Never confuse education with intelligence, you can have a PhD and still be an idiot.
- Richard Feynman -

Introduction to IT and computing

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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).

Intended audience

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.

Chapter completeness (for teachers)

Chapter Meta section Text and
(number of)
(num 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
Won't fix
Won't fix
Computers and hardware NO meta 11 pages 4 + 1 + 4 videos 2 slides
(26 + 3 p)
13 questions
(3 pages)
Digital_representation_-_Binary NO meta 11 pages 8 + 5 videos 2 video (20+14 p)
Summary (14 p)
Workshop (23 p)
7 pages,
8 exercises
Software_and_programming_introduction NO meta 15 pages
(including inclusion
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.
pages linked
TODO: More exercises
before 27/9
Networks_and_protocols NO meta 12 pages 12 (Eng) videos Summary (14 pages)
Video (40 p)
Workshop (44 p)
~10 exercises
3 pages
Considered good enough
Network_tools_and_commands NO meta 9 pages
(incl. inclusion
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
23 questions
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
8 pages
~18 exercises
Introduction_to_Bash_scripting NO meta 12 pages 11 (Eng) videos Workshop slides (24 pages)
Video slides (38 pages)
Summary slides
before 7/10
10 pages,
6 exercises
good enough™
HTML NO meta 15 pages,
including inclusion of
other page
NO videos
TODO: before 7/10
1 summary slides (21 pages)
TODO: videos etc before 7/10
NO exercises
TODO: before 7/10
Privacy_on_the_web Short 3 pages
More, or good enough™?
5 (Eng) videos Summary slides (32 pages)
Video slides (20 pages)
7 pages,
~20 exercises
Sum 1/13 modules have meta sections ~165
video files
A4 slide pages
many 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)


Compendium (Swedish)

You can download the Swedish compendium (suitable as supplementary literature for this course material) here:

Recommended course literature

We recommend one of two books as main literature for the course:

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

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