Assignments for topic 2

1) Complete the worksheet on Web searching.

Worksheet on Web searching

Find the following pages on the Internet. For each answer, write down
a) the URL of the page,
b) which search engine you used,
c) which keyword you used, and
d) through which other pages you had to travel between the page of the search engine and the final page.

  1. A page with the time table for Metroliner trains between New York and Washington DC.
  2. Official home page of President Clinton.
  3. Tour schedule for Dave Matthews Band.
  4. Tax forms for Indiana and federal income taxes.
  5. Fan page for the movie "Sabrina" starring Harrison Ford.
  6. What are the ski rates for Boyne Mountain Ski Resort?
  7. Find NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
  8. Use the Yahoo categories to find the Study Australia Program.
  9. On HoosierNet find the homepage of the PCB coalition.
  10. Find a newspage on the recent discovery of the `holy grail' in Greece.
2) Evaluate one Web search engine of your choice. Include in your evaluation: how many pages are indexed by the engine; are search categories provided by the engine; is information available on the strategies which the search engine uses; are there options to customize a search (which options are available); types of information returned by a search, help files, general strengths and weaknesses.
3) Find out "how to save bookmarks on a PC while using a public computer at IUB" in the University Computing Services Knowledge Base. Write down the URL of your answer.

Assignments for Topic 3

1) Try to find in the Unix manual pages:
a) Which option of the command "ls" puts a slash after each directory name? Which option of the command "ls" puts a slash after directories and a star after executables?
b) Which option of the command "rm" requests confirmation before removing a file?
c) What does the command "whoami" do?
2) Assuming you have a file called "alpha" and a file called "beta" stored on a unix computer. How can you move "alpha"'s content to "beta" and "beta"'s content to "alpha"? Write down the sequence of commands needed to perform this task.

Review Quiz

If you know the answers to these questions, you have basic unix skills.

1) Which command will take you to your home directory?
2) What is the pathname of your home directory? What command did you use to find out?
3) Which command will tell you which files and directories are in a directory?
4) Which command will tell you the content of a file?
5) Which command will display the content of a file pausing after each screen.
6) Which command copies a file?
7) How can you rename a file?
8) How can you create/delete a directory?
9) Which command allows you to list in a dircetory all files that end in ".html"?

Optional Assignment

1) What are aliases? Write an alias for the "rm" command so that "rm" moves files into a file /home/your_username/.trash instead of deleting them.
2) Which unix command sorts the lines of a file in alphabetical order?

Assignments for Topic 4

1) Create a document using WordPerfect for Windows. On that document demonstrate use of at least two different fonts, different margins, a table, and footnotes. Print the document and give it to your lab instructor.

2) Starting from the Program Manager, describe the steps needed to move a file from C:\DOS to C:\WINDOWS using the File Manager. Use the common Windows terminology, such as "Click on control-menu box", "scroll down to", etc do describe the steps. (The terminology is described in the UCS materials for this week). Which steps are different if the file has to be copied instead of moved?

Review Quiz

You should be able to do the following in DOS and in the Windows File Manager:

1) Create and delete a directory
2) Delete a file
3) List a directory
4) Move to a different directory
5) Copy and move files

Optional Assignment

1) Which program allows you to change the colors of the windows? Where is it located in the Program Manager?

Assignments for Topic 5

1) Create a document using WordPerfect for Macintosh. Give that document the appearance of a newspaper page (several columns). Include two drawings with captions and several fonts. (It is not necessary to put sensible text on the page.)

2) Which rights should be assigned to a dropbox? Which rights should be assigned to a public exchange directory? Write half a page on "rights" in Unix and NT. Are they easy to use, safe, sufficient?

Review Quiz

You should be able to do the following in WordPerfect

1) Search and replace words.
2) Cut, copy and paste characters, words, and blocks.
3) Change fonts and styles.
4) Use a spelling checker.
5) Change the pagestyle.
6) Include pictures and tables.

Optional Assignment

1) Create a dropbox in your locker. (This is just an exercise and cannot be handed in.)

