Virtual Lab


Supplementary Instructions (UW Computing)

The following virtual lab tasks are kept simple so as not to interfere with your responsibilities and weekly assignments for Geography 450 as such. Once you are sitting in front of the computer screen, these lab tasks should each not take more than somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. The lab tasks are designed to build upon your already existing library and computer skills and to support the objectives for this class. If you have any questions about any of these tasks, do NOT hesitate to Email me at econgeog@u.

Those of you who have done all this before and are pretty proficient at all or some of the following tasks, please reach out and offer your Email address to a fellow classmate with the promise that you will try to answer his or questions about the specific task. Advice is often easier to accept if it comes from peers rather than from the prof. Thanks.

  1. Task: Introduce yourself to your classmates and the prof.

    Due: By the end of the day of the second class meeting.

  2. Task: Activate your very own Web Page [which the University has already prepared for you and all you have to do is bring it to life, i.e. type in a "W"; should not take more than two minutes]. If you do NOT yet have a dante Email account at this University: see instructor for further directions. If you misplaced your password, click here!
    Assuming you have a dante Email account and remember your login and password, you can activate your "public_html" or Web subdirectory
    1. On the way to your E-mail Inbox, stop at "main menu" (which starts with "E" for "Email" and ends with "L" for "Logout"), and type "0" for "other". A new screen and menu will come up.

    2. To create/activate your public_html directory, and thereby automatically become the owner of an already prepared "home page", find the line "W - webdev: Work on Your Web Site" and type type "W".

    3. You will read: "The option you have selected requires a separate web development directory. Do you want to enable this directory right now?
      Please answer Y (for yes) or N (for no)." Answer: "Y"

    4. A public_html subdirectory will be magically and automatically created which will contain, in the future, all of your Web site directories, files and images. Right now, it contains only a "starter page" provided free by C&C. This directory is linked to the University-sponsored "students" server; therefore,
      1. your URL-address (Universal Resource Locator) is: http://students/
        [yourlogin is your Email login name]

      2. You can now load a browser (Netscape or MSExplorer) on the computer you are working on, type in (or copy and paste) your URL (above) and admire your Home Page. Congratulations!

    Due: Friday afternoon of your first week. Send me an Email if things do not work out. [Remember, I have your login names, therefore can find your Webpage, and want to establish a Geog.450 Member Directory over the weekend. Thanks for your cooperation].

  3. Task: Make the "Introduction", which you contributed via the Forum/Discussion page, a part of your own Web system:

    1. "Highlight" and "copy" (by moving the mouse to "Edit" and clicking on "Copy") your introduction in the password-protected discussion page.

    2. Go to your Dante Menu (E through L) and, this time, select "S" for "shell". This will get you to your "root directory" in which both your Email and your Web directories are housed. There will appear a "prompt".

    1. Type in: cd public_html to get to your Web directory [the "cd" stands for "change directory"].
    2. At the next prompt, type in: mkdir 450 [in order to make a new subdirectory for Geog.450].
    3. Then: type in: cd 450 [to go to this 450 subdirectory].
    4. At the new prompt, type in: pico intro [pico is the text reader we use] An empty screen will appear.
    5. Use the mouse to move the arrow to "Edit", click on "Paste" and your statement should appear as a text file (called "intro"). Just for the fun of it: Run it through the speller ("T") to see whether you can detect any spelling errors. Then close this intro file by typing in: ctrl X , Answer the Question: "Save the buffer"? "Yes" and your file is back in the directory.
    6. The "URL" (Uniform Resource Locator or Web address) for your introduction will be:
      [or, if you have already made an HTML-file out of it:]. If you wish, go to Netscape or Explorer and have a look. Congratulations to your second page.

      I will connect all class members' 450 subdirectory index page to a class list which can be accessed through this address:
      This address will be password protected. Go into this page and click on your name: Your 450 index page should open and contain the clickable intro file. Gut gemacht!

