I don't remember whether I sent off my wed assignment as promised or not,
but since I don't seem to have gotten it back, here it is. Apologies if
it turns up twice.
Student Web Page Assignment
~ Gain a little hands-on experience in building hypertext
~ Extend the course material by doing some outside research (valuable for
its own sake even if you are already a qualified Web jockey)
~ Gain respect for computer programmers by learning to follow seemingly
simple but incredibly nitpicky Unix commands which, if not followed
exactly, will necessitate hours of tedious debugging.
1. May 16. Respond to Stentor document (in class). This was going to flow
into the e-mail assignment but since I've moved the e-mail assignment
along a day, it is now just a warm-up exercise for its own sake. I'll
trust you for it.
2. By 5:00 pm May 23. Respond to Sculley film by e-mail and reply to one
other response. This is partly a warm-up to get the non-tekkie members of
the class used to e-mail, but also valuable as a way to see what the
quieter members of the class think.
3. May 23. Select one of the following research questions:
Group 1: What are the legal implications of the convergence of
Group 2: Should the Internet be censored?
Group 3: What are the major problems with Computer Assisted Instruction?
Group 4: How can hypertext be used in education?
Group 5: How can writing instruction be improved by using computer
Group 6: Is the information highway a serious threat to privacy?
Group 7: What are the legal problems of global communication?
Group 8: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Group Decision
Group 9: What are the implications of information technology for gender
Group 10: Should the government have the ability to de-encrypt all digital
signals? (Search for material on Clipper and DES (Data Encryption
Group 11: Will information technology deskill workers?
Group 12: Can electronic journals replace hard-copy journals for
distributing scholarly information?
I will circulate a sheet on which you can mark your first, second and
third preferences. From these I will construct research groups of no more
than five and no fewer than three people.
If several people already know they want to work together, mark your
choices anyway but also pencil in your provisional group at the bottom. I
will try to honour such arrangements but may not be able to.
4. May 25. Web tour for members of the class who want some help. Others can
go to the library to start their research.
I will return group lists and you can get started on your research.
Groups keep in touch by phone or e-mail to make sure that each member of
the group chooses a different source.
Research Procedure: Find one article that says something interesting and
useful about the topic. Do not use the articles in the textbook for this
class, or the textbook from another class in which you may be enrolled.
The idea is to find fresh sources.
Look for a reasonably detailed article from a reasonably scholarly source,
not the Calgary Herald or Newsweek. See below for bibliographic
resources. You may use either hardcopy or on-line documents. Don't use
whole books; they are too difficult to summarize.
Some bibliographical suggestions:
~ Follow references in the relevant chapters of the textbook. Many of
these point to seminal articles in the area.
~ Use the "Search Engines" feature from the U of C Home Page (which you
will come to automatically when you launch Lynx or Netscape) or click
Net Search (Netscape) to search key words.
~ For educational resources, search the ERIC (Educational Resources
Information Clearing-house) CD ROM in the library.
~ Use the on-line Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries searchable
index. From your top prompt, type "gopher," then follow the menus
through "University Libraries," "Connecting to Databases on the
Internet," and finally to CARL-Uncover."
~ Check "Webilography: A Guide to Internet Resources" at
http://www.lib.lsu.edu/weblio.html, and CMC Magazine at
~ A few bibliographies will be available in my Home Page
(http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dabrent), although this page is still very
much "under construction" and is not yet very rich in resources.
~ But: Don't get "internet tunnel vision." Remember that there are
many useful print resources in the library. The people at the
information desk can point you to useful indexes of management, social
science and educational resources.
5. May 30. Groups will have some class time to check in with each other if
6. June 1. Bring summary assignments to class in hard copy and exchange.
Summary Assignment: Write a brief summary of the article according
(roughly) to the following formula:
Summarized by (your name)
Author's major argument in one sentence
Three to five sentences summarizing the main supporting arguments or
Giuliano, V. E. (1982). The mechanization of office work, In Dunlop,
C. and Kling, R., Eds. Computerization and Controversy: Value
Conflicts and Social Choices. Boston: Academic Press.
Summarized by Jane Brown
Giuliano argues that information technology will vastly improve the
efficiency and working conditions in the modern office. He claims
that the "pre-industrial" style of office in which individual workers
do their jobs more or less independently is only efficient for small
offices. For larger offices, it is often replaced by the "industrial-
age office" that functioned more like an assembly line. Jobs are
chopped into small portions and each worker only carries out a portion
of the job. Only the "information-age" office, in which a centralized
database makes information available to everybody when they need it,
can allow workers to function efficiently in a large organization
without turning the office into an assembly line.
7. Between June 1 and June 8. Create individual .sum and .bio files.
a. Log onto your account.
b. Type mkdir public_html <enter> This step creates a subdirectory for
your files. The Web server will automatically look for files in a
directory named this way. Note: That's an underbar in public_html,
not a hyphen. Be sure to shift the hyphen key when you type it.
c. Type chmod a+rx public_html <enter> This step sets read and execute
access for all. If you miss this step, anyone who tries to link to
your files will get a stern "Forbidden!" warning instead of what you
want them to see.
d. Type cd public_html <entre> This step logs you onto the new directory
that you have created. Your prompt should now look something like
e. Create two files that begin with your username. If your username is
jbrown, call them jbrown.sum and jbrown.bio.
