COURSE GOALS: The basic goal of this course is to provide the students theoretical and practical understanding of the working principles of computers and their basic components. In addition the students will get experience of using the computers in practical examples. Specific goals include: understanding different types of operating systems and their structure, understanding the role of file systems and practical examples in Microsoft Windows and Linux-based systems. Students will also learn the basics of computer networks and they will practice how to use them for working on remote computers and for transferring data. Finally, they will learn how to use new software applications and commands autonomously, by consulting reference manuals and information available on the internet.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic experimental methods, instruments and methods of experimental data processing in physics;
1.5. describe the framework of natural sciences;
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.2. recognize and follow the logic of arguments, evaluate the adequacy of arguments and construct well supported arguments;
2.5. use information and communication technology efficiently (to foster active enquiry, collaboration and interaction in the classroom);
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.2. present complex ideas clearly and concisely;
4.4. use the written and oral English language communication skills that are essential for pursuing a career in physics and education;
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1. search for and use professional literature as well as any other sources of relevant information;
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
By completing this course, students will be able to:
* explain how information is represented in computer memory and give examples
* qualitatively describe the basic computer components and their operating principles
* qualitatively describe the role of an operating system and its structure
* describe the role of a file system, a file and a directory
* autonomously work in Linux operating system including working with files, directories, basic shell commands and using internet and email.
* use networks for working on remote computers and data transfer
* use manuals or internet to find instructions to use new applications and commands
* understand the basic hardware and software nomenclature in Croatian and English language
Course contents on a week-by-week basis:
1. Binary and hexadecimal number systems. Number representation in computer memory.
2. Binary notation in computers: representation of integers and floating point numbers. ASCII code. Arithmetic and logic operations in computer memory.
3. Overview of basic hardware components. The role of the central processing unit and memory. Types and layers of computer memory.
4. The role and the operating principles of the basic hardware components: central processing unit, motherboard, memory, hard disk, flash storage. The basic operating principles of peripheral devices such as monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse.
5. Operating systems and their structure. The idea of a kernel and a shell. Examples in Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems.
6. Types of operating systems by structure and by application. Computer process management.
7. Computer data management, file systems, file structure. Examples: FAT32 and NTFS.
8. The basics structure of Windows operating systems and the corresponding files systems. The role of virtual memory and the registry.
9. Introduction to Linux operating system: the history and the basic idea. System structure and user interface.
10. Basic Linux commands for file and directory manipulation and process control.
11. Common text editors in Linux. Examples: Emacs and Vi.
12. Reference manuals and built-in help in Linux. Using new commands with the help of the reference manuals.
13. Introduction to computer networks: networks by size, network topology, signal transmission, network protocols, network services.
14. Application of network for working on remote computers and data transfer. File transfer and synchronization over network. Connecting to a Linux host from a Windows computer.
15. Summary and repetition of the most important topics from the course.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students have to attend the course lectures and exercises (at least 70%) where they are required to actively participate by solving given problems using computers in the computer laboratory.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
Students are graded through a practical test on a computer and an oral examination, where the practical part carries more weight in the final grade.
In the practical test the students solve given problems and save the solutions into files which are checked by an instructor at the end of the test. The following knowledge is examined:
* application of arithmetic and logic operations with binary numbers
* understanding the basic hardware components
* understanding the fundamentals of operating systems and file systems
* use of basic Linux commands
* application of reference manuals for using unknown commands
* application of network for remote computer connection
In the oral examination the following knowledge is examined:
* number systems
* arithmetic and logic operations and their relation to computers
* operational principles of basic hardware components
* types and structures of operating systems and file systems