Bryant & Stratton College

Course Syllabus

Hardware and Operating Systems – INFT130

Winter 2009 (updated 1/11/2009)


Course Syllabus in Microsoft Word is available at:



Instructor: Jeff Fineberg


Course URL:


Course Time: Thursday 6:25pm-9:45pm

Course Location: Room B06 – Amherst Campus

Office hours: Room B06 – Thursday 5:55-6:25 (or by appointment)


Biographical Information: I have 20 years of professional IT experience.  I have held various positions including Software Development, Systems Administration, Database Administration, Project Management and Teaching.  I have worked on platforms including Mainframe MVS, Unix, Linux, and various flavors of Windows.  Regarding formal education, I received a Diploma in Data Processing from Bryant and Stratton in 1983, a Bachelors Degree in “Music and Media Studies” from the University at Buffalo in 1992, and a Masters Degree in Computer Science in 2004.


Course Description: This course gives an overview of both computer hardware, computer software and the interoperability that is necessary for these two areas to work together.  In order to gain this understanding, we will look at the details of various operating systems and computers.  The most critical aspect that we will gain an understanding with is the problem solving that is necessary to solve computer issues.  We will also look at current issues that affect hardware and software, such as viruses and spyware, as the impact of these problems is significant.  In addition to covering the Windows operating system, (based upon class interest) we may also discuss another operating system, Linux.


Course Outcomes: Configure operating systems and application software, and demonstrate an understanding of computers, input, output and storage devices.  Identify, troubleshoot, and upgrade major components of a computer system.  Demonstrate an ability to properly configure system settings, and be able to read, understand and modify system files.  Properly maintain components of a computer system.  Assess, prioritize, and communicate in a troubleshooting environment.  We will also look at some of the current issues affecting software and hardware, such as viruses, spyware, etc.


Prerequisites: INFT111 (or equivalent experience) 


Textbook: “A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC” (sixth edition) by Jean Andrews (Thomson)


Text and Lab manual: “A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC” (sixth edition) by Jean Andrews / Todd Verge





Lecture and Whiteboard notes


Class code examples


Useful resources


Interesting Websites (picked by students and instructor)


Time Management and Study Skills Resources



                                      Schedule (subject to change)

Class Date

Topic(s) Discussed / Activities

Assignments / Reading - see details under "assignments"

Jan 15

Introductions and Course Overview.  Course Survey

-          Read Chapter 1

Jan 22


Chapter 1 - Introducing Hardware

Lab exercises

-          Read Chapter 1

Jan 29


Chapter 1 - Introducing Hardware (continued)

Lab exercises

-          Assignment from Chapter 1

-          Read Chapter 2

-          Study for Quiz 1

Feb 5

Chapter 2 – Introducing Operating Systems

Lab Exercises

Quiz 1 – covering Chapter 1

-          Read Chapter 2


Feb 12

Chapter 2 – Introducing Operating Systems (continued)

Lab Exercises

-          Assignment from Chapter 2

-          Read Chapter 3

-          Study for Quiz 2 – Chapter 2

Feb 19

Chapter 3 – PC Repair Fundamentals

Quiz 2 – covering Chapter 2

-          Read Chapter 5

Feb 26

Chapter 5 – Processors and Chipsets Midterm Grades Available

-          Assignment from Chapter 3 & 5

-          Read Chapter 6

Mar 5

Chapter 6 – Configuring and Supporting a Motherboard

-          Read Chapter 7

Mar 12

Chapter 7 – Upgrading Memory

-          Assignment from Chapter 6 & 7

-          Read Chapter 8

Mar 19

Chapter 8 – Understanding and Installing Hard Drives

-          Read Chapter 11

-          Study for quiz 3 – Chapters 3,5,6,7

Mar 24

Portfolio Development Day – don’t forget to attend!  (not part of our class)


Mar 26

Chapter 11 – Installing Windows 2000/XP

Quiz 3 – covering Chapters 3,5,6,7

-          Final Project Assigned

-          Read Chapter 12

-          Read Chapter 13

-          Review Appendix E – Linux

(pg 1251) for class discussion

Apr 2

Appendix E – Linux

Chapter 12 – Maintaining Windows 2000/XP

Chapter 13 – Supporting Windows 2000/XP Users and their Data

-          Work on final project (don’t wait)

-          Study for Quiz 4 – Chapters 8,11,12,13

Apr  9

Troubleshooting and prevention of common external problems – REGEDIT, software firewalls, Adware, viruses, programs in startup sequence, etc.

