CSIT 1110

CSIT 1110:
I know I have missed many a bLog.   At first I thought that I would learn very little from this class. I thought of it as one of useless “Required Classes” I have been using computers ravenously since I was 8. So I felt that I had learned a great deal about the history, use and future of computing. As the school term progressed, I realized how important this class truly is. I found that for some this ‘is’ their ‘Introduction [to] Information Technology’, others including myself, at times seemed to tune out, but there was always something to take interest of. I hope to make up for the missed bLogs here. So for those of you that are reading this as you start to this class, please understand that this truly should be a required coarse.
We started the term with the history of computing technology. The start was Charles Babbage’s idea of separation of a machine from it’s functions. Konrad Zuse’s contribution, the use of binary number system to store information. We learned how computer technology evolved from switches, relays, vacuum tubes, transistors to the silicon of today. I can;t say enough about Alan Turing. I feel he truly has had the most profound impact on the history of computing technology, so much so that we still use his ideas and hold ourselves up to his ideas even today. We came to understand the computer model and how it continues to be the base of even modern computers.
I have one word for you, Binary! There is a saying, “There are only 10 types of people in the world those that know binary and those that don’t.” Here 10 represents 2 in binary. Every thing processed by a computer today is binary. We were shown how ASCII characters represent binary numbers. The way analog signals are transform into a series of samples, with discrete values that are transformed yet again into binary and how bitmap images are stored as bits. Vector graphics are represented by a series of dots or points. That being said base 10 is what we as people use. Primarily because we have ten fingers and ten toes. I found out what is required to program a computer at it’s lowest level, it’s architecture, instruction set, and instruction format, which I never really understood before.
Next came hardware… Some things I learned were, that computers usually contain quartz crystals vibrating at an unbelievably high rate. ‘Crystal oscillators are at the heart of the computer’s clock. ‘ Also I learned that Secondary storage is usually non-volatile. Because secondary storage must maintain it information even after it as no power. The slower a memory media the higher likely hood it’s in expensive, the faster it is the more expensive it is.
‘Software is magic.’ This is an illusion, just as all magic is. Anything that runs software can be hacked! Especially Operation Systems, that’s what controls the operation of the entire computer system. Closed source software and operating systems have a higher likely-hood of vulnerabilities, like Microsoft Windows (all versions). Open source operating systems, like Linux usually have few to no security vulnerability. They have a lower likely hood of viruses, spy-ware and Trojan horse programs. Some things to know about security. A worm is malware that replicates itself in order to infect the system it is attacking. Once the system is infected, it can then infect other applications. A Trojan horse program is a program that looks like a a useful or fun piece of software but is in fact malicious and destructive often being activated by different events or dates.
Networks are the key to modern day computing. Just as the telegraph was the first means of telecommunication. Learning how the internet is not a series of tubes (lol), that it is based on a series of protocols that support routing and delivery between different nodes on the network. We are in the world of web 2.0 the emergence of web applications that allow us to interface and collaborate on the “World Wide Web.”
On of the sections that I enjoyed most was Robotics; machines that can sense and manipulate their environment, compare that information to their goal, determine a course of action and then take that action. We as people have a strong desire almost to the point of a need to build automatons that mimic ourselves, a sort of Pygmalion artificial creature. One of the greatest me in my mind that plays/played on often used set of rules or laws for Robotics was Issac Asimov. His three law’s of robotics in my opinion should be the first ideas that we should instil in our creations.
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Yet another part of the coarse I truly enjoyed and learned a great deal about was ‘Artificial Intelligence.’ Genetic algorithms and they use an evolutionary like process that works to find a solution to a problem. Understanding how as intelligent creatures, we have near unconscious universal grammar that allows us to communicate. There will be at some point an artificial intelligence that have evolved through the search for and use of neural networks that can fool us as people that it’s self is a person. We encounter artificial intelligences every day; often unaware that we are doing so. Chess with it’s series of set moves and calculations has long since been beaten by computers; but that doesn’t mean computers have solved ever strategic problem. One of the oldest forms of strategy the game of ‘Go’ is still one of the most elusive to the computer and the programmer alike. Common sense is still the most difficult thing to teach an artificial intelligence.
The emerging and use of Virtual Reality is beginning to dominate our society. From the first interactive video game, ‘tennis for two’ to the most complex virtual reality to date ‘second life’. Virtual realities have often been shown to produce out of body experiences. This is a great thing for those confined to an environment or life that would impeded them from doing many of the things we take for granted everyday. The Internet it’s self is conduit and extension of our own nervous system into cyberspace. Raymond Kurzweil predicts machine intelligence will equal one human brain intelligence as stated in his work on Futurism The Singularity Is Near based on Moore’s Law. This is not far from where we are now. Once this happens it will have a profound effect on our society as a whole.
These are just a few of the man , many things that I learned in this class. There is much more that just what happens in the classroom though, labs are a great way to put what you know in to action and reality.. I hope you get to experience this for yourself. I have had a wonderful time in this class. I can only hope that more of my classes are as engaging and stimulating as this one.
Best of luck to you all. My thanks goes out to Dr. Brown, for allowing me into this class to begin with.

