fall 2006
first lab
thu sep 7, 2006


This lab shows you some tools on the computers in the lab and some (hopefully!) interesting things on the Internet. The questions asked are intended to give you things to think about. You do not have to send me your answers to those questions. HOWEVER, YOU DO NEED TO SEND ME MAILS, as instructed in PART I.

A HOMEWORK assignment will be posted shortly on the class web page that requires you to use the skills and tools you learn or review below, so BE SURE TO ASK IN THE LAB IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANY STEPS!!!!

PART I: first day on-line

In this part, we start with a basic introduction to the tools that we will be using this semester for the Internet-based assignments. We review the basics of working with Microsoft Windows, using a simple text editor and how to use the mouse to move text around.

  1. Microsoft Windows
    1. Find the Accessories menu (Start -> Programs -> Accessories). Start the Calculator accessory program:
      1. Minimize the window by clicking on its minimize () button, restore the window by clicking the appropriate button on the task bar.
      2. Name the commands listed on the Calculator program's menu bar.
      3. What are the choices under the View option? What happens when you switch between settings?
    2. Start the Notepad accessory program:
      1. Switch back and forth between Notepad and Calculator.
      2. Maximize the window using the maximize button, and then restore it.
      3. Move or resize the windows so that both are programs are side by side.
      4. Use Notepad to type a few lines about yourself.
      5. Save the file on the desktop.
      6. Make some changes to the file and save it again with another name. (Make sure you understand the difference between Save and Save As...)

  2. Web browsing
    1. Use Netscape Navigator to go to the course home page:
    2. Now open Internet Explorer and look at the same page. Note any differences in the way the page is displayed.
    3. Click on the syllabus link and find the link called A.3 internet lab. There you will see an on-line copy of this lab (which will help you with the next section...)

  3. Cut and Paste

    The location of the course web page is But the location is rather long, so rather than type it manually, we will use the mouse to copy text:

    • Position the mouse on the left side of the "http://..."
    • Hold down the left button on the mouse.
    • With the left button in a down position, sweep the cursor over the whole line from left to right. You should see the line become highlighted as you move the mouse over it.
    • When you reach the end of the line, let go of the left mouse button and press <CTRL>-C (Control and C buttons at the same time)
    • Open a new Notepad window.
    • Position the cursor in the Notepad window and press <CTRL>-V. A copy of the location of the course Web page should appear.
    • Now try to do the same thing in the Web browser. Now click in the field (white area) near the top of the window that is used for typing in the location of a Web page and use <CTRL>-V to paste in the location of the CC 3.12 web site.

  4. Email (part I)
    1. If you don't have email, go to and set up an email id.
    2. Read your incoming mail. By now you should have an email confirmation of your subscription to mailing list.

  5. AIM
    1. If you don't have an AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) screen name, go to and set up a screen name (click on Don't have a screen name? Get one FREE).

    2. My screen name is agentprof.
      Try to send me a message!

  6. Email (part II)
    1. Send me a short email message. My email address is:
      Your message can just say "hello prof sklar". I will reply to you.

  7. Email (part III)
    1. Create a file in Notepad and put the following information in it:
      • Your full name, your email address and your AIM screen name
      • Your declared (or anticipated) major and class standing (e.g., Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
      • What computers and operating systems do you have experience with (e.g., PC running windows 95, or Mac running OS-X)?
      • How would you characterize yourself when it comes to computers (e.g., confident, comfortable, clueless, I can manage, etc.)?
      • Have you used computers in a BC lab before?
      • List the software you have used before this class (e.g., web browsers, email, microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, etc.)
      • Have you ever done any computer programming? If yes, using what languages and what for?
      • What do you think you will use computers for after this class is over? After college?
      Save the file on the desktop.
    2. Now email me the file as an attachment (in your mail window, find the paper clip icon).
    3. CC yourself on the message, so you will have a copy of the file too.
    4. When you are done, Delete the file from the Desktop by dragging it to the Recycle bin. To make sure the file is really gone, empty the recycle bin.

PART II: exploring the internet

  1. URLs, IP addresses, DNS names, tracert
    For this part, you will use utilities at the web site When you go to that site, you will see a number of places to type in web addresses and buttons to click on.

    1. First, go to the section marked DNS lookup.
      Type in the box and click on Lookup. (Leave A selected in the drop-down list).
      What do you see? Can you find the numeric IP address of

    2. Second, go to the section marked Ping. Ping is a handy network utility that will test if a host is alive. It will also give you statistics about how long it takes to send a message to a host.
      Type in the box and click on Ping.
      How long does it take to get a reply from google?

    3. Third, go to the section marked Traceroute. Traceroute is a handy network utility that will show you the route that messages take to get from you to a host.
      Type in the box and click on Traceroute.
      How many "hops" does the message take?

    4. What happens if you type in a DNS name incorrectly? In your web browser, try going to
      http://www.brooklyn.cuny.e or
      Try to ping them in dnsstuff.
    5. What happens if you type in an IP address directly, instead of a DNS name? In your web browser, try going to
      Try looking up that IP address in DNS Lookup. What information can you find there?
    6. What if you type the IP address in incorrectly? In your web browser, try going to
      Try pinging

  2. Visualizing the Internet
    1. Go to:
      Map B shows the number of domain names in New York City. The larger the bars, the more domain names there are in a region. Approximately which section of NYC has the most domain names?
    2. Go to
      What are some of the other types of graphics available? Can you find the drawings of the early internet (ARPANET) topology from 1969 and 1977?
  3. Participatory Web
    1. Go to:
      This is one of a growing number of applications on the web that take advantage of the large number of internet users to solve problems collectively. How do you think the imagelabeler works?