Assignments for Topic 6

1) Creating a Virus Check Floppy:

  • Use a PC.
  • Create a temporary directory called "tempo"
  • Open Netscape and go to
    Netscape won't know what to do with that file. Choose Option "Save File".
    Save the file in tempo.
  • Go to the DOS Prompt. Change to tempo.
  • Unzip the file "".
  • Copy all files except of "" onto an empty floppy.
  • Delete the files in tempo. Then remove the directory "tempo" itself.
  • Change the floppy to the "write protected" position.

    Your floppy contains now a Virus Checking Program. The program can be started by typing "a:\f-prot" at the DOS Prompt or in the Windows Run field.

    Remarks: It is usually better to save f-prot on a bootable floppy. explains how to obtain a bootable floppy. (But that is not rquired for this assignment.)
    Virus Checkers need to be updated frequently. You should obtain a new copy of f-prot every three months.

    Write your name on the floppy and give it to your instructor. You will get it back the following week after you handed it in.

    2) On the WWW Viewer Test Page you find information on data formats and "viewers" (helper applications and plug ins) that allow Web browsers to view the data formats.
    Choose three different computers (eg. MAC and PC in a university lab, PC at home) and ten different data formats (excluding plain text, gif, jpeg) from different data types. For each computer and each format write down (chart table) whether the computer has helper applications or plug ins installed to display the data and which software is used (or could be used if the software is not installed yet).

    Review Quiz

    Do you know how to

    1) draw circles, lines, squares in vector based and in bitmapped graphics software?
    2) delete, move, copy objects in vector based graphics software?
    3) cut, paste, copy blocks in bitmapped graphics software?
    4) rotate objects/blocks?
    5) change the size of objects/blocks?
    6) change colors?
    7) group/ungroup objects in vector based graphics software?
    8) save the file in different formats?

    Assignments for Topic 7

    Because of the Mid-Term Exam the assignments for this week are optional and are not supposed to be handed in.

    1) Use several tools for finding people, such as finger, whois, netfind (login as "netfind"), KIS and try to find yourself and another person. Furthermore try to find yourself and the other person on various search engines and internet white pages. Compare.

    2) Find "Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette" in news.announce.newusers and read it.

    Assignments for Topic 8

    1) Answer the following questions after reading chapter 12 - 14 in McKim's book:

    a) What is a mail gateway?
    b) Name three tips on how to file email messages into folders in pine.
    c) Name two differences between LISTSERV and Majordomo?

    2) a) Which of the the following three mailing lists does not exist at

    hoosiers, nrlist, ntlist?

    b) Obtain a list of all people who are subscribed to priss_l401. How many people are subscribed?

    3) Create a document using WordPerfect (Mac or Windows) and send it as an email attachment to your lab instructor.

    4) You'll receive an uuencoded file through priss_l401. Uncode it, read it and follow the instructions.

    Assignments for Topic 9

    Create a simple Web-based resume; and publish it via your personal Web account. Make sure you include: a title, at least two levels of heading, at least one link, at least one type of list, at least one style, and a table. Send a note to your lab instructor containing the URL for your page.

    Assignments for Topic 10

    L401 - Computer-Based Information Tools

    ERIC Information Retrieval Assignment

    A common approach in information retrieval systems is the "building block" strategy, in which the searcher identifies the basic concepts of the search and selects terms to represent those concepts. Terms for each concept are combined using logical OR, to "build up" a set of records relating to that concept. These sets are then combined, generally using logical AND and NOT to focus retrieval on the topic desired. For this assignment you are to design a search strategy using the building block approach for a comprehensive search for the following question.

    What approaches have been used to assess and improve minority students' information literacy?

    1. Identify the main concepts in the request. Use the Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors in print and on CD-ROM as well as preliminary CD-ROM searches to find appropriate descriptors for each concept. Use Boolean operators to combine the descriptors into concept groups, then to combine the concept groups. This search should use ERIC descriptors only: no free text terms and no truncation (this will allow the CD-ROM systems to work faster). Make the search reasonably thorough.

    2. Use the SilverPlatter CD-ROM system to conduct the search you prepared in step 1. Revise your strategy as needed. When you are satisfied that you have conducted a comprehensive search which retrieved records reasonably relevant to the request print search strategy and the complete records for up to 10 items. (Choose the PRINT option, then select Fields: all, Records: marked, and searches: yes.)

