it every day. You cannot go on using Windows 98 SE while you’re trying to be a professional at Windows 2000 or any other OS for that matter. I cannot accept the sorry excuse that I hear quite often: "I can’t play games on W2K, that’s why I’ll stick with Win98… I can get a chance to practice at class, but at home I’ll keep Win98…" You must breath, smell and sleep with the product, that’s the only way to really KNOW it.
You can get a free copy of Windows 2000 right HERE, and a 180-day evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 right HERE. You can also buy the MS-Press books and you’ll get a free evaluation CD of both Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Professional. Go to the Book Recommendations page and see what titles are best for your needs.
See the following links for more info on how you can download 120-day trial versions of other Microsoft server products, such as Exchange 2000, ISA Server, SQL Server, SMS, SBS and other .NET features:
Trial software from Microsoft (general link, follow up from there)
Exchange Server Follow the instructions in the Microsoft Exchange Server documentation to set up and configure a server running Exchange. This download requires Windows 2000 Server.
Internet Security and Acceleration Server Find out about the firewall and caching functionality with the step-by-step tutorial in the Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server) Evaluation Guide. This download requires Windows 2000 Server.
Small Business Server Download the Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Evaluation Kit to get the trial version, a CD full of evaluation materials, and a self-paced version of Microsoft Official Curriculum Course Number 2301A: Implementing Microsoft Small Business Server 2000.
Windows 2000 Advanced Server Order the trial version on CD for $7.95 US.
Windows Server 2003 Evaluation Kit (180-day) Find out for yourself what Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition can do for you.