Everybody always ask me
How I got to play so fine
And friends, I'm gonna tell ya
It really did take some time
While the other guys were out playin' with the football
I was home bangin' on the keys
My Old Man and I don't see eye to eye on much. We never did spend a lot of time together growing up (at least, not that I recall right off) but there is one thing he did impress upon me: having an expert mentality. Growing up, I was constantly regaled with stories of how he took 21 hours and worked full time one semester; stories of how he put himself through med school. His most famous college story goes something like this:
School started on Monday night and this was Sunday night at church. There were two other guys that were going to go to school with me; we were all going to become doctors together.
I looked at 'em and said, "Have you read the first chapter and worked all the homework problems?"
They looked at me and said, "Harold, you're crazy!"
Only one of them became a doctor.
Dad oft said of studying, "You need to have an expert mentality. Leave no stone unturned; the one you do will be the one that comes back to bite you in the butt."
I've had this mentality before. I remember walking into my 121 midterm, looking the instructor in the eye and saying, "I didn't study for your midterm." I was the only one in the class that made a 98. Everyone hated me because I threw the curve off.
So not wanting to screw up school yet again, I want to have that expert mentality that my dad tried to distill in me. So I've started ordering my textbooks.
I bought my Computer Fornesics
textbook which retails for less than $20 brand-spanking new, $20 cheaper than the bookstore!.
Although listed as the Linux book on the textbook website, the ISBN of 9781423934226 yeilds no match when searching Amazon. Searching for the title LINUX+ GUIDE TO LINUX CERTIFICATION, 2ND EDITION by Eckert, however, yields this result
. I'm tempted to go ahead and buy the book, but given the fact that the sequence BNDL prefixes said title, I think the intent is that there is a package deal: textbook
+ lab manual
. I don't know about buying the lab manual used. I would think that this book is designed to be written in and even perhaps have the pages tore out. Unfortunately, this "book" does not have a cover listed on the website nor a list of what might be in the BNDL. Furthermore, Amazon reports that the text will be updated soon (looks like a December date) but that doesn't mean that Calhoun won't be trying the new book as guinea pigs.
Nevertheless, I ordered CompTIA's book
. I've read several chapters out of this book sitting in Barnes & Noble. Furthermore, commentary on the book in the feedback section on Amazon claims more than once that you can't use just one book to prep for the Linux+ exam. The point is made repeatedly; so upon said advice, I bought the book that I enjoyed thumbing through since I enjoyed the chapter on boot and kernel modules. I figure that between whatever the textbook is, the CompTIA book
and the Linux Administration Handbook
, I should have enough cross-reference material to become an expert on the subject.
Lastly, I'm torn over the the history textbook
. Clocking in at $129, it's not exactly cheap. The school is willing to "rent" you the textbook for $73 for the semester. Used, the book costs $121.75; new $162.25. Currently, the book is going for $115 used on Amazon. My apprehension about renting vs. buying the book is that I'm taking the first part of American History. I will need to take the second class sometime in the future. The second class uses the same book. If I purchase the book now, I won't have to rent the book twice, making the school tons of money. It would be one less textbook to worry about next semester. On the other hand, it's possible that this is the last semester that this edition of the textbook will be used. Que sera sera!
Of course, the other mitigating factor is that despite the fact that the loans have been applied to my account, I'm still not seeing the tuition come out of that total, so until I see some numbers process, I don't want to buy the farm quite yet. I used school to justify buying the two books that i did, but I wanted to buy these books; the only hurry I'm in to get the outstanding textbooks is to start reading them in preparation for class.
Having written the above sometime last week/weekend, I have since come to a conclusion on my textbooks: I will buy all of them from Amazon which will be cheaper at list price than it will be to get the books at the cheapest option available in the bookstore (sans renting the history book). I think I'm going to eat the cost of the history book. If nothing else, maybe I can make the cash back at the end of the semester if the school changes books on me.
My goal is to read a significant portion of each of the textbooks before class starts, perhaps even making definition cards and notes. The computer forensics book should be the easiest to do this with since I already have it in possession and the text is only 236 pages.
Currently, I'm on page 22.
I have read the Computer Forensics book (finished it today). I have tentatively planned to make the definition cards for the book Sunday.
I have read 174 pages in the CompTIA Linux+ book.
I have read 170 pages in The Making of America
So I guess I need to run by the school in the morning to make sure that the student loans are going to pay for tuition (they still haven't charged me yet, but the loan balance is on my account.) Once the charge goes through, I will move on to purchasing textbooks, though I'm getting punchy determining if I want to go ahead and get the history book ASAP or wait until I get a .edu email address so I can take advantage of the free year of Amazon Prime via Amazon Student, specifically the free Two-Day Shipping aspect of the package.
I also plan on getting a Kindle
when the funds are available. In preparation, I was reading over the info on Amazon's site and it finally hit me that the new Kindle is smaller than the one that I held in my hand. This was a sticking point with me on the Nook; I hope it doesn't become so with the Kindle. At least you can rotate the text on the new firmware on the Kindle 2; I presume that is available the current Kindle (Kindle 3?).