    HAND IN: 1) your list of the main concepts for the request

    2) your initial plan for the search (the concepts with descriptors and Boolean operators),

    3) notes on how (if at all) the initial plan was changed during the search,

    4) the printed search strategy

    5) the printed list of up to 10 records (complete records)

    6) an evaluation of your search addressing these points:

    How many records were retrieved?

    Was the search a success, in your opinion?

    Did you experience any problems? If so, discuss.

    How do you rate the ease of use of the SilverPlatter system for new users?

    Assignments for Topic 11

    1) Use HYTELNET ( to find out whether Geoff McKim's book is available in the MIT library and how many books by Rob Kling (the SLIS professor) are kept in the library of the University of California at Berkeley.

    2) Name 5 services on infogate that use the silver platter interface besides ERIC.

    3) Go to the Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides ( and find an internet resource on "knots". Write down the url of that resource.

    4) In the UnCover (CARL) service on infogate: what is the total delivery cost for obtaining Thom Nisonger's article "Book Evaluation Discussion Groups".

    5) Library of Congress Service ( Find the LC number (using the advanced search form) for Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn which was edited by Emily Fanning Barry and Herbert B. Bruner. Print the full (long) record of this book.

    6) On AltaVista do a search on "syndetic". Look at the Topic Relationships under "Visual Live Topics". Which three main concepts are connected to each other in the diagram? Why are the three concepts related to "syndetic"? (Remark: you have to use a Java enabled browser for this exercise.)

    7) For the IAC (InfoTrac) databases, in the Expanded Academic Index, find an article about the recent cult suicides in Quebec and find an article in Forbes about Apple's recent stock woes. Write down the titles of those articles.

    Assignments for Topic 12:
    Introduction to Script Programming

    1) Save
    this script in text format into one of your unix accounts. Change its file permission to executable. You should be able to execute it now (if not ask a lab instructor for help). Make a second copy of the file before you start to modify it.

    Modify the menu options:

    1) show a long listing of the content of your home directory
    2) invoke the pico editor
    3) show all users who are currently logged into the computer
    4) more the ".login" (or the ".profile") file in your home directory

    Remember to change not only the unix commands, but also the information which is displayed to the user of the menu.

    Try what happens if you remove the "read dummy" commands (do not also remove the ";;" signs). Why does it seem to be a good idea to remove the "read dummy" commands for option 2) and 4) but not for 1) and 3)?

    Email an answer to this question together with a copy of your program to your lab instructor.

    Optional assignments

    1) Write a script which asks a user for a file_name and then executes "more file_name".

    2) Write a script which lets the user choose between two options (such as listing the directory or displaying the date). Use a "if then else fi" statement for this script.

    3) (This assignment cannot be handed in.) If you use a modem at home and connect to the university through the ppp connection, have a look at the login script and try to change the phone-numbers in that script. Remember to copy the script before you make changes!

    4) (This assignment cannot be handed in. For Bloomington students only.) Have a look at the scripts /usr/local/bin/menu and /usr/local/bin/open_menu on ezinfo.

    Assignment for Topic 13:
    Introduction to Spreadsheets

    1) Create a sample monthly budget for a small business (with various categories including salary expenses, rent, paper supplies, etc.) with automatic monthly and yearly totals.

    Make sure you have 12 columns for the months, and several rows for categories you include figures on for each month (3-6 categories). Add another column with the sums for each row, and put sums at the bottom of each column.

    2) Create a column chart for your data using side-by-side columns. Either:
    a) Do each month, with side-by-side category bars for each category, or
    b) Do each category, with all 12 months as side-by-side bars in each category.
    Use appropriate labels for the chart (x-axis, y-axis, title etc.)

    Turn in:
    1) a printout of the spreadsheet
    2) a printout of the chart (as a separate file)

    Assignment for Topic 14: Database Management Systems I

    1) Answer the following questions after reading O'Brien Chapter 7.

    a) Explain how databases can be distinguished according to their types, their content, and their structures.

    b) List several different phases involved in database design.

    2) Design three small tables for a library database. For example, one table could contain information on the books of the library, another could contain information on the patrons. Insert 5 sample records into each of your tables.