Summer I 2001



Nathan Hull

M-T-W-Th 11:30 — 1:05 Rm. 102 WWH

Office phone: 998-3152 Rm. 423 WWH


Office Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 3:15 - 4:15

Important Dates

• Memorial Day Holiday: Monday, May 28th

• Midterm: End of Week 3 (on or after May 31st)

• Last Day of Class: Wednesday, June 20th

• Final Examination: Thursday, June 21st during the regular class time

Mandatory Course Materials

1. Microsoft Office 98 for Macintosh

Visual Quickstart Guide

by Dan Henderson

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-35351-2, $18.95


2. HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Version 4

Visual Quickstart Guide

by Elizabeth Castro

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-69696-7 $17.95


3. Dreamweaver 4 for Windows and Macintosh *** New Edition ***

Visual Quickstart Guide

by J.Tarin Towers

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-73430-3, $21.99


4. Photoshop 6.0 for Windows and Macintosh (****New Edition****)

Visual Quickstart Guide

by Elaine Weinman & Peter Louetres

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-71309-8, $21.99

Part of this course is to 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 encryption. To that end, you will be asked to read the articles in every Monday's New York Times Business Section, the articles in every Tuesday's New York Times Science Section, and the articles in every Thursday’s New York Times Circuits Section. These will be discussed in class, and form the basis of test questions on both the Midterm and the Final. These articles are also available on the Times' Web site for a period of about two weeks from the time of publication.

You will also need a small supply of 3 1/2 inch diskettes. You will need to store all your assignments and course work on diskettes. 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, you need to store your work on diskettes. You should purchase "High Density" diskettes. It is possible to buy diskettes that are pre-formatted for the PC, and also diskettes that are pre-formatted for the Apple computers. It is slightly more convenient to purchase diskettes that are pre-formatted for whatever machine type you will be using, but you can always format (i.e., initialize) the diskettes yourself. Note that the Apple computers can read and write diskettes formatted in the DOS standard. So if you are using both Apple computers (like at the labs) and IBM PC-compatible computers, then you might consider using DOS-formatted diskettes.


Here is a very important suggestion. Mark one diskette as your "Safety copy." Then, use other diskettes to store your work, but always update your safety copy with a copy of whatever you are working on. This way, you will have two current copies, one on your current diskette, and one on the safety copy. The safety copy will contain all your assignments and past work. It is a very good idea to have two copies of everything, because sometimes diskettes go bad, and you can't access files on the diskette. Instead of diskettes, you might want to use "Zip Drive cartridges." A Zip drive cartridge is like a diskette, but can hold 100 MB, which is like 70 regular diskettes. Later in the course you might be making some large files, and so a Zip drive cartridge would be handy. All of the Apple computers in the NYU Multimedia labs have Zip drives. A Zip drive cartridge costs under $15.


Apple Macintosh 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 $150, which is at the educational discount price, and is available at the NYU Computer Bookstore. There are various versions available. The latest version is "Microsoft Office 2001" for the Macintosh, and "Microsoft Office 2000" 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 98 (the version available in the labs) as the basis for this course.

We will also be making use of Internet Explorer 5.5. 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, either at the lab, or at home through a "PPP" connection.

We will be exploring the World Wide Web, and creating graphics for it. The graphics package we will use is Adobe Photoshop version 6.0. Finally, there is a Web Authoring package called Macromedia DreamWeaver 4.0 that we will be using to create our final web projects.

Other textbooks

The following additional books by Peachpit Press could be very helpful:

6.The Little Mac Book (6th edition)

by Robin Williams

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-35433-0, $19.95


7.Internet Explorer 5 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

by Steve Schwartz

Peachpit Press

ISBN 0-201-35487-X $17.99

There are many other books that cover the same topics, and you are welcome to explore other computer books. However, you should be aware of the fact that not all books are equally good. Just because a book says it covers Word 98 or Word 2000, doesn't mean you will learn much by buying it.

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 (a recent version of Word, a recent version of Excel, etc.) In the first half of the course, most assignments will be turned in by printing out a document, and turning in the printout with your name written on the paper. 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, 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.

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. In this course, we will talk about (and demonstrate) the use of word processors, spreadsheets, databases, publishing tools, web development and multimedia aids. In addition, we will tell you something about hardware and history of computing. The development of computer technology is one of the great stories of the Twentieth Century. An educated citizen should know about computers. However, being familiar with advanced aspects of word processing and spreadsheet applications should assist you in many occupations and endeavors for years to come.


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. 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 should be your own work. It is fine to talk to other students and to get assistance in how to do something, but you should 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 definition of plagiarism is to present someone else's work as though it were your own. Do not do this.

Using the computer facilities

The main computer lab is in the Education Building, at 35 W. 4th Street, on the second floor. There is also a lab in the North Dorm. There are other labs, although those are the main two with Apple computers. You use your ID card to gain access to the computer labs. Because you have registered for this course, you will be able to use the computer labs at any time they are open, including during the restricted hours. To use the Multimedia machines, you also use your ID card to gain access, but you will also need to know the user name and password of the class account. Your instructor will give you the user name and password. At the computer lab, you will also request an Internet account. Forms will be provided for this purpose, which you submit at a computer lab. An Internet account is also called either an "IS Account" or an NYU Home Account.

For this course, we will be using a special computer account which will be assigned to you automatically based upon your enrollment. This is called an "ACF5" account, and we will use it for our web sites.

You will also be given a "PPP" account, which will allow you to log onto your accounts from any computer with a modem, such as from your home machine. You are not required to use this account, but might be useful for checking email and surfing the Web, for example.



Here is a little more information about the course material. 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:

In addition, we will explain how these programs can interact. You will be encouraged to view the Internet as a resource for exploring, learning, and research. At the same time, we want you to understand some of the components of the computer and of the networks that connect computers. Comprehension of the components will perhaps someday enable you to exploit computers in ways that others have not yet invented, and give you an advantage in business or in your endeavors.

In addition, we will explain how these programs can interact. You will be encouraged to view the Internet as a resource for exploring, learning, and research. At the same time, we want you to understand some of the components of the computer and of the networks that connect computers. Comprehension of the components will perhaps someday enable you to exploit computers in ways that others have not yet invented, and give you an advantage in business or in your endeavors.

An EXTREMELY important part of the course will be to keep track of the Class Web Page. This is available by accessing the Computer Science Department Home Page at:

From there, choose "Course Home Pages" and then your section of "V22.0004". After the first few days, very few paper handouts will be given. Most information, including assignments, will be posted on the class Web Page, and you will be responsible for reading them on a regular basis. The exact address is: