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Before getting started with this video series, it's useful to have a little bit of understanding of certain technologies that are important to ASP.NET websites. This video series is designed for both web and application developers. If you're already a website developer, then you'll have some skills in HTML, Hyper Text Markup Language, Cascading Style Sheets or CSS, and if you're an application developer, you'll have a background in some programming language. In ASP.NET we use all of these technologies together, along with ASP.NET's collection of server-based controls to build dynamic websites and control their behavior.
You also will be using SQL or Structured Query Language. SQL is the language that's used to communicate with the database, to send instructions for retrieving data and modifying data in the back-end server-side database tables. In terms of hardware and software, you will need a Windows-based computer. ASP.NET is not supported on Mac OS X. And your computer should be running either Windows Vista or Windows XP. If you're running Windows XP, make sure that you have Service Pack 2 or higher.
In the final chapter of the video series, where I describe how to install Internet Information Services, if you want to follow along with those exercises, you will need particular editions of Windows. For Windows Vista, you will need Home Premium or higher. For Windows XP, you will need the Professional Edition. If you're using one of the Windows Server products, Windows Server 2003 or 2008, you will also be able to follow with the exercises on those operating systems. Finally, you will need to make sure that you have enough memory. All of the software taken together, including the .NET engine, Internet Information Services. SQL Server and Visual Developer take up a good bit of memory.
Your system should have at least 1 gigabyte of RAM to operate successfully throughout these exercises, and for the best performance I recommend 2 gigabytes. So if you don't have a computer with these resources, you can still watch the exercises and get a lot out of them. If you need to improve your skills in any of the programming technologies that I mentioned, check the lynda.com Online Training Library for many titles that teach these skills, HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and SQL.
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