In the last session, we finished covering basic administration
skills for your computer. Tonight, we'll discuss additional
hardware/software that you could buy and install yourself, and
then we'll send you home with your machines.
Your machines are now basically configured for home use, but
they don't have all the hardware components that one might want to
have, such as:
- Modem - In this classroom, you've connected to the
Internet using a broadband local network, but unless you've
subscribed to DSL, you won't have this at home. Because getting
on-line is pretty important, you may want to install a
dial-up modem, which is a slower, but cheaper way to get
connected. You can usually get a modem for from $15-30.
- Printer - A printer is useful for making hard
copies. You may be able to get away without one of these if you
can deliver your documents electronically, or if you can take
them to some other place to print them. Otherwise, you can buy
a reasonable ink-jet printer for anywhere from $20-100.
- Speakers - If you would like to play music on your
computer or hear the sounds, you may have to plug in some
powered speakers or headphones. You can get
suitable speakers for from $10-40.
You can connect other components as shown in the following
Additional components will usually have software programs
called drivers that must also be installed. Because this
is different for each component, you'll have to follow the
instructions provided with the component.
Installing a Modem
If there is interest, you can install an internal modem in a
manner similar to that shown in the following picture:
When this hardware is installed, you'll also have to do the
- Install software to drive the modem (called a driver)
by following the instructions given with the modem.
- Configure your dialup settings by following the instructions
given to you by your dial-up Internet Service Provider (ISP) (In
Windows, you do this by going to "Control Panel", "Phone and
Modem Options", Choosing the "Modems" tab, and entering the
phone number and ID provided by your ISP).
Your machines have an operating system (Microsoft Windows),
basic Internet administration software (e.g., AVG, Spybot), and
Open Office. If there is interest, we can help you install
Microsoft Office or any other software package you're interested
We'll take a break here.
Now it's time to pack your machine up, take it on home and try
to set it up. The hardware you should be taking home
includes the following:
- Mouse and mouse pad
- Power strip and power cables for the tower and monitor
- The Project Connect Software CDs
Ask questions if you have any problems. If you have any
problems hooking things up when you get home, you can double-check
the class notes or call us here and we'll try to help.
Computers are complicated systems and you will probably run
into problems as you use them. To get help, try consulting the
- Your notes from this class - We've tried to cover
many of the key issues you will have to deal with in the
class, so re-read that portion of the notes first.
- Help Documentation - You can usually find help
documentation for problems, either in the electronic help system
on your computer or on the Internet. Try searching for words
that describe the problem you are having.
- Your ISP - If you are having Internet connection
problems, you should be able to get support from your Internet
Service Provider (ISP). Call them or read their
- Project Connect - If you can't find what you need in
the above places, you can send us a message telling us who you
are and what's up. Do this in either of the following ways:
We won't always be able to support requests quickly, but
- Leave a message for "Project Connect" with the
Department of Computer Science at Calvin College,
- Send an email to connect -AT- calvin -DOT- edu
It has been good to meet you in this class and we wish you
blessings as you pursue your goals using your new computer
equipment and skills.