Charles Ott, Instructor
This course is PC Repair and Troubleshooting. A major purpose of this course is to prepare you to take the CompTIA A+ Essentials certification exam, and the lectures are oriented to those requirements.
Text: Managing and Troubleshooting PCs by Mike Meyers and Scott Jernighan (McGraw Hill). You don't need to have this book, but you do need to have some book that is similar: a current text on preparing for the A+ exam. You cannot use an old book for this: the exam changes every year. Most large bookstores will have several choices of books that prepare you for this exam.
How the course will work: There will be a lecture each session based on one chapter in the Meyers and Jernighan book. (Other books will cover the same material — it's up to you to find the right chapter.) In other words, we will cover two chapters per week. There will be a quiz each session on the previous session's chapter, as well as a final exam in the last week.
Students are strongly cautioned that you must schedule quiet time to read the book for several hours each week. There is no other way to learn this material: you can't get it just from the lecture, it's very difficult to learn the right things from the Internet, and there is no homework because no kind of paperwork would be meaningful. There is no way to pass this class without sitting and studying.
CompTIA and many others offer practice exams, and all textbooks have practice questions. The quizzes and final will be based on these practice questions, and you will find them very helpful.
Grading: the quiz each session will have ten to fifteen multiple-choice questions, adding up to 100 points each, for a total of 22 quizzes. The final will be similar to the CompTIA exam and will have 100 questions. The final will be worth the same as four quizzes.
I will drop your lowest six grades at the end of the term, not counting the final. Your course grade will the weighted average of the best 16 quizzes and the final.
Chapters 2 and 3. Anatomy of a computer. Review of overall organization, introduction to the motherboard, processors and sockets.
Chapters 4 and 5. RAM, ROM, cache, BIOS, CMOS.
Chapters 6 and 7. Busses, expansion cards, motherboards.
Chapters 8 and 9. Power supplies and introduction to hard drives.
Chapters 10 and 11. More on hard drives and removable media.
Chapters 12 and 13. A detailed look at Windows.
Chapters 14 and 15. More Windows.
Chapters 17 and 18: Video and sound.
Chapter 19: Portable Computers. Chapter 21: Local Area Networks.
Chapter 22: The Internet. Chapter 23: Security.