Technology for Information Management


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Course Description

This course introduces students to fundamental facts and concepts of information technology. The course cover basics of computer hardware, operating systems, client/server software and computer networking. As an application, students will be installing a set of Linux machines, one machine per student. The capstone experience of this edition of LIS508 is to set up an integrated library system, on each of the machines. In addition, students will use MS Windows and Mac machines as clients to the

After taking this course all students


There are no formal prerequisites for this course. People should be curious about the potential of information technology, and be ready to be surprised how easy it is to run technology without professional support.

What to bring

If you have a laptop please bring it to class. This will be your client machine. You will need your myLIU id to connect to the network.

Your server machine will be a separate machine. The server machine will be the one we install koha on.

If you have a machine that you want to install koha on, please bring it with you. This should not be your laptop, it should be an old desktop. If this is an old Microsoft machine you will be fine. It's not clear that you can use old Apple computers. If you don't have a machine, the IT department promised to furnish you with an old machine. However they have not kept that promise, only about five machines will be available. There are constraints on using your own machine within the context of the university network.

Therefore to save hassle, I strongly suggest you rent a server. Renting will cost about $30 or $40. You should get a Debian machine, preferably with XEN rather than VPS virtualization. Here are some deals I have seen, they should work choose "$40 deal" choose "extra" choose "zen1024 debian" choose "512 slice debian lenny" choose "Link-4"

Students have previously worked with the last two companis. For the purposes of this course, Slicehost appears to be doing a bit better. Once you have a machine, send me the IP address, as well as a name for the machine. The machine can be anything you like as long as it has just one word. Thus "snoopy" or "me" is fine but "Thomas Krichel" is not. Send me the IP address (a sequence of 4 numbers, earch between 0 and 255, separated by dots) as well as the name you want to have. Don't send me the root password.


Thomas Krichel
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548–1300
work phone: +1–(516)299–2843

Private contact details may be obtained from the online CV.

Class structure

Classes will be held in the doctoral lab in the Palmer School between 9:30 and 16:00.

Class details:

2010–01–11 9:30 to 16:00 introduction to open source software, basic concepts of hardware, inspection and installation of hardware, installation of basic Debian system, until first reboot
2010–01–12 9:30 to 16:00 introduction to computer networks, introduction to command line computing, introduction to Debian packaging system, setup of basic Debian system with koha required package
2010–01–13 9:30 to 16:00 introduction to client/server technology, including email, web, and database technologies, finish koha installation.
2010–01–14 9:30 to 16:00 setup of koha, working on koha for presentation
2010–01–15 9:30 to 16:00 presentation of features of koha

Mailing list

There is a mailing list for the course at All students are encouraged to subscribe. As a rule, answers to email sent to the instructor are copied to the list. There are exceptions to this rule


There is no textbook. Thomas Krichel makes slides and instructions available. There are slide presentations, the instructions will be on the course resource page. All other resources are available on the web.


There are two components to the assessment. 50% will be for the presentation at the end, and 50% will be given for the state of the installation at the end of the course. The presentations will be based on a section of the manual. Each student will present a different section and demonstrate how the software works.

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