My experience of using machine code, assembly language and the Assembly Language Simulator.

It found it frustrating.  I have not read one blog or post that said it wasn’t.  Somehow i feel there is some piece of information that i just haven’t gotten. I understand how you add and subtract using registers and memory addresses. I even get how to do a loop and a counter within a loop to break it.  I get the concept(s) and understand how it should work; but making it do it, are two different things.

edit:  I will find out hot to make it work, if get no credit at all.  i will make it work.


This week we learend about hardware;  the devices that a computer uses to receive input to process that input and then output it.

We discussed the Von Neuman architecture design that  has been the basis of all computers since and how CPUs work.

We also discusses input and output devices and  they mimic human senses.

We learned what devices an how they are used in modern computers and how they fit together.

I most enjoyed learning about the intricacies of the processor and how it works.

The Real $1000 computer; do it yourself:

I have included links to where you may purchase parts to build this computer, and a short description of the devices.

(Most all items chosen bases on price point.)

Case with Power Supply:  needed for holding all your parts and powering your computer and devices.

This item chosen because of price point, size and included power supply (also it looks pretty).

Linkworld 32104-68WU+P07 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply – Retail 39.99

  • With Power Supply: Yes
  • Power Supply Mounted: Top
  • With Side Panel Window: Yes
  • External 5.25″ Drive Bays: 4
  • External 3.5″ Drive Bays: 2
  • Internal 3.5″ Drive Bays: 5
  • Front Ports: USB / Audio
  • Side Air duct: No
  • Model #: 32104-68WU+P07
  • Item #: N82E16811164122

Mother Board and Sound Device:  needed to mount processor, an daughter cards and  for connectivity to audio output device.

This device chosen because of price point, availible inputs and outputs, available clots for  daughter boards, support for the processor, and total slots of storage for RAM.

ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail 59.99

  • Number of Memory Slots: 4×240pin
  • Memory Standard: DDR3 1600
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16: 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (green @ x16 mode, orange @ x4 mode)
  • Onboard Video Chipset: None
  • Audio Chipset: VIA VT1708S
  • Audio Channels: 8 Channels
  • Max LAN Speed: 10/100/1000Mbps
  • eSATA: 2 x Powered eSATAII/USB Connectors
  • Model #: M3A770DE
  • Item #: N82E16813157176

Processor: needed to do ‘math’ and to control all other parts of the computer.

This device chosen because of price point, speed of processing instructions per dollar. (more speed less money)

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX – Retail 99.00

  • Series: Athlon II X4
  • L2 Cache: 4 x 512KB
  • Manufacturing Tech: 45 nm
  • 64 bit Support: Yes
  • Hyper-Transport Support: Yes
  • Cooling Device: Heatsink and Fan included
  • Hyper Transports: 4000MHz
  • Virtualization Technology Support: Yes
  • Model #: ADX620WFGIBOX
  • Item #: N82E16819103706

CPU Cooler (with contact thermal transfer ‘grease’):  needed to keep your CPU cool so that it does not over heat. (‘Grease’ needed to allow better thermal transfer from CPU  to CPU Cooler)

This device chosen because it’s price point and  it’s required to keep the CPU from over heating and it also came with thermal ‘grease’.

