CIT 597 Assignment 1: Install software
Fall 2007, David Matuszek

Purposes of this assignment:

General idea of the assignment:

Install several pieces of software onto your own computer. Keep careful notes as you go along, preferably in a good text editor, then later format them as an HTML page, post the page to the internet, and send the URL to me and to my grader.
If you do not have your own computer, I strongly recommend that you purchase one. Even the cheapest one you can buy new (about $400) should be enough for this course, especially if you install extra RAM.

Notes:

  1. All required software is free.
  2. All required software is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.
  3. The textbook comes with a CD that contains Windows versions of much of the software, but it is pretty old.

Details:

Install or update to the following pieces of software:

Keep a detailed log of all the steps you take in installing and testing the software. Keep this log as you go, don't later try to reconstruct what it was you did. It is simply not possible for anyone with only a normal memory to do a good job afterwards. I recommend keeping your log in a good text editor, such as Notepad++, or even just writing it on a pad of paper. Leave until later the distracting task of "making it look pretty."

Write separate sections for each installation. For the simpler installations, the section may be very short; that's okay. If you already have current versions of some of this software installed, just say so; you don't have to repeat the installation for the sake of this assignment. The Tomcat and MySQL installations can be pretty tricky, and your log report on these should have correspondingly more detail.

Whenever you write anything, you should keep in mind who your intended audience is. In this assignment, keep in mind that other students in this class may have problems with the installation, and write for those students; they, not your instructor, are your intended audience. The most useful things you can write about are any problems you encounter, and any solutions you find. You might also include any helpful references you find on the web. Again, the goal is to write a helpful page for other students who have problems.

Writing the HTML:

When you are done with the installations, format your log as an HTML web page and post it on the web.

You need to learn HTML for this assignment (you'll be tested on it later), and for that reason you should think about using a plain text editor to create your web page; but you are welcome to use an HTML editor if you prefer. The Mozilla browser and all versions of the Netscape browsers (9.0b3 for Mac, 9.0 for Windows) include WYSIWYG editors; Firefox and IE do not. There are dozens of other free, shareware, and commercial HTML editors available. Please include a note at the bottom of your page telling me what you used, and if it is anything other than a plain text editor, say a bit about what you thought of it. Do not use MS Word's "Save as HTML" command, which produces unacceptably poor HTML.

At the top of your writeup, where it can easily be seen, include (1) contact information, preferably an email address (see below), (2) what system you installed on (for example, Windows 2000 Pro, or Mac OS X 10.4), and (3) whether you were successful or are still having problems.

I will post a link to your page on the course web site.

Unless you love spam, it's a bad idea to put your email address on a Web page. Instead, use this program to generate JavaScript code to include on your page; it encodes the address so that it still works (for users who allow JavaScript to run), but is invisible to spambots.

If you have other privacy concerns about putting your email address on the Web, please talk to me about it in person.

Grading:

Put your page on the Web and email the URL to both me and my grader. Please remember to have "597" somewhere in the Subject: line of your email.

Do your best to get the software installed and tested, and keep as careful a log as you can manage. If you do this and turn in your results on time, you will get full credit. If some of your installations are unsuccessful, that's okay; you can update this log later.

Due date:

September 11, before midnight.