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Best New Free Computer IT Training Tutorial Resources


April 29, 2008

Harvard Course: Understanding Computers and the Internet

Here is a freely available online computer course from Harvard Extension School, Understanding Computers and the Internet. Learning content offered by this course includes lecture videos, lecture slides, lecture transcripts, reviews, workshop and review videos, problem sets, exams with answers, and bite-sized videos of the week.

From the course's description: "This course is all about understanding: understanding what's going on inside your computer when you flip on the switch, why tech support has you constantly rebooting your computer, how everything you do on the Internet can be watched by others, and how your computer can become infected with a worm just by turning it on. Students leave this course armed with a new vocabulary and equipped for further exploration of computers and the Internet. Topics include hardware, software, the Internet, multimedia, security, website development, programming, and dotcoms."


Lecture Videos, Slides and Transcripts for Understanding Computers and the Internet Course:

Lecture 1: Hardware. Computation. Overview. Bits and bytes. ASCII. Processors. Motherboards: buses, connectors, ports, slots, and sockets. Memory: ROM, RAM, and cache.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 2: Hardware, Continued. Secondary storage: floppy disks, hard disks (PATA and SATA), CDs, and DVDs. Virtual Memory. Expansion buses and cards: AGP, ISA, PCI, PCI Express, and SCSI. I/O devices. Peripherals. How to shop for a computer. History.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 3: Software . It's the first of two movie nights for Computer Science E-1! A look at "how modern day visionaries Bill Gates and Steve Jobs changed the world" by way of Pirates of Silicon Valley, a dramatization of the history of Microsoft Corporation and Apple Computer, Inc.Not available.

Lecture 4: The Internet. Networks: clients and servers, peer-to-peer, LANs and WLANs, the Internet, and domains. Email: addresses; IMAP, POP and SMTP; netiquette; spam; emoticons; snail mail; and listservs. SSH. The World Wide Web: URLs and HTTP. Blogs. Instant messaging. SFTP. Usenet.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 5: The Internet, Continued. Network topologies. The Internet: backbones, TCP/IP, DHCP, and DNS. NAT. Ethernet: NICs, cabling, switches, routers, and access points. Wireless: IR, RF, Bluetooth, and WiFi. ISPs. Modems: dialup, cable, and DSL.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 6: Jeopardy! Students versus teaching fellows!Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats.

Lecture 7: Multimedia. Graphics: file formats, bitmaps and vectors, and compression. Audio: file formats and compression. Video (and audio): file formats and compression. Streaming.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 8: Security. Threats to privacy: cookies, forms, logs, and data recovery. Security risks: packet sniffing, passwords, phishing, hacking, viruses and worms, spyware, and zombies. Piracy: WaReZ and cracking.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 9: Security, Continued. Defenses: scrubbing, firewalls, proxy servers, VPNs, cryptography, virus scanners, product registration and activation.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 10: Website Development. Webservers: structure, permissions, and implementations. Static webpages: XHTML, well-formedness, and validity. Dynamic webpages: SSIs, DHTML, AJAX, CGI, ASPs, and JSPs.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 11: Programming. Pseudocode. Constructs: instructions, variables, conditions, branches, and loops. Languages: interpreted and compiled. Scratch.Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with jargon, slides, and transcript in PDF.

Lecture 12: Pictionary! Students versus teaching fellows!Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats.

Lecture 13: Dotcoms. It's the second of two movie nights for Computer Science E-1! A look at the rise and fall of the dotcom era by way of Startup.com, a documentary that traces the history of govWorks.com.Not available.

Lecture 14: Exciting Conclusion. Where were you? Where are you? Where can you go? Available in Flash, MP3 and QuickTime formats, along with slides and transcript in PDF.



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Filed under: Best New Free Computer IT Training Tutorial Resources — computer_teacher @ 7:22 pm


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