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Microcomputer Service and
Maintenance 1
Course Syllabus



Courses: CET1171 and EEV0851
Instructor: Prof. Brian Robinson

Office Hours: TBA, in Room 6359
Department Office:Room 6306
Department Telephone: (305)237-2226



Course Description: Introduction to the service and maintenance techniques for personal computers. Intended to address the non-technical student who has a need to know more about personal computers as well as the technical student who is seeking college and private industry certifications. Topics include general description of the PC including a complete component inventory. The student should be able to identify, properly handle, and describe each component and subsystem of the PC. A.S. degree credit only.

Coverage: The Course covers the design, construction, maintenance and servicing of the IBM based microcomputer. Students will study the BIOS, CMOS, I/O, CPU, memory, System Bus, System Resources, Industry Standard Architecture, expansion adapters, video; safety and tool handling; identification and function of computer components; the assembly and disassembly of Intel based computers; component installation and setup; hard drive installation and setup.

Curriculum Outline:
  • Lecture #1: Definition of a Computer - define computer, modern digital electronic computer, special and general purpose computer, classes of general purpose computer, microcomputer, microprocessor, machine language and data, information, files, etc.

  • Lecture #2: Electicity - define electricity, potential, static electricity, electrostatic discharge, anti-static tools and procedures for their usage, etc.

  • Lecture #3: Number systems and Units of Measure - define bit, byte, word, double word, quad word, metric and binary prefixes, cover the binary and hexadecimal number systems, etc.

  • Lecture #4: Transistors - define and describe transistors, describe how they are combined to form logic gates, define and describe basic logic gates, describe how logic gates are combined to form circuits that can perform complex computing tasks, etc.

  • Lecture #5: MPC '97 Specification - define and describe the basic concept of the MPC specifications, use these to form a complete parts list for designing and building complete working PC's, brief introductory description of each component of the PC, etc.

  • Lecture #6: Buses - define and describe the basic concept of the circuit bus, cover the foundational buses of the PC, define and describe the basic concepts of the PC motherboard, define and describe the fundamental differences between the AT and the ATX platforms, etc.

  • Lecture #7: CPU's - define and describe the basic concept and functionality of the microprocessor, define, describe and cover the evolution of the Intel x86 family of microprocessors from the 8088 to the first Pentium, etc.

  • Lecture #8: RAM - define and describe the basic concept and functionality of the system main memory, define, describe and cover the evolution of the memory technologies from the chips used in the first PC up to modern dual channel DDR2, etc.

  • Lecture #9: BIOS - define and describe the basic concept and functionality of the system BIOS, define and describe the BIOS hardware and software components and cover the evolution of the read only memory technologies from the basic ROM chip up to the modern dual BIOS EEPROM chip based systems, etc.

  • Lecture #10: Component Identification #1 - define and describe the external expansion connectors and their associated peripheral devices and expansion bus technologies, etc.

  • Lecture #11: Component Identification #2 - define and describe the internal expansion connectors and their associated peripheral devices and expansion bus technologies, etc.

  • Lecture #12: Magnetic Storage Technologies - define and describe the basic concepts of the magnetic storage technologies from the first floppy disk drives and media up to the modern EIDE/SATA hard drives, cover identification, capacity calculation, installation, etc.

  • Lecture #13: Disassemble/Reassemble a PC - define and describe the basic methodology of disassembling a PC, cover and practice hands on methods of disassembly and reassembly of the PC, etc.

  • Lecture #14: Design a Custom PC - The student will apply the knowledge and skills learned during the course to design custom PC's targeted for specific missions, etc.

Course Skills & Objectives: Students shall learn to assemble and disassemble computers; perform basic computer maintenance and service; develop basic troubleshooting skills; learn to use basic tools; learn the associated terminology, acronyms and their meanings; and complete the Course with a final grade of C or higher.

A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC, 5th Ed. By Jean Andrews

Recommended Reading:
DOS: The Complete Reference, 3rd Ed. by Kris Jamsa ISBN:0078819040
How Computers Work, 6th Ed. By Ron White and Timothy Downs ISBN:0789725495
Upgrading and Repairing PC's, 17th Ed. By Scott Mueller ISBN:0789734044
Pocket PCRef, 12th Ed. By Thomas Glover & Millie Young ISBN:1885071388

Required: Toolkit with #2 Phillips screwdriver; Anti-static (ESD) wrist strap.

Lab Notebook: Students will compile a Lab Notebook containing: (A) Class Notes; (B) Lab Exercises; (C) Photocopies of charts/info; (D) Worksheets; (E) Web printouts.

Grading Scale: Grades are based upon the following: A=90-100% B=80-89% C=70-79% D=60-69% F=59% and below

PSAV Students: Students enrolled in EEV 0851 are required to complete 35 hours of additional computer assignments and exercises in the Campus Computer Courtyard, the Homestead Workshop, or at an approved alternate location. Assignments shall constitute 5% of the total grade.

Class Grade Computation: The final grade for the class will be based on the following:
    3 pts/class X 16 classes = 48 + 2 free points = Worth up to 50 points
    Pop quiz scores may be included in the attendance grade.
FINAL EXAM Part #1 (Written): Fundamental Computer Concepts and Terminology
    Safety and ESD; Computer Basics; Hardware Identification; Personal Computer
    History, terminology and Design; Basic Computer Operations
    Worth 25 pts
FINAL EXAM Part #2 (Practical): Technical Skills
    Computer Disassembly, Component Inventory,
    Reassembly, CMOS Configuration, Hard Drive Setup
    Worth 25 pts
TOTAL: 100 pts

Course Policy:
I. Attendance: Lectures and labs contain material which is not contained in the textbook so class attendance is required. Students who miss more than Three (3) classes without prior arrangement with the professor will be dropped one (1) grade letter or may be purged from class.

II. Grades: College policy for dropping a course is followed: if you do not drop a failing course, you will receive an F instead of a W. To receive an Incomplete instead of an F, a student must (a) have an acceptable excuse; (b) be passing the Course; (c) make written arrangements prior to the Final Exam; and (d) complete the missing work outside of class (an Incomplete does not entitle the Student to re-take the course).

III. Conduct: Students are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and professionally, to participate in lab work and class discussions, complete the Reading Assignments, and assist classmates with acquiring skills.

IV. Electronic Communication: All forms of electronic communication devices must be turned OFF prior to the start of each class. Interruptions caused by cellular telephones or beepers are considered obnoxious and will not be tolerated at all. The first infraction will result in an immediate loss of 10pts = 1 LETTER GRADE. Repeated infractions will result in a meeting with the department chairperson or Dean for the purposes of expulsion from the class.