INFO300 - Hardware/Software - Summer 2009

Assignment #1 (5 points) is to get Visio, Dia, or other suitable CAD software on your computer and use it to make a diagram showing the PC your usually work with and how it connects to The Internet. Include IP Address, MAC Address, and any other details you know...

Visio is recommended for the diagrams -- it's free thru the MSDNAA. Where & how to get MSDNAA software.

F I N A L Points are posted for all work submitted.

Progress report for the hands-on Linux part of the Term Paper. Please check it out and follow the instructions at the top of the page.

XHTML Coding Standards, follow these to get max points!

Quiz #2 Study Questions. Quiz #2 and the optional Exam will be given on the 5th. Expect three or four essays, a sketch or two, and several short answers. Be prepared to: convert some small values among number systems; write an accurate essay on the history of computing leading to our VonNeumann machines; Program the LMC for simple add or subtract; Fill in the IP addresses for a LAN like put up in class; &c.

The Exam: Those who would like to take the exam will be given another sampling of questions from Quiz #1 for twice as many points as before. The offer has been extended to some students to disregard very low scores on Quiz #1 because of this or that confusion about course materials, so this offer is extended to all. The Term Paper, Hands-on Linux, and LAN BOD & Diagram are all due at the last class and Quiz #2 will be graded on the spot. Please take The Exam on Wednesday if you can, otherwise there will be a time posted for the exam the afternoons of 6th, 7th, and 10th and you're welcome to take it then.

Term Paper Requirements & Topics

Don't know XHTML & CSS? EBUS/INFO202, or a similar course, is a pre-requisite for INFO300 and covers XHTML & & CSS. If you don't know HTML, XHTML, & CSS yet, learn about them at at w3schools.com. Run thru the tutorial links at the upper left side of w3school's home page...

Current Topics and Dates:

  • (7/13) More Hardware & Network Basics, discussion of 'range of computing platforms', RISC & CISC again,
  • (7/15) Another sketch of the network for the case study, including IP addresses.
  • (7/20) Server-side: Login Ids & Passwords to use at info300.net were handed out in class next Monday, and more needs to be posted here with specific requirements for this summer's exercises at the command line on a web server... Meanwhile, get your eyes on these links: Get logged into info300.net using putty or other ssh client.

    TBA Wednesday the 20th: A portion of the project will be 'scored' automatically and reported on a page like this: Progress Page The other portion, how it looks on the web, will be scored from your link at info300.net.   Check the progress page to make sure you've got directories & files named appropriately and the permissions set right.
  • (7/20) Linux Directory Tree & Commands Linux User Commands & Admin Commands, pipes, grep, &c.
  • (7/20-22) Hardware, Ch. 2 in the Text.
  • (7/27) Specs to be posted soon for the hands-on Linux project.
  • (7/27) Quick Demo: Got a Linux server/firewall/router on The Internet: Started up with DHCP to prove basic connectivity, ping the router & see what flashes, looked at diagnostic tools ifconfig, route, tcpdump. Then reconfigured it to use the fixed IP address assigned to gsx2.isy.vcu.edu, /etc/sysconfig/network & network-scripts, started processes with /etc/rc.d/init.d/network & httpd, got it 'outfacing to the internet' providing ssh & http, ps -ef to see process status, &c, &c...
  • (7/27) Another look at the LAN project; critique prior submits; Demo of Pro features in Visio: Layers, templates, connections, connectors, zooming in. (Similar exist in the FOSS equivalent, Dia); About downloading from the MSDNAA site: It's quickest plugged into the ethernet in the 4th Floor Lab, iffy over wireless! We do not use a 'recognized certificate authority' (like Verisign or Thawte) for the SSL cert for the secure login to the MSDNAA pages. These cost at least a few hundred dollars and we are a public institution, strapped for funds, so we issue our own SSL cert!   After you get to www.isy.vcu.edu, click on Student Resources, then Software, and click on MSDNAA, then Login twice, you will get a 'Certificate Error Warning' of some sort.  This is OK!  In Internet Explorer just click on 'Continue to this website (not recommended).' and you'll get to the MSDNAA Software Center Login screen where you can supply your user name and LAN account password.  In FireFox you'll get a popup with 'this site uses an invalid security certificate', and FireFox will allow you to 'add an exception' where you can choose Get Certificate  and add the certificate we generated to your permanent collection and not be bothered with the error anymore.
  • (7/29) More with the Linux server: checking the 'profile' with nmap, limiting services with setup, securing it with iptables & xinted, set up the LAN behind it to run DHCP, &c...
  • (7/29) Software
  • (7/29) Little Man Computer exercise: Machine cycles, instruction set, & first mention of Data Structures.
  • (8/3) An historical view of Data Structures & Algorithms for processing them Sequentially and Directly. Underlying data structures, mostly indexes, allow DBMS to fetch desired records from huge databases instantly...
  • (8/3) Loose Ends: Another runthru converting small values among binary, decimal, and hex; Quick discussion of CISC, RISC, Wait State, and avoiding it; Quickly sketched Linked Lists as applied to directory and file systems; Visited the lab.

Quiz #1 Topics and Dates:

  • (6/29) Syllabus, Course Objectives
  • Final Points from the Spring semester.
  • (6/29) Software: The Software Wars might appear humorous, with Bill in borg headgear at the center of the empire, but they're full of truth about the changes in the years since FOSS came on the scene.  Please become familiar with the organizations involved, updating this to 2009 is the matter of Technical Brief #1.
  • (7/1) OS: Sketches on the board and discussion of Kernel, OS, & App 'layers', API, Virtualization, &c, and the difference between Administrators & Users in a business environment.
  • (7/1 or 7/6) Ch 1 + web: Intro & Overview
  • (7/6) LAN Project Announced: Memo From The Boss, and a quick intro to LANs...

    Visio is recommended for the diagrams -- it's free thru the MSDNAA. Excel makes it easy to do the Bill of Details (POs, and summaries of up-front and operating expenses). Most students put the final document together in Word and copy/paste the diagrams and bill of details into it. Here are general requirements for the project.

    Where & how to get MSDNAA software.

    This will be due at the last class day, the 'Exam Day'.
  • (7/8) Linking the Components will get us into a few areas, including a demo of installing Linux on a machine with a few NICs and rigging it to be a web server, router, and firewall for a LAN.
  • (7/8) Number Systems & Conversion among binary, decimal, and hexadecimal; Data & File Types. On the board and Appendix A in the text.
  • Quiz #1 will be the 15th, following a bit of lecture. There will be about ten questions about content in class and the text, mostly from this list of study questions.

Other Topics:

Sample Questions for Quiz #2 (Need to be updated for the summer!)

A few students have indicated some interest in installing Linux for a server or dual-booting a machine. Either way is a good way to get your eyes and hands on *ix and there is a lot of value in that. 64bit Vista users, beware, investigate carefully, backup your stuff, use the right distros... Here's some recent advice...

Spring '08 | Fall '08