Mini Course

Putting Your New PC to Work:

Software Survey

© Morris Firebaugh


A. Background & Survey
B. Concept of a Computer System
C. Software: Microsoft Office
D. Software: Adobe Creative Suite
E. Softeware: Firewalls and Virus Protection

A. Background & Survey


Grandson Ray (at 3 years old)

Dad Morris Sr. (91 years old)

Illiac I was the first computer built and owned entirely by a university. It went on line on September 22, 1952. With the computing power of a modern-day handheld calculator, Illiac had 2,800 vacuum tubes and weighed 10,000 pounds. It was more than 10 ft long, 2 ft high, and 8 ft high, with a 5k main memory and 64k Drum memory. The engineers and scientists continued working on Illiac, which , and by 1956, it had more computing power than all of the systems at Bell Labs.

  1. Concept of Computer System {Hardware + Software]
  2. Computer Software [Operating systems, Languages, Application Programs]
  3. Microsoft Office Programs [Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Messenger, Entourage]
  4. Adobe Creative Suite [Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, ImageReady CS, InDesign CS, Acrobat Professional, GoLive CS, Version Cue]
  5. Norton System Works [Antivirus, Disk Doctor, Speed Disk, Spring Cleaning]

B. Concept of a Computer System

A Computer System = Hardware + Software

Define: General Purpose Computer = a machine that can be programmed to accept data (input), process it (CPU) into useful information (output), and save it for later use (secondary storage).

Hardware Example:


For more information on Hardware go to Intro. to Computers: Hardware

The concept of a Machine

Types of Software

For more information on Software, go to Intro. to Computers: Software

C. Software: Microsoft Office Suite

An interesting history of the Office Suite is available at This Site

Good reviews of MS-Office are available from

Word Processing Fundamentals


"Word Processing" coined by IBM in 1964

  • Consider some final features of Microsoft WORD
  • Examples of the Calculate tool: [Note: result ends up in Clipboard.] 3+4+5=12 8+7*5=75

    (Sweep down the Price column, get)

    The total cost is: $5674

    Let's use a Word Processor to create a Letter

    To learn fundamentals of the operating system and Microsoft WORD, we go to Word Processing Tutorial 1

    MS-Word can be used as a desk-top publishing tool. See Minicourse The Secrets of MS-Word.

    Spreadsheet Fundamentals


    Consider the basic concept of a spreadsheet worksheet

    1. Labels
    2. Values (numbers)
    3. Formula (functions)


    The fundamental paradigm (mental model or image) as the basis of all spreadsheets:

    Any cell can be any function of any other cell(s).


    Let's use a spreadsheet to create the gradebook shown above:

    For more information on spreadsheets, see Intro. to Computers, Lecture 7 

    Presentation Graphics Fundamentals


    PowerPoint is the leading presentation graphics program. It's features are described at Microsoft's PowerPoint site.

    The following WWW site contains a brief PowerPoint Tour

    PowerPoint starts with a extensive library of slide formats:

    Next we select the slide design from a menu of options:

    Finally, we compose our slide presentation by "filling in the blanks"

    Example of PowerPoint: Let's convert my "Services" web page to PP format:

    We can save out PowerPoint presentation and link to it.


    Some of the "flying logos" effects are lost.

    Good design requires simplicity and focus - avoid the distracting "Whiz-Bang" effects

    The Suite Power of Office Suite

    Original - Embed an Excel spreadsheet in a Word Document

    [Select and copy the cells in Excel, Go to Word, select "Special Paste", and choose "Paste Link"]

    Later that day, McGill comes to your office and shows you that he really got a "25" on Quiz 1. You open Excel, change the "18" --> "25" and save the Excel grade sheet file. You then open Word which now reads:

    You then mail the Dean the updated Word document which has been automatically updated through "smart-object linking".

    D. Adobe Creative Suite

    The complete design environment for print and Web publishing

    The Adobe® Creative Suite is a complete design environment that combines Adobe's leading professional tools — the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, and GoLive® software and new Adobe Acrobat® 7.0 Professional software — with innovative Version Cue™ file-management features to let you create and publish content for print and the Web faster, more easily, and more affordably than ever.

    Photoshop CS Fundamentals

    The professional standard in desktop digital imaging

    Get superior results faster with industry-standard Adobe® Photoshop® CS software, the powerful new upgrade from Photoshop 7.0. You're in control with indispensable new features for graphic and Web designers, photographers, and video professionals.

    Some of Photoshop CS' features are highlighted on the Adobe Website

    Let's explore some of the tools Photoshop provides using images from the Problems folder.


    Photoshop is primarily a painting tool, i.e. it manipulates bitmap images, that is pixels

    Illustrator CS Fundamentals

    The industry-standard vector graphics software

    All-new Adobe® Illustrator® CS software is an essential tool for anyone who needs to express ideas visually in print, on the Web, and in any other medium. With powerful new 3D features, advanced typographical controls, smooth Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) integration, enhanced printing options, and faster performance, this powerful upgrade from Illustrator 10 helps you explore your creative vision and efficiently publish your artwork anywhere.

    A nice demo of some of Illustrator CS features is presented on the Adobe Website


    Illustrator is primarily a drawing tool, i.e., it manipulates objects (lines, circles, rectangles, etc.)

    Let's open Illustrator and examine some of its tools.

    GoLive CS Fundamentals

    Integrated tools for powerful Web design

    All-new Adobe® GoLive® CS software delivers what you need to create professional Web sites. Work with Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe Illustrator®, and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files directly within GoLive without switching between applications. Maximize your productivity with a creative Web design environment that suits your style. Design without compromise using powerful tools that support industry standards.

    Adobe presents some of its main features on the Adobe Website.

    GoLive is the Web Design program that I used to create almost all of my WWW materials, including this Mini Course.

    Let's use GoLive to create a sample Web Page.

    Consider the Suite Advantages of Adobe Creative Suite


    Edit In Photoshop [Magic wand, eraser, gradient tool, New fill layer], Get:

    Note: If we save the modified picture with the same name as the original, the enhancements are automatically registered in our GoLive editor.

    The same interoperability applies to all the Creative Suite programs. Such shared files are sometimes called "smart objects" because they "know" who made them and what the intent was.

    E. Protecting Your Computer - Norton SystemWorks

    What are the three greatest threats to your computer?

    To avoid viruses, it is essential to install anti-virus software like Norton SystemWorks

    Features of Norton SystemWorks

    Open Norton SystemWorks and review its options

    Second line of defense: System Firewalls

    Firewalls prevent outside users from accessing contents of your hard drive. Without them, your information is vulnerable.

    Third line of defense against pop-ups: New Browsers like Firefox

    An incredibly small, powerful browser for both PCs and Macs.

    It suppresses pop-ups.

    A final line of defense against spam (junk email)

    Updated February 8, 2005