Using Everyday Technology Syllabus

Note: This is a sample syllabus. The real, updated syllabus is located at, which is password-protected and is available for students and guests only.

U82 CIM 280—Using Everyday Technology
Washington University University College

Fall 2006
Tuesdays 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
??? Room ???

Instructor: Scott Granneman

Adjunct Professor
Washington University in St. Louis
Webster University
Don't Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox (O'Reilly: 2005)
Hacking Knoppix (Wiley & Sons: 2005)
Linux Phrasebook (Sams: 2006)
Columnist for SecurityFocus & Linux Magazine
Professional blogger for The Open Source Weblog
Full list of publications at /writing
Partner, WebSanity
Contact Info

Course Description

This course provides an overview of key computer technologies that are useful in business and at home. Topics covered include computers, the Internet, networking, digital music, security, operating systems, Web browsers, e-mail, DNS, MP3, HTTP, Linux, Firefox, and BitTorrent. Additionally, we learn more creative and efficient ways of using standard office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to improve work performance.

Required Texts

Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet. If you ever want to pursue a topic further, you can look up further readings using Search (also located at the bottom of every page) or the Article Index.


Your grade will be based on the following factors:

Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

100 A+
94-99 A
89-93 A-
86-88 B+
83-85 B
79-82 B-
76-78 C+
73-75 C
69-72 C-
66-68 D+
63-65 D
59-62 D-
0-58 F

Accommodation of disabilities: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to complete the required assignments, please contact me during the first week of class to discuss an accommodation.

Academic Integrity

Policy regarding academic dishonesty: This course will follow Washington University's policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty may result in failure for the assignment in question and/or referral to the college's Academic Integrity Office, which has discretion to impose a stricter penalty. While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else's work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your writing should be your own. The papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.


It is paramount that we respect each other online, in both email and the discussion group. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it's OK to say "That's a bad idea, because …", and it's not OK to say "You're a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …". If you have an issue with a classmate's behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at If you'd like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

Tentative Schedule


5 Sept. ~ Introductions. How computers work.

12 Sept. ~ How computers work (con't).

19 Sept. ~ How networking works.

26 Sept. ~ How the Internet works.

3 Oct. ~ How web sites work.

10 Oct. ~ How operating systems work.


17 Oct. ~ How office software works.

24 Oct. ~ How office software works (con't).

31 Oct. ~ How web browsers work.

7 Nov. ~ How email works.

14 Nov. ~ How Internet communication software works.

21 Nov. ~ How security works.


28 Nov. ~ How Peer2Peer works.

5 Dec. ~ How digital music works.

12 Dec. ~ How digital video & imaging works.

19 Dec. ~ In-class presentations on final project. Goodbyes.

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