Quiz 4 – covering Chapters 8,11,12,13

-          Work on final project


Apr 16

Final Project presentations

-          final project due April 7


Apr 23

Course and Testing reinforcement


Course conclusions – miscellaneous topics

-          Have a nice break!

                                    (Bold items in schedule are of high importance)




Diagnostic assessment (Grading Criteria)  - a general Rubric to be utilized for assignments / projects


The following parameters are *generally* being used for grading assignments and projects are:


Grading Aspect

Level 1: 5-10 points

Level 2: 11-20 points

Level 3: 21-25 points


Difficult to follow and understand.

Some aspects could use further clarification.

Easy to understand points that were made.


Several inaccuracies were found in the work.

The work was generally good, but at least one inaccuracy was found.

All work was found to be correct from the standpoint of accuracy.


The work was not complete, therefore the usefulness of it was low.

There was at least one aspect to the work that wasn’t completed.

The work covered all the required aspects and could be used in a ‘real world’ setting.

Citing of sources

Unpublished Source used for the work.  No Published sources used.

Published sources used mainly, however there were some unpublished sources.

All sources for the work were from well-noted published sources.


What is meant by the use of the term *generally*?  If there is a deviance from this Rubric, it will be provided on the assignment.


Authentic assessment: Comprehension of the material will be assessed through homework assignments, quizzes and a final project, using the following grading policy:


                          Grading Policy



20% (4 @ 5% each)


40% (4 @ 10% each)

Final Project


Class participation (labs, quizzes, contributions)










Below 70


Comments regarding grading criteria and material:

-          Quizzes are given to help you gauge your understanding of the material.  They consist of material covered within the period since the previous quiz.  Since some material builds on previous topics, quizzes may be somewhat comprehensive.  Advanced arrangements must be made if a quiz is to be missed (unless a documented emergency exists).

-          Projects consist of writing programs to implement elements from the material covered in class and from reading assignments.  Note that the final project is worth 25%.


Portfolio Inclusion – the written assignments and final project are both good candidates for your portfolio.  It is important that your work be well formatted for this purpose.


Critical Workplace Skills – this course will have an emphasis on persistence, a sense of quality,  problem solving, processing information (utilizing past experience to enhance your knowledge – the ability to learn new information) and systems thinking (realization of how a current task fits into a larger picture).


Lifelong Learning Competency Development – this course will help with the development of lifelong learning through knowledge discovery, research and problem solving activities.


Make-up Policy / Late Work

-          Assignments/Projects not submitted in by the due date will be penalized by 20% per day.  If a test is missed with no advanced warning, it is the instructor’s discretion as to whether or not a make-up test will be allowed.


Incompletes: under normal circumstances these are not given.  Where appropriate, any special cases need to be approved by the Dean’s office.


Student Support Services (SSS): Specific blocks of time are set aside in the morning, afternoon and evening when both students and instructors are available.  Please take advantage of this valuable resource.  Please refer to my office hours for times to obtain any additional help you may need.


Class List by email: Periodically messages may be sent via email to everyone regarding assignments, etc.  Also, please feel free to email me directly with any questions or suggestions at:


Attendance: attending class is critical in order to gain an understanding of the material.  In addition, there is material that you will be responsible for that is covered only in class (in addition to the text). 


Class participation: This portion of your grade is composed of attendance, class activity work, answering questions in class, suggesting useful / interesting resources, URLs, etc.


Classroom Etiquette: please exercise good judgment during the class.  Make sure that your cell phones aren’t set up to ring.  During class lecture, conversations should involve the topics being discussed and should be shared with the class.  Also, it is the school policy that food and drink should not be brought into the classroom.


Academic Integrity / Plagiarism: It is expected that each student perform his or her own work.  Any acts of plagiarism will be dealt with according to the policy of Bryant and Stratton.