Suggested Textbooks

Please note: As this is a course about technology, we will provide on-line resources on all of the subjects that we cover. However, we are aware that for some of you, it is easier and more convenient for many reasons to use textbooks. In such a case, here are the textbooks that we recommend for any and/or all of the topics that we plan to cover. Please be sure to speak to us if you have any questions about the readings.

(1) Photoshop - CS2

Photoshop CS2 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0321336550; Published: Jun 7, 2005; Copyright 2005

(2) Macromedia Dreamweaver 8

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN-10: 0-321-35027-8; Published: Dec 16, 2005; Copyright 2006

(3) MS Office: Excel

Excel X for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Maria Langer.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0201758423; Published: Feb 21, 2002; Copyright 2002

(4) MS Office: Word 2004

Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Maria Langer.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0321304578; Published: Dec 10, 2004; Copyright 2005

(5) Mac OS X: 10.4 Tiger

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Maria Langer.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide
ISBN: 0321305264; Published: Apr 26, 2005; Copyright 2005

(6) "Principles":

Computers In Your Future 2004, Brief, 6/E
Bryan Pfaffenberger, University of Virginia
Bill Daley
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0-13-140452-0

About the course:

There are several goals to this course. The title "Computers in Principle and Practice" is intended to emphasize the two important elements of the course: Learning how to use computers and understanding the concepts behind them as well. We will expose you to the exciting, current developments in the world of computers and the Internet, especially in the areas of technology, business, copyright, civil liberties, privacy and security. In this course, we will talk about (and demonstrate) the use of word processors, spreadsheets, publishing tools, presentation software, web development and some multimedia tools. In addition, we will discuss hardware and the history of computing. The development of computer technology is one of the great achievements of the Twentieth Century. All educated (and voting!) citizens should know about computers. In addition, becoming familiar with advanced aspects of word processing, spreadsheet applications and other programs should assist you in many occupations and endeavors for years to come.


You will be encouraged to use the computer as much as possible, because this will be useful for you in your college career and beyond. The practical goals of the course are to teach you:


Your greatest reward is the knowledge and experience that you receive by taking the course. You will also receive a grade. The assignments (see below) will count for 50% of the grade. The midterm will count for 20%, and the final exam counts for the remaining 30%.


In all, there will probably be about eight or nine assignments. It is important not to get behind in turning in assignments. If you do get behind, we still want you to do the assignment, so it is better to turn in a late assignment than to skip it and you may wish to speak with your instructor about this. However, late assignments will be severely penalized, and may not be graded except to note that the assignment was turned in. Assignments that you turn in must be your own work. It is fine to talk to other students and to get assistance in how to do something, but you must not ask your fellow students to actually do the work for you. When you turn in an assignment, you are saying that you have done this work yourself. The Computer Science Department's Academic Integrity definition can be found on the web. Do not violate the rules. Disciplinary action will be taken.


Apple computers with all software packages pre-installed will be made available to you. Theoretically, you do not need a home computer nor do you need to purchase any software. However, you will be learning how to use various software packages, and if you have a home computer, you may want to have access to the software at home. In this case, you must purchase your own copy.

We will be using software from the Microsoft Office suite of applications (the "Standard" package, not the "Professional" package). This software costs about $200, which is at the educational discount price, and is available at the NYU Computer Bookstore. There are several versions available. The latest version on Mac OS X is "Microsoft Office 2004 " for the Macintosh and "Microsoft Office XP" for Windows machines. There are differences, but the differences are not terribly important to the course. Please note that we will be using Microsoft Office 2004 for Macintosh (the version available in the Mac labs) as the basis for this course.

We will also be using Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Netscape. This software is available for free for educational purposes, which is the purpose we are using it for. This software is useful only if you have a network connection. You can obtain the browsers and other software provided by ITS to all students, including Norton Anti-virus, by picking up the latest NYU-Net CD from the ITS office at 10 Astor Place or on-line.

We will be exploring the World Wide Web and creating graphics for it. The graphics package we will use is Adobe Photoshop CS2 and for web authoring we will be working in Macromedia's DreamWeaver MX 2004. We will use both to create our final web projects.

Saving your work in the lab

You will not be able to save your work on Zip disks in the ITS labs but rather you will need to store all of your assignments and course work under your NYU Home Account. Although you can write to the hard disks of the machines in the labs, you cannot be sure that you will have access to the same machine the next time you enter the lab. The best option is to upload your files online and download them as needed (we will go over this in class). You may choose to save your work in any another fashion; however, you are responsible for making sure you do not lose your work. Losing your work is not a valid excuse for a late or unfinished assignment.

Home computers

Many students will have access to home computers or computers at work. It is fine to do your assignments on whatever resources you have available. Of course, you will also need access to the appropriate software. In the first half of the course, a few assignments will be turned in by printing out a document and turning in the printout with your name written on the paper or submitting the file on disk or via email. In some cases, you will need to pick up a file from the lab computers (or off of the Internet using a World Wide Web address), but you are not required to do your assignment at the NYU lab. You may find it advantageous to visit the lab however since there will be a tutor available 20 hours per week, and other students can sometimes assist you with general features of the programs.

Some students decide to purchase a computer while taking this course. Since you have computers available to you at the labs, it might be advisable to wait until later in the course, when you have more experience and information about your options. Many people like the idea of owning a laptop. However, for the same money, you can get about twice as much computer by buying a desktop. You do not need to bring a computer to class. However, you do need to be prepared to spend lots of time in the computer labs or on your home or business computer.

Using the computer facilities

The main computer labs to use for this class are in the the North Dorm and in the Education building.

Course Computer Account

In addition to your NYU Home Account, we will be using a special computer account which will be assigned to you automatically based upon your enrollment.  This is called an “i5” account, and we will use it for our web sites.