Type pico ./jbrown.sum (or emacs jbrown,sum if you prefer the Emacs
editor. The ./ part is especially important as it forces pico to save
the file into the current directory. Otherwise it will put it into
your home directory, where the web server won't be able to find it.
Make sure that you use a forward slash (/), usually found below the ?,
and not a backslash (\).
Type in your summary. See Assignment and Examples page for format.
If you are brave and/or experienced, you can upload your word
processor file directly to save typing. See p. 2 of your USING AIX
handout, "Uploading Textfiles."
Exit the editor using ctrl-x (or ctrl-c ctrl-c in emacs). It will ask
"save changes?" Say yes. It should ask if you want to save
./jbrown.sum. Press <enter> to do that.
Do the same to create jbrown.bio. Type in a one or two paragraph
biographical note about yourself. Include your major, any interesting
personal background (where you're from, hobbies, etc.), your computer
experience if any, why you chose this topic, etc. Include your e-mail
address. Write in the third person, eg:
Jane Brown ([log in to unmask]) is a third-year Education
major. She was born is Saskatoon but moved to Calgary when she
was five years old. She is particularly interested in primary
education, and wants to explore how computer applications might be
used to help children with learning disabilities... (etc)
f. When you have created the two files, type ls <enter> to list the files
in your public_html directory. If you don't see them, call for help.
g. Important last step: Type chmod a+rx *.*. In step c you gave read
and execute permission for the public_html directory. Here you are
giving read and execute permission for the files that you have placed
in this directory. You must do this step at the end, after you have
created the files, and repeat it whenever you create new files.
8. June 8. Write an "integrating document" with your group that pulls all of
your sources into a more or less coherent discussion of the topic which
will eventually have hypertext links to your individual files. The
following example uses the three works discussed in class on May 23 to
explore the question "What changes to organizational structure will be
caused by information technology?" Note: This is only an example! Don't
use material directly from the textbook!
In this example, underlined text will eventually be replaced by hypertext
What changes to organizational structure will be caused by information
Joanne Jones (These names will be linked to the .bio files that you
created in step 7e)
Authorities differ greatly about how organizational structure will be
affected by information technology. In The Mechanization of Office
Work, Vincent Giuliano takes a basically optimistic approach, arguing
that intellectual assembly lines will be replaced by a more
individualistic approach to office structure in which everyone has
access to all of the data needed to do the job. Judith Perrolle,
however, is less optimistic about how the information-age office might
be structured. In Intellectual Assembly Lines, she discusses the
possibility that human rational processes may become devalued as they
are transferred to the computer. Automation, rather than provision of
needed information, may become the main role of the computer in the
information-age office. In What Do Computers Do? Rule and Attewell
attempt to survey the ways that computers are actually used in
cases, the addition of computers did not really change what was being
done, but some organizations used them to get more fine-grained
information on the running of the organization.
The main issue in computing technology seems to be whether it will be
used to exert more control from the top or whether it will be used to
decentralize control by giving individual employees more freedom of
action. We think that the companies who use IT to empower workers
rather than to monitor them will be making the best use of their human
Braver groups may want to do this simultaneously with Step 9, but it is a
lot easier to get your prose right before you start trying to jockey the
hypertext links into place.
9. June 13 (and 15 if necessary) Begin encoding the Integrating Document
into HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language).
The individual summaries and student biographical notes will be hot-linked
into the integrating document. If you aren't comfortable writing HTML
(not many people are), you may want to write out your document in hard
copy and show it to me before writing it directly into the server. The
instructions below assume that you have reached the stage of actually
putting the document on line.
Note: To see what actual source files look like, press backslash (\) in
Lynx or pull down "View" and click "View
Detailed instructions for writing html codes will be handed out on a
a. Select one member of your group in whose public_html directory the
document will be placed.
b. Log in to your account and type cd public_html <enter>.
c. Type pico ./group1.html (or group2, group3, etc) <enter>. Type in
your document with the appropriate html codes.
d. Type control-x <enter> (or control-c control-c in emacs) to exit and
save the files.
e. Type chmod a+rx *.* to give read and execute permission for the file
you have created.
f. To see whether this works, enter lynx or netscape and go to URL
http://www.ucalgary.ca/~jbrown/group1.html. (Substitute the directory
in which you actually placed the document for jbrown.
Tip: if you are using Lynx, you can type ! <enter> to temporarily get
back to your prompt. From there you can launch pico or emacs, tinker
with the files, and then type exit <enter> to get back to Lynx where
you left off. This saves considerable time when debugging.
g. Tell me where you have placed these documents so that I can link them
into the master home page.
10. June 20. If necessary, continue debugging documents to get them to work.
Things to watch out for in particular:
a. Are all the individual files in the right directories (public_html)?
b. Did all members of the group set access permissions for both the
directory (step 7c) and files (step 7g)?
c. Did you set access permission for the group.html file after you
d. Do all the commands balance in your document? For every <a> is there
a </a>? For every <h2> is there a </h2>?
e. Are you using forward slashes (/) not backslashes (\) throughout?
11. June 22. By this time, if all has gone well, you can admire the result at
References: <[log in to unmask]>