> Education Commons > Keras

Hardware Project

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.

  1. Initialize your project wiki.
  2. Prepare a detailed written plan for execution of this project. Note that many tasks can run simultaneously.
  3. Assign specific tasks and deadlines to each team member.
  4. Sketch the outline of your story: characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution. You may find this brief summary Adobe Reader icon helpful.
  5. As circumstances require, revise the plan and document the revisions.
  6. Throughout the project, maintain a detailed record of the contributions of each team member.
  7. At project’s end, your plan will serve as a record of the actions and accomplishments of each team member.
  8. Your plan must be continuously available for online inspection.

Step 3: Adoption

  1. Adopt a system unit and monitor.
  2. Find the manufacturers’ technical manuals.
  3. Document the specifications of your equipment.

Step 4: Examination

  1. As instructed in class, attempt to boot your system unit on the WAN.
  2. Download the Test Document and demonstrate your equipment’s ability to display it.

Step 5: Tear-down and build-up

  1. Use the technical manual to plan the tear-down of your system unit. Note: the monitor will not be torn down.
  2. Disassemble the system unit and describe each part, then rebuild the unit.
  3. Take particular care with the CPU and RAM: their connectors are easily broken.

Step 6: Re-animation

  1. Research and procure a legal copy of a non-Windows operating system suitable for your hardware.
  2. Off the WAN, boot your system unit with your OS.
  3. Demonstrate your equipment’s ability to display the Test Document.

Optional Step 7: Network operations

  1. Coordinate with other teams to create a LAN.
  2. Demonstrate your equipment’s ability to serve the HTML Test Document.
  3. 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: > Education Commons > Keras

[This page last updated 2020-12-23 at 13h09 Toronto local time.]