CSE9001 Computer technology - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Andy Cheng


Caulfield : Andy Cheng


This unit provides an introduction to the major components of hardware including the CPU, storage devices, input and output units, number system and code sets. Major topics covered include

  • Operating systems: historical development, need for and the function of typical a multiuser operating system; input-output handling; protection and security; memory management; resource scheduling; utilities.
  • Using operating systems: features of terminals, command language, commands and macros,text editors, language processors.
  • Data communications: remote I/O devices and networks, codes, hardware, telephone networks,packet-switched networks, digital data networks, local area networks, protocols, open systems interconnection, internet and telecommunications.


At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • The file management system and the different file types of a typical operating system
  • Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and the use of the Internet
  • The architecture and operation of a simple digital computer
  • Coding systems and the representation of data
  • The management of primary memory in paged virtual memory operating systems
  • Direct access storage devices (disks)
  • Printer technologies and other peripheral devices
  • Processes and process scheduling techniques
  • Data communications including TCP/IP and other standards-based networking techniques,
  • The factors driving the evolution of modern operating systems


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

This unit is a core unit for the Diploma in Computing and the Master in Applied Information Technology. If you are doing some other courses, you should check with your course coordinator to ensure you will gain credit into your degree program for this unit.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Englander, Irv: The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software, John Wiley.

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

There is no required software.

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 10 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

  • Silberschatz and Galvin 4th Ed (1994) Operating System Concepts, Addison Wesley
  • Stallings W. (1992) Operating Systems, Macmillan
  • Lister A.M. & Eager R.D. 4th Ed (1989) Fundamentals of Operating Systems, Macmillan
  • Stallings W. (any edition) Data and Computer Communications, Prentice-Hall
  • Capron H.L (any edition) Tools for an Information Age, Addison-Wesley

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for CSE9001 are:

The unit information outlining administrative arrangements for the unit.

The unit website URL will be made available in the first lecture.

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 Intro to unit
2 Intro to GUI
3 Structure of a Computer
4 Disk Operations
5 Data Formats & Representations
6 File Systems
7 Processes
8 Memory Management
9 Current Technologies
10 Data Communications
Non teaching week
11 Networking
12 Computer Technology Future
13 Review & Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 3 assignments and a Unix commands competency test for a total weighting of 30% and a Unit Test and examination with a combined weighting of 70%.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • Satisfactorily complete three sets of exercises (3x5 marks),and a written report (15 marks) - otain > 40% of the practical assessments
  • Obtain > 50% of the final exam marks
  • Obtain > 50% of the overall marks

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

A = assignment 1 reweighted to 100
B = unit test reweighted to 100
C = assignment 2 reweighted to 100
D = UNIX commands competency test reweighted to 100
E = assignment 3 reweighted to 100
F = examination mark out of 100

Final score = 0.05A + 0.15B + 0.05C + 0.05D + 0.15E + 0.55F

(Final score may be modified subject to policy on passing the unit, as outlined above )

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Technical Report around week 4 5%
Practical Web Exercise around week 7 5 %
Practical Unis Exercise around week 10 5 %
Technical Report around week 11 15 %
Final Exam Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 70 %

Assignment specifications will be made available in the lecture and the subject web site.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic and paper submissions. On-campus Students submit the assignment to Assignment Collection Boxes on Level 6 of Building H by the due dates stated in the assignment specfications, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Do not email submissions, unless prior arrangements had been made with the lecturer. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Late assignments will not be accepted unless an extension is granted (see below).

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Students are encouraged to contact their tutor for assistance at any time via email, or during consultation hours. A discussion group will be made available on the unit web site (URL to be advised).


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Notices regarding the subject will be presented during the lectures and will generally also be placed on the unit web site. Check this regularly. Failure to read the notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr Siaw Cheng
Assistant Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 32511
Fax +61 3 990 55157

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 13, 2006