  4. Task: Go back into your "intro" file and make editorial changes.
  5. Web pages are ideally "living documents" having the advantage that they can be changed, corrected and expanded so that they reflect intermittent learning of the page owner. Let's use our "intro" for that purpose and make sure that it reflects the changes we have made to our perception of and approach to Geography 450. Go through these simple steps:

    1. Go back back to the "S" (systems prompt) in your Menu. Type in: cd public_html/450 [= you are returning to your 450 subdirectory]
      Type in: pico intro ["pico" is the "text editor" we are using to write directly into our files]
      Your introduction should open: make corrections and changes which you had planned. CRTL "T" allows you to spell-check your writing. You may also want to contemplate expanding your statement, especially if that was suggested in your instructor's response.

    2. Before you close the file: Do you want to learn and apply some (very) simple "HTML" [Hypertext Mark-Up Language or, better, "Have the Time of My Life"] code and thereby improve the appearance of your Introduction? If yes: remember, all HTML code is imbedded in these "pointed" brackets which look like this: < and > Now, take your "intro" file and do the following three "things":
      1. At the top of your statement: add <HTML> in these brackest
        and at the bottom: add </HTML>
      2. between all paragraphs add: <P> in pointed brackets [= that separates the paragraphs]
      3. Add an <H2> (in brackets) before and an </H2> (in brackets) after your topic or heading which may be My Introduction
      That's all for the time being. Close your file (CTRL X; "Yes", "Enter") and your revised file is saved. Now all we have to do is tell the browser that we have changed the original "intro" (text only) file into HTML, thus, type at the prompt: mv intro intro.html [thereby change the name of the file to designate it as an HTML file]. Well done. Sneak a glimpse at your introduction file with the new look. Well done!

      To get out of your directories, just type exit. ;-)

  6. Task: Create a Table of Contents in your 450 Subdirectory and call the file "index.html".
  7. Actually, you do not have to create one, since there is a template waiting for you which you could use as a start:
    The template has this address: Once you have loaded it onto your browser, go to the "View" button at the top of your browser window, then to "source" or "page source" which brings up the HTML-coded background page for this template (or for any other page you want to learn from). Now we copy and paste this page into a new file we want to call "index.html" in our dante public_html/450 subdirectory. In Netscape, we do this by highlighting the total page and then copy by pressing the "ctrl" and the "c" keys. In Explorer, we simply go into "Edit" and "Copy", just as we always do when we copy and paste.

    Having done that, open your dante subdirectories. At the "S" prompt, type in: cd public_html/450 to open the 450 subdirectory. At the prompt type: pico index.html. An empty page opens up. Paste the template into this new file. Close your file: ctrl X, "Y", Enter. Go to the membership list and click on your name: the template should show up. Take a piece of paper and identify all the changes you want to make to the page (especially name and email address). Then go back to the file (since you are still in the subdirectory: pico index.html) and study the whole file carefully (there are lots of inserted explanations) and find the places where you want to make changes. Later close again: Ctrl X, "Y", Enter. Good Luck! Let me know if something does not work!

  8. Task: Beyond HTML

  9. Task: Searching for Internet Information: Searching the Search Engines

    Your Discretion!

Future Tasks (Order and Due Dates have yet to be determined)

Your Discretion!

  • GEOBASE etc.
    (2) Run a search in one of these library data bases: "GeoBase" or "Expanded Academic Index" with keyword(s) related to your field of interests.
    (a) Which data base did you use: (2a)
    (b) Which keyword(s) did you use: (b)
    (c) Number of references produced: (c)
    (d) Name one reference: (d)
    (e) Send the most useful looking references to your E-mail account for future use! (e)

  • EconLit

  • Use of Search Engine

  • Newspaper
    (3) Find an article relevant to Econ Geog in today's Washington Post (UWIN)
    Article: (3)

  • Document Credibility
    (1) Identify some criteria which you plan to use to evaluate the credibility and quality of the document(s) (books, articles and/or electronic documents) which you will select for tomorrow or for your project later this quarter:

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