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IT Infrastructure & Security - Spring 2019


(5/21) Points & Final Grades were posted today when I noticed them missing along with this note, which I must have left hanging on my desk when I checked out for medical issues. I'm back to work now, seems like all the little procedures may have worked, eyes are settled and under no stress now that classes and committees are over.

This was an exceptional class of INFO300! 53 A, 27 B, 9 C, and a very few D and F, most of them by students who were attending or doing the projects. Recent semesters have seen about 1/4 to 1/3 flunk and I'd rather see all these As and Bs, twice as many As as Bs! It warms my otherwise mildewed heart...

(5/14 Noon Tuesday) Final grades are posted and should be up on eServices late this afternoon or evening. The points page will be updated later today. I wasn't able to look at the printed briefs without vision fuzzing up so had to back of that and instead posted the 10 points for everybody and let the other points determine the grade. The points page isn't updated yet to show 15 points added for HOL projects, will be later this afternoon or evening...

(5/13) This might be the best looking set of Quiz #3s ever, and almost everybody who re-took a quiz or the exam improved their grade by at least a letter! It's still no fun teaching in a classroom with lots of inattentive students, but there's more pleasure in seeing some of them get good grades than seeing them flunk...

(4/25, 29) HOL Project: Project #1 Dlv #2 was due by last midnite and were scored from these snapshots of the progress pages taken the morning after the deadline:

HOL Part #1 was scored from these snapshots:

The progress pages have been updated to show progress in the web directory and count violations of some specs.

(4/25) Quiz #3 will be on Storage, Security & Professional Standards, and about HTML, CSS, and Semantic Markup for the HOL Project.

(4/18) Semantic Markup: It begins with the page layout! Use CSS3 semantic page layout features like header, footer, nav, main, aside, and article to layout your page. Do not use similarly named divs! Using semantic markup for page layout, content, and forms is almost 100% of making websites accessible by blind folk using page readers and for search engine optimization. Google elevates mobile-first sites with honest semantic markup to the top of their 'organic' search results! Without proper and honest semantic markup the page is just gobbletygook to the blind, and to search engines like Google or Bing. Use CSS3 applied to semantic elements to style the site for sighted folks. (Check out the CSS Zen Garden to see what's out there...) Click on the 'show outline' at W3C HTML Validator when you validate the page for your Brief1.html and you should be able to see the outline for your technical market brief. That's what the instructor will do when grading your websites...

(4/18) The progress pages at info300.net have been tweaked to show progress on the Topic of your brief, squawk if the 2nd line's not empty, the first line of a single-spaced Outline, an empty line, and the first line of your reference section.

The link to the evening class' snapshot for scoring Part #1 has been patched...

(4/18) Exams: The first half of the exam period will be used for Quiz #3. The second half will be used for makeup quizzes: Either Quiz #1 or #2 may be re-taken, or taken, separately. If a student would like to repeat both quizzes, they may take an 1:15 exam worth 40 points with questions from both quizzes. The score earned on a re-taken quiz or the exam will replace the earlier score, even if it's lower. With these rules, almost all who repeat a quiz or take the exam raise their final grade by at least one letter and I don't have to grade a dozen quizzes from students who are 'taking a chance' they'll know more the next time, but don't...

Exam Schedule:

No variation of the exam schedule is allowed. Makeups will be scheduled only for excused absences with a note signed by a professional explaining the reason for the absence.

(4/15) HOL Part #2, outline and references in place, is due Thursday the 25th. Please remember that this brief is about some aspect of the tech marketplace. They should include facts like how many units are in the field, which techs or manufacturers have major share of the market and their relative shares. Take care while you're researching to get a copy of each page where market facts are found so you can comply with the spec that asks for marked up pages to be submitted with the printed copy of the tech market brief. A top goal for the websites is that they demonstrate semantic markup that shows the outline using h tags...

Marked-up referenced pages and the printed copy of the tech brief are due at the beginning of the last class, Tuesday the 30th.

HOL Part #3, a mobile-first and responsive website with semantically marked up tech market brief, is due Friday, April May 3rd.