Enzotech Extreme-X Rev.A 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler – Retail

    • Type: Fan & Heatsinks
    • RPM: 1000-2500 RPM
    • Air Flow: 38.9-98.6 CFM
    • Noise Level: 15.8-43.3 dBA
    • Heatsink Material: Aluminum Fins
    • Compatibility: Intel Socket 775 and AMD Sockets K8/754/939/940/AM2/AM3
    • Fan Dimensions: 120x120x25mm
    • Features: Fan: Delta Fan: AD1212UB-A73GL Voltage: 12VDC . 0.5A Connector: Molex 2695- 3 Wire Approval: UL ,CUL , TUE and CE Heatsink: Base: Forge C1100 Copper Base , Mirror Polished Heatpipes: 4 Piece of 8Ø Pipes Thermal Grease: Arctic Silver 5
    • Model #: Extreme-X Rev.A
    • Item #: N82E16835708001

Memory:  This is  the short-term memory for the CPU and computer.

This item chosen because of price point, capacity to dollar, speed and capacity.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL – Retail 104.99

(limit 5 per customer)

  • Cas Latency: 9
  • Voltage: 1.5V
  • Multi-channel Kit: Dual Channel Kit
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24-2N
  • ECC: No
  • Buffered/Registered: Unbuffered
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
  • Features: Compatible with Dual Channel Intel Core i5 CPU for P55 chipset motherboard, Dual Channel Core i7 CPU for P55 chipset motherboard, and AMD AM3 Platform.
  • Model #: F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
  • Item #: N82E16820231277

Hard Drive:  Long term storage for OS, Programs and person files and settings.

This device chosen because of price point, capacity (in gigabytes) to dollar, and required for long term storage.

Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Hard Drive -Bare Drive 54.99

  • Cache: 32MB
  • Features: IntelliPower – A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance. IntelliSeek – Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration. Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) – Employs PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density. Low
  • Parts: 3 years limited
  • Labor: 3 years limited
  • Model #: WD5000AADS
  • Item #: N82E16822136358

Video Card:  The Device that outputs video to your display so that you may see the information that you computer is outputting visually.

This device chosen because of price point, processing power, speed, amount of ram for video processing and video quality.

XFX GS250XYDFC GeForce GTS 250 512MB Core Edition 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail 139.99

(limit 99 per customer)

  • Chipset Manufacturer: NVIDIA
  • Core Clock: 738MHz
  • Stream Processors: 128
  • Effective Memory Clock: 2200MHz
  • DirectX: DirectX 10
  • OpenGL: OpenGL 2.1
  • DVI: 2 x DVI
  • TV-Out: HDTV Out
  • Model #: GS250XYDFC
  • Item #: N82E16814150357

Display (Monitor): Device that connects to Video Card to output or display information from the computer.

This device chosen because of price point, display size (in inches) to dollar, resolution (the quality of  video  display).

AOC 2330V Piano-black Glossy 23″ 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor – Retail 179.99

  • D-Sub: 1
  • DVI: 1
  • Built-in TV Tuner: No
  • Built-in Speakers: No
  • HDCP Support: Yes
  • Recommended Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.2655mm
  • Display Colors: 16.7 Million
  • Model #: 2330V
  • Item #: N82E16824160042

Keyboard:  allows manual input from the user; to communicate with the computer.

This device chosen based on price point, features and use-ability.

steelseries Merc Black USB Wired Ergonomic Gaming Keyboard – Retail 24.99

  • Operating System Supported: Win XP/Vista/Win 2000/Win 98/Win ME
  • Dimensions: 536 x 201 x 27 mm / 21.1″ x 7.9″ x 1.1″
  • Features: SteelSeries Z Engine allows full customization of each key Pre-defined profiles for more than 150 games Anti-ghosting capability: Up to 7 simultaneous keystrokes Special gaming key area The SteelSeries Merc gaming keyboard features 34 dedicated gaming terrain keys, making it easier and more intuitive than ever to walk, run, jump, crouch and
  • Parts: 1 year limited
  • Model #: 64059
  • Item #: N82E16823239008

Mouse: Another type of manual input device that allows you to control the cursor in a Graphical User Interface (GUI), environment .

This device chosen based on price point, and features (resolution for input in DPI), and it’s pretty.

