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This lab is from a previous version of CS 125. Click here to access the latest version.
Ready to Start
Let’s get started! The goal of our first lab is to ensure that you have all the tools you need set up to succeed in CS 125. We’ll make sure you can access the forum and participate in lecture, look at how to do the online homework, and begin preparing you to work on our first MP which will be released later this week. You’ll also prepare your development environment by installing Java and IntelliJ.
1. Introductions (15 Minutes)
But first let’s spend a few minutes getting to know each other.
Make sure that you introduce yourself to your teaching assistant, and to the course assistant or assistants that are helping with your section. This is also a great opportunity to meet other students! At some point during this lab section, try to find:
a person from your dorm
a person from the same major
a person with programming experience…
…and one without programming experience
somebody very different from you
Make it a goal today to learn and remember the names of five other students. The course staff will be working hard this semester to learn your names—but please be patient with us.
Finally, share what you’re aiming to get out of CS 125 this semester with your fellow students and with your TA and CA. This matters a lot to us, since we want you to succeed and have a fulfilling experience in CS 125.
1.1. Working Together
You’ll frequently be working together in groups in our lab sections… and for the rest of your life as a technologist. So it’s something worth getting good at.
When working with a new group of people, it’s best to try to get out of your comfort zone a bit—especially at first. If you’re used to doing a lot of talking, try to listen and make room for other voices. And if you’re a bit on the quiet side, try to speak up and actively participate. Things get easier once everyone gets comfortable with each other.
2. Environment Preparation (45 Minutes)
Next we’re going to get you set up with the tools that you need to write computer code for this course.
Please read and follow all steps carefully, one by one. 99% of the time when installing or trying to use a computer tool fails, it’s because you didn’t follow instructions 1.
2.1. Enable Google Integration
In order to log on to the forum, and use our online grade interface, you need to enable Google integration for your @illinois.edu account. Follow this link and walk through the instructions for undergraduate (probably) or graduate (unlikely) students. The screencast above demonstrates the process. Note that the online grades page looks quite different now than when it did when this screencast was taken, and is currently down for maintenance. But once you enable Google Apps integration it should work everywhere: on the forum, on our online slides, and on the online grades page.
3. Binary and Representation (50 Minutes)
Let’s learn about binary and how computers represent numbers and other kinds of data.
Complete this part of the lab in pairs using Google Docs. Create a copy of our document template, and then edit it to record you and your partner’s answers. Note that you must open this document using your @illinois.edu Google Apps account. We will not grant access to non-Illinois users. Have a course staff member check your answers as you go. When you are done, move on to the next section.
4. Before You Leave
Don’t leave lab until:
You have enabled Google Apps integration and logged on successfully to the forum
You have completed the binary exercises
You have completed the first two or three homework problems
And so has everyone else in your lab section!