Within the university's intranet boundary you have unlimited access to relevant university owned information at zero cost. Using external telecommunications infrastructure like cables, phone lines and other public information services costs the university on a per Byte basis. As the cost can escalate very quickly when downloading files like movies and music the university monitors your Internet usage and enforces a quota for every course that you take. When you run out of quota you can go to the library and buy more by seeing one of the librarians.
"Netcheck" is the Web application that monitors your usage and updates your quota. It is the part of the corporate firewall that implements a single point of access for information entering and leaving the corporate infomation boundary. To be able to access the Internet you must "log on" to Netcheck first. If you try to access a Web site without first logging on you will be taken to the Netcheck site to do so before it executes your request.
It is important to "log off" of Netcheck also so that other students cannot access your computer and use your Netcheck session. In this way you have control over the total cost and usage of the resource.
First you need a search engine. These are web-based applications that "crawl" across the World Wide Web to look for web pages that contain the words that you have placed in your "search term". In recent years these applications have also been known as "(web)bots", "spiders" and "crawlers" for obvious reasons.
The WWW is a huge information system and learning how to navigate it and sift through its contents is key to finding some of the latest information about nearly any topic you could imagine. Probably quite a few that you couldn't imagine too.
Your search term should contain words that are specific enough to return the pages that you are most interested in. It pays to be aware of possible alternate meanings for the words that you use as you may get alot of irrelevant "hits" for your search. Alternatively, when you do not get any "hits" in your search results, it will pay to experiment with those synonyms and different spellings.
Search engines come in two basic flavours: Search Engines and Meta-Search Engines. A meta-search engine not only searches for web pages and sites, it sends your search term to a collection of other search engines and collates the results to present to you. Here are some popular search engines.
- Google - http://www.google.com.au/
- Yahoo - http://www.yahoo.com/
- Lycos - http://www.lycos.com/
- NineMSN - http://ninemsn.com.au/
- AskJeeves - http://www.ask.com/
Here are some meta search engines.
There are plenty of others and you should determine which ones work best for you based upon speed, relevance of information returned, presentation of information returned and other factors.
On the Web are various resources to help you refine a search term so that you can find exactly the information that you are after. Your faculty specific librarian is an excellent source of help on searching and search engines. Here is a library info sheet on searching the Web.
At the MS Windows desktop double click on the "My Computer" icon. The window that appears will have a list of storage devices, called "drives", to which you can save and from which you can access files that you have created or downloaded. If you plug your USB drive into one of the computer's USB ports (sockets) it should appear in the "My Computer" list. Accessing the drive is as simple as double clicking on the drive listing and it will take you to the top level list of folders within that drive.
Creating a folder: There are two ways to create a folder; the first is to place the pointer in a blank part of the My Computer window, click the right mouse button to get a menu, select New and then Folder. A new folder will be created with the words "New Folder" as the folder name. Replace that name with one of your own by simply typing the new name in. The second way to create a folder is to go to the File menu on the window and select New and the Folder as before. Accessing that folder is as simple as double clicking on the folder icon.
A right click on the folder icon will pop up a menu that will allow you to find out what else you can do with it.
Copying a file: To copy a file that has been saved in a folder you right click on the particular file listing and select the "copy" option from the menu. Navigate to the directory where you would like to save the copy of the file and, on a clear section of the window, right click and choose the menu option to "paste".
Moving a file: If you choose "cut" rather than "copy" then the original file is deleted from the starting directory. You can continue with the "paste" part of the operation above to get a copy of the file into the destination folder.
Folders can be copied, moved and deleted in exactly the same manner as for files, above.
Navigating Directories: A folder or a hierarchy of folders and files is sometimes referred to as a directory. You already know that you can go down through the directory structure by double clicking on folders. To go back up through to the parent folders you must use the button with an icon that looks like a manilla folder with an up or bent arrow. It might look a bit like this:
The following is a quote from Bellinger, Castro & Mills:
"According to Russell Ackoff, a systems theorist and professor of organizational change, the content of the human mind can be classified into five categories:
- Data: symbols
- Information: data that are processed to be useful; provides answers to "who", "what", "where", and "when" questions
- Knowledge: application of data and information; answers "how" questions
- Understanding: appreciation of "why"
- Wisdom: evaluated understanding.
Ackoff indicates that the first four categories relate to the past; they deal with what has been or what is known. Only the fifth category, wisdom, deals with the future because it incorporates vision and design. With wisdom, people can create the future rather than just grasp the present and past. But achieving wisdom isn't easy; people must move successively through the other categories."
Available at : Bellinger, G., Castro, D., Mills, A., "Data, Information, Knowledge & Wisdom", http://www.systems-thinking.org/dikw/dikw.htm
Ackoff, R. L., "From Data to Wisdom", Journal of Applies Systems Analysis, Volume 16, 1989 p 3-9.
More views of the "DIKW" continuum can be found here: http://otec.uoregon.edu/data-wisdom.htm
Justification: The Internet and in particular the World Wide Web is probably the most important information system in the world. It is certainly the largest and the same technology is used to build the many smaller information systems, called intranets, that exist within organisations. Next week's exercises will be alot easier if we introduce the basics of building Web pages. You will be building your own Web based information system to deliver assessment items and communicate with your tutors during the semester.
A basic Web page template
<html> <head> <title>Put the title of the page here</title> <!--This is a comment that wont appear on the finished web page--> <!--A HTML document has only one head section--> <!--There should only be a title tag and no other HTML code--> </head> <body bgcolor="white"> <!--All of the other HTML tags appear in the body section of a Web page--> <!--Every tag should have an opening <> and closing </> part that encapsulates contents--> <!--Contents can be text or other tags. Contained information should be indented on the page--> <!--Like indenting, vertical spacing helps to make HTML more readable--> <!--The opening tags can also have a range of "attributes" that determine how the tag appears--> <!--Attributes have the form: attributename = "value"--> <h1>The biggest heading</h1> <h3>A smaller heading</h3> <p>This is a paragraph tag and it ensures that there is a space before and after the text that is enclosed within them</p> <blockquote> <p>This is an indented paragraph and it uses the blockquote tag to make it happen</p> </blockquote> <!--Replace the file.gif with the name of a gif or jpg (image) file that you want to display--> <img src="file.gif" /> <!--Hyperlinks are created using the anchor tag <a>Link text</a>--> <!--Replace the file.html with the name or URL of a Web page that you want to link to--> <a href="file.html">This is a link to a non-existant file</a> <!--Similarly if you want to link to somewhere on the Web--> <a href="http://www.griffith.edu.au">This will take you to the GU Web page - watch out!</a> </body> </html>
You can cut this template out and paste it into Notepad to help get you started
Students always ask: "Why are we using Notepad? Dreamweaver and Frontpage are much better." Indeed I use Dreamweaver to quickly produce and edit web pages that I need for my various web applications. Sometimes when the design interface does not allow me to create the effect that I am after I dive into the HTML to make the necessary adjustments. The educational reasons for why I want you to use a simple text editor like Notepad are: