Introduction to IT and computing
This course material is intended for introductory and preparatory courses on IT, computing and computers. We created this material in relation to a new course (part of the course TIG015 Information Technology and Information Systems) we teach at Göteborg University. This material is used in the Information Technology part of the course.
We believe that this course material is suitable for introductory courses on IT and computing as it covers the basics:
- Computers and hardware
- Digital representation - how binary works
- Introduction to programming and software - a peek at what programming is
- Working in the shell - An introduction to Bash and working in the terminal
- Networks and protocols - How computers communicate over networks, and what they say to each other
- Network command and tools - commands and tools for computer networking and communication
- Using text editors - What is plain text, and how do we edit plain text files?
- Introduction to Bash scripting - How to write small scripts to solve various tasks
- HTML - The very basics of writing web pages in HTML
- Privacy on the web - What to think about with regards to your personal data and privacy
As all course material found on this wiki, this is a living document and subject to improvements and additions. If you use this material, be aware that we work with it actively and might fix bugs, typos and other errors, as well as adding new material to it. If you are reading a page you opened a few days ago, please reload it before continuing reading it, because it might have changed (hopefully to the better).
Students in secondary high school, higher vocational education or university. It aims to lay a solid foundation in applied IT, computing and working with computers.
The course material is targeted to prepare students for courses in computing, programming, databases, and systems administration.
We are sure that anyone who is interested in computers, IT and the internet could use this material for self-studies as well.
We don't see any formal educational requirements before taking a course using this course material, but we recommend students and teachers to prepare by installing some software and computing environments, in order to get started quickly with the lectures and exercises.
Most examples are taken from the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution and Bash. We recommend installing Ubuntu on a virtual machine, so that you have an environment similar to that of the examples throughout the course. For instance, you could install VirtualBox from Oracle and install Ubuntu 18.04 on it, so that you can run Ubuntu on top of your own operating system.
We have divided the course material into various modules which we call chapters. The list of chapters here is our suggested order for using this course material.
- Introduction to the course material
- Setting up your computer environment
- Computers and hardware
- Digital representation - Binary
- HTML (page is included from Introduction_to_HTML)
Chapter completeness (for teachers)
|Chapter||Meta section||Text and
|Introduction to the course material||NO meta||4 pages||6 (Swe) "live" videos||N/A||N/A|
|Setting up your computer environment||NO meta||3 pages||N/A
|Computers and hardware||NO meta||11 pages||4 + 1 + 4 videos||2 slides
(26 + 3 p)
|Digital_representation_-_Binary||NO meta||11 pages||8 + 5 videos||2 video (20+14 p)
Summary (14 p)
Workshop (23 p)
|Software_and_programming_introduction||NO meta||15 pages
of older page)
|6 (Eng) videos||Summary (21 p)
video (26 p)
|Yes (6 pages)|
|Working_in_the_shell_-_Introduction_to_Bash||NO meta||65 pages||49 (Eng) videos||Summary (89 pages)
(157 p, 14 slides)
|No new exercises|
Several other exerc.
TODO: More exercises
|Networks_and_protocols||NO meta||12 pages||12 (Eng) videos||Summary (14 pages)
Video (40 p)
Workshop (44 p)
Considered good enough
|Network_tools_and_commands||NO meta||9 pages
of other page)
|9 videos recorded
some old videos
|Video slides (35 pages)
and some old slides
Summary (30 p)
Workshop slides(20 p)
|4 new pages|
and a few old exercises
|Editor||NO meta||5 pages||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Using_a_text_editor||NO meta||6 pages||N/A
only for reading
only for reading
|Introduction_to_Bash_scripting||NO meta||12 pages||11 (Eng) videos||Workshop slides (24 pages)
Video slides (38 pages)
|HTML||NO meta||15 pages,
including inclusion of
TODO: before 7/10
|1 summary slides (21 pages)
TODO: videos etc before 7/10
TODO: before 7/10
More, or good enough™?
|5 (Eng) videos||Summary slides (32 pages)
Video slides (20 pages)
|Sum||1/13 modules have meta sections||~165
A4 slide pages
more than 80 questions
- Green: Done
- Orange: OK
- Red: TODO/Missing
- Chapter - The topic/module name, e.g. "Introduction to Bash"
- Meta - An expandable section aimed for teachers, explaining the pedagogic thoughts behind the page
- Pages - The number of A4 pages when printing the wiki page
- Videos - The number of video files (one video lecture can be divided in several files to keep each video file shorter)
- Slides - Presented with the number of slide pages - Slides come in three flavors:
- Video slides - Used for the video lecture screen casts
- Workshop slides - some modules/topics have workshops, the manuscripts of those are here
- In-classroom summary slides - used in the classroom as a wrap-up
- Exercises - The number of questions or exercise tasks (sometimes also number of pages when printed)
- Exercises is almost always on a dedicated page with a name with the suffix " - Exercises")
- Topics that have no exercises, e.g. "Setting up your environment", "Editor", are marked as N/A (not applicable)
You can download the Swedish compendium (suitable as supplementary literature for this course material) here:
- Datorkunskap för IT-studenter.pdf (102 pages)
Recommended course literature
We recommend one of two books as main literature for the course:
- Kernighan, Brian W. 2017. Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS, ISBN: 9780691176543. Some examples of online bookstores selling the book:
- Kernighan, Brian W. 2011. D Is for Digital: What a Well-Informed Person Should Know about Computers and Communications, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 9781463733896. Some examples of online bookstores selling the book:
The books are basically the same, but the first one is newer and updated. Either one will work fine, though.
Where to go next
The next page is Introduction