The Past:

Bob Williams has graduated from Clinton Community College with an Associates Degree in Business and Plattsburgh State University with a Bachelorís Business Degree and is also has 6 credits in the Masters Program. He has been a computer programmer, but not a "nerd" for over 12 years; and has sold his own software in 3 countries when he owned his own business. He has developed computer software for local Clinton County Governmental Agencies and has installed networks for various businesses and governmental agencies. He has been previously associated as a founding officer in local computer and CB-Radio clubs in the area. As U.S. Distribution Manager for a Canadian company, Bob had an accident in 1992 which required replacing two parts of his heart with plastic replicas disabling him from his regular activities and bringing him to the classroom. His teaching philosophy is based on knowing procedures and concepts, rather than memorizing facts. As a student himself, he recognizes the difficulties students share with demands from friends, family, work, and life in general. His wife Marilyn is partially paralyzed from a stroke You can always feel free to call his home ( 518-236-6733 ) for extra help and problem solving. He truly wants all his students to have fun and be successful in opening their minds to the future by teaching them into keeping their eyes open. His slogan for this year: If your eyes are open, your minds should be too.

The Present:

We will be exploring many areas of computer operation, components, the operating system, the word processor, the spreadsheet, and the database. There are many other categories of software out there, such as games, (bet you wish we could teach you the secrets to Myst and Doom!); including communication, presentation, graphic, virtual reality, simulation, 2D & 3D-Animation, tele-robotics, along with others now being developed. The Internet has become human-kindís fastest growing means of communication across the planet. We now have the capability to give you a small taste of the Internet in a Ďsimulatedí environment here in the classroom. You will also have live links within this Intranet to actually browse on your own. As computers become more powerful and pervasive in our everyday lives, it is also fortunate that they are becoming easier to use. It is such a tremendous revolution in how we process information that there is a confusing array of products out there that will all do basically the same things. How do you choose which products to buy? How do you quickly learn to use the product you just bought? How can you increase your skills to avoid the down-sizing and layoffs that are sweeping the country, and the world, as humans are becoming replace-able in the workplace by smarter and more powerful machines? Learn how these machines work, how the software is organized, and be especially aware that learning new things will never be too old a concept for anyone. Learn to read the screen and the menus given within a program. Take full advantage of on-line help, wizards, cue-cards, tutorials and other software tips and tricks for computer success.


The Future:

In the word processing section we will be using Microsoft Word for Windows; the spreadsheet section will use Excel for Windows, and the database section will use Access for Windows. Windows itself is the operating system you see when you first come into the classroom. It allows you to personally connect with your computer in a manner that is easier to understand than the old method using DOS based command line prompts. Huh?? As will be explained in class, an operating system is software that controls your input (or wishes) with all of the computerís hardware, physical things you can actually touch like the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and disk drives. To run an application software, like Microsoft Word, we only have to double click the mouse pointer using the left mouse button, on the little picture (icon) that represents the application we want to use. We could also click once to highlight the icon, click on the word FILE in the top menu bar, and then click OPEN from the menu choices that are presented to use. Learning how to read menus is probably the most important skill you will learn in this class! As you will see, there are many things about software and hardware, and computers in general, that will vary from machine to machine and from person to person. How you use a computer to get something done may not be the same way that someone else would use the same computer to do the same job. However, there are many similarities across all computers and across all software applications, so that what you learn in one area can be applied to another. As stated previously, learning how to read menus and get help in menu choices is the most important and transferable skill you can learn in this class. It will allow you to intuitively be able to run a software application you have never used before with a minimum of training and searching through thick text written in technical nerd language.

P.S. Itís fun ! You merely need to read your screens !


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