Working in teams, you’ll explore the physical components of a computer and the software which animates its character. Your final product will be a validated, standards-compliant website which tells an interesting, original, and educational story using all of the terms of the basic computer glossary (and other terms) to explain how a computer works. Work will be evaluated according to this markscheme.
Step 0: Priming the pump
Watch Jayme Gutierrez’s musical revelation that sometimes it’s a lot more complicated than you’d think to clean a laptop’s fan!
Step 1: Division into teams
Divide yourselves into exploration teams of four students each. Each exploration team will be responsible for documenting its own work on the assigned project wiki with a combination of text and still and moving images. Team documentation should include daily progress reports (perhaps in the form of a blog), interviews, and commentary. Because video production requires a lot of time, you are encouraged to concentrate your efforts on a curated collection of still images presented with the Ken Burns effect.
Step 2: Planning
Begin documenting your work immediately and document everything—including this step! Note that Step 8 must be completed by the end of the class period on Day 10 of the project; all work must be completed and submitted by 21h00 on that day.
- Initialize your project wiki.
- Prepare a detailed written plan for execution of this project. Note that many tasks can run simultaneously.
- Assign specific tasks and deadlines to each team member.
- Sketch the outline of your story: characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution. You may find this brief summary helpful.
- As circumstances require, revise the plan and document the revisions.
- Throughout the project, maintain a detailed record of the contributions of each team member.
- At project’s end, your plan will serve as a record of the actions and accomplishments of each team member.
- Your plan must be continuously available for online inspection.
Step 3: Adoption
- Adopt a system unit and monitor.
- Find the manufacturers’ technical manuals.
- Document the specifications of your equipment.
Step 4: Examination
- As instructed in class, attempt to boot your system unit on the WAN.
- Download the Test Document and demonstrate your equipment’s ability to display it.
Step 5: Tear-down and build-up
- Use the technical manual to plan the tear-down of your system unit. Note: the monitor will not be torn down.
- Disassemble the system unit and describe each part, then rebuild the unit.
- Take particular care with the CPU and RAM: their connectors are easily broken.
Step 6: Re-animation
- Research and procure a legal copy of a non-Windows operating system suitable for your hardware.
- Off the WAN, boot your system unit with your OS.
- Demonstrate your equipment’s ability to display the Test Document.
Optional Step 7: Network operations
- Coordinate with other teams to create a LAN.
- Demonstrate your equipment’s ability to serve the HTML Test Document.
- Demonstrate your equipment’s ability to request and display the HTML Test Document.
Step 8: Storage & clean-up
Return your hardware and supplies to the Computing Clubhouse. Restore the lab to its normal configuration.
Step 9: Documentation
Polish and submit your team’s final documentation.
Each team will be provided the following supplies:
- system unit
- 2 power cords
- power bar
- orange extension cord
- Ethernet cable
- screwdriver kit
- plastic storage box
- plastic storage bag
[This page last updated 2014-12-31 at 12h07 Toronto local time.]
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