|Week||Lecture and Lab Topic|
|Jan. 20-22||Introduction, Windows Operating System|
|Jan. 27-29||MS-DOS, because it's still lurking out there|
|Feb. 3-5||Word Processing: WordPerfect, Basic W-P operations|
|Feb. 10-12||Word Processing Continued: Tables, Equations, Figures|
|Feb. 17-19||Introduction to Graphics: Windows Paintbrush; types of graphics files|
|Feb. 24-26||Scanning graphics and text. Cleanup|
|Mar. 3-5||Web Pages:Introduction to htmL; Net Searches|
|Mar. 10-12||Advanced Web Page Operations|
|Mar. 14-22||Spring Break|
|Mar. 24-26||Basic Spreadsheet Operations|
|Mar. 31-Apr. 2||Lotus Spreadsheet: Graphing, Macros, Ranges|
|Apr. 7-9||Lotus Spreadsheet: log and trig functions, equation solving|
|Apr. 14-16||Data Base Creation|
|Apr. 28-30||Relational Data Bases: Merging Files, Queries|
|May 5-7||Review, Lab Final|
May 19 Final Exam: 1 - 3 PM
Things you will need to buy: enough disks to hold your work,plus a backup copy. A stapler.
To save the hassles of waiting for printouts, most assignments will be graded from screen output.
Label every disk with your name, both electronically and usinga paper label.
Make a backup copy of all your work.
Save your returned assignments, both hard copy (if applicable) and on disk. I do make mistakes in grading, and you may need to demonstrate thatyou did get credit for an assignment. I will not be responsiblefor problems due to lost disks, failure to back up work, orfailure to retain assignments. (Catastrophes like your houseburning down are the only exceptions)
For hard-copy assignments, print out your assignments neatly, and proofread the results. If your output is sloppy, re-format it and reprint it. Sloppy output will be penalized. Sloppy output includes (these are someof the more common problems):
Trim the tractor feed edging off any printed assignments, and do oneof the following:
Do not mix stapled and fan-folded output. Also, do not tearpages in the middle. This also falls under the heading of sloppyoutput.
Who's going to configure your new computer for you?Who's going to recover from crashes? If it's somebody else, thenwhat are you doing to earn your paycheck? When Windows crashes on your laptop while you're on the road, can you still get some work done? It happened to me.
When you buy software, you are a passive consumer,dependent on somebody else. You wait for them to decide yourproblem is worth solving, you pay their price and obey theirconditions. What you write yourself is yours.
What you memorize today is going to be obsolete ina few years. Learn methods, not commands. Manuals are written tobe used.
Software evolves rapidly and different employersmay use radically different packages.
Maybe, if your employer recently bought or upgradedhis or her system. Don't expect to get upgrades every timesomething new comes out, though. It is too expensive and time-consuming to switch systems frequently.
You don't need power for many applications. Coloredscreens are more pretty than functional, unless you're displayingcomplex graphics. Buying a Pentium with Windows NT to do word processingis like buying a jet engine to clear snow off your windshield.
In about a thousand days, we will hit the year 2000, and computers all over the world will suffer glitches because they are running twenty-year-old software that uses only two digits for the year. This is testimony to how old many systems are.
So that you have a good idea whether a particular problem issolvable or not. For example, all spreadsheets accept text,numbers or formulas, all word-processors allow text editing,copying, deletion, and so on. Most high-end software packagesfeature macro creation, many older low-end packages do not.
Once you know what each basic type of program can do, the question is no longer "can I solve the problem?" but "I know I can solve it - I just have to find out how."
Given the rapid evolution of computers, it is simply a waste ofmental effort to memorize commands in great detail. German orSpanish will last the rest of your life; Lotus 1-2-3 andWordPerfect will not. On the other hand, looking up every commandin the manual is a waste of time, too. Memorize as much as youneed so you can operate smoothly.
Try to understand the mind-setof the designer so that you can guess how he or she approached anunfamiliar problem. Does the Escape key usually abort aprocedure? Does it return you to the previous menu? What sorts ofthings are likely to be on the FILE menu? If you can understandthe mind-set of the designer, you can often guess correctly whatprocedures to try without digging through the manuals.
The first thing you should know about anypackage or procedure is how to get out of it. Pay carefulattention to exit prompts and their locations in the menu. Canyou abort procedures? If so, how?
Created 5 January 1998, Last Update 28 January 1998