Hello everyone. This is my first post,so here is a little info about myself. I have a 2 year old and another child on the way. In my earlier school years I was always goofing off and not paying attention. Finally I graduated but didnt go to college,and I have been busting my bum for peanuts every since. I wanna be able to provide better for my family so im starting back to school @ ECPI for IT (networking). I only have basic computer knowledge,and I havent been to school in a long while. I feel like im getting in over my head somewhat,so please post anything that you think will get me a step ahead of the game...thanks,

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I am a big believer of conceptual modeling and atomization.

That is, everything can be described in a unified format. Everything. If you can define an "internal language" for yourself in your mind to define a problem, you will be able to adjust it for future uses with slightly different problems. Over time, you will have built so many variation from the original mental definition(s) or template(s) your time to solve a new and unique problem will exponentially decrease.

Atomization, is my mental method (but I often write it out!) of breaking complex problems down to sub elements. If these elements are still too complex, I further break it down, until I can either no longer break it down, or I can grasp it without a problem. I made the problem into a collection of "atoms". If I cannot break it further down and still do not understand, well that is were the studying begins!

Real life example: Atomization

Home finances. Huge.. Way to complex, amorphous topic. Hard to wrap your arms around what home finances really is.

Paying bills and allocating money for non-recurring expenses. Ok, slightly better, but still scary.

Paying bills can be broken into fixed, and non-fixed amount bills. Even better, now you have a list of amounts, for example car insurance is always $a a month, cable TV & Internet always $b. These are fixed. Electric changes $c, and gas changes $d.

You can further break out Electric and Gas bill. The car insurance and cable TV no longer needs further breaking. It is $a & $b and has to be paid on or by the 15th of each months. There is no change in this, you can memorize it, as a matter of fact automate it. Right? The electic and gas can be further broken out from your experience, by budgeting the average bill a month for them. Maybe make it average bill a month plus 10% just to be safe.

Now you have completely atomized this branch of home finance. EVERYTHING can be done in this fashion. From checkbook balancing, running a web community, to arteriovenous malformation surgery.

conceptual modeling

Example - cooking. To make macaroni & cheese you have to cook the dry noodles first in water, then drain, then add the cheese then stir. (well, basically).

From this, can you deduce that the next time you make some sort of a noodle or pasta dish you will presume that the dry noodle/pasta will have to be cooked.

Yes, it is a "duh" statement. But that is the beautiful part of it, and the sad part of it. Beautiful, because the SAME EXACT process can be applied to knowledge in technology, management and brain surgery. The sad part is, because it is so simple, we almost never remember, and try to re-create the wheel..

Conclusion (Aren't you happy?! :lol:

Learn basic computer hardware. Understand the pieces and parts. Take several computers appart, and identify each major component. Understand their function. Understand how they function together.

I have conducted a study on 200 college students in CIS over three years. Those who understood hardware, on average had a 30 point higher test scores (0-100) in programming tests, then those who didn't. Not just that, those who didn't understood hardware, then took a hardware class, their programming skills (without an other programming class) increased by 20 to 30 points!

Once you understand hardware, move onto programming. This will give you basic concepts in how the machine works at higher level.

Your next step would be to move on to networking. This requires the understanding of hardware, software, and how those two interact.

Ok.. I am off my soap box.

wow and good luck

wow and good luck

Thanks!What exactly do you mean by saying wow?

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