The preface should come out and state all the rules for using the university facilities and systems. Campus policy needs to be addressed and the preface should be the place to do it. I never say anywhere what the rules are for using the systems.
Warnings about software piracy should also be stated in the preface. Also any laws about intentional passing of computer viruses. In my mind, it's good to tell people what they can't do first. Then let them know about all the things they can do. It sets a tone of responsibility.
In the introduction of the publication, there should just be a basic welcome and statement of the goals of the book(let). There should be an explanation that the book is far from a full guide. The purpose of the publication is to give the user basic commands that will get him running. It is also to be a map to where he can find usable systems at school. Click here for more details.
2) Different Systems Available
In this section there should be a brief introduction to the different systems that are on campus for the students use. Nothing too involved, just a bit of name dropping and mild descriptions of what the differences in systems are(i.e. differences that are comprehensible to a novice like you can own a pc or Mac, a VAX is a little less accessible. The commonality of pc files compared to mainframe files. The library computer system, etc.). Click here for more details.
3) Platform Access Locations
This section should include a map of the university and have the building names on said map. There should be a table for each platform being used. The tables will contain buildings and room numbers where the platforms can be found. This would be a major help to the new kid on the block. I know from experience what hell the first few weeks were while I was looking for the buildings. Click here for more details.
4) VAX Must Knows
VAX Must Knows will be a section dedicated to basic VMS commands including the mail, notes and Pascal compiling features of VAX. This should include the basic file maintenance commands. There should be well detailed initial log on information. There also should be adequate description on using the VMS tutorial session and the help functions. Click here for more details.
5) DOS Must Knows
DOS Must Knows will be a section dedicated to basic DOS commands. This information should include the basic file management commands. I feel that disk formats is a very important issue to be dealt with. From my view, it seems that we have every available disk format imaginable on various DOS platforms in NSB135 alone. The new user is bound to encounter a great deal of confusion over this. The format command with parameters and Disk visual identification is very important. I personally run about campus with 5-1/4 DS/DD AND DS/HD, 3-1/2 HD AND DD disks. The reason is that I never know what machine I am going to wind up on with what operational drives. Also in this section, information on the menus available in the labs should be given. The emphasis for the section should be on the file management commands and utilizing the resources in the various PC Labs. Click here for more details.
6) Mac Must Knows
Mac Must Knows should be designed in a similar format as the DOS Must Knows. The applications available on the Macs in the labs should be touched upon. I wish I could elaborate more on this but I'm afraid that I don't know my Mac Must Knows. I am not familiar with the capabilities of the units on campus (nor anywhere else for that mater, but I do wish to learn). Click here for more details.
7) Using Kermit
The novice user will be very confused with all the new materials being thrust at him all at once. Connecting to the campus computer or any computer from ones home still may be a novelty. Kermit should be covered as completely as it applies to working on the university computers. In 101, besides having a problem myself with the home version(that's what I get for using an 8088 platform with rotary dialing), I helped a quite a few people with connecting from home and using Kermit. This I feel should be one of, if not the most thoroughly detailed chapters in the publication. Click here for more details.
8) General Distribution Software
This section should give a listing of the student versions of software that may be copied from the PC Labs. There should be a brief description of what the applications are. Also the limitations of the student versions should be explained. For each application, there should be an appendix at the rear of the book(let). Detachable quick reference sheets may also be valuable tools for this publication. Click here for more details.
9) General Applications Available
This section should cover the application packages that can be used on the various platforms that are being used. Again, this is to be brief overviews of the application packages. As in the General Distribution chapter, there should be an appendix for each application with a quick reference sheet. Click here for more details.
10) Internet Information
Although Internet information is mentioned in the On-Line Guide, it truly is sparse in actual working information. There should be a good explanation on basic mail functions. Yes I know it is already available on line, but the newbie user will most likely hate the VAX help screen. It really is a pain in the rear. A demonstration of using FTP at hosts other than ours would be a good idea. An introduction to Lynx should be in here. Also an introduction to gopher holes would not be so bad. I know this information is elsewhere, but it would not hurt having it here also. Some more detailed Internet usage should appear in this chapter. Click here for more details.
There should be several appendices included in the publication. The appendices are to give supplemental information and act as a quick reference. Click here for more details.
The following is what I know should be included. What I miss, I'm sure someone will fill me in.
A1) The On-Line Guide
The On-Line publication of the ACC should be included within this publication. On-line is a good source of reference. I feel that it might cover some things a little better, but that's why I am writing this abstract. None the less, it is a valuable tool within it's limitations. Click here for more details.
A2) DOS Quick Reference
This should be a quick reference card/sheet that the student can quickly look up basic operations with the most commonly used parameters. It is not intended to be a full glossary of commands. Just the vital ones. Click here for more details.
A3) Mac Quick Reference
Again like the DOS quick reference, the student should be able to look up the vital features of the Mac environment and it's uses. Click here for more details.
A4) Kermit Commands
The PC Kermit help screen is very difficult to comprehend at first. A list of commands would be quite useful. Click here for more details.
A5) Brief introduction to the Turbo Pascal environment
This is not too far of a reach. It is available on the PC networks in the labs. Some of the basic features and using the debugger should suffice. It is a lot simpler and more efficient using the editor in TP. I'm not thinking of using the non standard features of Turbo Pascal. Only the basic standard operations. Click here for more details.
A6) Introduction to usage of the General Distribution software.
This appendix would be broken up into sub-appendices to cover each application individually. Click here for more details.
A7) Introduction to the applications available for use on the
This should be set up as A6, and only cover the supported applications. Click here for more details.
A8) Campus Map
A map of the campus with all the building names should be included in the publication. Marking up the map with a terminal picture on the buildings where public access computers are would also be a nice visual aid. A list of the room numbers would help also on the map border. Click here for more details.
This document is written by Louie. Many thanks to the feedbacks provided by Bert, Alex, Illana, and the students of CS101.
Please send suggestions and further details to:
Dr. Bon K. Sy
Department of Computer Science
Flushing, NY 11367
Voice: (718)-997-3500 x-3477