GIGABYTE GM-M6880 Metal Black USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse – Retail 19.99

  • Maximum dpi: 1600 dpi
  • Operating System Supported: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP 32bit/Vista
  • Features: Laser precision: Experience high accuracy and fluid tracking on virtually any surface 800/ 1600 DPI adjustable: To switch 1600 or 800dpi resolution just by one-touch press in games Back & Forward Buttons: Quicken surfing on the internet and searching your documents. Gaming mouse with perfect weight: Equipped perfect weight- 100g
  • Model #: GM-M6880
  • Item #: N82E16826146010

Speakers: These allow you to hear the output of audio processed and output from your sound device.

This device chosen based on price point, features, frequency response and output power.

Creative INSPIRE T6160 5.1 Speakers – Retail 69.99

  • Satellite RMS Power /ea: 6 Watts
  • Subwoofer RMS Power: 20 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 20KHz
  • Signal to Noise Ratio(SNR): >75dB
  • Remote: Wired
  • Dimension: Satellite – 5.9″ x 3.0″ x 3.5″ Subwoofer – 10.2″ x 6.3″ x 7.5″
  • Weight: Speaker – 11.3 oz. Subwoofer – 7.7 lbs.
  • Features: Creative Image Focusing Plate (IFP) design The system’s IFP design features a flare surrounding the satellite driver to improve sonic directivity and imaging to the listening area, giving the music more focus while preserving tonal accuracy. Phase Cap The speaker system also features an extended bullet-shaped dust cap which deflects midrange audio from
  • Model #: 51MF4105AA002
  • Item #: N82E16836116049

Optical Storage Device:  this device allows you to access portable digital optical data media.  You may also (with proper media) create or copy  (burn) data to optical storage media.

This device chosen based on price point, features: speed, types of reading and writing materials.

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B – OEM 27.99

(limit 20 per customer)

  • Type: DVD Burner
  • DVD+R: 24X
  • DVD-R: 24X
  • CD-R: 48X
  • DVD-ROM: 16X
  • CD-ROM: 48X
  • DVD+RW: 8X
  • DVD-RW: 6X
  • Model #: AD-7240S-0B
  • Item #: N82E16827118030


Microphone: another sound device that allows you to input analog audio to be digitized by the computer.

This device chosen based on price point and frequency response.

Logitech 980186-0403 Silver USB Connector USB Desktop Microphone 19.99

(limit 5 per customer)

  • Microphone Sensitivity: -67 dBV/µbar, -47 dBV/Pa +/- 4 dB
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz-16KHz
  • Features: Advanced digital USB: Experience superior sound clarity with the simplicity of a single USB plug-and-play connection. Noise-canceling microphone: Filters out unwanted background noise. Power switch: Illuminates when microphone is active. Adjustable microphone: Pivots on base to hold preferred position. Eight-foot shielded cord: Gives you more desktop flexibility. Mute switch on
  • Parts: 2 years limited
  • Labor: 2 years limited
  • Model #: 9801860403
  • Item #: N82E16836111601

Learning to count, again.

This week we learned to count, again.  It seems that one umber system is never enough.  (personally i like base 20, thanks to the Maya.)

Our focus though(beyond the given base 10) ; was base 2 (binary), base 8 (Ocatals) and base 16 (Hexadecimal).

I was enlightened to learn how simple it was to convert from one base to the other.

As well as how these number systems are used to digitize everything in our world to be recorded and stored by computers.

not sure what else to say here…

Hello world!

So here I go. This blog will mostly include things about and related to, CSIT-1110-P01/P70 – Intro Info Tech w/ Lab.

So i’m mildly dyslexic (odd i can always spell that).

so often there will be odd things like missing letters or words in the wrong place. I do my best to keep these to a minimum. Yes i do spell check but that doesn’t know if the words are in the correct order or not. Also I rarely capitalize i, when referring to my self.

that out of the way.

The first class that i attended we discussed the history of computers and how they “think”( in binary).

It was interesting to see the progression from simple gears to switches to tubes to transistors to Integrated circuits , to micro processors , pardon me if i have left out a step in evolution.

It was the first time i had ever had a chance to see this progression and handle some of the pieces.

I am president of the Knoxville Linux User Group. http://www.knoxlug.org