Microcomputer Applications and Systems Integration



Fall 2002

Wright 105 MWF

Wright 112 lab (see grid below)

Mark Jacobson                                                                                          Home phone: (319) 233–5610

Office: Wright 106                                                                      UNI email address:   jacobson@uni.edu

Office phone: 273–7172                                                            Email on cowboy:  jacobson@cns.uni.edu

Office hours:  1–2 Monday;   9:30–12:30 Tuesday;                     Computer Science department:  273–2618

                     3–5 Wednesday;   1–3:30 Thursday                     URL:  http://www.cns.uni.edu/~jacobson

                     Also by appointment anytime


Check the PC labs (WRT 112, 110 and 339). 

Also check 106 Wright office door for where to find me and/or when back notes.


Fall 2002 class schedule:      9 am, 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm MWF

Department meetings:          3 p.m. every other Monday


Textbooks:        Microsoft Excel 2002 Visual Basic for Applications

Step by Step by Reed Jacobson



Grading on exams, homework and quizzes.


1.       There will be three quizzes.  Each quiz will take from 20 to 25 minutes of our class time unless it is a take home quiz.  One quiz will be worth around 5 % of your grade, making the quizzes worth about 15 % of your total grade.  The quiz dates for the 1st two quizzes will be Friday, October 4th, and Wednesday, October 16th.  The 3rd quiz will be sometime during November or early December.

2.       The midterm exam will be held on Friday, November 1st.  It constitutes about 20 % of your grade in the course.

3.       The final exam will count 30 % of your grade. It will be held from 1-2:50 p.m. Monday, December 16th.  The final exam may be held in two parts.  If so, the 1st part would be in the classroom and would be a paper and pencil traditional exam.  The 2nd part would be hands-on in the computer lab in Wright 112.  If it is not a two–part exam, it would be the traditional 2–hour long final exam in the Wright 105 classroom.

4.       The laboratory sessions and class participation/citizenship/attendance will count for 5 % of your grade.  Wright 112 lab sessions are scheduled for 7 different Friday classes as follows:


Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 8

Week 9

Week 12


Sep 6

Sep 13

Sep 20

Sep 27

Oct 18

Oct 25

Nov 15

5.       The homework assignments and projects will be worth 30 % of the total grade.  Some of the homework assignments will be completed and checked off in the lab.


Course objectives:


·         You will probably double your skills and ability with applications software such as spreadsheets, graphics, word processing, database and web creation software.

·         Introduction to PhotoShop.  Integration of PhotoShop with other programs and with the web. Using PhotoShop to create web graphics.  Comparing PhotoShop and Flash.  Creating a custom command button for your web page using PhotoShop.  Creating an animation for your web page using GIMP or Flash or the cowboy.cns.uni.edu gifmerge program.

·         You will gain a deeper understanding of how Windows systems software and applications software work by creating your own custom user interfaces using Visual Basic for Applications and recording and writing macros in VBA.  This understanding will make your use of graphical user interfaces much more effective.  We will do this for both Excel and Access.

·         Further development of your understanding of the potential of the world wide web and networks for presenting information by introducing and using JavaScript to make your web pages dynamic and interactive.  Comparing JavaScript and VBScript.  Understanding HTML <FORM> concepts and techniques for gathering information, and using JavaScript to evaluate and respond to the information.

·         Developing a game program using Visual Basic for Applications and Microsoft Excel.  Recording and writing macros.  Making custom user interfaces.

·         Further experience with animation, graphics and special effects using the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications environment.  Integrating animation into your Excel game program.

·         Introduction to web authoring software, such as Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver and/or Fireworks.

·         Introduction to database software using Microsoft Access.  Automating database tasks and creating custom user interfaces.  Customizing a database and using VBA code to extend its capabilities.

·         Using PowerPoint to create presentations.  Creating documentation and a presentation/lesson of some aspect of the microcomputer applications class.  Publishing a PowerPoint presentation on the web.

·         Being halfway through with the computer science department’s microcomputer certification program.  Some students may wish to take 810:023 (described below) and another elective to receive certification on their transcript and for their resume.  This 12 hour program is less extensive than a computer science minor and is more focused on what skills would be most useful to the typical UNI graduate in their future career and home personal computer use.


Miscellaneous topics:


·         Any student who requires some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements should speak with the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

·         When sending email, sign with your first name at the end of the note.

·         Feel free to leave early for an appointment or whatever as that is never a problem but it is always nice to be told before class starts.

·         The four classes 810:021, 810:022, 810:023 and 810:030 give you microcomputer certification from the computer science department.  12 hours of credits is required.

·         810:023 (Microcomputer Systems) is offered next spring.  It focuses on PC hardware and operating system software, computer networks and how they work and understanding your PC, its peripherals and the networks that you use.

·         810:030 (Visual Basic) is offered every semester and has been offered the last four summers as well.  It is a very popular course.  Anyone who has learned VBA from 810:022 will have a great background for learning Visual Basic.

·         810:088 (Topics in Computing: PERL/CGI Web Programming) also counts for certification.  It may be offered again in summer of 2003.  It can be substituted for 810:021 or 810:023 or taken as an extra class in addition to the 021, 022, 023 and 030 certification classes.  The topic may change for 810:088 in summer of 2003 to networks and security or something like that.