(3/26,27) Grading/Feedback for the LAN Project will go slowly as there's a competing project. There are lots of good looking projects, but there were so many unacceptable as I started grading that I've made a quick first pass through the projects and posted critique for the unacceptable ones so students will have plenty of time to get questions answered and submit a winning project.

If you got feedback posted for your LAN Project you may resubmit an improved project by the 11th that will be considered for a max 17 of 20 points. If there's no resubmit, your project will be considered for a max 10 points, but may not get that many. Silma knows how to recognize and tutor for good-looking docs, and how valuable these skills can be in a portfolio...

(3/26) Quiz #2 is tentatively Thursday, April 11th. It will cover the topics Data Centers and Networks. There is a lot of material to cover in class about Networks, lots of it is review of stuff that was discussed during demos or sketches on the board. Please read ahead to the end of the Networks topic and get any questions answered in class...

Prior notes have been moved to Prior Notes...

Current Topics:

Tech Market Brief & Hands on Linux:

(4/4...) Working server-side with linux command line and the vi editor. Develop an outline for a brief on an approved topic about the IT marketplace, suitable for a blog or portfolio at LinkedIn. Publish the brief as a mobile-friendly website, responsive, standards-compliant, a clear example of semantic markup that fits the outline.


(4/16) Current Storage Tech: HDD, SSD, Flash, Hyperconverged, Cloud, &c; EDP History: Cards, Tape, Drum, Disc, SSD; HDD Geometry and Management: CHS vs. LBA, Slack Space, Fragmentation, &c; Attachment: DAS, NAS, SAN, NFS, The Cloud; Transaction Logging & Backup... (Study Questions)

Security & Professional Standards

(4/25) Continuing security issues; Pillars of Information Security: CIAAN; Protection; EDI; Threat vectors; Professional Standards: COBIT, ITIL, GES, SOX, PCI, HIPAA, &c... (Study Questions

Recommended Reading:


4 or 5 Generations of Programming Languages; Types of Software: Malware, Security, Version Control & Divers Others...

Data Representation

Computers are Binary machines but they input, store, compute, and output all kinds of data. Numbers are represented more or less directly as Binary, Decimal, and Hex Integers, Float, and Decimal. Characters are represented as ASCII, EBCDIC, and UniCode. When data moves from one system to another, there's usually some translation or conversion involved... (Study Questions)

Data Structures & Algorithms

Watch this spot...

Prior Topics:


(1/15) Syllabus, Provost's Policies, Classroom Behavior &c, No Wandering Out and Back Into Class, Quiz & Makeup Policy...


(1/15) Platforms: Hardware, Software, Dependence, Independence, Cross-Platform, Scalability; VARs, Vertical Markets, CPUs; Operating Systems: FOSS & Proprietary; 7 Modern OS Functions; Range of Hardware Platforms: Embedded through Super (Study Questions)

LAN Project:

(2/19) Memo From the Boss, Visio demo, Intro to Networking, DMZ Firewall, Rack Diagram, Office Floorplan with Network Drops, Read and Follow Directions, Prep Purchase Orders & Summaries of up-front purchases and recurring costs. (Due: Dlv #1 2/28; Dlv #2 3/19)

Data Centers

(2/7) Data Center Fundamentals; Tradeoffs: Onsite vs. Data Center, Mainframe vs. Server Farms... (Study Questions)


(2/14) Definitions; Sketch Internet & Ethernet; Visualizing & Securing Network Traffic; Setup a LAMP Stack; Infrastructure & Regulation, Management; Data Centers & IX; LANs; Network Management and Security Tools; Visualizing Traffic: Internet, LAN, WiFi Analysis, RF Spectrum, Firewall & its Logs, Packet Sniffing, Port Scanning; Networks Surveyed by Name, Size, & Technology; PSTN, Ethernet, Internet, VPN, Real Private Networks; The Ground & Fried Networks... Quiz #2 TBA: Study Questions

G Saunders,
Dept of Information Systems
VCU School of Business

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